Last week was the first week of our final quarter this year. Our schedule was out of sorts, as it was also the week of the state Forward exam. It creates a lump in my throat just thinking about asking our sixth grade students, who have been working against the educational grain all year, to sit for several class periods each day to take the same test as every other sixth grader in the state. All in due time…
There were many positive things happening this week, though, as we introduced our final theme of the year – Wellness. The kids are very excited to find ways to answer our Essential Question: How can I take care of myself and the environment?
In STEM class, they have a Northstar garden in the works. They are exploring areas of photosynthesis, atoms & molecules, soil, and area & perimeter to best prepare before breaking ground this spring.
In Humanities, they are looking into different areas of wellness related to the mind and body, like nutrition, fitness, and mindfulness. When ready, they will each develop a personal wellness plan to track and reflect on their progress.
Passion projects are already being generated for our next public presentation, an ARCTIC Zone Wellness Fair! We have groups of students working together to form opinions about various wellness topics to persuade our audience to take action. Some topics include: using houseplants to purify the air in your home or workplace OR allowing students to use “fidgets” in class to help relieve anxiety and to maintain focus. Keep your eyes open for a formal invitation to our Wellness Fair on Friday, June 2nd!
Finally, the timing was perfect for our group to be able to celebrate their group goal accomplishment from our Legacy theme of meeting 253 deadlines! It was a wonderful way to end a long week of testing. Students came to school dressed comfortably in pj’s and sweatpants with blankets and stuffed animals. We spent the morning reading quietly to ourselves.
In the afternoon, we gathered together to watch a fun movie of their choosing, Moana. As a Disney lover, I absolutely love the opportunities Disney movies provide to discuss themes like believing in yourself or the power of forgiveness.
It was a wonderful way to end the week, hanging out with each other, relaxing, and celebrating their hard work and accomplishments. Our new group goal and incentive will be decided this week!