Saturday, November 18, 2017

Ada's Violin - How One Story Can Be Used in a Classroom

The Navigators read the book and went to the play, Ada's Violin, The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay. In true Seabury style, the Navigators enjoyed the story from a variety of angles:

Angle 1: We read the book.

Angle 2: We went to the brand new Federal Way Arts & Events Center to see the play. 

Ada's Violin

The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay
Book It Theater  | 
An extraordinary true tale based on the book Ada’s Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay by Susan Hood. Ada RĂ­os longs to play the violin, but she lives in a poor community on a landfill. When a music teacher finally arrives there are not enough instruments for all of the children. Teacher Favio Chavez’s solution? They will make their own instruments – out of trash! This show is performed in English and Spanish.

Practicing theater etiquette 
The set: a landfill 
The Navigators with Mount Rainier in the background

Angle 3: the real orchestra
Click here to watch a video of the real people of the story. 

Angle 4: Book Study
We wrote the beginning, middle and end parts of the story. 

Angle 5: Math: Practicing the "Draw a Picture" strategy for solving word problems

Estimation: How many people do you estimate the theater holds? Answers were from 50 to 2000.
Correct answer was 716.

How many people from Seabury School went to see the play, Ada's Violin?
___ people in the bus + ___ in car 1 + ___ in car 2 + ___ in car 3 = ____ people from Seabury School
Angle 6: World Geography
 We marked Paraguay on our classroom map
Angle 7: MakerSpace/Art Class with Miss Angela/Performing Arts with Miss Suzanne

We made our own instruments, wrote our own songs, and formed our own band.

Click here for a video of the song "Princess Starfall." 
Angle 8: Music Appreciation
We continue to learn about instruments and enjoy classical music in our classroom. 

Angle 9: Writing thank you letters
"Thank you for the awesome play."
"My favorite part was when you put the instruments together."
"I was inspired to play the violin." 

A future violinist?!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

A Sunny Halloween, October 31, 2017

The 2017-2018 Navigators (plus a little brother)

Evie of the Decendents



Ninja Warrior

Harry Potter

A zombie princess


Darth Vader

Saturday, November 4, 2017

A Virtual Tour of our Classroom Castle

HUZZAH! Our QUEST to make a castle has been accomplished.

Step inside and see what a real Medieval Castle looked like. 

The beginning stages: a "Genius Hour" collaborative activity.

"We need some battlements."
"Let's use index cards."

Every castle needs a "dungin." Especially after reading You Wouldn't Want to Be in a Medieval Dungeon!

 We need tape. Lots of tape! To make a moat and a portcullis and to hold things together!

We also do math.

Let there be light, as in torches, chandeliers, and rose windows. 

More finishing touches: flags and a throne room fit for a King and a Queen.


What an engineering task we tackled. 

The results? 

Education at its best and all the things we strive for at Seabury School:

  • planning
  • collaboration
  • communication
  • innovation
  • creativity
  • imagination
  • hands-on learning
  • critical thinking
  • real life play
  • grit
  • student led inquiry-based instruction
    • What does our castle need?
    • How can we make battlements/a portcullis/an armory etc.?
    • Where did the people sleep?
    • Can we make a working drawing bridge?
    • What did real tapestries look like?
    • What should we put in our treasure box?
    • What did they put on their flags?
    • People had dogs in the Middle Ages. Can we make a dog? (of course!) How? 
    • What else do we need?!
And it all started with some boxes...

Does It Really Fly? MakerSpace Helicopter

On Friday afternoons, the first through fifth graders have "Genius Hour," a time when they can pursue a personal interest or passion by themselves or with each other. There are kids on the computers coding, kids perusing Google Earth, kids reading, writing, researching or drawing, kids playing math games, kids tinkering in the MakerSpace.

This is a first grade Navigator showing his classmates his MakerSpace helicopter with a real spotlight. Ingenious! One boy asked him, "Where did you get the cog?" After a brief look of what?!,  the kids all continued on without skipping a beat having learned a new vocabulary word through conversation and context.

Genius Hour at its best!

Parents, please keep sending those cogs and beads and unique containers to us!

Not Your Average Fire-Breathing Dragons!

Reading good literature is vital to developing a rich vocabulary and a vivid imagination. As we studied the Middle Ages, we read many such books including two very contrasting books on dragons - Saint George and the Dragon retold by Margaret Hodges and My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett.

The dragon in the first book was based on a real (true?) legend and was mean, horrible, atrocious, terrifying, foul-smelling, and fire-breathing.

The second book was a fiction book about an incredible, adventurous, hilarious, ingenious rescue of a sweet, kind, cute, baby dragon from the ferocious animals of Wild Island. 

We compared the two dragons and set out to draw our own dragons. What ensued highlighted the creative giftedness of the Seabury first-graders. Who wants a mean, horrible, atrocious, terrifying, foul-smelling, and fire-breathing dragon when you can have one that breathes out candy, roasts your smores for you and takes you on its back to wherever you want to go!?

Caldecott Winner

Newbery Honor-Winning Classic

We used this book often throughout our Middle Ages study.

Once a lover of dragons, always a lover of dragons.
The Navigators all want to hear the sequels to My Father's Dragon: Elmer and the Dragon, and the Dragons of Blueland

We look forward to re-visiting 
My Father's Dragon 
at the Pantages Theater in February!

Ada's Violin - How One Story Can Be Used in a Classroom

The Navigators read the book and went to the play, Ada's Violin, The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay . In true Seabury st...