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What’s happening at the Creek?

What’s happening at the Creek?

May 3, 2012


We went back to the creek today, our creek, that we have visited often and developed a relationship with this year.  Click here and here for prior posts.

What does a visit in May look like?

I am noticing how the students approach the creek like a familiar friend.  They all have their favorite spots, and when they arrive at their spots, they do the same "tests" to see what's happening there.  RC always steps in the creek below a small set of rapids to see if he can recreate the whirlpool by moving his foot.  HH always buries her foot in the mud.  


ET steps in the water to get the sensation of one foot floating while the other is planted firmly on the creek bed.  


DO, MM, MG, and SBM head out to the "waterfall" to see how it's flowing and to build, breech, and rebuild dams out of mud and other available materials.  

Then there is DW.  In the begining of the year, DW would not get near the creek. He did not want to get wet or messy.  Recently he has been walking right up to the water, and has even stepped in the water on the last couple of visits.  


Today I watched and listened as DW stood next to the creek for nearly 15 minutes and watched carefully as he dropped leaves, sticks, and other found natural materials into the water.  I asked him what he was doing.

DW:  I dropped a leaf in the water to see if it would float.

Levia:  Did it float?

DW:  Well, at first it did, but then it got too heavy and it sank. 


Finding comfort and relaxation here:

JL:  It's a cool noise, it's putting me to sleep.

ET:  The sound of the water is so relaxing.


The familiarity of the place allowing close, relative observations:

DO:  There are lines in the mud where the rain drips through.

NF:  There are raindrops on the edges of the leaves.

SBM:  I look up and I watch the raindrops fall on my face

And, one that caught me off guard, but did not surprise me, permission to take risks:

The reality of the year ending is starting to sink in in Opal 4.  Fifth graders are receiving news about the middle schools they will attend, and graduation plans are getting finalized.  What is left for the fifth graders to take on?  Now is the chance to take risks, socially, emotionally, academically and physically. The students trust that their community will support them and fill their needs as they reach out and try new things.  Today at the creek the risk the students invited each other to take was hiking from the far side of the creek, "by the waterfall," back to the other end, on the opposite side of the bridge.  A handful of students have been doing this everytime we've come to visit the creek lately, but a whole new group took this risk today.  Lots of feet got wet, clothes got muddy, and classmates offered advice and an arm for support.