"We learn everywhere, we learn together."
Nothing validates this QAE pillar like spending 4 days in the woods with 26 kids. For the 5th year in a row, our 5th graders were lucky enough to take part in Islandwood's school overnight program. This year, as usual, was a transformative experience for our kids.
During our time at Islandwood, the kids spent 9:00AM until 4:30PM outside every day. They learned about ecosystems, history, botany, art, gardening, and so much more. They studied macrovertebrates, estuaries, forest canopies, and water quality. They overcame individual fears and difficult group tasks. They played games, wrote reflections, and ate fantastic food. They sang songs about banana slugs and northwest trees, and some kids even performed live in front of 180 friends and strangers at a talent show.
In the end, they bonded as a class, welcoming new friends and deepening their understanding of old ones. They were a fantastic group to spend a few days with out in the woods.
Below are a few quotes from the students' blog posts about Islandwood:
"I felt moss under my feet. I felt the sooty lightning tree. I felt warm victory on the teams course." - Camilla
"I felt joy and relief when we left the canopy tower - but then the fear kicked in again when we crossed the suspension bridge blind folded." - Vince
"I learned that an ecosystem is biotic and abiotic creatures working as a unit." - Emma A.
Please read more of their Islandwood reflections and make some comments on the kids' blogs. You can find the blogs on their websites, accessible from my site, here: bailey.queenanneelementary.com/websites
You can also see a mural and several artifacts from our trip on the stage in the lunchroom.
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