Taking the Learning Further . . . .

Joshua was so struck by Wesley’s presentation on stewardship of the earth by helping the rhinos that he decided to do something about it.  He planned a screen printing design, bought the supplies, and screen printed t-shirts to sell to raise money for rhino preservation.  Keep your eye on the Monday Monitor for more information about how to order YOUR rhino t-shirt.  Way to make a difference, Joshua!

Earth ALIVE: Are You Reusing?

As part of his environmental science Hornaday Medal project for the Boy Scouts, Wesley Stocken (former MVCS student) posed this question to the 2nd/3rd graders as a year-long challenge. Could you reuse more? Throughout the year so far, opportunities to reuse things rather than discard them or even recycle them have come again and again. The students have had significant conversations regarding their own reusing habits, and everyone is looking at recyclables in a new way thanks to Wesley’s leadership.

One of the aspects of the challenge Wesley chose was to have the students collect bottle caps. While living in California for a year, he noticed the beaches littered with bottle caps. These usually are not allowed in local plastics recycling. Could reusing even something this small make a difference?

Well, the 2nd/3rd grade scientists have collected an amazon-size box of bottle caps so far and have thought of many, many uses for them, including game pieces, catapult projectile holders, and puppet eyes. This week, they designed a mosaic art piece made out of the bottle caps as a permanent addition to the MakerSpace. The bottle cap tail will stretch around the room!

Thank you, Wesley, for helping MVCS citizens to grow in their stewardship of this marvelous planet God created.

Throughout the year, the preschoolers and their 2nd/3rd book buddies have done STEM stations together using recyclables.

Students reused boxes as building materials during an architect station on Young Reader’s Day.

After reading novels, young engineers created solutions to problems within the story using our MakerSpace materials.

The Christmas giving project of blessing bags for the Haven included some neck warmers sewn with fleece scraps donated from local craftspeople.

During their poetry unit, the 2nd/3rd graders invented their own onomatopoeia sounds inspired by reused items.

A force and motion catapult challenge is just one of the many science activities involving reused supplies.

On Take Apart Day, scholars reused broken items to learn more about electronics and to take home parts for their own tinkering project extensions.


Green Thriving

Here is a newsletter article from the MVCS Monday Monitor that I neglected to post.  The Leave One/Take One shelf has been a big hit, so I decided I should still get this news on the blog, even belatedly.



The second and third graders are enthusiastically plunging into STEM (science/technology/engineering/math) by participating in engineering projects that match each science unit throughout the year.   During their biology unit, they discussed so many connections to their study of our great Creator and our responsibilities as stewards. Ideas overflowed as they reflected on their Go Green: Engineering Recycled Racers designs. They decided to invite their preschool buddies to come try some engineering with their assistance. They have looked for opportunities to engineer at home. They are on the lookout for great stewardship ideas all around them.

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Sarah spotted a great example of stewardship in Hanover, and her idea is ready to be put into action at MVCS. She stopped by the little mailboxes put out by Howe Library marked “Leave One/Take One”, where you can give a book you are done with and choose a new book to read that becomes yours. As soon as she described this to her class, everyone was intrigued. “Here is a way we could better use the money God entrusts to us while still having lots of books to read!” they exclaimed. Of course, libraries are the ultimate “re-use”, but sometimes we buy books too. So the class asked Miss Hellickson what she thought about the idea, and the answer was, “I love it!”


Here’s how it works!

Where? In the elementary school milkroom, there is a crate where you can drop off a book in good condition that you are finished with. Be sure your parents have given permission to give it away and that it is an appropriate selection. The 2nd/3rd graders will get the books ready for the bookshelf.

Then? Once you have given a book, you can choose a book from the shelf to have as your own. They will have a special “Leave One/Take One” sticker so we don’t get them mixed up with classroom or library books. Any book is fine. For example, you can leave a picture book and take a chapter book. When you are done reading that book, you can keep it, or you can “Leave It” again.  We also decided to add family friendly videos and puzzles with all their pieces to our shelves.

Questions? Ask a 2nd/3rd grader!

Check out the 2nd/3rd graders’ video of the Recycled Racer project on their blog at http://missblessings.edublogs.org/2014/11/30/go-green-engineering-recycled-racers/. Then stop by the “Leave One/Take One” shelf. While you celebrate using God’s resources wisely, happy reading!