Our final theme of the year is Wellness. Every aspect of ARCTIC Zone learning surrounds various dimensions of wellness related to the mind, body, spirit, and our environment. As the students are developing their own passion project topics to design an exhibit for our end-of-year Wellness Fair, the learning is being amplified with community experts sharing their knowledge and expertise for our STEM and Humanities courses.
In STEM, they are preparing to create a Northstar garden on our lot, so the students have been doing a lot of exploration around the school grounds. To help with understanding soil quality in the area, Andy brought in a professor in Geography and Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, Garry Running. Each of the kids collected their own soil samples from around the building. With Running’s help, they tested different aspects of each soil sample to determine the best location for our school garden.
In Humanities, we are covering various aspects of wellness related to the mind, body, and spirit. We spent the last few weeks discussing nutrition. To help confirm some general nutrition “Do’s” and “Don’ts,” I brought in a local Nutritionist, Karen Hurd, who used her expansive drama skills to bring her presentation to life and show the kids how passionate she is about taking care of the body. They had all just completed logging their food and water intake for an entire week, so it made for some powerful reflecting after listening to her speak.
I’m really looking forward to bringing my mom in this Tuesday, too! She is a yoga instructor and plans to speak to taking care of the mind and body through mindfulness practices like yoga. Hopefully our yoga mats will arrive in time! Fingers crossed! The kids are really looking forward to it.
These presentations have allowed our students to hear from professionals other than their teachers, which they always enjoy. However, it has also opened the opportunity for them to make some positive community connections, and for us, the teachers, to learn things, as well! I love admitting to my students that I do not know everything. I enjoy learning with them and discovering things together.