Tuesday, 3 May 2011

A Note From Mrs. Swelander

Normally our class would make a list of topics to be covered in our blog post, then we would either write it together as a class or we'd hold a writing committee meeting during a break and get the draft writing done.  It's been a very busy week in our classroom.  It's Earth month, the 1000km challenge, writing and reading testing, lacrosse and guest authors, but even so, students are hunting me down all day (and all night) sending me emails, writing notes and following me around between classes.  There have been writing meetings, filming sessions, phone calls, Twitter, Blogger and Facebook lessons, collaboration meetings, props and costumes have been showing up in the classroom and there is a buzz that we can't seem to shake whether we're talking about plants or Alberta in the 1800s.  While all of the previous posts under my name have been written by the students, I thought I should take a moment and share the behind the scenes activities.

These students are the reason I go to work with a smile on my face every day.  They challenge me to think about their learning outside the box.  That's how his all got started.  I was trying to make health class interesting by showing a clip of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution.  It worked.  They're interested.  Now I'm using the blog to teach writing, reading, mapping/geography, fractions, decimals, graphing, drama, public speaking, nutrition, healthy choices, decision making and so much more.  They're still interested and I'm going to "milk" it until they get bored.

So here a few of the "behind the scenes" tidbits...
  • Two students showed up with a very elaborate Lego "set" last week.  This will be shared with the world soon.  I may have "accidentally" mentioned something about MooTV on Twitter.
  • Students have been brainstorming prizes for the "Look at Your Milk" photo challenge.  My favourite idea was "The Milk Revolution Start-Up Kit."  It includes a Milk Revolution membership card, autographed copy of "One Glass at a Time," a pop-up cow card made in art class that has a sound recording that says "choose your milk," a homemade cow necklace and a drawing of Mrs. Swelander.
  • Students also want to give away unflavoured milk as a prize, but they recognize it might be hard to send by mail.
  • Our bag of sugar has become famous at school.  People keep touching it and now there's a hole in the bag.  We might be down to about 25.5g of sugar now. We're going to get a new bag.
  • "Quiet on the set!" is now heard frequently from the hall outside our classroom door.
  • We've been invited to speak at our Parent Association meeting May 10, 2011.
  • A local news reporter is interested in our story.  According to one student, "We need all the press we can get."
  • Our Educational Assistant found an inflatable carton of unflavoured milk which now lives in our classroom.
  • We had a class breakfast and drank 4L of delicious unflavoured milk.
  • Our blog is posted to our school website, Facebook and it's being followed by several consultants for reading, writing and technology.  Students "infer" that Jamie Oliver is a follower, but there's no way to know for sure.  We're hoping he'll enter our contest.
  • Now my students say the classroom has to be clean at all times in case reporters come to school.  (I don't think that will happen, but I'm enjoying their ownership of the classroom.)
  • Students are independently emailing/writing to Jamie Oliver and his Food Revolution team.  That means kids in this class are READING AND WRITING for pleasure!  That's big.  I'd like to apologize to the Food Revolution Team.  My class has recently received their own emails and like to use them...a LOT.
  • We are going to be reordering the milk for the remainder of the year so that students can re-choose their milk for the rest of the year.
  • My class wants to get a flash mob together, even trying to convince me it could be their dance unit and gym class all in one.  They even planned out that students could wear our blog address on their class shirts.  After evaluating the possibilities, we decided that we have to save that one for later.
  • We're hosting a milk table where we will share our message (and unflavoured milk) at an upcoming schoolwide event.
  • We'll be speaking at our next school assembly (where we will also share the aforementioned MooTV).
So, phew, busy. I love my job!

These kids are our future.  Watch out world, because here they come!


  1. I sent an email to the Food Revolution Team and they emailed me back! Here is what they said:

    Thank you very much for your message. We really appreciate all the support we are receiving for Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution.

    Your press inquiry has been forwarded to on to our press team.

    As you can imagine, we have been overwhelmed with correspondence as a result of the series airing and regrettably, can't respond personally to everyone. However, every offer is read and considered on an individual basis and our press team will respond directly should they be able to explore things further with you.

    If you don't hear from us, we hope you understand our position and hope that you will still continue to support the campaign in whatever ways you can.

    Thanks once again for your support... with your help we can make a difference!

    Kind regards

    The Food Revolution Team

    If you haven't already, please sign Jamie's petition to show your support for the campaign.

    If you would like to be kept up-to-date on the latest Food Revolution news, you can also sign-up to the mailing list... simply leave the opt-in box ticked on the form.


    Pretty cool, eh?

    Why can't we sign the petition from Canada? I hope they change that soon!

  2. Great work! One idea: The problem isn't really "flavoured" milk, it's "sugared" milk. As a chef, Jamie Oliver would be the last person to say that flavouring itself is bad.