Posted on September 8, 2017
Students got back into the groove of things after the long weekend. They shared their stories about their weekend adventures to their classmates. Such busy and fun-filled lives these children lead! The experiences they bring to school really help shape our class identity.
This week students were very interested in discussing the events of the hurricane and resulting flooding in Houston. They expressed genuine concern for the well-being for the people of the city and wanted to learn how they could help. To start the conversation, the class did a photo walk looking at before and after pictures of the neighborhoods that were impacted by the flood. The students were tasked with making observations of the photos then writing their thoughts on a post-it note using a thinking routine called "See, Think, Wonder." While observing the photos, students wrote down a retelling of what they viewed, their thoughts and feelings about what they saw and any questions they had that could not be answered by simply looking at the pictures. This strategy, which is used throughout many of our reading and inquiry journeys, helps to deepen the students' understanding of a concept beyond surface level. The children showed much compassion in their thoughts and comments. It was truly moving.
Students observing flood photos
The comments and photos displayed on an "expression" wall
We also took a digital journey to Houston to make experience more real for the children. Using Google Earth, we looked at the geography of Houston and what some of the conditions were that caused the water to rise and flood the streets. Many of the students wanted to look at schools that were directly affected, so we zoomed in on a few locations and even searched schools' websites to see some similarities to Mid-Pacific. I think this had a profound effect on the children as many of them asked if the class could donate money to help the victims of the flood. In the coming weeks we will discuss how to organize a donation drive in order to support the city.
Zooming in on Google Earth
Vocabulary words: Houston, flood, donation, hurricane, help