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Gullah Net

  What it is:  Gullah Net is a site that was designed to introduce students to the Gullah culture and language.”Located on the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia are communities of people who are the descendants of enslaved Africans. They have a unique culture that is directly linked to West Africa. In South Carolina, this group of African-Americans and the language they speak are referred to as Gullah (Gul-luh). In Georgia, they are called Geechee (Gee-chee). Native Islanders is another term that refers to the Gullah and Geechee people.  Many historians believe that the word “Gullah” comes from Angola, a West African country from which many of the slaves came. Another idea is that “Gullah” is from the Gola, a tribe found near the border of Liberia and Sierra Leone, West Africa. Although the exact origin of the word is not known, most historians agree that the Gullah people and their language have African roots.” In addition to a history of Gullah, students can listen to and read along folktale stories read by Auntie Pearlie Sue.  These are fun little stories with a great message. Gullah music introduces students to the evolution of African music in America.  The site is set to have a Gullah cooking section soon. How to integrate Gullah Net into the classroom:  Gullah Net is an excellent place for students to learn about other cultures within the United States.  The read along folktales are excellent and would be a good place for students to practice reading skills.  Gullah music would be a nice tie in for Black History month (in fact the entire site would be great for this).  Gullah Net has some great teacher resources and lessons to use in your classroom.  My favorite section on Gullah Net is Gullah Tales, these are colorful, fun stories that will keep your students engaged in reading!   Tips:  Gullah Net has field trip resources for those of you in South Carolina.   Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Gullah Net in your classroom.

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Day of Play: Mechanical Bulls, Time Machines, Dancing and Mustaches

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Anastasis Academy, Apply, Create, education reform, inspiration, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary | Posted on 08-10-2012

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Maybe you have heard of Caine’s Arcade?  It is a little movement, started by an 8 year old.  This video will restore your faith in humanity and inspire you big time!  It inspired us at Anastasis Academy, so much so that when the second video came out, inviting us to a Day of Play, we were all in.

On Friday, Anastasis held our own Day of Play.  We collected boxes (lots and lots of boxes), tape, markers, pipe cleaners, glue, aluminum foil, rubber bands, tubes, scissors and paper.  Then, we let the kids at it.  There were no parameters, no specific rules or directions.  The goal for our students was to dream as big as they could. It is amazing what happens when you invite kids to dream and build apart from any rules or expectations of what the end goal is.  Our students (k-8) gathered in our big “all in” room and built to their hearts content.  The amazing part: no two ideas were the same.  We had plink-o, a fortune teller, a minecraft adventure, a time machine (complete with crystal), ski ball, tilt the ball, an old-school computer made of new parts, a hotdog/snow cone stand, dance dance revolution, ferris wheel, tanks, and a mechanical bull.  You read correctly, a mechanical bull.

The students spent about 3 hours dreaming and building.  Some had plans they created the day before, others came in with a blank slate.  After all of the building (and a break for lunch) we gathered to play each others games.  It was SO much fun!  Students even created their own prizes that could be won (mustaches and uni-brows anyone?).

The casual observer might have watched this all go down and seen chaos or a waste of time.  A closer look would have revealed the rich learning taking place.  The problem solving, critical thinking, discovery, planning, rich conversations, kids working together, designing, creativity.  Have you ever seen those words describe a worksheet? A lecture?  This was such a RICH learning experience in so many ways.  Best of all: it built and fostered a culture of working together, learning from each other and enjoying each other.  That is no small feat.

I saw genius today. I am SO proud of these kids, they truly are geniuses.  Two of our students (different classes and ages) built a tank together.  The tank shot rubber bands and launched a “cannon” water bottle.  These boys decided that the rubber band shooter and cannon should have a “safety” just in case something slipped so that they wouldn’t accidentally shoot anything.  The way they worked this out was truly brilliant.  The cannon water bottle was held in place by a popsicle stick safety.  The rubber band shooter was attached to pipe cleaner that kept the rubber band from releasing unless the safety was off.

Our youngest kids built and manned a hotdog/snow cone stand.  My favorite part of the stand was the signs that they created for it.  One of the signs read “Snow cones choose a color: limeade, raspberry, blueberry, grape.”  I love that it said choose a color, not choose a flavor.  SO stinking cute!

A dance-loving student created the cardboard version of dance, dance revolution.  She created a dance mat with different colors on it.  Then, she climbed behind her box and flashed construction paper colors. When the color showed up, the player had to step on the matching color on the mat.  Periodically, she would hold up signs that said things like, “you are on fire” or “fail”.  Brilliant!

Check out our Day of Play below:

Personalized learning should be available to EVERY child, every day. The Learning Genome Project makes that possible.  Please help me spread the word and contribute!

Comments (1)

[…] to create iPad styluses out of sponge and wire for less than 10 cents.  Last year we held an all-school day of play (highly recommend that!) and marshmallow/spaghetti tower challenge.  This year we have some fun […]

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