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Day 2: Midnight in the Hallway of Giant Monkeys

Essential Question: How do we create a compassionate community that supports risk-taking, perseverance, and adventure?



The morning routine continued for Day 2 with new activities and the opportunity to check in on the commitments made the day before. 

Participants take a Blind Trust Walk: a building trust activity to connect.

Creating Connected Enriched Literacy Centers

Focus Question: How can we design meaningful, engaging, integrated, and connected small group learning centers?

Focus Standards:

RL.3.7 - Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.

L.3.6 - Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts, including using adjectives and adverbs to describe (e.g., When other kids are happy that makes me happy).

*W.2.5 - With guidance and support from adults and peers, focus on a topic and strengthen writing as needed by revising and editing.

(RF.3.3 Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.)  

(RF.4.4 Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.)


The morning workshop focused on creating connected and meaningful centers that are interdisciplinary and don't waste time. The more the school day activities are connected the more students will retain.​ These centers were set up as stations that can be visited throughout a multi-week unit, rather than disconnected activities that need to be completed in a fixed amount of time. As a way to hold students accountable for their work and use these activities as formative assessments, teachers were introduced to a program called Seesaw. 


Participants rotated through three centers:

  • Reading and Writing Station with collections of books, both fiction and informational. These were tied to the big ideas of Ollie's Odyssey, such as perseverance, weather and recycling. They used the COPS writing rubric for self and peer assessment as they wrote in response to a open ended question.

  • Foundational Skills Station - Attendees participated in a variety of possible activities to improve foundational skills that connected to the focus text. This station showcased how to use Seesaw as well.

  • Creation Station Participants had the opportunity to create their own "Creep" at the creation station in a pop up maker space using recycled trash. Additional activities included Visual Vocabulary and See Think Wonder. All activities were anchored by the focus text.

"There were so many good ideas that we can bring right into the classroom." 

- Participant Feedback

What Makes A Good Friend?

The afternoon session built on the theme of friendship extended from the morning. Participants explored the characteristics of a good friend and created their own "Pocket Friend" using Altoid Tins, felt, buttons and other materials.

Taking Shape . . .

Next participants sketched out their friend shape on tracing paper, then again on felt, and cut out with scissors. Revision and iteration are an important part of the creation process.

Getting Inspired . . .

Starting with watercolors, participants looked for shapes to inspire the image of their friend. They could also sketch a blind doodle (drawing with closed eyes), use yarn, or rubber bands to inspire the new friend's shape.

Stitches . . .

Participants learned sewing techniques and used a variety of haberdashery items to add detail to their Pocket Friends.

Words of Kindness & Compassion...

Finally, participants added backgrounds for their pocket friend and chose an affirmation to accompany their creation. The finished projects, along with the steps in the design process, were arranged in a Gallery Walk display. 

Pictures from Day 2

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