Things have been busy in the Explorium (our Lower School Library) over the past few months!  The Pre-K through 2nd grades thoroughly enjoyed painting pumpkins as their favorite book characters.  Characters from our favorite authors, Mo Willems and Eric Carle, were among the many covered!  Camilla, from A Bad Case of Stripes, was a favorite of all who came through!

Along with reader’s theaters by the 1st and 2nd grades during their library period, the Explorium saw many celebrations in November.  We were honored to have the 5th grade come down to present and hold their election for the Presidential Hall of Fame.  The Kindergarten held their monthly curriculum share performing several poems, songs, and ended with parents and children joining in with the most fun Turkey Hokey Pokey ever performed!  What a way to lead us into Thanksgiving break!

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As December rolled in, we received a long awaited package in the mail!  Our kit from Breakout EDU has finally arrived!  If you are at all familiar with the idea of escape rooms and Breakout Birmingham, this is along the same line.  However, rather than trying to break out of the room, the children are presented with a variety of clues which need to be deciphered in order to crack the codes of the locks!  After two weeks in, and every grade getting a chance to “breakout” we have learned that these games are extremely engaging for our students!  The promise that this company makes is that they “promote teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking, and troubleshooting by presenting participants with challenges that ignite their natural drive to problem-solve,” is completely accurate and a joy to watch!  I am happy to say the Kindergarten through second grades successfully freed the gingerbread man who was loose in the school, the 3rd through 8th grades quickly saved Christmas after Buddy, the elf, locked the keys to Santa’s sleigh in the Breakout EDU Box! I am SO excited it can be used in teaching or reinforcing almost any subject as you can write your own clues.  I’m looking forward to seeing this in action both in our library classes as well in the regular classroom as well.  We are already planning on doing one to reinforce the 5th graders knowledge of the American Revolution!

Jennifer Drew