The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

KAM-BAM 2016

I’ve mentioned quite frequently the amazing resources we have in our community as a result of having both a world-class university and a top-tier community college right here in our backyards: the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, the Spurlock Museum, the Staerkel Planetarium, the Pollinatarium, the Arboretum, and the Krannert Art Museum, in addition to many others.

Today my class got to join with the other fourth grade class at Wiley to spend an entire day at the art museum participating in what we call KAM-BAM. (The fifth grade students get to spend a Week At the Museum, called KAM-WAM, but since we are just there for a day, it is a BAM! experience.)

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They spent the morning in four different groups, learning about different art pieces that connected to Earth, Animals, Stuff, or Stories. The students worked with teachers from Wiley and educators from the museum as they explored and discussed art. I got to stay with the Earth group and we learned about clay pottery, outdoor installations, statues, and visual representation.

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The students were regrouped in the afternoon to work on creating different products that were based on museum careers: installation, marketing, educating, and publishing. Again, the students worked with their teachers and museum staff as they discussed and created. I got to spend the afternoon with the publishing group, watching as they created minibooks about their museum experience that they could share with others.

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I love being able to leave the classroom and spend the day in a different setting, watching students demonstrate learning and understanding and prior knowledge in a way that they may not get to do in the classroom. They were able to interact with one another and spend time with their peers in the other classroom and, most importantly, they learned more about art and this fantastic free museum right in their own community!

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How do you take advantage of resources in your community?

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