Monday, July 14, 2014

What's Under Your Cape? Service

It's time to get the capes out! The Character Capes!
Before we dive into Chapter 1 of our book study I have to share this SUPER awesome cape that was shared on the What's Under Your Cape? Facebook page. Every superhero needs a cape and I have sooooo many ideas brewing about how to tie in this theme of superheroes into my classroom this year! You can PM Barbara on the Facebook page for information about grabbing one of these hand sewn capes. We are going to have so much fun sharing about Barbara's book, What's Under Your Cape? SUPERHEROES of the Character Kind! Let's get started!

Our first character cape is Service. I am beyond excited to be co-hosting Chapter 1 of  our book study with Lynda of  Curls and a Smile !

As Barbara says in the first line of Chapter 1, superheroes are all about service. They are here to save the day, to defeat the villain, to serve. Children have no problem understanding the job of a superhero and it is such a smart way to introduce the concept of service to our students, even our youngest ones. But how can they serve? Well I love how Barbara shows that it can be as simple as serving as line leader or as complex as running your own service learning project.

Serve in the classroom

We can start our superheroes with serving by having them do classroom jobs.  I love the way Mrs. Lirette of Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives has set up classroom jobs and she has a freebie to make it so easy to set up serving in the classroom :)

Serve at school

Students can also serve in a bigger capacity doing something that helps not just the class but the school. At my current school we have a few older students that help with traffic before school,  students that help serve breakfast and a 3rd grade class that is the Green Team and collects paper to recycle from the classes each week.When I was the technology specialist I had a team of 4th and 5th graders that were the Tech Squad and helped install programs and updates on the classroom computers. I love Barbara's ideas of a Bathroom Brigade to check bathroom cleanliness and report problems and Paparazzi in charge of student cameras to take pictures for the website and yearbook.
I'm thinking we could make badges for these special jobs at school, maybe using editable labels like the free ones I have on my Facebook page here.

Serve in the community

I was an active 4-H'er from the age of 8 through high school and even in college and my mother has continued to be active in 4-H still to this day. Though we did have rabbits a few years, as a city girl I mainly was involved in clothing, computers, leadership and citizenship. My favorite memories of 4-H are around the service learning projects we did. New to service learning? Barbara points us this this wonderful resource, the National Service Learning Clearinghouse. Check them out here. The second half of the 4-H pledge defines to me the goal of service learning, "My Hands to larger service and my Health to better living for my club, my community and my world." At our core I firmly believe we as humans were made to serve, we all want to make things better, to help one another. When we serve another we often get more than we give and it is truly a win win. Beyond the personal, which is the biggest win, service learning projects are an awesome way to get a truck load of learning into the minds of our students. A can food drive can have literary connections to books like Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar, math connections to counting and measurements, science connections to plant life cycles and chemistry, and social studies connections about hunger in America and world wide.  Every service learning idea has countless possible connections to grade level standards and students become deeply engaged in this learning, another win-win :) Barbara shares many successful service learning projects in the book and Lynda has great ideas and links in her post on Chapter 1.

This year I plan to use plarn to weave service learning into my classroom and hopefully school and beyond. I want to keep things open ended and student guided but can see place mates, coasters or even rugs for retirement homes or hospital patients, lunch bags for students in need, mats for animal shelters, maybe even flip flops for those in need of shoes.

I think the video below is a great starting place and I am trying this out with my own kids, my daughter who is 10 and my twin boys that just turned 6.

There are great ideas for plarn and weaving at these sites and I am gathering ideas on my What's Under Your Cape? Pinterest board.

Plan Fan Page on Facebook

Follow Transitional Kinder with Mrs.O's board What's Under Your Cape? Service on Pinterest.
I can see so many connections to math and thinking that making plarn might even be cool family homework project. Here is my favorite video so far on how to make plarn.

So many ideas are making this post a lot longer than I thought it would be! Ready to share your ideas on Service and read the ideas from some other fabulous bloggers? Be sure to link up on the linky below and remember to enter the giveaways at Curls and a Smile , The Resourceful Room and here!

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The next stop in now live at The Resourceful Room!


Barbara on July 15, 2014 at 9:19 AM said...

This post is providential ... not just because it's heartfelt and touching ... but because I'm planning on making mats for the homeless using PLARN this year and until I saw this, it was just a plan ... now I've got some action ideas!

Thank you, Melissa, for your beautiful review and the enrichment ideas.

Be blessed as you bless,


Amy Labrasciano on July 24, 2014 at 5:08 AM said...

I just love this chapter! My girls and I pick a simple service project every year. I think that it is super important trait to teach kids!

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