Friday, July 31, 2009

Who is driving the changes in Green packaging....

Frito-Lay is out front building solar powered plants and improving their product packaging so that it decomposes quickly. We would tell you how quickly but that could be dangerous. There are product spies everywhere you look. Our only safe tip is that they are uses "corn syrup" as a basic ingredient in their packaging.

Here you see the UV gang pondering the question - " which soft drink container is heaviest?". Neimen looks like he wants to drink all three before giving an answer. That way he winds up winning no matter what he says. Smart guy. Check out their new Sunchips. We did!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Our Veggies Are Growing!!!!!

We Have Success!!! Ms. Marshall was excited as well.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Through Rain, Sleet, or Snow

Well it only drizzled a little so it wasn't that bad of a day. We had a mission to try and find things to help us keep our own garden here at UV moist with the temperatures going over 100 degrees so many days in the week. The kids had not seen compost actually "cooking" on a pile but did know what the finished product looked like. They got to feel the "heat" of decomposing matter coming from the stack.

In these shots we are assembling the mix of brown materials, green materials and spraying it with water. Our packet label says in six week this will decompose (a new word the Green Team guides introduced) and would be usable in our garden as rich organic materials. Yum!!!

Our younger kids were fascinated to find that worms digest vegetation and also have some "body fluids released" like other animals. Well they had to find out today. We had lots of soap and warm water for cleanup. You can really discover things at the Texas Discovery Garden.

Texas Discovery Garden

The field trip today was educational but with a fun twist. The Texas Discovery Gardens had a small presentation set up and afterwards they had two hands on centers. The kids, mainly CJ took a major interest in composting. CJ was answering questions, paying attention and the look on his face was that of gratitude. Besides the rain the kids really enjoyed what they learned and many mention they would show their parents how to compost. -Ms. Nazareth

Ishmael makes his own compost, which includes: leaves, grass, paper, and water.

The kids huddle around Juan, as he explains why the temperature of the compost is so hot.

CJ working on his composting.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Habitat/Ecosystem Project: The End Result

After all the researching and after finding as many facts as we could it was time to test the students to see if they had really been paying attention. To get a new " habitat" the students had to give me and Mr. Uchenna a fact on each habitat that we had talked about, and to make sure they weren't just having a project with food just so they could eat Ms. Nazareth gave them a little pop quiz.... they all passed with flying colors.

Habitat/Ecosystem project pt 2

These pictures are of Mr. Uchenna helping the students find more information on our main three habitats.

Habitat/Ecosystem Project, Part 1

Well today the technology class did something VERY different. We made a " SMORE HABITAT" project. These three pictures are of me , the leading teacher for the day, seeing what our students already knew about our three main habitats: the Desert, the Tundra, and Swamps.

Turns out that they know a lot of things I didn't learn till sixth grade, and this is a fourth and fifth grade class.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Love and it's Logic

Love and Logic

This summer has had a lot of Love and Logic.

On our first day of the program when the children arrived I thought, "Oh boy this will be a long summer." There was a particular little boy name Charles*(names have been changed) who stayed busy, would never sit down, and always kept his teachers on their toes.

I watched this little boy react and act towards certain things. I thought to myself, "He's not bad, just misguided and he needs attention." The whole day was, "Sit down, don't do that." By the end of the day I was tired and frustrated, but I refused to give up on him.

At the end of the day I told he and his mom that he would be my best friend by the end of the summer program. I saw a sparkle in eyes and he thought that was so funny and he laughed.

I assumed he laughed because no one, especially an adult, has ever told him that they would best friends. The next morning things were better and a lot calmer. He came in with an amazing smile ready to learn.

Every day has been an adventure with an awesome kid.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Recycling Rap pt.1

Well towards the end of the day I thought about something that Ms. Janet had said to me a few weeks ago..." Wouldn't it be neat if they could make a rap about RECYCLING!"

This came from the recycled materials music video our class made in which one of our students (Lewis also known as Music Head) made up this little rap just be saying something. Well you know what, I decided to see if it would be fun to make up a little rap about recycling and to see if the students would actualy have fun with it, and you know what so far it is really neat. Our very active student C.J. wrote the first part of it and the rest is coming up A.S.A.P.

RECYCLE MAN: By the Technology class pt.1
CJ's Part:
They call me recycle man
They call me recycle man
I come from all over the world
recycling Trash all over the world
Looking for all blue bags. You know
man recycling that trash
They call me recycle man
They call me recycle man
I see people trash on the ground
they look at me like I'm a clown.
Yeah it's ya boy CJ
recycling man.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Paren't Insight!

Today I read something very enlightening today from C.J.'s Technology teacher. He posted on the blog about how my son gets drawn away by movies and cameras.

I never really noticed this before. I see him clowning around sometimes in class, so I really did not see what his teacher saw. I am glad to know that he noticed this, now I can focus on things that can draw his attention.

I will be looking into some technology camps for next summer. Who knows? I may have a Producer or Director on my hands. I need to expand on this!!!

He is a very smart kid that just needs someone to believe in him and look past his flaws. I know that he will be an example to us all! That what you see is not always what you get!

Sight and Sound Media visits CDM's ASA

Today our technology class got some hands on experience with a new type of camara. Our class was visited by some members of Sight and Sound Leadership, who showed us how to set up a tripod and shoot using the type of camaras normally seen on movie and news sites. They had so much fun being in front, and behind, of the once they got the feel of it. C.J and Lewis even did a little step.

Sight and Sound Visits University of Values

Today was an awesome day at the University of Values. As soon as 10:00 came around the energy in the building was super high and I couldn't figure out why. Suddenly I remembered that we were having visitors today. A summer program called Sight and Sound came out and worked with us today, and taught us EVERYTHING about the hot new gadget, the Flip Video Camera. Once we got the swing of things it went amazing, Niemen had a private lesson on angles and we even got our guests to Chugga Chugga with us during closing circle!

Music Head: A Modern Superhero

Lewis W. Better known as: Music Head! A superhero of modern times, Music Head has been known to stop armed robberies wish nothing but irresistable sound of a sonic blast from the antena extending from his mask.
When he isn't stopping crime using his prodigious music-like powers, he earns money being a dj at rave and hip-hop clubs. His age? Ten. Do any of the clubbers care? No. He can get into any club simply by putting on his mask because he's a living sound system.
According to Lenice he has also been known do recycle! That in itself is pure heroism! So the next time you see something strange in your neighborhood or some thing wierd that don't look good, call Music Head: Modern Superhero.

Hands on all the way

One thing I've learned about our class is that they're hands on. This is not to say they do not pay attention to instructions, but I believe kids need freedom and with freedom comes great responsibility which requires listening. We started learning about Earth last week and it was messy, fun, and educational. I can honestly say teaching seven and eight year olds is something else, but it brings a great deal of fun. We build volcanos, oceans, and we recreated Earth's inner surface using nothing but recycled materials.

Our first stop was learning about Earth's inner surface. To recreate this model we used edible materials like ice-cream, pie crust, hot chocolate and strawberries--each to represent the temperature of each layer. Besides wanting to receive a piece of pie, the kids were excited about learning Earth facts. So, as I stood there and began talking about Earth I looked and realized that kids like learning. It's just the way one presents the information that triggers their mind.

After lunch we went around the table, hearing each kid tell me a minimum of two facts they learned. And as I heard Niemen speak perfect Spanish saying Earth has one moon called Luna. I smiled because the pie had been forgotten but something else was remembered. Below is a picture of our finish product.

The pie crust represented Earth's crust. The ice-cream was the Mantle.The hot chocolate was the outer core and the strawberries the inner core. (picture by Beyonce.)

Earth and water.

So as the week went by we learned about water and how it helps us and the animals. The kids learned about the four oceans and how we must take of them. Kwame, was wondering why there is no ocean made specifically for animals of all sorts. So we put his mind along with the rest of the class to make their own ocean. As we began collecting materials and bringing them to the table you could hear Beyonce and Kwame say, "Let's name it Animal Ocean". So we did. As we painted and made animals some from scratch and others printables you could hear the class say, "Octopus, no alligators, no whales," and animals just coming left to right.

Today we made our own ocean and I showed the kindergarteners and they did one too. It was fun. -Beyonce Williams

Earth and Land.

RUN !!! A volcano erupted RUN!!! Yes, we made our own volcanoes after learning what they do and why. The kids were skeptical and doubted me very much. "Ms. Nazaarethh, what if they dont blow??" And as I reassured them they would, we began constructing using used paper plates and aluminum foil. We used baking soda, water, and vinegar to make them erupt and as we headed outside you could hear them whisper, " I don't think they are gonna blow!"

Honestly, I had failed in the morning so I too was thinking the same, but I knew they would erupt and they did. The look on their faces was really priceless as each of them turned and looked at me. They had fun and they not only learned about volcanos, but they learned that doubting people is okay because it happens.

We learned about volcanos and how they blow up when you add vinegar and baking soda. I did not think they would blow, but they did and it was fun. -Darajhnee Williams

Water Bottle Super Heroes

We learned today about the life of a water bottle. The second and third grade class read a book that described to them the importance of recycling. The book followed the journey of a water bottle. The bottle started out as crude oil and was manufactured into a water bottle. The bottle ended up in a park where it was later picked up by a young boy. The boy took the bottle home and made into a flower vase for his mom for valentines day. When the family was finished with the water bottle they threw it into a recycle bin where it was recycled and later used to make a sweater.

In the spirit of reusing water bottles our class made water bottle super heroes. Each hero was unique and special. The children each gave their super hero a name and "special power." I was very impressed by our water bottles I think we can all feel safer about the world we live in with these super bottles looking out for us.

Monday, July 20, 2009

After CJ went bankrupt playing Monopoly he got really into watching Madagascar. I asked Nazareth to take pictures of us playing Monopoly, but I also asked her to take this picture because it was really funny how focused he was on this movie. I don't know what it is with him and movies, but whether we're making them or watching them he becomes the most focused person in the world.

Today our fieldtrip was canceled because of rain. Personally I would have loved to be outside in the rain, but you know, we would have had kids with us and technical stuff like that. So instead we had a sort of game day. What our class did was play monopoly. In this picture CJ had gone bankrupt and so had to stop playing, Lenice is cut out, but she's the banker, Tahjonae is off playing with one of the other classes, and Lewis and I are beasting it up with Kawame and Shaquomn.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Check this out! What a fun-filled learning day at the University of Values!

Thanks to Ms. Sylvia for remembering to get the video camera and doing such a great job interviewing everyone!!...and thanks to Shaquomm Dodd, my summer intern, for editing the video.

A Smile For The Day!

The kids never cease to amaze me! I was walking around monitoring the classes yesterday, when to my surprise, I noticed this sign on the Kindergarten class door.

I glanced at it first, then I took a step back just to see what this wonderful sign said. First of all, Let me tell you what it was made of. The middle of the sign was cardboard and around it was all these tiny hands made from construction paper that look like they were waving at me, it was like they were saying, Hey! Come over here, we have something to tell you. Then I stopped and read the sign. It was sooo! cute. The sign said, The Earth Is Worth Protecting, then it gave all these reasons why. It touched my heart.

I thought it was great, and it looked pretty beautiful just like the earth. See! the kids really are learning about the importance of our earth and what it means to keep it beautiful.

Our day in the garden!

Today was one of the best days working in the garden we may of ever had. We put layers upon layers of mulch and dried leaves on top of soaked newspapers. The kids took to it very well; they even got the teachers to stop hiding in the shade and get out in the sun to help. They had so much fun planting the different foods and watering them. I want to have more days like this but with more shade.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tech Class

These are some pictures of the tech class working on making their mini videos. They seem to really like it lets hope it stays that way.

Two Smaller Classes Get Together To Do BIG Things

This past week has been full of vacations at the University of Values Summer Camp, and a couple of days out of the week we've had to have class without quite a few of our campers. On Tuesday Ms. Anna and I decided to join Ms. Nazareth and Ms. Lauren in their class. As soon as we entered into the chilly room we knew instantly that we'd made the right decision in combining the classes. The lesson was focused solely on Earth and its layers and what's a better way to teach 1, 2, and 3rd graders this concept than with icecream. Ms. Nazareth came up with a brilliant idea, edible Earth's! We used pie crust to emphasize Earth's crust, vanilla ice cream for Earth's mantle, strawberries for Earth's outer core, and finally chocolate syrup for Earth's inner core. The lesson went well and it tasted GREAT too!!!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Worm Composting!!!

I know! I know! The title sounds a little out there but bear with me. Today we learned about how worms work to help us help the world. Today the studens learned how worms help keep the soil healthy enough for things like plants and trees to grow. They seemed so interested in these little creatures it was amazing to see how quick they took to the lesson.