Posts Tagged ‘field trip’

High Five For Friday! 9-5-14

Happy Back-to-School! Today is our first Friday of the 2014-2015 school year, and we’ve made it through week 1. It was your typical first week back with bumps in the road and interesting challenges, but we made it!

Every Friday, I post a “High Five For Friday” entry that highlights 5 things from the week. It’s all about being positive and finding things to celebrate. Here are this week’s 5:

1. School Supplies – The Supply Fairy delivered a wonderful, colorful pile of back-to-school supplies to my room! I do all the ordering for our department, so that is why there is so much here. Who doesn’t love new pencils, highlighters, and white out?!?

Back To School Supplies (c) Kristen Dembroski

2. School Forest Field Trip – Our district is lucky enough to own a 16 acre school forest right in our own backyard. This week, I took my students on a quick walking tour of the grounds. We noted several invasive species, steered clear of the poison ivy (!) found some great places for doing creative writing later, and enjoyed how we felt worlds away from school when we were only a few paces from the playground.

School Forest (c) Kristen Dembroski3. Packers Season Open – To celebrate the official start of Packers Season, the staff got to have a dress down ‘Green and Gold’ day. We have some very enthusiastic staff who made me giggle with their seriously fantastic sportswear (think Green and Gold overalls!).

Packers (c) Kristen Dembroski

4. Eleanor & Park – I started reading this new book, which was recommended as an adolescent fiction novel. One chapter in, I soon realized that I would not be able to recommend this to my 8th grade students due to the language. However, I am really digging this book so far. The characters are very interesting and the story feels nostalgic to my own teen years in some way. I’m on Chapter 13, and I expect this will turn into an emotional roller coaster by the end.

EleanorPark_cover2

5. Making lots of Connections – I saved the best for last. I have loved meeting my new students. The best part of the first few weeks is the connections we make. I learn so much about my new students, their interests, their anxieties about the year, what they are excited to accomplish, their hobbies and talents, and everything else they are willing to share. On the first day, it’s become my tradition to wear these silly rainbow socks. I do realize how ridiculous they look, but they have become a real conversation starter. My students like to come up and talk to me about them. I think it helps them to see that I don’t take things too seriously, that I am approachable, and that I know how to laugh. Connecting with my students is really important to me, and I value our relationships and everything that we can accomplish knowing there is mutual trust and respect.

Rainbow Socks (c) Kristen Dembroski

 

Whether this was your first week back or you’ve been back to school for a while, I hope you had a SPLENDID first week of September! I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

 3,052 total views

The Science of Tubing

The Science of Tubing (c) Kristen Dembroski

We had a blast on our annual Science of Tubing field trip. Every year, we go to Sunburst Winter Sports Park and the students engage in a day of science and fun! They are given a packet to complete and 2 hours to calculate data about the hill, mass, friction, average speed, acceleration, work, and power for snow tubing on the hill. They work in small groups, and they are given a spring scale, angle finder, and stop watch. We also used the iPads and downloaded apps like Speed Box, which has a speedometer function. It was the perfect balance of education and fun!

Measuring Mass Science of Tubing (c) Kristen Dembroski

 

Field trips are wonderful opportunities to teach the ‘Hidden Curriculum.’ We learn how to behave on a bus, behave in public, be responsible for tools and equipment, clean up after ourselves, thank staff for their assistance, and how to have fun in a safe and respectful way. I love having a chance to bond with my students outside of the classroom. Believe it or not, they ask the teachers to join their group, ‘link up,’ and do a tube run with them – just for fun.

The teachers have a lot of fun, too! In fact, I don’t know who has more fun – the students or the teachers! We race kids. We joke and have a great time. We lend students our extra hats and scarves to let them know we care about them. We sing songs on the bus. These are the lasting memories that make school fun and learning possible. These are the memories that make it so hard to say goodbye to them in June! Tubing Fun (c) Kristen Dembroski

 5,704 total views

Art of Writing Conference 12/13

Calatrava (c) Kristen Dembroski

Today, I had the privilege of attending the 26th annual Art of Writing Conference at the Milwaukee Art Museum. This is my 7th time returning. The Art of Writing Conference is a truly amazing experience where hundreds of young authors and artists, grades 1-12, come from across the state to meet at the Milwaukee Art Museum for a day of exploration and writing.

Milwaukee Art Museum (c) Kristen Dembroski

We begin the day by breaking up into small grade-level groups of about 10 students from different schools, and we tour the museum together. Our goal is to choose a few pieces of art and discuss the artist’s message while also looking for a way to connect personally to the piece. As a former docent and an Art History major, this is definitely my favorite part of the day. The students do some very deep reflecting and thinking on the art – oh you would be so proud! They have such profound and touching things to say. I never get tired of the museum tour because each group of students sees something different – even if it’s the same piece I’ve viewed with hundreds of students before them, I always hear something new.

OKeffe Milwaukee Art Museum (c) Kristen Dembroski

Later in the afternoon, we gather for a silent hour of writing or sketching. The authors generate a first draft of their writing piece, which is a 500 word personal narrative inspired by a piece of artwork we viewed in the morning. We sit at a table in the middle of the gallery – what a gift to be able to write surrounded by world treasures! After a break for pizza in the Calatrava, we engage in Writing Workshop: peer revision, editing, and writing a final copy. Then, voila, their work is published in a few short months! We all return to the museum for a ‘Book Release Party,’ and the students get a copy of their published work.

OKeffe Milwaukee Art Museum (c) Kristen Dembroski

 

I am very grateful for this opportunity to be inspired by the art, authors, and artists. I wish I could take all of my students every year, because it is such a unique opportunity.

By the way, there was a really cool surprise for me this year. They start the conference every year with a video about the conference and the writing process. It features video captured from previous conferences. Imagine my surprise when I saw myself up on the big screen in the auditorium! Here I am leading my group of 8th graders last fall. Of the hundreds of people there, it was neat to be in the spotlight!

Art of Writing Conference 2013 (c) Kristen Dembroski  Art of Writing Conference 2013 (c) Kristen Dembroski

If you’re interested in reading my piece, you can download it here: Dembroski Short Story

 4,434 total views

Art of Writing Conference 8/13

Last week, I was honored to participate in my 4th Art of Writing Conference. It is a truly amazing experience where young authors (and artists) from across the state meet at the Milwaukee Art Museum for a day of exploration and writing.

We begin the day by breaking up into small groups (I get the 7th and 8th graders, sweet!) and tour the MAM. We are allotted an hour to wander and reflect on the art. I usually have a group of about 10 students, so I let each student take a turn being the ‘leader,’ the lucky duck who gets to choose the piece of art we discuss next. They love leading us all over the museum. Our goal is to discuss the artist’s message while also looking for a way to connect personally to the piece. This is definitely my favorite part of the day. You would not believe what these young, promising students ‘see’ in the art. They have very profound and touching things to say. I never get tired of the museum tour because each group of students sees something different – even if it’s the same piece I’ve viewed with hundreds of students before them, I always hear something new. It makes me very hopeful for the future.

Later in the afternoon (after our favorite mid-morning donut break and pizza lunch) my young authors gather for a silent hour of writing. There are also young artists present at the conference who attempt to capture the art and magic of the day through sketches. The authors generate a first draft of their writing piece, which is a 500 word personal narrative inspired by a piece of artwork we viewed in the morning. We sit at a table in the middle of the gallery – what a gift to be able to write surrounded by world treasures! After another short break, we engage in peer revision, editing, and writing a final copy. Then, voila, their work is published in a few short months! I am very grateful for this opportunity to be inspired by the art, authors, and artists. I only wish that all of my students could partake in this experience!

If you’d like to learn more about the conference, please visit the Art of Writing Facebook page 

Milwaukee Art Museum (c) Kristen Dembroski

The Milwaukee Art Museum Calatrava – so gorgeous!

Art of Writing Conference Summer 2013 (c) Kristen Dembroski

My young authors enjoying a nutrition break in the Calatrava

Art of Writing Conference Summer 2013 (c) Kristen Dembroski

My young authors, writing their drafts in the museum

Milwaukee Art Museum (c) Kristen Dembroski

Mr. and Mrs. Pitch and Peach America – Reginald Baylor

Milwaukee Art Museum (c) Kristen Dembroski

Niagara by George Williams Jr

 2,606 total views

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...