Today was my last day at Great Salt Bay. After a million hugs and some adorable thank you cards, I said a sad goodbye to the amazing GSB students and staff. Thank you for a wonderful winter and I will see you around the community!



P.S- A pretty great last picture that had to posted:


A fifth grader looks for Brownie, but Brownie found him first


5th/6th Kieve Day

The multiage I have been practicing communication with came to Kieve! In the morning, we got to indoor rock climb. The students belayed each other and encouraged each other up the wall. After lunch, we went for a short hike outside along the lake shore. We stopped to play a few team building activities along the way.  I was impressed at how they took turns speaking with a stick all on their own. Everybody participated, too!


A fantastic, focused belay team at the indoor rock wall


Success during a team building activity called the “Poisonous Peanut Butter Pit”

Agriculture Club Makes Tea

In addition to caring for the rabbits, the Agricultural Club is experimenting with greenhouse gardening. We planted chamomile seeds in a small greenhouse by the playground. Now that the plants are growing, we are transplanting the strong ones into their own pots.

This particular chamomile plant is German. There are different kinds of chamomile all over the world, but we chose this one because it is the kind people use to make chamomile tea. Soon, when the plants have flowers, we will make tea and have a tea party with the chamomile we grew.


German chamomile growing in the green house


Kindergarten Goes Exploring

I spent the morning outside in the woods behind a school with a kindergarten class. We practiced our Mt. Everest-exploration-team skills with an old piece of climbing rope. Kids got to take turns being the leader at the front of the rope while everyone else held a piece of rope in line. The students decided that leading can sometimes be hard. They said that everyone in line should follow the leader or else the leader gets tired. I thought this was a fantastic conceptualization of leadership for kindergarteners.

Led by a stuffed groundhog named Gerald, we passed our usual woods spot called Salamander City and continued down the path to uncharted territory and Gerald’s home. We turned around and played for a little while in our usual spot. When we got back, the kids made maps of Salamander City. Now, Gerald the Groundhog can visit again!


5th/6th Practices Communication

On Fridays I have been working on communication skills with the 5/6 multiage class. We have been playing games that work on Kieve’s Eight Guidelines for Effective Communication LEADSTAR:

  • Listen to the entire message
  • Eye contact
  • Ask questions on topic
  • Don’t interrupt
  • Speak loudly and clearly
  • Think before you speak and act
  • Avoid distractions
  • Repeat the message

Last Friday, the class tried an activity called Robot Progression. There are two teams that must stand outside of a circle. Each team selects one member to be blindfolded in the circle (picking someone can often be the biggest challenge for them). The teams instruct their blindfolded teammate to walk through the circle, pick up a stuffed animal, and toss it underhand and the other team’s contestant. First team to tag the other team three times wins.

We talked about how louder isn’t always better when it comes to giving instructions. The students also decided that one person speaking at a time is the best way as long as everyone gets an equal chance to speak.

We will be going to Kieve this Thursday for rock climbing and more activities outside.


Spanish Floor Puzzle

I turned the Spanish review puzzle I did individually with the Wednesday Enrichment students into a larger, team-building activity. The students had to work together to match the Spanish and English words to review colors, numbers, days of the week, weather, and greetings. I wrote the words to match on a grid with 9×9 inch paper squares, pictured below.

I was proud of this one. In all three classes, the students were motivated to complete the challenge and helped each other remember Spanish.

Because there were more than 15 kids in each class, not everyone could be involved once pieces started to come together. If I ever do this again, I might make bigger squares so more kids can fit around the puzzle or make two copies so that two smaller groups can undertake the Spanish review challenge.


2nd Graders match Spanish-English words on square edges to complete one giant square. They reviewed Spanish words and worked together as a team.

If I Had a Million Dollars…

In the third week of Project Based Learning, we are narrowing down ideas for a project. Last week we thought of things that would make the world a better place. This week, we thought closer to home. The prompt this time was “If I had a million dollars….” The students filled out a pie chart of what they would donate money to.

Then, we voted on what setting to do the project in. The students voted for either “School” or “GSB Community.” By popular vote, it appears that this project will take place in the community outside of the school.

Then, we talked about what problems existed in Newcastle, Damariscotta, Waldoboro, Bremen, and the other towns we represent at GSB. The students were eager to voice their opinions. They were passionate about the problems of people not getting the food and clothes they need, cars speeding on roads they play on, and grown ups bullying other grown ups. Next week we decide the project topic!


“If I had a million dollars to give to the community, I would____”

Imagine a World Where ______

This week in 5th grade project based learning, we began brainstorming what kind of service project what we wanted to do. A large map was put up on the wall and each student was handed a heart shaped post-it note. On the post it, we asked them to finish the sentence: “Imagine a world where _____.” The kids responded with many different topics including environment, need/poverty, stress and mental health, peace, and more. Some of their ideas include:

  •  Imagine a world where bees live and we have food
  • Imagine a world where no one abused animals
  • Imagine a world where every kid could go to school and play with toys
  • Imagine a world where parents could play with their kids
  • Imagine a world where all the diseases were cured
  • Imagine a world where everyone was equal and nice
  • and many more.


8th Algebra Enrichment

This week, the 8th grade algebra class is reviewing best fit lines a scatter plots. With my enrichment class, I wanted to apply this to the real world. I printed off the local tidal data for Newcastle, ME. I gave them the data and some graph paper with the instructions (poorly pictured below) to choose an x-axis, choose a y-axis, plot the points they thought were necessary, and analyze the graph. These ladies chose time of day over multiple days for the x-axis and the height of the water for the y-axis. We ran out of time to analyze the points, but we are prepared for next week

Spanish Puzzling

It is easy to forget Spanish words when you learn a pile of them in half an hour. For my Wednesday Spanish enrichment class, I decided to review with a cube puzzle. On a grid, I wrote a Spanish word we learned and the English translation on each line. I cut out the squares, and challenged the kids to match them and recreate the square.

It went well! With the larger classes, I might recreate this onto larger squares and have them do a floor-size version in a Spanish-meets-teambuiding adventure.