We have a new special at DAA: wellness and life skills class! All DAA students receive wellness class one day during the week. According to our incredibly bright students, wellness means our hearts, bodies and minds feel happy and healthy. This year, all students will cover a number of different topics to make sure we all feel happy and healthy: loving ourselves and our friends, nutrition and exercise, dental hygiene, gardening, community service and more!
Our most recent unit is on dental hygiene. Students began the unit by filling out a KWL chart. This is a chart to track what students already Know, what they are Wondering, and then at the end of the unit, what they have Learned about dental hygiene. By the end of the unit students will understand and be able to verbalize (which is key!) why we do the things we do to keep our teeth clean! For example, if you were to ask any of our students WHY we get cavities and what happens when we do, they will be able to explain it’s because sugar and acid breaks down the enamel on your teeth and forms holes (cavities). They will also be able to give examples of drinks that have too much sugar or acid, and even offer healthier alternatives.
In kindergarten, we conducted the eggshell experiment (eggshell is a similar texture to our teeth) and tested the different effects certain drinks have on our teeth. We dipped eggs in apple cider vinegar, milk, gatorade, coke, water and mouthwash. The students observed the effects, touched the eggs, and recorded their findings with pictures and words. All of the students were surprised to see the effect that gatorade had on our teeth--it turned the egg red, and made it very sticky! At the end of the lesson, students concluded that water and milk are the best options for our teeth if we want them to be “cold, hard and white”.