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Rift Valley Children's Village -- Seed Exchange:

Sunday, 6/5/16

As the students know, I started my summer off in NYC. I went there for a quick weekend with my mom for a fundraiser for Rift Valley Children's Village. I got to see SO many people I haven't seen in awhile who are connected to the organization, including the founder (Mama India), her partner (Kaka Peter--kaka means dad in Swahili), and the 2 first kids adopted by India (Doctor and Riziki). They're now in thier later teens. This is Doctor and Riziki's first trip to America; so they are completely over whelmed (especially in NYC). They have 5 more trips to make for events, incluing Boston and VT. The 2 kids are also overwhelmed by the amount of support by the previous volunteers and their friends/family who show up for the events. Some of the kids think that volunteers just come and then go...and that's it. They're excited to tell the other kids when they return about the amount of love and support going on back here! I was also able to hand-deliver the seeds collected from our seed action project. 

 

 

My mom, me, Peter

 

 

Me & Lorraine

(The students have heard, and seen, lots about her. She's in many of my pictures and videos. She teaches 3rd grade just outside of NYC.)

 

 

This is a picture of  India seeing me for the first time in 2.5 years. (I saw her a few months after my visit at a fundraiser in Hudson.)

 

I'm presenting the 50+ seed packets to Mama India and Doctor. They were SO impressed with the support and our action!

 

Wow!

 

 

Wow Again!!

 

Actual Passage of the Seeds

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The Highlights of Our Learning Safari:

Thursday, 6/1/16

I made a video of our wonderful year together. Be ready for some laughs and possibly some tears of joy!

https://youtu.be/jYh-KztwulI

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US Together Presentation-- Refugee Relocation Service:

Monday, 5/31/16

So our items collected for the Refugee Action Project never made it to Munich. After the attacks in Paris and Brussels, shipping regulations changed and my cousin was no longer able to ship them. I spent some time researching possible places to send the items—and boy oh boy did I hit the jackpot! Our items will go to an organization called “Us Together,” and they have a branch in Cleveland Hts. Danielle Drake, the organization’s Community Relations Manager, presented to our class and to 4th grade. Ms. Drake travels to refugee camps and helps to place refugees right here in Cleveland. She showed various refugee camps, their resources, schools, commonalities, and differences. Here are some interesting facts: Many refugees are in refugee camps for 1-2 decades! Prior to 2008, the US was one of the top countries taking in refugees. Many of the refugees placed in Cleveland are from Burma. Pictures 3 and 8 (below) are my favorites! Stay tuned for more details about an event honoring World Refugee Day! (It'll be at Egdewater Park). The organizations’ website is: www.ustogether.us

   

   

   

   

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Rift Valley Children's Village -- Action Seed Project:

Friday, 5/27/16

Students have been busy preparing and organizing our our Seed Action Project for RVCV. Earlier this week, an email and a flyer were electronically sent to all families. (This info is pasted below.) This week, 4 students made an iMovie to advertise our collection. There was even a group of students who wrote a blurb for the Friday Flyer! Please consider sending in arugula, lettuce, basil, green beans, and zucchini seed packets by the last day of school.

Student-Made Flyer

iMovie Trailer

 

Dear Families,

We did a math project for seeds for Campi Nairobi in Tanzania. We helped solve a fencing problem involving area and perimeter, and we want to take action. Can you please help us? We are hoping you can send in seeds for:
  • arugula
  • lettuce
  • basil
  • green beans
  • zucchini

 

We thank you in advance for your generosity. The seeds are due to Mrs. Becerra's room no later than Thursday, June 2nd.

By the way, here is a Tellegami made by Sadie and Lucy about our project. 
https://tellagami.com/gami/9QU6P8/ Enjoy and we hope to see you on Wednesday at our URS's Safari Learning Project! 

Sincerely,
Samira Midgett & Lathan Barksdale (The Email Group)

 

 

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Rift Valley Children's Village Math

Problem Solving for Area:

Thursday - Friday, 5/5-5/6/16

Here is the link to the 60 Minutes segment:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/60-minutes-tanzania-rift-valley-childrens-village/

The class helped solve a problem at the Rift Valley Children’s Village in Tanzania, Africa. It all started with a simple email requesting assistance with a fencing issue. The email led to two days of deep mathematical problem solving, critical thinking, and understanding of area and perimeter. We were true partners in planning and guiding the RVCV to a solution. I am extremely proud of our class for being such risk-takers, “out of the box” thinkers, perseverers, and problem solvers!  The students’ level of excitement and commitment was astonishing! The idea of donating seed packets came to fruition—which got the entire class motivated to collectively take action. That just goes to show you that real-life problem solving, connection, and meaningful assignments make a difference! Stay tuned for more details about the seed collection!

 

 

Girls Garden Club

 

Videos Shared to Show Context:

Sunset:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wi7ZA253c2U

Saa Ya Shule (Time for School):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acaOpCeRC6Q

Campi Nairobi Walk:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQiZ2CrOxII

Super Hero Trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9C9zXgdFwpQ

 

 

Mama India and I were chatting.

 

Click HERE to view a copy of Mama India's Email

   

   

   

   

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AIR Testing Party:

Wednesday, 4/20/16

Last Wednesday (4/20) was the last AIR test. Miss Varricchio and I surprised the students with a surprise “YEAH! The tests are over!” party. I used a joke for the announcement: Knock, knock. Whose there? Orange! Orange who? “Orange” you glad the tests are over?!? I held up some mini oranges (clementines) and announced that the students would be relaxing while watching Balto! They were SO surprised and SO excited!

   

   

 

...and afterwards, students tore up those Worry Chain links! :)

   

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AIR Test Gifts

April 6-20, 2016

 

Every testing day, students are welcomed with a testing surprise.

 

Reading AIR Test #1 (4/6/16): Magical Pencil Bouquets: These only work on standardized tests! (wink wink)

(Thank you to Taha's mom and Chantel's mom for making these over break!)

 

 

   

Reading AIR Test #2 (4/13/16): Students were welcomed with a personalized pair of Smartie Pants!

(The Smartie Pants are my all-time favorite!)

   

   

Math AIR Test #1 (4/18/16): Students found a sweet treat on their desks--Rice Krispie Treats!

 

   

   

   

   

Math AIR Test #2 (4/20/16): Students found a sweet treat on their desks--Toosie Rolls!

   

   

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P.O.T.S

April 4, 2016

I shared with students some information about my condition. Click HERE to view a PDF-version of the Power Point.

 

 

 

 

The link below is the video I made about my 9 weeks of sick leave.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxMwPhD-mZg

 

 

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Our Refugee Service Project

January 11 - February 5, 2016

Our Refugee Project is underway! Click HERE to view the information letter about the project. The link below will take you to the electronic sign-up sheet. The information posted before winter break is pasted below. We will continue to watch short videos and view pictures throughout the upcoming weeks.

Sign Up Sheet for Young Refugee Project:

http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c054da4a623a7fd0-refugee

 

 

To understand the sheer scale of the Syrian refugee situation, here's a picture of a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan. This camp has been open since 2012 and has well over 80,000 people in it.

(Click HERE to view a larger image.)

 

 

 

A Wonderful Song for Our Refugee Project

(Made my Alzhraa & Kyle)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AL1PewXyzwU

 

iMovie Trailer for Our Young Refugee Project

(Made my John & Tristan)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dp8WJ9mw2pQ

360 Degree Tour of Refugee Camp in Greece

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsqKd4INI6o

 

 

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Week of 11/30/15

Over the past few months our class has been talking about an action project for refugees. I contacted a friend of mine who lives in Munich, Germany. Close to her home is a refugee camp, housing refugees from all over. My friend, Katrin, reached out to the leader of the refugee camp on my behalf. The leader specifically asked for individual care packages for the 50 kids at this refugee camp. Between now and winter break we will brainstorm and narrow down the items to include. (They must fit in a large envelope.) The focus is on taking action to help others, not political views. This week I shared 3 videos with students from a non-profit organization called "Samaritan's Purse." This organization has many videos. We will also watch videos from the UN and from UNICEF. Stay tuned for more details about this project!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Escaping War: Europe's Refugees Tell Their Stories

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7A8XTsjP0sY

The Rising Tide: Europe's Refugees Wash Ashore in Greece

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WijjVCDtnHY

Italy: Desperate Rescue at Sea

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiCx93dReic

 

 

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GINGERBREAD WEEK

Week of 12/14/15

 

 

There are a TON of pictures of the Gingerbread Math and the Gingerbread Party. There were too many pictures to post. So, check out the video link below (all pictures of the Gingerbread Week are included in the video)! :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxlCg8BsQbk

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GINGERBREAD SURPRISE

Friday, 12/18/15

 

Each student recieved a gingerbread surprise! I read the story "Gingerbread Friends" to the class. Everytime I said "gingerbread," students had to pass a bag. At the end of story, and many passes, the surprise was revealed...lots of gingerbread goodies!

 

   

 

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GINGERBREAD MATH

Friday, 12/18/15

 

Students rotated through 4 Gingerbread Math stations.

 

  1. Area and Perimeter of Gingerbread House: Students calculated the perimeter and area of one graham cracker and the area and perimeter of an entire gingerbread house.
  2. Circumference and Area of Sugar Cookie: After measuring the circumference and area (using the unit of marshmallows squared) of a sugar cookie, students decorated and devoured the cookie.
  3. Gingerbread Problem Solving: Students solved mystery math stories about gingerbread characters.
  4. Gingerbread Elapsed Time: Students solved elapsed time problems about gingerbread characters and events.

 

   

   

   

 

 

 

 

 

   

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GINGERBREAD HOUSES

Wednesday, 12/16/15

 

 

Students decorated gingerbread houses this morning! What a pretty gingerbread wonderland!

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

 

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GINGERBREAD HOUSES

Tuesday, 12/15/15

 

Students built gingerbread houses this afternoon!

   

   

   

   

 

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HOLIDAY STUDY

Week of Dec. 14-18

 

Recently, students learned about Rosh Hashanah and Eid al-Adha. This week we are learning about different winter holidays and religions. The purpose of these studies is to promote understanding, perspective, tolerance, and respect.  All of the holidays and religions represented in our class were covered.  There is a KWL Chart hanging outside of our classroom. Throughout the week the KWL chart was completed. Thank you to Mrs. Zelin for talking to the class about Hanukkah. Also, thanks to Mrs. Barksdale and Lathan to talking to the class about Jehovah's Witnesses.

 

Click HERE to view the religion pie chart.

 

   

   

   

   

   

   

 

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Our Refugee Service Project

Week of 11/30/15

Over the past few months our class has been talking about an action project for refugees. I contacted a friend of mine who lives in Munich, Germany. Close to her home is a refugee camp, housing refugees from all over. My friend, Katrin, reached out to the leader of the refugee camp on my behalf. The leader specifically asked for individual care packages for the 50 kids at this refugee camp. Between now and winter break we will brainstorm and narrow down the items to include. (They must fit in a large envelope.) The focus is on taking action to help others, not political views. This week I shared 3 videos with students from a non-profit organization called "Samaritan's Purse." This organization has many videos. We will also watch videos from the UN and from UNICEF. Stay tuned for more details about this project!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Escaping War: Europe's Refugees Tell Their Stories

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7A8XTsjP0sY

The Rising Tide: Europe's Refugees Wash Ashore in Greece

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WijjVCDtnHY

Italy: Desperate Rescue at Sea

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiCx93dReic

 

 

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Cards for Veterans

As you know, students honored Verterans Day by writing cards to veterans connected to our class. The cards were either mailed on Friday, 11/20, or were sent home with students.

Thursday, 12/2/15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you to Chantel's family for such a lovely thank you gift! We sent cards to Chantel's dad, grandpa, and cousin. Her family was touched and honored!

 

   

   

   

Tuesday, 12/1/15

The class received a thank you letter from Robert's grandfater, Mr. Gerald S. Wahl.

We also received an email from John's great uncle (pictured in the below post).

Dear Mrs. Melissa Becerra,

I would like to thank your 3rd grade class for making this Thanksgiving Day one of the most Special Holidays I have ever had.

I was so surprised at Thanksgiving Dinner when my Nephew, John Garfield, gave me an envelope with the most thoughtful letters I have ever received. The Artwork was also amazing.

The letters I received were from John, Kyle, Alan and Reeian. It is so very nice to know that the young men and women of your class are so Patriotic and interested in our Military history. Keep up the great work.

I would like to thank you and your class for making this such a special THANKSGIVING !!!!!!!

Semper fidelis,

(Marine Corp Insignia for Always Faithful)

Sgt. Dick Emke USMC

 

Week of Thanksgiving

John presented cards to his great uncle and to his entire family. You can read part of the email below and you can view the pictures.

"I wanted to pass along a few pictures of John's great uncle (Sargent Dick Emke) receiving his letters. He was so honored and told John he'd never received anything like that. He read them all to our family and was very touched by the actions of John, his teacher, and classmates. Your Veteran's Day project touched us all. John was so proud too!"

   

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Safari Videos

August 24, 2015

Happy 1st day of school! We had a great start to our learning safari! The day went SO smoothly.  This morning we talked about the needs required to a have safe safari (proper clothing, bug spray, water, food...).  I then showed the students a "fake" safari video.  We discussed the elements that made the video unreal.  Next, I showed a movie that I made using pictures and videos from my real safari.  The second half of this video was about our LEARNING SAFARI!  I promised the students that I would post both videos.  Enjoy!! :) Afterwards, I presented each student with a special Essential Safari Kit

Some pictures are below. (Since I don't know yet who is permitted to be posted on the website with beautiful smiles, the faces are covered.)

   

   

   

   

   

 

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTFIbDw7OkI

Fake Safari

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cZqobIJCvg

Tanzanian Safari & Learning Safari

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Cmj6huEmBE

Video of our safari-themed classroom