DC had an earthquake today. It wasn't destructive or scary, but it was definitely an experience! I hope that anyone who was closer to the epicenter in VA is safe and unharmed.
I had sent my nappers off to the nap room and I had my five year olds in the room with me. I also had one 4 year old and his grandmother in my room. She was visiting briefly and going to take him to the nap room. I was kneeling on the floor, helping a few children set up Addition with the Golden Beads. I felt a rumble beneath me, but didn't think much of it. Our building is rather old, and I figured someone was moving furniture or doing construction nearby. Then I head some rumbling. I've lived on the East Coast my whole life, so an earthquake was the last idea in my head. There is a 5th grade class above mine, and I thought, jeez how many desks are they moving up there. Then, of course, the walls started to shake and I realized the whole building was shaking. It didn't last very long. Shake. Shake. Over. Nothing fell over (not even my beautiful, new pink tower- phew!) and all the children were safe. I looked over at my visiting grandmother and yelled, "What was that!" I couldn't remember any type of protocol for earthquakes, having never been in one before. I told all the children to get away from the shelves and get in the doorway. After a minute or so, my principal came on the speaker and informed us to have children get under their desks, adults get int he doorways. Oh yea, that's what you're supposed to do. Luckily, the one big shake was all we got, and the desk ducking was only precautionary. The children weren't scared. More so, they were confused and a little bit excited to have permission to wriggle under tables.
A few of my older children, who had actually been awake with me during the shake, wanted to know why the building shook. Did the whole earth shake? Why? Did the clouds cause it? Having finished my second summer of training, I actually remembered the lesson for this! Very quickly, and in a modified, easier to understand version, I drew a picture of the Earth and its layers. I have to admit that was sort of over their heads. I then took two pieces of paper and showed that sometime the plates of the Earth slide over or under each other. Occasionally, they touch each other and crack, causing an earthquake. I skipped over the details of plate tectonics and the different layers of basalt and granite. My five year olds were quite pleased with their explanation. When you start explaining something relatively complex, it's easy to forget that there is so much other prior knowledge needed in order to explain it. I definitely have a greater appreciation for all of the other lessons that go with this one.
1 day ago