Making Thanksgiving Authentic

The day before Thanksgiving break and kindergartners were re-enacting different aspects of the first Thanksgiving in Plimoth, Mass. That's a pretty standard activity at most schools this time of year. But add problem-based learning methodology to the mix and the learning becomes more than students making a construction paper pilgrim hat and Native American headress. In this podcast Kimmel Farm kindergarten teacher Shayne Madison talks with Barbara Kibler about a PBL lesson she wrote that took learning about Thanksgiving to a deeper level of exploration/learning.
Music - "The First Emotion" - provided by Mindthings off the First Emotion Album via a Creative Commons 3.0 License.

Atkins Students Partner with Kimmel Farm Elementary for Playground Design Project

Kimmel Farm Elementary needed a playground upgrade and Atkins Engineering and Design students needed a senior design project. The two schools are now partnering to create an authentic engineering/design project that hopefully will result in Kimmel Farm having a vastly upgraded playground. Atkins seniors will gain a portfolio for their Engineering Design and Development class.
The idea for the partnership came when Tonya David, an Atkins teacher whose child attends Kimmel Farm Elementary, saw the need for the new school to improve its playground facilities. David approached Leslie Eaves of Atkins School of Pre-Engineering, and an idea was hatched. New schools don’t come with playground equipment so the opportunity for both schools to benefit was obvious.
On November 22, Atkins students engaged in this project presented several playground designs to the student body at Kimmel Farm Elementary. Thus far, they have designed a survey for Kimmel Farm’s faculty, students, and parents to gain insight on what is wanted for the playground. They have researched existing designs with careful consideration to safety guidelines.
The Atkins students have already surveyed site elevations and measured the playground for square footage. The students also took photos and drew sketches of the current playground setup.
As part of this project, Kimmel Farm students have used 21st century technology to answer an online playground design survey to give Atkins students feedback on what they would like. The fifth grade students will participate in a problem based learning experience to address geometry and measurement goals to survey the site and measure the perimeter of the playground.
Kimmel Farm’s PTA has been involved in ongoing fundraising for playground upgrades. Individual and corporate sponsorships are sought as well.

Here's the video on this event from News14 Carolina, who covered the event!