KIDLANDIA: Keeping it Simple by Julianna M. Cruz

This week it’s all about simplicity in room 11. By that, I mean, simple machines. The students are looking all over the place and naming wedges, incline planes, pulleys, screws, levers, and wheels & axles—they’re everywhere! I was really happy to be on recess duty this week—no really! When a small group of students came up to me and pointed out the ramps on the portables, we discussed how the inclined plane made it easier for the teachers to roll that backpack cart up the ramp. Could you imagine having to lift all that weight up 3 feet into the room? It’s so much easier to roll that cart up the ramp. Wait a minute, did you say ROLL? There are wheels on that backpack cart! Naturally, our conversation went on to friction and how wheels reduce friction. I couldn’t have asked for a better placed learning/teaching moment!

There is just something about being outside with my kids that inspires learning. You could call the sunshine and fresh air my muse. What a great recess duty! I have this feeling that there aren’t too many teachers that enjoy recess duty in the same way, but I must find my muse wherever I can—recess duty is the cheapest muse you will ever find. Trust me.

Get outside! The weather is perfect for learning!

Julianna M. Cruz is a teacher, an author, and an Inlandian.