In-House Field Trip

We had an in-house field trip today at the O.K. Corral.  We’d been working for a while on doing some kind of trip before the end of school.  Our original plan was to go to Busch Wildlife Sanctuary in Jupiter.  The problem with that was that the fee per child was $4.50, then we would have had to tack on another $3.00 to pay for the bus, bringing the total to $7.50, which is really too much to ask from our Title I families.

Enter Bee Understanding, a local non-profit organization that educates people about the importance of honey bees to our food supply.  According to their website, “bees account for thirty percent of the food we eat…”  We received an email from Al and Keely Salopek stating that they are an approved vendor for the school district and explaining what they do.  For $3.50 per child (for a guaranteed 100 students) Mr. Al comes to your school and does an entertaining and interactive hour-long presentation explaining the various types of bees in a hive and the roles that they play.  Following the whole-group presentation, he meets with individual classes for 15 minute sessions where he answers questions and lets kids view his observation hive up close and personal.  Each kid is given a straw of honey to taste and an “I learned about honey bees today.” sticker to wear home.

We ran into a couple of unforeseen problems when we sent home permission slips for this in-house field trip.  For some of our parents, whose children come to school every day and are given free breakfast and free lunch, it was incomprehensible that they should have to pay money for a trip in which the kids don’t actually go anywhere.  Another problem was that many of our kids are scared shitless of animals, period, let alone bees.  I had five kids who resisted three rounds of permission slips and opted to be farmed out to some of our third-grade friends rather than attend the presentation.

But it was their loss, because the session was terrific.  Mr. Al was enthusiastic and entertaining, keeping the nearly 100 first graders enthralled for a whole hour.  He brought costumes and props and invited kids to come onstage to portray the various bee jobs.  By the end of the hour, the kids knew all sorts of things about how a bee hive operates and why bees are essential to our world.

I would highly recommend Bee Understanding as an affordable alternative to a field trip away from school.  If you’re not local to Palm Beach County, check with your local Backyard Beekeepers’ Association to see if this type of program is available in your area.

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It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

wpid-img_20150506_071941-1.jpgRead it and weep.  It’s the official flier for the End of the Year Luncheon.

Don’t let its innocuous appearance fool you.  It’s not merely an informational communique whereby we’re told the location of the luncheon along with the cost and the menu.

Nay, verily, I say unto thee ’tis the light at the end of the tunnel.

For after lunch has been consumed, songs have been sung, and prizes have been awarded, we shall all sail off into the bliss of summer vacation.

This little piece of paper will get me through the next twenty school days.  But who’s counting?  Oh, that would be me.

Another Conversation

It’s been a heck of a week and it’s only Wednesday. On Monday I posted a conversation I had with one of my friends regarding liquor in the gummy bears. Today a different friend wandered up for a chat.

Kid: Yesterday was a disaster.

Me: Why was yesterday a disaster?

Kid: When we got home there was a cat in the house.

Me: And it wasn’t your cat?

Kid: No.

Me: Wow, that is a disaster.

Kid: My daddy killed it with his shoe.

So much for that heartfelt story. I’m not sure I’m going to make it until June.

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

wpid-20150302_104239-1.jpgWe celebrated Dr. Seuss’s birthday on March 2 in the O.K. Corral.  Kids were invited to wear their pajamas and bring a blanket, pillow, and a favorite stuffed animal, along with their favorite books, Dr. Seuss or otherwise.  We spent the day enjoying some of Dr. Seuss’s best-loved books starting with The Cat in the Hat, of course. The kids made Cat in the Hat hats to wear for the day.

wpid-20150302_104149-1.jpgWe followed that up with Green Eggs and Ham and the Sleep Book.  Rather than reading The Lorax, I found the original cartoon on YouTube and showed it to the kids.  I think they received the environmental message.  “That’s sad,” was the comment when the brown barbaloots and the swomee swans had to leave.

Between read alouds, we spread out our blankets and pillows all around the room, buddying up for some quiet reading time.  I suppose it was not really a Pinterest-worthy celebration.  But anytime you share great literature with kids, it’s a good day.

Five Fascinating Facts about Dr Seuss

Here are some interesting ‘fun facts’ about Dr. Seuss. I’m reblogging this article from Interesting Literature in honor of his birthday. We celebrated today in the O.K. Corral. Stay tuned for that post. Until then, Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

Interesting Literature

Five fun facts about Dr Seuss – or Theodor Seuss Geisel, to give him his full name

1. His first book was rejected by over 20 publishers. Dr Seuss got the idea for his first work, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, from listening to the rhythmic sound of a ship’s engine. The book was reportedly rejected by anything between 20 an 43 publishers (the author’s own account of the number varied) before it was accepted for publication by Vanguard Press in 1937. His books have gone on to sell over half a billion copies worldwide, making him one of the biggest-selling children’s authors in the world.

2. Dr Seuss included the word ‘contraceptive’ in a draft of his children’s book Hop on Pop to make sure his publisher was paying attention. The original draft of the book contains these lines: ‘When I read I am

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Beware The Ides Of March

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I did this today before leaving for the weekend. Holy cow! How is it March already?!

Monday is our 120th day of school. Zero the Hero stopped visiting after Day 100. On Monday we begin one of my favorite things, The Countdown. You can see the little sticky pad I put up with the number 60 showing. We’ll peel off one of those bad boys every day until we reach 0. By the way, when we reach 10 the numbers are red. Sort of like Def-Con 1.

Monday is also Dr. Seuss’s birthday. We’re celebrating with a pajama party in the O.K. Corral. We’ll spend the day enjoying our favorite Dr. Seuss books. I plan to post photos next week.

Happy weekend to all Instructional Warriors!