Posts Tagged ‘service learning’

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Carol at Carol’s Corner.

Spring is in full swing and weeds are choking the ground.  When we discussed service projects we could do for this quarter, Landon brought up the garden.  He is in the garden club, so he knows it needs some loving care.

I suggested Thursdays. 30 minutes. Keep it a secret.

When Thursday came, the sun was high in the sky with a slight breeze and the perfect temperature to be outside.  The kids didn’t forget.

Landon showed us the stash of gloves and tools, and we went to work on a small patch of weeds.

I was surprised at how excited they were to get down and dirty.  Kaia said, “I have a poem.”  We had also talked about writing secret poems for poetry month and placing them in the garden.

We hadn’t brought our notebooks (note to self for next week), but I had my phone, so I opened Notes and captured her poem.  Jayden laughed when she got the chance to star in our poem.

We are the secret gardeners.
We don’t make a sound.
We are digging weeds
Right out of the ground.

We are pulling and pulling.
Watch out for the bees.
What a charming day!
Jayden’s about to sneeze.

by Kaia, 3rd grade

Bouquet of flowers from the garden.

Poetry Month is just around the corner. My NPM19 Poem A Day project is Playing With Poetry. I am joining Jone MacCulloch and Mary Lee Hahn. We will be playing with Haikubes, Magnetic Poetry, Metaphor Dice, and Paint Chip Poetry.  Join in if you’d like! We can use the Twitter hashtag #playwithpoetryNPM to find and support each other.

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Find more celebration posts at Ruth's blog.

Find more celebration posts at Ruth’s blog.


This week the flu made its way through my students.  I, thankfully, have remained healthy.  Today, I want to celebrate my student Andrew and his initiatives.  Before Christmas he became interested in the plight of orphaned elephants.  We read a Scholastic Scope magazine article that pointed to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Preserve.  Andrew wanted to raise funds to adopt an orphaned elephant at the preserve.  The adoption fee is $50 a year.  He decided to sell posters to classmates. I ordered Vista Print posters of a baby elephant picture from my trip to Tanzania, Africa.


Before the Christmas break, Andrew presented to his fourth grade classmates.  He raised about $32.  After Christmas break, he decided to present to third grade classes.  He raised the remaining funds he needed.  He crafted a letter to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Preserve explaining the project and selecting Malima as the baby elephant he wants to sponsor.  This video broke our hearts.  Andrew and I both already feel and love and affection for Malima.

Andrew is one of those rare kids who wants to inspire and make a difference.  In January when preparing to choose our One Little Word, I read aloud the book Beautiful Hands.  The production of this book has a heartwarming story.  Kathryn Otoshi worked with Bret Baumgarten who was diagnosed with cancer to design this book from something he would say to his own children, “What will you do with your beautiful hands today?”



The artwork was created all with handprints and fingerprints, even a dog print from Bret’s dog.

“My hope that this story empowers love, creativity, compassion, and a 

connection to you and yours, in the fulfilling and remarkable way it has for me” 

~ Bret Baumgarten, 1970–2014

I think Bret would be proud to know what Andrew did with his inspiring words.  Andrew wanted to read the book to his sister’s first grade class and do a hand printing activity with them.  Some of Andrew’s gifted classmates helped him.  I was impressed with how smoothly the whole activity went.  I was not sure because we had to paint all the kids’ hands and help them print.  Andrew had selected some Valentine quotes for the kids to copy into their hand painted cards.  This creative service activity was a positive experience for all of us.




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