Before break, the fifth grade classes had a last minute opportunity to visit the Levi Stadium and work with their educators. We have been on a waitlist for this trip for the past three years, so all of the teachers were quite excited as well, though we weren't sure what to expect. When we arrived, we split into groups for a packed day of STEAM education. Activities included building a stadium that would hold up a helmet, looking at new technology in uniforms and helmets that let engineers track impact data on players, running player drills with shoulder pads and finally math activities in their museum. With the beautiful weather, we were also able to sit outside in the stadium to eat lunches. It exceeded our expectations and was a really fun day for the kids!
In 4th grade science, we have been learning about electricity and magnetism. Last week, on one of our few sunny days, the students blew up balloons and learned about the concept of static electricity. They were quite excited (because how often do you get to play with balloons) as they walked around with balloons stuck to their heads! The next day, we discovered that negative and positive electrons were responsible for all of that static. At first, your hair and the balloon begin with a state of neutral electricity. As you rub the ballon on your hair, negative electrons from your hair are passed to the balloon, giving the balloon more negative electrons and making your hair positive. Like charges attract, so the balloon sticks! As we finished our investigation, I said, "So, I guess if you are having a bad day, you need to lose some negative electrons to turn it into a positive." Right then a student piped up, "Or if you are having a bad day, you should just rub a balloon on your head!!" I think they got it!!
Playing with batteries, wires and lightbulbs!! So fun!!
I'm sure some people, when hearing about Global Play Day, might have thought "this is what my child is doing in school today?" I know when talking to friends last night about my upcoming day, they joked that I would be having a "really productive day" today! Yes, we are having a productive day!
We are not writing essays or comparing text in literature (though math starts soon) but the kids are talking, laughing, sharing, and genuinely having a great time! They have huge smiles on their faces, 4th graders are mixing with 5th graders, they are learning new games and most importantly collaborating! Being able to use technology in class is great, as it gives us more tools for kids to present their work to the world. Nothing, however, compares to the social skills that are developed when playing card and board games and mingling about finding a game to join. I hope the students have a great memory of today and realize that "productivity" can be disguised as a game!