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Teacher, Photographer, Otaku, Amateur Seamstress, Wifey to B-chan, & Mommy to Monkey Z and Elven M.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Watching Endeavour with Violette students

Space Shuttle Fly By

 Officially the space shuttle Endeavour took its tour of California before landing at Los Angeles International to be exhibited permanently at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. The students and teachers of Dr. C. C. Violette Elementary School in Garden Grove were able to watch as the shuttle flew over Disneyland and circled back around by the coast toward the airport. The shuttle was escorted by two NASA F-18 chase jets as it flew by.

An Hour Wait

We received word yesterday that we could take the students outside to watch as the shuttle made its final tour of California. Excitement filled the air as recess came to a close. Dutifully, many of the teachers marched the children outside and seated them in the shade, as it was a warm, sunny California day. We had been told that we could start watching around 11:20, but by 11:45, after many many false alarms, the children were getting antsy with anticipation. Still no shuttle sighting by 12:00, lunchtime.

After Lunch

We sent the students to lunch. As teachers who eat inside, we did not want to miss the last flyby. So, we all took our lunches outside to sit, wait, and watch for the elusive shuttle. For security reasons NASA did not release the exact schedule or flight plan which is understandable. So as teachers, many of whom witnessed the Challenger tragedy live, we knew this was history being made. We resigned to give up a day of intense teaching and let our students witness the end of an era.
Finally after the students were at lunch recess, one of the teachers outside spotted the shuttle coming toward us. At 1,500 feet it was obvious. Everyone grabbed their cameras, phones and video cameras. As the students realized what it was, they all went running to the far end of the school's field. They were so excited that it was all they could talk about for the rest of the day. We were lucky enough to see it circle around and head toward the coast, too.

The Letters

Being the educator that I am, I knew most of the day had been a wash. There was Friday Fun in the afternoon and we had spent nearly an hour waiting for the shuttle to grace us with its presence. I didn't want to utterly fail to get some teaching done. Maybe it wasn't teaching, per se, but there was some academic value to the event, besides historical.
Obviously I, not the teacher, was there. So, being the opportunist that I am, I had the students write a journal entry, in letter form, telling the teacher about what happened and what they saw. I posted my white board notes here, here, and here. The first picture is actually a sample letter I did to differentiate the instruction. There were a few students who needed the extra support. You can also see my student work samples.
I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the day even though I did not accomplish as much as I would have liked to. I feel like I ended on a positive note and gave the students the opportunity to see something that they'll never see again!

1 comment:

  1. Nice information!!Yes this is a positive note and gave the students to feel the different thing!!

    Sample letters