This week is Homecoming Week in my district as well as having 90*(+) and humid days (in schools without air conditioning in classrooms), which can make everything a bit challenging. But that doesn't mean the fun (I mean learning!) stops! In my weekly adventure with a 4th grade classroom, we decided to have a more laid back day and gave the students the opportunity to create a shrinky dink of their choice. We did not give them a theme other that it could be whatever they want as long as it was meaningful to them. This was a great activity because it allowed individuals to express themselves however they want and turn their creation into whatever they wanted. It also provided a product that they could take home and be proud of with a story to share as to why they created what they did.
The idea of shrinky dinks is something that many students have not heard of (can I get a high five for all the teachers who grew up making these!), so I figured I would create something and share a personal story about why I like shrinky dinks. Being personal with students opens up opportunities to build relationships, trust, and respect and I think it is fascinating to them to hear that teachers actually have lives outside of school. I shared about how my daughter is about their age and how she loves the Descendants movies. So I decided to make her a bookmark using some shrinky dinks as charms.
Many kids wanted to replicate something that was meaningful to them, so some traced images on book covers and others even got a classroom iPad out to search for images. Something that was unexpected to me was I noticed a student had got an iPad out and was trying to search for images of the Mexican flag. He was becoming a little frustrated as he was doing a basic Google search and was only getting a preview of about 4 images of the flag and he wanted to see more. I shared a quick little tip with him of clicking on the "Images" tab and how it would only show image results. He was so excited because it made it much easier for him to look at images. What started out as a creative activity led to an opportunity to share a tip that will make online research easier for him!