Orange Band: Seed Expo!

It was so amazing to see these kiddos hit the gas and carry their projects across the finish line. Oscar and I put together a spider web to finish up the setting for the plant play, and we made beautiful posters to show and describe the process for making both the plant play and planter boxes. We had a visiting student for several days, and we made a whole bunch of bread for Expo Night. Plus, kiddos really showed their listening skills at project presentations in the afternoons.

Gertruda's mom is a friend of Gever's. She hung out with us Monday through Wednesday, while her mom was visiting Brightworks and a few other schools. It was like she had always been with us, and we miss her already! She loved checking on the plants in our planter boxes and helping feed our sourdough starters to get ready to bake bread.

Gertruda’s mom is a friend of Gever’s. She hung out with us Monday through Wednesday, while her mom was visiting Brightworks and a few other schools. It was like she had always been with us, and we miss her already! She loved checking on the plants in our planter boxes and helping feed our sourdough starters to get ready to bake bread.

Gita and Tesla work on a poster showing  our process for building our planter boxes. This time around, kiddos wrote all of the captions for the photos!

Gita and Tesla work on a poster showing our process for building our planter boxes. This time around, kiddos wrote all of the captions for the photos!

Sadie and Gertruda worked together on a poster showing the history of the plant play. Gertruda is showing Sadie an idea she has for showing which caption goes with which picture.

Sadie and Gertruda worked together on a poster showing the history of the plant play. Gertruda is showing Sadie an idea she has for showing which caption goes with which picture.

Wowee! The reveal on the planter boxes was so dramatic and satisfying. The plants that worked the best were the peas and potatoes: the peas sprouted quickly, and the potatoes grew right up against the plexi-glass, showing off their roots really well.

Wowee! The reveal on the planter boxes was so dramatic and satisfying. The plants that worked the best were the peas and potatoes: the peas sprouted quickly, and the potatoes grew right up against the plexi-glass, showing off their roots really well.

Doodling in his (second) sketchbook really helped Emilio listen during all of the project presentations this week. He LOVES to doodle, and I'm hoping to organize his doodles into a flip book or graphic novel before the end of the year to show all of his hard work--and the story that connects them all together in Stick Figure Land.

Doodling in his (second) sketchbook really helped Emilio listen during all of the project presentations this week. He LOVES to doodle, and I’m hoping to organize his doodles into a flip book or graphic novel before the end of the year to show all of his hard work–and the story that connects them all together in Stick Figure Land.

I've really been enjoying taking pictures of the kiddos' hands lately. Here, a few kiddos are working together to knead 4 loaves worth of bread dough. Wowee!

I’ve really been enjoying taking pictures of the kiddos’ hands lately. Here, a few kiddos are working together to knead 4 loaves worth of bread dough. Wowee!

I love this! I accidentally tore the corner of the butcher paper when I tore it off to cover our table before Expo Night. During our last minute Expo Night preparations, I noticed Isaac and Tesla taping the corner back together and then turning it into a spider web. Talk about a Beautiful Oops!

I love this! I accidentally tore the corner of the butcher paper when I tore it off to cover our table before Expo Night. During our last minute Expo Night preparations, I noticed Isaac and Tesla taping the corner back together and then turning it into a spider web. Talk about a Beautiful Oops!

As I look forward to the Human Arc, I’ve been thinking a lot about our Class Meeting. On Wednesday, I introduced a Class Meeting Journal to the Orange Band. I first heard about the idea of a Class Meeting Journal when I read the book Belonging, by Mona Hallaby who teaches at Park Day School in the East Bay. The idea behind the journal is for each student to have a way to report interpersonal issues, or share a personal struggle that they’d like to discuss with the group. The journal will be framed in a method of meditation designed by Thich Nat Hahn called Beginning Anew. Each week, we’ll take time to voice personal successes and failures and conflicts that have arisen. We’ll listen positively and compassionately, and respond in non-judgmental language. The journal will give each kiddo a chance to voice a conflict or a struggle, even if they don’t feel comfortable speaking in front of the group. More and more, I find that when we approach issues head-on, speaking frankly and empathetically, kiddos employ the language and strategies that we discuss to manage conflicts, and feel more comfortable sharing their personal struggles. After all, we all have strengths and weaknesses; we are all HUMAN.