Thursday, July 26, 2012

Bringing the Community into the Classroom

There hasn't been much for me to blog about when it comes to school things, since most of my life is in boxes right now. Each day I get more excited for our big move to Plano, TX and can't wait to get our life situated again!

As Derek and I have been trying to take advantage of our last weeks in Abilene, I have really started to take notice of some of the unique things Abilene has to offer both teachers and students. One of my favorite places to go in Abilene with kids is known as the NCCIL. The NCCIL is a small museum, only found in Abilene,  that features famous children's illustrators and authors by incorporating art exhibits, books, and activities throughout the museum. The NCCIL is also a free place to bring kids and is open Tuesday through Saturday, making it a great place for schools and families to bring children.

During the months of June through October, the NCCIL is featuring an exhibit about Dr. Seuss! I wish I could show you pictures of the exhibit (it is wonderful!) but it is against the rules. As part of this exhibit sorry for saying exhibit so many times, the NCCIL has a room full of Dr. Seuss' original color drawings and black line drawings of the book, The Lorax. It is so great! Luckily, I was able to get my husband to go with me on a "day date" and I was also able to get my little sister to go this week, so I was able to go twice! Here is a picture of my sweet little sister (who's notorious for taking pictures with her eyes closed) standing with a bronzed sculpture of The Lorax:
Although I love the NCCIL and wanted to tell you about it just because, the NCCIL has recently started hosting traveling exhibitions that go across the country to children everywhere! You can check out their touring exhibitions website here to see if any of their exhibits are coming to your area, or you can request an exhibit rental for up to ten weeks. These exhibits are great for fostering authentic reading, writing, an art experiences with children. They are also great ways to inspire students in their creativity, inform them about the lives of writing professionals, and introduce concepts in the classroom.

If anything, I hope this post has inspired you to think about different ways to bring the community into the classroom more and provide authentic learning experiences for students. What kinds of things do y'all do to bring the community into your classrooms? I would love to hear about them and bring some of your ideas in to my classroom.

I hope you're enjoying your last few weeks of summer!

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