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27 February, 2001

I will be cold weather bound on March 12 as I leave for the Arctic! I will be traveling aboard the USS Coast Guard Polar Star. My students and I have had a great time learning together this year! I have spent time each week preparing my 21 kindergartners for my expedition.

The children and I decided that it would be fun to share what we had learned with all of the students at our school and also with the community. Our plan included writing a play explaining Arctic concepts. We began by brainstorming important concepts that we wanted to make sure and discuss. We developed an elaborate content web containing all of these important concepts we had learned. Through project work, the children each developed a portion of the event. One group of children designed the program, another designed tickets, and a small group worked on developing a newspaper complete with arcticles. All of the children wanted to construct and build a replica of the icebreaker. Each child developed a report on an Arctic animal. Each animal was illustrated and I scanned each illustration to develop an iMovie, complete with sound. All of the children wanted to construct and build a replica of the icebreaker. We had two narrators and two children that were ticket distributors and ticket collectors. The children practiced and presented their play to their peers and adults. The scientists were available for the guests to meet. Many artifacts were on display. We had representatives from the US Coast Guard in uniform. During the evening performance, specimens were available for observing. We had a movie running which explained the science involved on the trip.

We had a fun but very busy day complete with lots of great information!! We received many positive comments. My students beamed! After the performance, several classes returned to their rooms and wrote about interesting facts that they had learned. These writings were shared with our class. My students felt a sense of satisfaction and pride in helping others learn unfamiliar content! This was a day my students, their parents, and I will remember for a long time!

The second graders are helping us learn our parts for the play.

The play was a huge success!

Our own "Polar Star" icebreaker.

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