Today was, to put it mildly, crazy. Three 5th grade intro/blitz classes; 1 activity period (busy library time); 1 collab/help time (busy library time); and 1 recess/lunch hour that included SEW for SOS being interviewed for a local t.v. news spot. Apologies to that last period class of boys–I kept losing track of what I had said or was trying to say because I just hit a wall there at the end. TGIF!
I posted yesterday about a mysterious box with motors. Today, the kids added a propeller/fan made of duct tape, and the box does two things: moves itself across the table, and shoots the propeller/fan thing into the air. They had some questions about how much voltage the motors can handle, and that led to a bit of research about what happens if you attach too much power to a motor. This is what I like to see happen: tinkering that leads to questions about how things work, and then researching the answers. (Of course, they need to see that the motor actually *will* burn out, and I don’t blame them!)
Some of the new 5th graders were inquiring about the Makerspace (I haven’t done an intro yet with them), and one with an older sibling immediately figured out where the LEDs and batteries were and started playing, then checked out The Art of Tinkering. Yay!
At lunch/recess, we had a reporter from our local abc outlet come to talk to the SEW for SOS kids. I wasn’t sure when the reporter would actually come, and I wanted to be sure everyone had a chance to eat without missing the opportunity to be on t.v., so I had them go over and grab to-go lunches and bring them back to the library to eat. As it turned out, they had time to all eat before the reporter came, and then time to sew and be interviewed, and still make it to their next class. Whew!
As they were eating, I was just sitting back and watching (and yeah, freaking out a little about the upcoming interview and pacing), and I had this realization about this crew of kids. They are a very diverse group–quiet, not quiet, studious, not-so-studious, outgoing, shy, etc. What they all have in common is this: they are compassionate. They are compassionate to each other–no, not every moment; they are middle school students still figuring it all out, after all. But in general, they are kinder than your average bear. I got a bit teary, actually, as I was taking these pictures, because I was happy for them that they had found each other; proud of them for what they are doing with SEW for SOS; grateful to be a part of all of it. My wish for them is that they continue to be there for each other over the next several years, and continue to make a difference in other people’s lives in whatever ways make sense for them as they grow older. I also wish for them to one day know and understand what a positive impact they have had on me!
After eating, they of course sewed, and I think the t.v. stuff went well. Then they went off to class, and I shifted back into Book mode with the 5th grade until the end of the day. This year’s 5th grade seems to be incredibly sweet–I can’t wait to get to know them as readers and people! They tolerated my end-of-busy-week exhaustion very kindly!
So, in the end, it was a fabulous first week of school! Now I am ready to sleep LATE on Saturday! 🙂