Posts from the ‘Fieldtrips’ Category

Where We’ve Been – Part III

Yesterday we went to the International Children’s Festival at Seattle Center.

First we saw Jamie Adkins of Circus INcognitus.  The kids thought he was hilarious and we were in the front row, so the class was able to take part in some audience participation. 

We then had a two-hour break between shows.  Hmmm, how to keep thirteen children out of the fountain so that they aren’t soaked for the next performance – a tricky job indeed.  Only one got completely drenched and then we had one walking wounded – all-in-all not a bad days work.

Then we saw BLACK VIOLIN and it was totally and completely AMAZING!  It was a full on dance party.  I would go see them anytime!  The kids loved it and were dancing in the aisles.  We are so very lucky indeed!

Here they are putting some stank on one of my favorite pieces.  Enjoy!

Where We’ve Been – Part II

The same day we went to Daystar and played chess, I heard about the whale that had beached and died only a few minutes from school and I HAD to take the kids.  I went directly to our wonderfully flexible director Sarah and said, “please take us?”  And of course she said, “yes!”  Within five minutes we were in her van, my car and another teacher’s car, headed to see something we may never get a chance to see again. 

It was a sobering sight.  We were able to talk to a naturalist, who was watching over the whale.  It was informational but so much more than that – it was so very much a paying of respects to such an amazing creature.  We just stood and watched and wondered and cared so much about what happened and why.  There was no way to express the enormity of this moment in time.  We were mostly speechless and sad.

Where We’ve Been – Part I

On our last trip to Daystar Retirement Village, the activities director, who knew we all play chess at school, got us a giant chess board.  I split the class in two and each team had a captain.  Isaac was the captain for the black team and Rohan was the captain for the white team.  This quickly became serious business.  Everyone helped and was biting their nails and really thinking about the next move.  At one point, Asher got our chess strategy book. 

Little did we know that Bill Crooks, a chess master, who just moved to Daystar, was watching the entire game.  He challenged the captains to a game.  So, we got out our small chess set that I had brought and Isaac and Rohan played Bill as the entire class watched in pure silence, for about 45 minutes.  It was amazing to watch.  And they certainly held their own and Bill gave them some pointers on how to behave during a chess game.  Brilliant! 

It was so intense.  Everyone in the room, kids and seniors alike,  were watching every single move. 

Isaac and Rohan were so gentlemanly and shook his hand afterward. 

It felt like we were experiencing something way beyond our years that day.  An incredible sight to be seen.  I was so proud.

First Weeks – Daystar & Castle Park

This is year four of our bi-weekly trips to Daystar Retirement Village.  It is beautiful, awe inspiring, moving and oh so real.  The kids just fall in like leaves in the wind, without hesitation, without over-thinking etiquette or age.  It often sends me to tears just to watch the innocent meet innocent.  What a lovely way to spend our days – spreading love and genuine joy and affection.






Then we go to Castle Park to play.  It’s always a mad dash to the park.  The sun has been such magic this year and we are drawing every last bit out of this beautiful weather that we can.  And Vega – I’m so impressed at how long you worked on getting across the swinging bars.




I know, I say it all the time, every year, weekly, sometimes daily – but I have the best job in the world.  Just look at what I get to witness on a moment to moment basis. 

Pure love.

Poetry Slam 2009! A Lesson on How to YAWP…

YAWP. “I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world” ~Walt Whitman

On our trip to Camp Long this week, we took some to write some poems.  We’ve been reading and writing poetry since our last Camp Long trip, when Asher spontaniously wrote a beautiful poem about nature.  This time we returned to intentionally stand tall and yell our poems to the trees and the leaves and the sun and the wind…

Poetry Slam 2009!

(Thank you Eric for video taping.  Not everone wanted to read aloud, no matter how much we encouraged and some of the video was cut off but we tried to get everyone – we’ll be doing this again though…)

“The Best Field Trip – EVER!”


I often hear “This is the best field trip ever” on many of our field trips but this one seemed extra special and I heard it every time I turned around.  Maybe it was because it was our first trip to Camp Long of the year.  This is such a special place with so many memories and good times.

We took Whitney with us this time.  She has a degree in Environmental Science and it was nice to have her perspective.  We also played many “trust” games, rock climbed, hiked, went on a scavenger hunt, drew from nature and then Asher wrote a poem that has since inspired an entire poetry jam in our classroom – emergent curriculum in action.

We will be returning to Camp Long this next Thursday to view a special art project we took part in (more on this later).  We just can’t get enough of art, nature and poetry!

A Tribute to Dottie

I have a little catching up to do.  Some beautiful, incredible stories happened before I left…

One of these stories happened at Daystar.  We arrived as usual with our crafts and songs and stories.  But as we walked in, there was a crowd of seniors surrounding the piano.  There were guest musicians playing the Ukulele and the piano.


We sat down as they played.  Gayle, the coordinator I work with, came up and told us this was a special tribute for Dottie who was in the late stages of cancer.  They were taking her requests and then the piano player asked us what we wanted to hear.  I asked if he knew, “Bicycle Built for Two” and he did, so he played as our class stood up and sang.  As they sat down, Dottie, in her delirium, busted out with another verse of the song (a little on the dirty side) which was kind of funny and sweet.



Georgia got an extra special “Georgia On My Mind” serenade.


He then asked if any of the kids played an instrument and Jackson said, “I play the piano.”  I looked at him like “what are you talking about.”  He then proceeded to walk to the front of the room, sit down and play the most beautiful piece of music in all seriousness.  We were all stunned.  It was incredible.  The gifts of music and love in the room that day was palpable.


Then Oliver came in late with baby Ben and we walked the baby around so everyone could touch his little head.  There was so much beauty in the room that day.  It was one of the moments you can just reach out and touch.  The kind of day that you know, while you’re living it, that it will replay in your memory and the memory of everyone else, for always.


Then Charlie’s parents met us in the park with watermelon.  It was so nice to sit back and reflect on that day, in the sun, appreciating all that we have and how lucky we are to be a part of our larger community and to be able to witness, first hand, all that life has to offer.


Gutter Sundae

So we finally spent our puppet show prize money. We took the bus to Lincoln Park, where Trisha met us with ice cream, extras and a brand new gutter to eat from (I hope the health department doesn’t read this).

We played and played.



Ate ourselves into a coma.





Then played and played at the beach.




And then crashed!


A perfect start to summer!

A Trip to the Park

…and meeting new friends.

Autumn Trips & Harvest Time

“Are those poison berries in your hair Michelle?”


“She’s a weird teacher, you gotta respect that.”


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