Our class began preparing for the Total Solar Eclipse a few weeks in advance. Our district graciously purchased special solar eclipse eyewear for every faculty member, student body and employee of the Arlington Community Schools. We started learning all about the solar eclipse and learning about the different types of eclipse that can occur. We learned that this was the first total solar eclipse to occur in 38 years. For many of the spectators it would be the first time ever experiencing a solar eclipse. We learned that a total solar eclipse is when the moon moves between the sun and Earth, lasting for up to about three hours from beginning to end. After all of the preparation the day had finally arrived for us to view the solar eclipse. It was amazing! The students described it as being "marveloous, the most beautiful thing they have every seen in the their life and just AWESOME!" I loved hearing their personal descriptions and seeing their excitment. We took everything we learned and viewed from the solar eclipse and used it for our Reading lesson. Using the five W's of the event. Who was there? What occurred? When did this occur? Where did this occur? and Why did this occur? The students broke into groups and created amazing graphic organizers describing the event. This was definitely one of the best teaching experiences I have ever had. I enjoyed being able to spend this time with the kids and learn new things together.
Today the students were given the challenge to create a tower using only spaghetti noodles and mini marsh mellows. Before the project began we talked about possible ways they could work together and build their tower. The ideas were great! Once each team agreed on their specific jobs they began building. The students jumped right in and began building their towers. The students talked among each other and challenged each other with a variety of possible ways they could get their tower to stand the tallest. After a while I began to see the students discuss which ideas were working and which ones were not. The students had to recollect their thoughts and work together to develop more possible ways to get their tower to stand. The students told me this challenge was more difficult than they had originally planned. I allowed the students to work approximately 20 minutes in their groups and finally called time to see if we had any towers that were able to stand on their own without assistance. Many of them began to feel frustrated because their original ideas did not work out as planned. I was so proud of them because they never gave up and continued to work together until I called time. We did have one group of four that was able to create a small tower and it stood on its own for a few minutes. After the building process we came back together as whole group and discussed the ideas that worked and the ones that did not workout. The students also discussed ideas they would possibly use if we were to try to build more spaghetti noodle and marsh mellow towers in our room. Great Teamwork!!!