Meet A Presenter: Creature Crazy

Learning and education can never start too early. Neither can participating in Global Learn Day. This year, we have two young presenters. Our first is wild about the outdoors! You could even call him a little crazy–Creature Crazy!

A Young Explorer with A Big Idea!

Samuel Hansen is 9 years old and entering the 5th grade. (He would want you to know that he’ll be 10 really soon!) As a curious homeschooler, he is always looking for something new to explore.

When his chores and school work is done, Samuel can most often be found in his backyard studying nature, tracking animals, and adding to his amazing collection of nature artifacts including a seagull skull, complete snake skin, and several kinds of insects exoskeletons.

Samuel had a “brilliant” idea, what if he started a backyard nature show! The show would be aimed at regular people to teach them more about the animals around them so, they can understand the amazing creatures living right in their backyard.

creature crazy

Teaching regular people about what’s in their own backyard!

The idea of Creature Crazy was born. That is when Samuel signed up for Global Learn Day. He wanted to share his knowledge and debut his wonderful video series. For someone who loves all creatures around the globe, the opportunity to teach his passion to the world was just the opportunity he wanted.

Creature Crazy is a nature show designed and produced by a young “creature adventurer” that is basing his show off of the Kratt Brothers. “They are my inspiration!” says Samuel, “I can help people learn about creatures from a young host’s point of view.”

What's living in your backyard?

When Samuel isn’t  learning about creatures and observing them in the wild, he is busy playing soccer and basketball, participating in rabbit 4H, and volunteering as a Mary’s Meals Ambassador. He also enjoys creating games, building inventions, and reading good literature, especially historical fiction or anything by E. Nesbit!

Welcome aboard, Samuel Hansen! We can’t wait to explore the fascinating world of our own backyard with you.

What Can You Teach The World?

Everyone has something to share! What can you share with the world? Have an interesting hobby? Are you an unofficial expert in your current obsession?

Whatever you are learning about today can be a great lesson for someone else tomorrow. Please consider becoming a Global Learn Day 2018 presenter.

Everyone is also invited to participate in Global Learn Day, this is YOUR celebration of education. Check out our participation packet that is full of activities, celebration ideas, and planning tools. It’s free as a way to say thank you for being a part of this special project.

 

 

 

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Meet a Presenter: Aurelius Cabrini Homeschool Resource Center

How is the summer (or winter in the southern hemisphere) treating you?  Here at Global Learn Day, we are working hard and getting very excited!! Global Learn Day is less than 3 months away…actually 2 months, 23 days, 7 hours, 56 minutes, and 8 seconds, but who’s counting???

Over the next few weeks we will continue to introduce our amazing and generous presenters. We have a captivating line up this year and can’t wait for you to come along on this voyage of discovery.

Today, we welcome Aurelius Cabrini Homeschool Resource Center to our crew.

homeschool resource center

Homeschooling as an educational option is flourishing in our home country, the United States, as well as around the world. Even in parts of the world where homeschooling is restricted or unlawful, parents continue to be the primary educators of their children and provide the means of developing a lifelong love of learning.

For centuries, children were educated at home by their parents and elders of the community. When the industrial revolution swept across the west, the practice of public schooling came with it. However, education was never meant to just be about going to school.

homeschool mom support

What started as a grassroots movement to bring education back home to the family has blossomed from something unusual, to something main steam. As more families have chosen to homeschool, the need has arisen for homeschool educators to have support and community. Where can that be found?

In the digital age, community has moved online. Aurelius Cabrini Homeschool Resource Center aims to provide community, support, and continuing education for homeschool moms across America and around the world. It is a one of a kind organization that focuses on the mother providing the education and her needs, not just the children learning.

With resources ranging from online learning events and private support groups to curriculum creation and one-on-one coaching. Aurelius Cabrini Homeschool Resource Center seeks to make homeschooling a possibility for every family who wants it.

Founded by Jennifer Elia, a certified teacher and homeschool mom of four, Aurelius Cabrini Homeschool Resource Center is an answer to all the moms she has met who say, “I wish I could homeschool, but….”

Jennifer Elia is on a mission to teach every mom how she can teach every child at home. Believing that every child has special needs but also special gifts, her center works with parents to build an education that not only gives children the power to overcome limitations but fuels the passion that leads to a lifelong love of learning.

We are happy to have Aurelius Cabrini Homeschool Resource Center aboard and ready to share our mission of promoting education. If you would like to join our voyage as a presenter or “passenger,” there is still time! Sign up here and get a free activity packet download with everything you need for the best Global Learn Day ever!

 

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Meet Our Presenters: FAITH Center for the Arts

The World of Fine Arts

“All the world is a stage…” William Shakespeare certainly viewed the world through the lens of his craft, theater, but it is true that the arts have always been one of the chief hallmarks of civilization and advancement.

In modern times, the arts are often under valued, cast aside for the seemingly more important STEM related disciplines–science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. While we definitely live in an age of massive growth in technology and innovation, the arts still form the base of all culture.

The Need for Creativity and a Dream Realized

It’s creativity that still fuels dreams and artistic expression that makes even the most high tech gadget beautiful and appealing.

Over twenty years ago, one man had a dream to sow the seeds of creativity, harmony, and beauty in his homeschool community. His dream has blossomed into an outstanding program that is teaching the homeschool world to sing–and dance, play, paint, act, and more!

Bill and Lori Briggs met in college, both music majors, they fell in love with each other and continued to fall in love with their craft. Years later, as homeschool parents, Bill had a vision of creating a program to bring fine arts opportunities to his family and other homeschooling families in his area. Thus FAITH Center for the Arts was founded by the Briggs family.

“I thought if I could just get 50 families involved, ” Bill reminisces, “I would be very happy and this program would be a success.”

Over Two Decades of Fine Arts Education

Nearly 25 years later, the tiny idea with big plans now serves hundreds of families at five campuses, several service schools, and a plethora of summer camps. Bill’s vision has taken flight and he hopes to soon use the power of the digital age to reach beyond his NJ roots to the world at large.

Over the past hundred years of education, the once highly regarded arts have fallen from glory and been heaved out amid education budget cuts and teacher shortages. So, what was once just for homeschool families has opened it’s door to after school programs, private lessons, studio classes, and serving the needs of private and charter schools without an arts education staff.

Lori and Bill continue to oversee and grow this pet project of theirs, staying active in both advisory and teaching capacities. FAITH Center for the Arts thrives beneath the principal of “developing the heart of the artist.” Courses are not just rote teaching, but spring boards to what could be. With professional, accredited and highly accomplished teachers in every discipline, FAITH Center is a one of a kind venture that Global Learn Day is proud to share with the global community.

Current offerings include for students aged 5-18:

  • Piano
  • Guitar
  • Strings
  • Brass
  • Woodwind
  • Percussion
  • Drama
  • Photography
  • Dance
  • Digital Design
  • Voice/Choir
  • Band
  • Jazz Band
  • Orchestra
  • Preschool Music and Art
  • Visual Art
  • General Music
  • Handbells
  • and more!

Presenters for Global Learn Day 2018

Welcome aboard, FAITH Center, we can’t wait to visit your port of call this October!

What would you teach the world if you could? Global Learn Day is your opportunity to share one great lesson with countless people from all around the world. If you would like to learn more about Global Learn Day, or sign up to be a partner or presenter, please visit Join the Voyage and help us Unite the World through Education!

**FAITH Center for the Arts is a 503c organization that relies on the generous support of donors to blossom and grow. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to FAITH Center please visit their donors page.

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Fractions Are a Piece of Cake

Mathematics and the Arts

Hands up for Hands-on

Education circles have made great strides in creating hands-on learning experiences for kids.  STEM challenges, math manipulatives, and makers stations are just some ways our schools have transformed to embrace different learning styles. At the same time, though, the practical and fine arts have lost their footing in priority, sometimes being cut all together.

However, these labor intensive fields are the true core to hands-on learning.  Science, mathematics, problem solving, and engineering are all practiced through the traditional arts courses.  The key really is to incorporate the disciplines.  A true liberal arts education has the benefit of covering every discipline so that connection can be made and all parts of the brain exercised.

How Many Cooks in the Kitchen?

Do you know how to cook or bake?  How did you learn? Cooking is a science and an art.  It incorporates the principles of STEM while lending itself to creative exploration.  A life skill, cooking also teaches self confidence and independence. Let’s look at three reasons why cooking may be the perfect addition to your STEM project repertoire.

Struggling with Fractions? Bake a Cake!

Fractions are one of those “Why do we have to learn this?” topics for many children. It can be hard to grasp that the bigger the bottom number the small the fraction.  However, knowledge of fraction is essential to baking. Not only that, but using measuring spoons and cups give a hands-on, visual lesson in what each fraction actually means.

Once your students have mastered reading the fractions and choosing the correct tool to measure them, up the anty.  What if you double the recipe? How about cut in half?  What if you convert all the measurements into 16ths?  A simple cake recipe becomes a lesson in multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction of fractions without the endless stacks of worksheets.  Best yet, at the end of the lesson, there is sweet victory to share if the calculations are correct. Now that is motivation to learn!

Order Operations Pizzas

Can you follow a recipe? Doing things in the correct order and quantities is essential for recipes to work.  The first time I made chocolate chip cookies, I just dumped all the ingredients in the mixer and baked. What came out of the oven tasted good, but was nothing like cookies. Order and procedure are important.

If you are trying to teach order of operations and getting moans and groans that it shouldn’t matter, make a pizza together as a class.  First give the students ingredients and measurements but no written recipe and ask them to make pizza dough. This can be done in small groups.  A recipe can easily be cut down to not waste so many ingredients and reduce the risk of huge messes from flour.

After their “dough” has been created ask them what they think about how well it would make a pizza.  Segue to reason to follow order.  Demonstrate how the same ingredients when combined in the correct order and procedure create a perfect crust.

Once the dough is ready; stretch, top, and bake. Serve up some lunch with a side of lessons.

Master Chef and the Secret Ingredient

As much as baking is a science, cooking is a scientific art.  While there are certain procedures and rules to follow, there is also more room for creativity.  Have you ever held a cook off?  What would students do if they were given 5 secret ingredients and had to make snack?

Cooking experiments are part hypothesis and part ingenious creativity. Have an easy recipe to make in class–what if one of the ingredients is missing and five other choices are in their place?  There’s garlic powder, all spice, black pepper, paprika, and sage on the shelf, what to do?  If you are making banana bread, all spice is the best option, but for chili it may be paprika.

How will they choose which one to pick.  Why does that one fit what is being made?  Hypothesis, experimentation, conclusion! Creatively solving problems in cooking can lead to better building of bridges later.  Life skills and STEM go hand in hand.

What kind of lesson can you cook up today?

 

 

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You can Learn and have Fun!

Fun Ways to Learn Today

Remember to EXPECT

Most of us accept that it is important for all people to receive an education. It is what helps propel us forward as a species, the ability to learn and adapt – to innovate. That doesn’t mean that we are all inspired to learn. There are some who have no interest in education, even if it would benefit them when looking long term.

How do we inspire others to love learning?

Many would say that the answer is to help those being educated have FUN while they learn. Here are some ideas for you to embrace today!

  1. Experiment! Do you want to see a child light up? Tell them you are going to help them work through an experiment! My personal experience tells me that when I tie experiments in with Science projects children respond positively. Try engaging your learners with Snowflake Science and then use this experiment!
  2. X-Ray! Be transparent. Just as an X-ray gives you an image of the structure of the body, so too do we want to encourage a strong foundation, through explaining at an age appropriate level, but not being dishonest. We need to know about the world in ways that are appropriate for our age and development.
  3. Play! While sitting in a more traditional classroom is useful for learning, there are many who can’t sit still for seat work and regular activities. In these instances, play can be stimulating and educational! Recently, my family sat in a circle, laughing, as we learned how to sign “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See” by Bill Martin and Eric Carle. We were having fun, laughing when we couldn’t keep up and we each learned at least a dozen new signs! When my children began to be quizzed on states and capitals in school, we began playing a game to help them remember the important information. As we drive, we look for license plates that belong to states other than the one we are in. The first person to spy the plate calls out the state name. Then it is a race to see who remembers the capital first! My son is already ready for this section in school because we’ve been playing since his sister went through it. Play can help us learn facts and problem solving skills, and often, it doesn’t feel like we are learning!
  4. Explore! In the US we have National Parks all around us. We can explore and learn all at the same time. The fun of the exploration often masks the education that we are embracing. In Europe, there are castles, churches and museums every where one turns. In exploring our surroundings we are often blessed with an extraordinary educational opportunity. If you don’t have time to go and see something in person, consider going on a Virtual Field Trip.
  5. Create! Have you ever learned how to properly do something via trial and error? Creating a model car is an excellent way to engage in learning. Many people love using their hands, and when you create you are using additional parts of your brain and allowing yourself to look at the material in a new way.
  6. Technology! Incorporating technology is another way to have fun while learning. Yesterday’s flash cards are often today’s apps. Quizlet is used by students of all ages to help them remember information using flashcards, quizzes and even competitions with other classmates. There are plenty of apps available for Android and Apple devices that can help make learning fun.

Just because one is learning does not mean that one isn’t having fun. Fun and learning are not mutually exclusive and for many they are inclusive of each other. Embrace finding your path to learning fun through trial and error! Then, you will be building a bridge to your future.

 

Consider joining us on our voyage! GLD 2017 is less than two months away!

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Virtual Field Trips

Virtual Field Trips Part 2 – Making the Learning Stick

Make the Learning Stick

 

On a traditional field trip, teachers or venues often provided scavenger hunts, worksheets, group projects, or memory pages for students to bring home a bit of the experience and solidify what they learned.  Virtual field trips take it a step further by often connecting you to social media groups that extend the experience, games, quizzes, and follow-up projects.

It has never been easier to give your students the world, and have them remember where they went.  When students are engaged, their potential soars.

Be Prepared

While virtual field trips take a lot of the prep work off of the teacher by providing links and apps for further learning, there is still preparations that must be made before embarking on an adventure. One of the chief tenets of teaching, like the Boy Scouts, is “always be prepared.”

  1. Check that all audio-visual equipment and available technology works properly and can sync together to provide a total experience. Flying over the Savanna is amazing but sound would definitely improve the journey.
  2. Click on every link and make sure that it is active and accurate. The Internet is always changing.  The “trip” you want to take may have been created four years ago, which is like ions in the digital world.  It may still be a worthwhile venture, but you want to be aware of what aspects work and what doesn’t.
  3. Make sure all content is appropriate for your study and students. Just as there are always changes, there are pitfalls on the Internet, namely seemingly innocent links that take you to malicious downloads or sites.  Ensure that your trip will be a safe one for your technology and students by previewing all the links and content before introducing them.
  4. Create a list of recommended reading and “surfing” for after the field trip. Make up a follow up activity list with books available from your school or local library, websites with additional information, and/or apps the correlate to the subject matter presented.
  5. Set the stage and the schedule before you depart. Even though there is no physical traveling involved, virtual field trips still need an itinerary and time allotment. Is there a way to clear the whole afternoon for your class?  Do you only have students for 40 minutes? How many class periods will it take to complete the entire field trip and follow up activities?  Are there any supplies, such as colored pencils or astronaut ice cream that would enrich the experience?  Make sure that you treat this trip as you would one that requires permission slips and plan well.

 

Optional Extras

 

If you have the time and resources, there are some fun extras that could really make a virtual field trip come to life.

 

  1. Have a picnic lunch. Ask your class to brown bag it on field trip day and set up a picnic area inside your classroom or on the school grounds.
  2. Add the local flavor and music. Are you going to a foreign land or region of the good old US of A?  Consider having a potluck of local fare.  Hand out recipe options a couple weeks before.  (Please, take into consideration allergies and have all food labelled) While you dine, listen to some regional or cultural music via an mp3 player, computer, or phone.
  3. Set up shop! What is a highlight of every trip?  The gift shop, of course.  Sell pencils and erasers that match the theme of the trip.  Print out bookmarks or activity packets.  Use as a class fundraiser or have students cash in points earned during the regular school year.

 

Can’t Find What You Want? Create Your Own!

 

“Pre-packaged” jaunts are great resources but no one says they are the only way to go.  Create your own tailored to your needs and curriculum. With a little bit of effort and a few clicks of the mouse, you can create memories to last a lifetime.

  1. Consult Pinterest for activities and photos.
  2. Find a relevant video on Please, remember to pre-screen entire video AND the suggestions that pop up at the end. Certain surprises are never welcome.
  3. See if there are any related organizations, tourist bureaus, or foundations with informative sites. These may also be able to provide you with additional literature or free items for your gift shop.

 

Where would you take your students if even the sky weren’t the limit? Have you taken a virtual field trip?  How did it go?

Consider bringing your class or going on our global voyage this October!

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Virtual Field Trips

Virtual Field Trips Part 1

Learning by Doing

 

There is a special kind of learning that occurs when children get to experience a topic rather than just study it. Their eyes light up, their minds engage, and their spirits soar. Using multiple senses make lasting impressions and pique curiosity.  If you want to keep learning fresh, you need to change up how it is done from time to time. The age old concept of field trips meets the new virtual world to create a learning platform like never before.

 

The Field Trip that Comes to You

 

Think back to third grade.  Whether it was five years or thirty-five years ago, you probably remember your annual field trip.  It was the pinnacle of excitement for the year.

With rising costs, budget cuts, and greater demands on classroom time, fitting in a field trip has become more difficult over the years. The sheer price of transportation is often more than can be reasonably met by the school and individual students.

What if you are studying the far away lands of Africa or Australia from your Illinois classroom?  Sure it would be great to experience these lands first hand, but what principal is going to approve that trip? Could you even imagine the fundraising it would require? How does that permission slip work?

Virtual field trips open doors to every teacher in every location!  Now, students in Paris can visit the Smithsonian in an afternoon.  A fourth grade class in Massachusetts can sail around the world and still make it to baseball practice and dinner.  The experience comes right to your locations with the touch of a fingertip!

Come back next week as we explain how to conduct a Virtual Field Trip!

 

For your consideration – If you could take a field trip anywhere, where would you go? Why?

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