After some experimenting with a format where students could choose their own Journey of Discovery topic, Ali’s check in group transitioned into a small group Journey as a practice for when the whole school comes back together for an all school Journey of Discovery in March. The Journey choosing process began with some practice putting items, like animals and types of clothing, into categories. Some of the categories included different climates around the world, and the different seasons. After some discussion of how a broad Journey topic could encompass a whole range of specific projects or questions to be explored, students each wrote some questions that they had or specific things that they would like to do or learn about. The ideas were put into categories and the categories were discussed and voted on. Some of those initial ideas included, “building cardboard houses”, “volcanoes”, “tornadoes”, and “crystals”. A lively and wonderfully collaborative conversation about how we could combine some of the ideas led us to the idea of a Shelters in Wild Nature Journey of Discovery where we would make small cardboard houses, learn about volcanoes and tornadoes, and make crystals out of cardboard. Each day began with a chapter from The Magic School Bus “Twister Trouble” book followed by an activity. Students created a cardboard house village, a map of the village, learned how to plot coordinates and mapped the destructive paths of tornadoes. They made a few films of tornadoes going through their village, and later of our big cardboard volcano erupting in the village. We watched some educational videos about these natural wonders and explored books on the topics. The Journey was wrapped up with some reflection on what we learned and new questions that we now have were shared: “What are all the types of volcanoes?”, “How thick are volcanoes?”, and “How does the earth make lava?”. Awesome job Linus, Brandelwyn, Nina, Penelope, and Victoria on a lively, productive, collaborative, and successful Journey of Discovery!
Other events of the week included a trip to the Catamount Theater and the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium. Students had a blast with the hands-on displays and exploring the cases of swords and other unique items, as well as viewing a planetarium show. Our mild winter day found Tye outside practicing his fly fishing technique and Leo found a warm spot to read in the sun. We wrapped up our Pottery Intensive this week as well, and finished items should be ready for students to take home after February break.