Friday, November 23, 2018

More Than Just an Explorer Report

To wrap up our formal study (and just the beginning of a lifelong awareness) of Explorers, the Navigators embarked on a multi-faceted, multi-leveled, rather advanced project called

My Explorer Report. 

First of all, we picked our explorer. It could be an explorer from the"Age of Exploration" or a more modern explorer. We discovered that there weren't many women explorers from long ago, much to our chagrin. 

Mary Kingsley was an English explorer and scientist. She couldn't go to school but she taught herself lots of things in the books in her father`s library. She explored Africa, some rain forests, and the Congo River. She always, always, always wanted to explore so when her parents died she explored Africa. She was from England and no one from Europe has ever traveled to Congo. I think she was really brave to explore without her parents and to explore Africa.

Then, with the help of our older schoolmates, we went to the computers and books and did some research. 

They helped us find at least three important facts about our explorer plus what he/she was most famous for. 

Louise Boyd was a scientist and explorer. She went to the Arctic for the first time to hunt for polar bears and seals. She explored Greenland and the Arctic. I love learning about Louise Boyd.   

We then wrote a paragraph with at least five sentences:
1 topic sentence
3 detail sentences
1 sentence to "wrap it up like a bow on a present."

George Vancouver was an English navigator and mapmaker. When George Vancouver was 15 he joined James Cook’s crew. The maps he made were so accurate. He was looking for the NW passage. He never found it. It was covered with ice. The city Vancouver was named after him.

With our rough drafts in hand, we were ready 
to continue through the steps 
of the Writers Workshop process:

We revised, edited and evaluated our reports, learning editing marks in the process. 

Amelia Earhart was an American pilot and explorer.  She wrote best-selling books. She was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean in an airplane. One day she crashed and no one knows what happened to her. I think that she crashed on an island. 

After typing up our reports, we learned other computer skills:
  • Opening up and saving into our personal computer folders
  • Searching for pictures and maps, saving them into our folders, and inserting them into our Explorer Report template
  • Choosing a background, fonts, shapes, special effects, colors, textures, and sizes for our Explorer Report Poster
  • Making sure we save each time we work on our project
  • Shutting down our computers properly

Sally Ride was an astronaut. She became an astronaut because she is so smart in science! She was the first woman in space. She was on the space shuttle Challenger. Sally Ride is cool because she wants girls to study science and math.

Publishing is such an important step for our young gifted students. It gives them a sense of authenticity and accomplishment. The students were proud of their focused, multi-faceted hard work.

Juan Ponce de Leon was a Spanish conquistador. He was looking for the Fountain of Youth and for gold and jewels. He sailed between 1508-1513. He claimed Florida for Spain. He also conquered Puerto Rico. He conquered new lands. He conquered lots of them. He sailed on a ship. 

This project was more than just an Explorer Report! 

We learned about our explorer, wrote a five sentence paragraph, practiced the writing process, learned about spelling and grammar, gained new computer skills, experienced research, had the opportunity to read them to our classmates, traded a smaller version (trading cards!) with our friends, and experienced true grit--passion and sustained persistence, what Angela Duckworth considers to be the key to success. 

Mission Accomplished!

Friday, November 9, 2018

How I Became a Pirate


The Navigators and the Treasure Seekers went to a treasure of a play, How I Became a Pirate
It was based on the book of the same name:

Having started the year reading lots about pirates, 
this play was full of pirate-y treasure for us. 

Pirate treasure chests
Pirate language
Pirate manners (none!)
Pirate bedtime stories (none!)
Pirate sea shanties
And lots of pirate humor (cue the word poop deck!)

We practiced theater etiquette.

We recognized Jeremy Jacob's sand castle!

The stage became a ship.

Afterwards we were able to ask the stage hands our own questions. 

The Tacoma Musical Playhouse also had fancy bathrooms...

...with a fancy chaise lounge!

Thank you for showing the play. I like it when they said "Swill, Swill."
(one of the characters who was never a "first time listener.")

Thank you for letting us go to How I Became a Pirate.
I liked the poop deck and it was funny.
(Notice the detailed costumes!)

Thank you for letting us see the show.
The funny part was when we saw the poop deck.
(Notice the drawing of the stage!)

Thank you for letting us see your show. 
I like the silly parts.
We are studying pirates. 
"Braid Beard! That is you!"

The Navigators LOVE experiencing musical theater.

However, when asked if they want 
to become a pirate someday, 
the answer was a resounding 


Moms and dads, you are doing 
a mighty fine job raising these mateys. 

You might try asking them to swab the deck
but be careful how you say it. 


Sunday, November 4, 2018

Nordic Museum Treasures

The Navigators and Treasure Seekers took the long trek 
up to Seattle to see the special Viking artifact exhibit 
at the new Nordic Museum. 

A buried longboat of a chief

The room was dark to prevent deterioration of the artifacts.
No flash photography allowed.

"The helmets were designed to demonstrate status 
with ornaments and costly gemstones."

The museum set up a treasure hunt for us, a hunt to find the wonderful Viking and Scandinavian treasures located throughout the museum. 

Here are a few of the treasures we found:

A replica of a carved mast of a long boat

Some artifacts from Norway 
(So fun for me personally, as I have some of my grandmother's similar things!)

A rune stone!

We enjoyed listening in on the group tour. 
We knew more than they did. :)

Cool! A model of a caravel. 
We know about these, too!

Carl Linnaeus from Sweden!
We'll learn much more about him when we study
the classification of plants and animals later on this year. 

We loved the touch screen mini-videos and interactive activities.

We participated in the museum interactive display answering the question, 
"What does your heritage mean to you?"

Adding it to the wall

"What do you do to respect and improve the lives of others?"
This student said, "Follow the Golden Rule."

Another important, profound addition to the wall.

We also took time to enjoy the architecture of the new museum building.

It reminded us of IKEA.

Eating lunch with our friends

A game of Red Light, Green Light 

The bus ride home is a great time to "Lean on Me!"

I likes the dresses, the legos and the pretty jewels. 

"I like the rune stone."

 "Thanks for showing us all the Viking artifacts. I want to come again."

Notice the detail of the various Norwegian costumes.

We enjoyed seeing, up close and personal, the things we have been learning about in our study of the explorers. 

Tusen takk, Nordic Museum, for helping us expand on our overarching concept of

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Our Spook-tacular Halloween

We had a spook-tacular Halloween party, 
thanks to our fang-tastic parents.

Here are the boo-tiful Navigators dressed up as:
Clifford, the Big Red Dog


Nemo, the clown fish

My Little Pony, Rainbow Dash


Wonder Woman

And a special guest, a dad dressed up as an inflatable unicorn!

Ms Jackie-of-all-trades came, too, dressed up as a spider web.

And here we all arrrrrrrrrrg: 
Pirate Towne, her trusty parrot, and her boo-tiful crooooooooo.

Let the party begin!!

Wonder woman needs help tying her shoes. 
Thank you, Mr. Broberg. 

Pinning the pony's tail on and straightening her wings

Pumpkins and spiders and ghosts, OH MY!

The brooooo is brooooooo-ing

The foooooood looks gooooood!

The Hermiones play a monster game.

 Fang-tastic foooood and fun was had by all.

Unicorns unite!

Thank you, families, for making our Halloween Day 
so spook-tacularly, fang-tastically fun!

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!! ...