The first few weeks…..

I can’t believe it is already the middle of September (almost).  Time is flying by.
We are getting into the swing of things in our new space.  It has not been without a multitude of challenges either.  We have had to make lots of tweaks to how we do things, find space to hold clubs and to have our explorers meet, reinvent how we play games, do checkout, and many more examples.  So up front, our thanks to the kids, their parents, and our teachers; for your understanding and patience, your suggestions ,your offers of your classroom spaces and your flexibility.

That first week!  “Getting to know you…..”  I can’t even write that without hearing the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic in my head.  We played lots of games where we got to know the kids who were new and remember the BI kids from years past.  Team building and the CARE rules were a big part of what we were discussing and living.  CARE rules are a big part of the classroom behavior/attitude commitment and we follow the same rules at afterschool.  In case you don’t have them memorized:

C-communicate kindly A-act safely (in BI we also say awesome attitude)
R-respect all
E-excel every day

here are some photos from the 1st week as the Magellans and Armstrongs used that old fortune telling folded paper game to get to know each other and work with partners.

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Then we dove headfirst into studying the Planets.  The Sharks (aka the Cousteaus) studied the Earth, Magellans the inner planets and Armstrongs the outer planets.

The Sharks played games where we were the planets, we shared what we already knew about the earth, where it was in relationship to the sun and learned many new facts.  Then one day, we made models of the earth out of playdough, an successful activity repeated from last year’s study of the earth.  Very cool to get to build it from the inner core to the water and land.  Cut out a cross section and our world really takes on a whole new perspective!  Here are a few photos from that day.  (and one of the cross sectioned earth which now resides in my own daughter’s room) This playdough was made with Jello so it smelled very fruity.

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Also attached photos from the MG (Magellans) and the AS (Armstrongs) presentations that they did to for each other on the inner and outer planets. My own blood relative Magellan is still talking about the Asteroid Belt.

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This week, we are taking what we learned last week and expanding it to study the Milky Way Galaxy.  In the Sharks, we have looked at lots of books and pictures online of the Milky Way, reviewed all we know and learned last week about the earth and our solar system and we have been focusing on drawing spiral galaxies.  What are the characteristics of a barred spiral galaxy?  What are the elements that make up one?  We have done a lot of drawing.  On Tuesday, we did crayon galaxies and then painted them with thinned out black paint.  They were ultra cool.  I wish I had videoed our painting because you should have heard the exclamations of excitement and shouts of joy as the white crayon lines and stars popped into view when covered with black paint!!  Here are some of the photos from that day.

IMG_4588 IMG_4591 IMG_4592 IMG_4595 IMG_4597 IMG_4598All this, and it is only Thursday of Milky Way week.  Keep checking in on us.  DICKSON OPEN HOUSE tonight 5:30-7.  Hope to see you in the halls.

Let us know if your BI kid has a special interest and we will try to incorporate it into our studies.  Happy September!

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