Winter is HERE (in Estonia at least). That not only means that snow is on the ground and the air is chilly, but that the holiday season is just around the corner. While we are all hopefully waiting for holiday presents, it is important to remember that this time of year is not only about getting, but also about appreciating what we have and sharing with others.
In our class last week we had several ‘problems’ to solve. We started off the class every day making a list of our to do’s for the day.
First on the list was decorating our wall and class for the holiday. We started by making snowmen but then wanted a way to count down the days until winter break as well.
So we made a holiday countdown tree (which is build more and more as the break gets closer). Not only did we have a nice tree decoration on our window, but for each day we voted on one good deed that would go inside of the pouch and we would try to do as a class. Some of the kind acts included: Play with someone new, help out at home (over the weekend), share with others, etc. Overall, it has given us a way to think about how our actions of kindness can make others happy.
The next item on the list was the Lucia Day Market that our school hosts every year. This year the money raised at the market will to to the Tartu University Hospital Children’s Foundation.
Our class decided that we would make hot chocolate for the market, but there were several steps involved!
Just like the scientific process we have been learning about, making hot chocolate also involved: Finding a problem, planning, gathering materials, testing, and repeating!
We gathered the jars, cleaned them, found a recipe, prepared the hot cocoa and then tested our cocoa before putting it in the jars and decorating them for the market. While the testing part (drinking our cocoa) was probably the favorite part, I think we also really felt accomplished that we helped out.
Overall this event was used in the classroom to discuss how we can help others. We discussed what a ‘charity’ is and what it does and tried to understand why they are so important. As a side effect of testing the cocoa we also learned that if we use too much cocoa it does not dissolve! So many lessons in one activity that the kids (and teacher) really enjoyed!