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Becoming Fully Alive

Big, sweeping changes don’t seem to happen overnight, as quickly as we might like.  Thirty, forty, or a hundred years go into those sweeping changes: race relations, animal testing, women’s rights, recognition of addiction as a disease.  And yet, in each case, there was a turning point.  Those handful of pivotal moments when someone(s) decide it must be different and that in this moment in time, change will begin. For me, this pivotal change happened in October of 2010.  Two years ago.  That moment of “it must be different” led to a school. Anastasis Academy.  In many ways, Anastasis feels like it happened over night (we started a school in 4 short months!) and in other ways, it feels like it will take years before the vision of Anastasis is realized. Sweeping changes happen over time.  Often, they are hardly noticeable as they are happening.  This explains the 5 year old, struggling through their ABC’s who is ‘suddenly’ reading.  When did that happen?! People often ask why I don’t write more about Anastasis.  The whole process has been incredibly organic and hard to describe to someone who isn’t seeing it unfold with me.  I can tell you about students who are becoming fully alive and discovering that they love learning.  Until you see this happen before you, until you hear the students talk about it, it is really a weak representation of what is happening.  Here we are in year two. In a lot of ways, it has felt like a harder beginning.  This is strange in light of what happened last year…starting a school in 4 months from a place of zero.  I think it feels harder because the vision of what could be is being more fully defined and dreamed up each day.  There is this sense of frustration that it isn’t here yet. The change is hardly noticeable as it’s happening.  It is organic and creeping.  Sometimes I overhear students talking animatedly about figuring out ratios, and exclaiming over learning what portion of the population lives on less that $1.25/day, the change is happening.  The vision is being realized one moment at a time.  These kids are becoming fully alive.  Those teaching them are doing the same.  We hear parents describe what we do to others. This is community. This is family. This is church. This is Anastasis. This is the beginning of sweeping change, where students can be fully alive and learn how to properly manage their freedom. So, we will go on wishing that we could already see the full realization of this vision, but we will also rest in the hardly-noticeable moments of change in this journey.  We will appreciate the moments in time that keep everything from happening at once.  We will rejoice as we watch it all unfold in it’s perfection. We will wait anxiously for the day when this type of learning is available to children everywhere in the world.     ***While we wait, consider joining in this mission to help students be “fully alive” in their learning.  Donate and spread the word about the Learning Genome Project.  This is the vehicle we will use to share this vision with ALL children.

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Build Your Wild Self

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, Language Arts, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Websites | Posted on 13-11-2008

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What it is:  Build Your Wild Self is a website I heard about on A Geeky Momma’s blog (which I thoroughly enjoy!).  The site fits perfectly into my classroom this week as our Book Fair theme this year is “Safari”.   The site, created by the New York Zoos and Aquarium, lets students create a character called their “Wild Self”.  Students can choose a character and then add crazy hair, arms, legs, etc. to make them wild. There are even fun sound effects for the different backgrounds they add! 

 

How to integrate Build Your Wild Self into the classroom:   This would be a great site to use with students after reading a book like “Where the Wild Things Are”.  Students could create their own Wild Things and write themselves a Wild Things story featuring themselves.  This is also a great site to use with kindergarten and first grade students who are learning about different animals.  As they build their Wild Self they can name what animal the crazy part belongs to.  Older elementary students also enjoy working on this website, my students created a wild self for their safari passports for our book fair this week and really enjoyed it from kindergarten through fifth grade.

 

Tips:   The Wild Self can be printed out, sent to a friend, or saved as a desktop.  

 

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Build Your Wild Self in your classroom.

Comments (1)

I used this site while incorporating a research project on animals for Kindergarten students. They were required to obtain a fact about a animal of their choice. This site was highly engaging, and worked off things that the children loved. Children are so animated these days, and lessons need to be just as animated as them. The students obtained their fact by picking an animal part to add to their wild self, and at then end of their design the program described their animal part in detail and told exactly why the animal needed the part. For example if they added giraffe hoofs to their animal, the program told the students that a giraffe hoof gets as big as a dinner plate so they can get rid of a lion with one kick! Afterwards the students could pick a zoo website from a list of 5 and explore some more. What a great website! THANKS!!!!

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