Friday, May 24, 2013

Tie Dye, Helping Haiti, and Suggestions Wanted


Today was TIE DYE day! Our Third Grade Olympics take place next week, so today was the day we tie dyed 54 shirts. Thank goodness for parent volunteers!

tie dye

Our school does not hold field day, so we created our own in third grade. We split the kids into 5 teams across three third grade classes. We use the shirts as a way to figure out each student’s team.



Wednesday night was our Hope for Haiti event. I shared this presentation the other night. It was something the students put together to share with the audience after our plays.

This event is extremely meaningful to me. When the earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, I was at home on maternity leave. My daughter was two months old, and my heart broke as I watched the news coverage during her naps. My husband works at a university and knew some of the students and staff members who lost their lives while on a mission trip during the earthquake.

When I went back to work I wanted to do something. Third grade social studies standards focus on geography of North America and specifically mention the Caribbean and Haiti.  A team of us had already created a reader’s theater based on the Haitian folktale “Bouki Dances the Kokioko” as part of the Music-in-Education National Consortium (MIENC) project. Using this, a service learning project was born. The original Hawks Helping Haiti was one play. The first year we also created quilts (like the ones we sent to schools after Katrina) that we auctioned off to raise money for the Red Cross. We raised over $3,000 the first two years.


When I was on maternity leave with my son in the fall of 2011, the other teachers had a local woman come to speak about her work with children in Haiti. It was through this presentation that the students learned about the need children in Haiti have for socks and underwear. The event also grew from one play to three plays.


True service learning balances the learning and the service to others. I love this project because I believe that it does just that.

With the play and the Olympics, we needed some down time this week! I am LOVING Hope King’s Paper Bag Memory Books.


They are such a neat end of the year keepsake!


The AP came to see me today about the STEAM lab for next year. Right now there are Chrome books in the room. I’d planned on also asking for a class set of iPads, Smart Boards, and a color printer. I had e-mailed asking to meet with him to talk about what technology they might be willing to purchase for the room.

They have decided that the type of projects I have in mind sound like more than the Chrome books can handle, so they want to really make the room a usable lab. They are going to put in work orders to retrofit the room with outlets and such.

About five years ago we were begging for doc cameras. I am going to have to teach myself some of this - I've never used a Smart Board. I cannot wait.  

As for technology for the room, I am supposed to come up with what I need. As in, what would my dream lab look like. With drawings for configuration. Rows? Along the wall? iMacs? PCs? Laptops? I’ve always been a PC girl, but I think kids today should know both. I have to research and figure out what I want.

I am so excited! I have about a week though to decide out what I want.  Ideas? Suggestions? If you could design a technology lab, what would you do?


It is just sinking in that I will not be teaching third grade next year. It became official this week that one of the first grade teachers is making the jump up to third. I am actually going to have to pack up and move from my classroom of nine years. I get to design my own room and teach my favorite things all day long. This is really happening!

Enjoy your weekend!


  1. what an amazing picture of all the shirts hanging up! Love it!
    I stopped by from Doodle Bugs...great blog!
    Whimsy Workshop

  2. The shirts look fantastic.
    I agree - teaching the students about giving to others is so important - your work for Haiti is inspiring. Good luck with the class design!

  3. Hi Jenny,

    My school went all Mac last year and it is amazing. I've had none of the problems that I used to have with PCs and the kids are all familiar with how to use the technology because most have used an iPad/Pod/Phone at home. Plus the Macs have so many easy to use and fun programs!

    Good luck with your decisions. :)

    Love, Laughter and Learning in Prep!

  4. Jenny that seems Ahhh-some! Seriously, how cool to design your own lab!!!! I am in ahhh. So cool.


  5. Wow Jenny! So many great things happening! The shirts are great, the Haiti project sounds amazing! Service projects can teach the kids so much. Sounds like you have an adventure ahead for next year. Can't wait to read about it!
    Beach Sand and Lesson Plans