Helping Out for Hands on Kirkwood!

We live in a SUPER community who loves and supports its neighbors and this weekend was another example why that’s true.  Today is the annual event called Hands of Kirkwood.

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First graders, along with our 3rd grade learning buddies from Mrs. Rajab’s class, did our part by passing out bags to our Robinson neighbors.  Much like other drives that happen around town (done by the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts), this one is an invitation to donate food and other necessities to help both Kirkcare and Nurses for Newborns.

Armed with our plastic yellow bags, helping hands and hearts, we were off!

We were hot and sweaty, but we were so glad we got to help out!  The best part was how many kiddos I heard say how happy they were that they got to do this.  Someone was even imagining how much food we’d collect and how many people could benefit.  Way to go Robinson kiddos!

Learning Buddies: Read-a-Thon

We have not had a chance to see our Learning Buddies very much lately.  5th Graders are busy people!  When we heard they were busy tackling a Read-a-Thon on Friday, we knew we wanted to join in!  While they were spending their whole day (6 hours!) enjoying a book, we were only able to be there for a little chunk of that time.  Some Rm. 202 friends suggested we should plan our own read-a-thon, though, for a future date, too!

Before we came to visit them, Dr. Grayson’s room had a lesson with Mrs. Meihaus, our amazing librarian, about how to read to a younger student.  Our buddies were then armed with their “lesson plan” and shared really great books with us after lunch.  It was so much fun!  Oh, and it was also Hat Day at our school to raise money for the NIYO Cultural Center in Rwanda (Hi, Pacifique!), which added to the festive spirit.  Enjoy some pictures of our afternoon!


Happy Thanksgiving!

The week of Thanksgiving we had a great chance to get together with our Learning Buddies.  We love them!  This time we got to go to their classroom–which was a big deal.  We talked about Thanksgiving and what we’re thankful for, and then made turkeys together.  What a great morning!

I don’t have everyone’s turkey hanging up, but here are a few.  They’re all great–just some kids didn’t want me to take it because they were so excited about giving it to their families. 🙂

Check it out. 🙂

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Learning Buddies 2014

We do this fabulous thing at our school that we call Learning Buddies.  The basic idea is that a primary class pairs up with an intermediate class, and plans activities together.  It sounds basic and simple, but the power that comes from having a buddy–both for the 5th grader and the 1st grader.  There will be more about that as things get cooking this year, but so far let me just show you how we were introduced to each other this week. 🙂

We are lucky to have Dr. Grayon’s class matched up with us, a connection I was excited to make last Spring. They came on Wednesday, with a plan to help us make an acrostic poem about friends.  While they wrote, kiddos chatted and got to know each other a little bit.   The smiles on their faces and the happy sounds in the room were glimpses of greater things to come as we learn and grow together.  I’m so excited about this year!!


Buddies getting started on their poems.


Love the way it feels in the room with so many kids working together and loving it!


See the thinking face on that friend there? Priceless. 🙂


Conversations galore. 🙂


Sara and her buddy work to decorate their FRIEND poem once they are finished. Fun AND pretty!

We added our FRIENDS poems to our Learn. Create. Collaborate. bulletin board in the hall.  Now we get to see them every day and they are inspiring! :)

We added our FRIENDS poems to our Learn. Create. Collaborate. bulletin board in the hall. Now we get to see them every day and they are inspiring! 🙂

Check out a slide show of our buddy pairs.  We noticed how many partnerships look like twins!  Funny how that happens. 🙂

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I’ve told you about our Learning Buddies, right? What?  I haven’t?  Man…what have I been doing?

Ok, so quick explanation: at our school, each class is paired up with another class–one from a primary grade and one from an intermediate grade.  We spend time together doing fun and fabulous things together, learning and growing together.  Sometimes we read, sometimes we write, often times we just play games together.  We are lucky enough to be buddies with a fabulous group of second graders from Mrs. Uhles’ class.  We love them and try to get together as soon as we can!

So…the afternoon before we left for Thanksgiving break, we had our buddies up to play some games together.  We had just finished a study on Ancient West Africa, and had learned how to play Mancala–which is an ancient African game–and we wanted to share it with our little friends.


We were able to find a way to play Mancala online, too, so we got to show our buddies how to use QR codes, as well as the new iPads!  Double fun.  🙂


Do you have Learning Buddies?  What do you do together? Tell us about it!