Mrs. Zimmerman with some of the Call to Action Team
Credit: Student Photo
Our students had a fantastic experience participating in the iEARN Global Collaboration Learning Circle. Communicating with other classrooms around the world is an extremely beneficial opportunity for students who live in a rural area such as ours to catch a glimpse of other cultures and to consider similarities and differences amongst our world's peoples. The My Hero: Call to Action Learning Circle that our students participated in through the iEARN Learning Circleafforded students the opportunity to examine their own thoughts and beliefs about the qualities and characteristics true heroes possess. Furthermore, the circlehelped our classrooms around the world to focus on universally important issues and concerns. Our students here at South Callaway were inspired by the ideas shared by others. Communicating with other students, teachers and Circle facilitators encouraged them to learn more, dig deeper and take more risks. This is an experience that all students may gain much from!
Team Video Projects from Leader in Me &Green Team
TOUCHDOWN! with The Leader in Me
Producer: Kathy ZImmerman
South Callaway 4th graders interview their heroes, the high school football team, to find out how they follow the 7 habits.
The Plastic Perils in an Elementary School Lunch
Producer: Kathryn Zimmerman
South Callaway students take a step in reducing the amount of plastic waste they produce. They offer alternatives to one-time use plastic items found in my students lunch bags.
The 7 + 1 Habits of "The Leader in Me"
At South Callaway Elementary, we are working at incorporating Franklin Covey's 7 Habits of The Leader in Me into our curriculum, school culture, and further into our community. Habits 1-3 stress the working on ourselves; 4-6 focus on working well with others; Habit 7 reminds us to take care of ourselves and achieve balance in our lives.
Finally, the 7 Habits + 1 or the 8th Habit, "Find Your Voice," is introduced. 'Finding Your Voice' refers to developing your talents, following your passions in life, identifying needs of others and making a difference in the world around you.
The My Hero Call to Action that we worked on through the iEARN project collaboration provided our students with inspiration and guidance in creating two separate, but related projects. Our students consider people heroes and leaders when they follow the 7 + 1 Habits. They have identified heroes as being those who work to help others and to make a positive impact on the world. They have learned to make a strong distinction between people who are famous and people who are truly heroic.
Our first group created a film which has been used to help others in our school community learn about the 7 Habits and how they are important to our High School Football team. Our student webmasters worked with the group to create a website for our schools to provide education on the habits and to showcase 7 Habits lessons and student work.
Click on the link below to visit our student "Leader in Me" website! :' )
Our second group of 4th graders found their voice to support organizations working to reduce plastic consumption. They decided to focus on how much plastic is wasted in students' lunches. A third grade SC teacher, Mrs. Beers, had students who were looking into the issue of plastic utensils being used at our school. Mrs. Beers dubbed their mission, "Operation: Plastic Spoon." Our second My Hero Call to Action team adopted the mission name and joined forces with the student webmaster team to investigate the issue. Together, the students created the video about "The Plastic Perils in an Elementary Lunch." The webmaster team has begun a website on environment concerns with a particular focus on plastic. Another group is working on a proposal that will be brought to the cafeteria manager and school board that outlines the problem with plastic use in the cafeteria and offers solutions. They have made suggestions for how student leaders can assist the cafeteria in preventing the loss of metal utensils and make a move from plastic to metal profitable, in terms of the environment and financially.
Our students were inspired by the work they saw being done at our partner school in Egypt, led by teacher, Amal Fahim. Her students promoted recycling at their school and worked with younger students to teach them how to recycle. They loved seeing pictures of Madeline Guillum's students in California who hosted an awesome pet fair to raise money in support of their local Humane Society. Our students and several teachers have made plans for expanding our project to incorporate these great ideas.
Our group facilitator, Wendy Jewell, put us in touch with Sandra Curtis from the Plastic Pollution Coalition. She in turn provided us with resources that helped the students examine our plastic consumption. Her advice helped focus our group and set the tone for our video and website. She shared "The Plastic Perils of an Elementary School Lunch" on plasticfreeschools.org Facebook page.
Our students were also in contact with Olivia Engel from the Green Dining Alliance in St. Louis. She answered students' questions via email and gave us background information and links to additional resources.
Working with other students and teachers around the world through iEARN and connections made with professionals through Wendy Jewell greatly motivated our group. Students and teachers set goals to accomplish for the next school year in becoming 'greener.' Students are talking to each other and to their families about reducing, reusing and recycling. The work will continue!
Click to learn more about being green on our student website