Saturday, May 19, 2018

Heart Matters Part 2 (Stage Fright)

...continued from Heart Matters Part 1

This year, we've been studying a variety of things including how to read a chapter book, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, inventions, the human body, the heart, emotional regulation (Zones of Regulation), and even Shakespeare, just to name a few.

So many of these things came together this past week in an exciting, educational way. So fun!

In Heart Matters Part 1 we learned:
1. about a heart surgeon's job
2. how the circulatory and the respiratory systems work together
3. the amygdala monster really does makes our heart rate and our breathing increase
4. that mindfulness works. We now have proof!

Here is the continuation of this list:

5. We've been collecting "tools" for calming our bodies/slowing our heartrates in a variety of situations.

This is a tool from the Zones of Regulation curriculum a student can use in a variety of situations.

6. We read Stage Fright on a Summer Night, a  Magic Tree House story where Jack and Annie go back in time and help William Shakespeare with his play. As they play the role of fairies in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Jack experiences extreme stage fright. 

Such a great way to introduce Shakespeare and to include him in our study of the Renaissance!

We talk and draw about ways to handle stage fright, including saying positive things to ourselves. This "tool" will come in handy for our upcoming talent show in a few weeks.

Jack has "flipped his lid!" This is Jack with his amygdala monster going haywire. He needs to get his "thinking brain" working again. 

This is Jack realizing that he has exaggerated and it's not as bad as he thinks it is. There are 3000 people in the audience, not 1 million! Also notice his hexagon and infinity sign breathing in the upper left hand corner. 

This is Jack taking deep breaths. Annie is cheering him on. It's always good to have a friend.

7. We read and watched  several versions of A Midsummer Night's Dream including this video and several books from this series. 

8. Shakespeare "invented" over 1700 English words including bedazzled, hot-blooded, dishearten, eventful, eyeball, newfangled and more!

9. We then had an impromptu visit from one of our dads who is also an actor. He told us all about being Lancelot in the musical Camelot and about his own personal experiences with stage fright. 

"One time I got bucked off my horse on stage! Another time I wanted to run away!"

After a lively conversation about our Middle Ages friends King Arthur, Lancelot, and Guinevere, Kenny sang one of his favorite songs, Sir Lancelot's "If Ever I Would Leave You."  Click above or here to hear his song.

10. Another great week of rich learning experiences at Seabury School. We 💖 what can happen at a place where our motto is "education with the brakes off!" <3 <3 <3

Heart Matters Part 1

The human heart is a complex organ. 

And teaching first graders about it can be complex.

As we spent the past two weeks studying the interconnection of the circulatory and the respiratory systems of the human body, several things all came together in an amazing way. 

Here are some of the puzzle pieces:

1. We had a Dr. Daniel Guerra, a Seabury parent and cardiologist, come in and shared his passion for the heart.   His specialty is putting in heart stents and he has saved thousands of lives.

2. We learned about the relationship of the circulatory and respiratory systems by walking to the beat of the drum through a room-sized model of the human body.

Oxygen (red cards) enters the mouth and goes through the trachea to the lungs where it enters the blood stream. It then goes to the heart and is pumped throughout the body through arteries.

Every single one of the 37.2 trillion cells in our body needs oxygen. Here we are dropping oxygen off at a few of them: the skin cells on the heel, the bone cells of the patella, and the organ cells of the appendix. In turn, we pick up the waste product, carbon dioxide (blue cards).

The waste product comes back to the heart through the veins, gets pumped to the lungs, is breathed out, and finds a lovely tree in our classroom where it is used in the process of photosynthesis (a sneak preview for our study of plants next year.)

Ta dum, ta dum, ta dum, ta dum...the involuntary muscle of the heart beats 24/7 through miles and miles of blood vessels--if all the arteries, veins, and capillaries were laid out in a line, they would go 2 1/2 times around the earth!

3. We experienced the effect of the amygdala (the part of the brain that triggers the fight or flight response) on the heart

YIKES! THERE'S A TIGER ON THE PLAYGROUND! (Shhhh, not really, but we think we saw a shadow that looked like one. 😱😱😱)

In fear, our hearts start beating faster and faster. We start to breathe really fast.  Our bodies are automatically getting ready to fight that tiger or run away from it. We are experiencing the AMYGDALA MONSTER! The amygdala is the almond shaped section of nervous tissue in the brain that is responsible for detecting fear and preparing us for emergency events. We have to hurry to deliver lots of extra oxygen to our muscles so we can survive!!

Fortunately, there really wasn't a real tiger on our playground and by taking some deep breaths, by telling ourselves the truth (the tiger isn't real), our heart started slowing down, our breathing became relaxed, and 17 children were back to walking through our classroom model,  safe, calm, and orderly--ta dum, ta dum, ta dum. 😌😌😌

4. We then pulled out our stethoscopes and started counting our heart rates. We made some great discoveries that relate to our Zones of Regulation curriculum. 

The average resting heart rate was about 85 beats per minute.

After taking 3 laps around the playground, our heart rates were about 110 beats per minute.

We then found a good spot and a comfortable position and listened to the book, I Am Peace. After about 5 minutes of mindfulness, we took our heart rates again. Our rates had decreased to almost 50 beats per minute. 

Throughout the year, we've been talking about various tools we can use to help understand and regulate our emotions. Now we have scientific proof that mindfulness does calm our bodies! To use the Zones of Regulation term, we were now in the green zone, ready to learn!! 

5. Check out Heart Matters Part 2 as we learn about how to cope with stage fright in a Shakespearean way!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Dem Bones, Dem Bones

The Navigators amazed Ms Angela, our art teacher, with their knowledge of skeletal bones. We were having quite the fun making our own renditions of "Dem Bones"! Great learning happens when a topic is integrated throughout the day, that's for sure!

De book:

De process. First graders love tape, paint, and salt:


Dem details:

 illium and ischium

phalanges, metacarpals, carpals

rib cage, vertebrae

cranium, teeth

phalanges, metatarsals, tarsals

tibia, fibula

Dem finished skeletons with personality plus:

De song:

Dem Bones by Bob Barner. Click above or here to see the video of this fun, animated song.

Want some more of dis fun? Check out dis book!

Saturday, May 5, 2018

We Pass the " Wellbody Academy" Exam

The Navigators are natural experts at using anything computer related. Here we are having fun exploring the Pacific Science Center "Wellbody Academy," an exhibit dedicated to the life-long process of balancing exercise, diet, proper rest, and hygiene. The exhibit is filled with immersive, hands-on inventions, gadgets, activities, and technologies that help us understand the fundamentals of wellness. 

We especially enjoy playing Fast Food Restaurant.

Cover that sneeze or else! Ewww, yuck!

The butterfly exhibit, the tornado tunnel, the room of games, and the Tinker Tank are also interesting to these young, budding scientists. 

It's a great, sunny, perfect day to hang out in Seattle together with friends. 

If play is a measure of a well body, 
the Navigators pass with flying colors!
Everybody get on and hold on tight!!

Raven and the Box of Daylight at the Museum of Glass

What's inside that strange looking building in Tacoma? The Museum of Glass's hot shop and lots of cool glass art!! ...