Water Rocks! activities are most useful inside a science classroom, right? Wrong! Jefferson Elementary in Des Moines is taking Water Rocks! outside of the science classroom and into other parts of the school in innovative ways.
Fifth grade teacher and Co-Dean of Students Beth Martin, along with fifth grade teacher Robert Kaas, attended the Water Rocks! Summit last June. This fall, when Jefferson Principal Mary Minard heard about the new Water Rocks! Assemblies, she jumped on the chance to bring the Water Rocks! team to Jefferson to kick start their year of focusing on water. Armed with Water Rocks! educational games and materials, music cds, and access to over 100 Water Rocks! music videos, teachers at Jefferson have been planning how they will use Water Rocks! curriculum both inside and outside their science classrooms.
Music teacher Jennifer Norton has been going through the Water Rocks! Song Book and planning for how she can have students sing some of the included songs in music class. P.E. teacher Stu Card plans to put Water Rocks! videos up on the projector screen in their gymnasium for students to dance to during those cold winter days when it’s too chilly for students to head outside. Card also believes that many of the Water Rocks! games, such as Habitat Hopscotch and the Poo Relay, will be useful additions to field days and P.E. classes because they get students active and learning simultaneously.
Jefferson teachers in multiple grade levels are excited that Water Rocks! materials and activities can be used when students learn about a variety of environmental topics, including ecosystems, weather and climate, the water cycle, animal life cycles and biodiversity.
Martin commented, "I really like how the activities are indicated by grade level. [The theme of water] comes up in every grade level in science, definitely, but also in the health standards related to environmental health and conservation. It’s a nice connection I think we can make."
And it’s not just Jefferson teachers that are wild about Water Rocks!. Students that attended the Assembly were eager to express their thanks to the Water Rocks! music team for coming to their school.
"I really liked that you came to our school and taught us about water….The songs were very cool, awesome and very educational! You made me want to use less water and don’t harm our water with gas, oil, manure, and chemicals." –Jefferson 5th grade student
Hats off to all the educators at Jefferson Elementary in Des Moines for taking Water Rocks! and running with it this year and for years to come. We are indebted to teachers like them who are educating youth now and in the future. They are helping to make Water Rocks! a success today and every day!