The fifth grade Friendship Celebrations provided a shining example of student sparks. Students were challenged to create a container for the valentine exchange. This open-ended challenge allowed students to build on their interests and showcase problem solving skills. While some students started with a box, others were thinking "outside the box!" Students used themes of special interest to themselves, including hobbies, books, movies and personal experience. A few fun examples included Star Wars, Harry Potter, monster trucks and sharks!
Our third graders are learning how to find the area of irregular shapes. However, looking at squares on graph paper can be abstract and confusing to some students. Our third grade teachers created real-life examples to make the learning authentic. Students practiced finding the area of irregular shapes created with tape on the floor in the classrooms and hallway. These examples allowed students to pretend they were measuring to replace tile, paint, or lay carpet. In addition to making learning authentic, hands-on activities allow kinesthetic learners to move around improving focus and retention of skills.
Many of our classrooms use circles to build stronger classroom communities. Circles serve many purposes including giving students a voice, providing time to check in on academics or state of mind, collaborative problem solving, a chance to refocus, conversations about text, and "shout out" circles in which students compliment one another. I enjoy listening in to the conversations, and especially participating when I am invited. The circles deepen the relationships among the students and with the teacher as they learn more about one another. Students also practice the important content standards of speaking and listening. As you can see, the students are very engaged in their circles! We enjoy circles so much, we even use them at every staff meeting.
This week we hosted a Leader in Me coach, Mr. Paul Pitchford, for a day. Mr. Pitchford spent the morning observing our classrooms, touring with student guides, and meeting with groups of students. His reflections on the day brought joy to my heart! Mr. Pitchford described our school as warm and welcoming, even more so than typical Leader in Me schools. He said that our students seemed genuinely happy to be at school. He was surprised by how many students were even holding hands coming down the hall. Mr. Pitchford added that the staff also seemed happy to be at school, excited to see the students and he could tell they enjoyed working together.
Our school family of students, staff and families work hard, but we do it with passion and joy. As we break for the holidays, I want to thank you all for making our school a happy place and surrounding our children with joy!
Reid Huntley keeps his room clean every day.
Dylan Westercamp made up a game with his siblings and they all got along & had fun.
Easton Vaughn does his sight word practice at home before playing on his tablet.
Reid Huntley cleaned the house before he played on his PS4.
Olivia Manion gets her binder out of her backpack and leaves it open on the counter for mom to sign while she starts her reading.
Adam Pate helped an elderly man by picking up his cane for him before he played on the playground.
Journey Vaughn does her sight word practice before playing on her tablet.
Alice Smith read a book in her room while mom was busy without being asked.
Easton and Journey Vaughn helped mom set the table and cook for Thanksgiving dinner.
It has been so fun to watch our students problem solve as they practice computer coding this week. Through the collaborative efforts of our library media specialist and technology assistant, students have learned the background, purposes and basics of coding. Students were surpised to learn that coding is used in so many career fields in addition to technology. The students loved creating their own codes for familiar computer characters. They used a variety of strategies to problem solve from trial and error to standing in place and acting out what would happen with each code strand. It was great to watch students cheer when the characters moved they way they were planning, or when the students finished a level!
You can learn more about the Hour of Code through the following video.
I am so thankful to work in such an amazing school with such wonderful students, staff, and families! I absolutely love Eureka Elementary and our community and feel thankful to come to this caring, hard-working school every day!
As we prepare for Thanksgiving, I asked our kindergarten students what they were thankful for. Here are some of their sweet responses:
Weston: fish sticks
Gabby: having a good sister
Henry: riding my bike
Lilly: Mrs. White being a nice teacher :)
Chris: writing workshop because I'm really good at it!
Caleb: my family and friends
Jesse: being good in my class
Lynlee: when my mom cleaned my room for me while I was gone
Hailey: the class for working so hard
Lyla: my family
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving break. Enjoy the time with family and friends!
Veteran's Day is one of our nation's most important holidays. We take the opportunity to thank military veterans, and those on active duty, for protecting our country and providing our freedom. It is important that we honor our servicemen and women as they sacrifice time, family, comforts, health, and even their lives for us. Our school celebration is a wonderful time for students to honor and learn about the Veteran's in their families and in our community. In our student-led celebration, the students planned, honored, and reflected on military service in order to deepen their understanding. We hope that our guests felt honored and enjoyed the celebration.
Faith Manion created a checklist to be sure she has everything she needs in
her bookbag for Girls on the Run.
Dylan Westercamp does his homework every day after school before playing.
Kylie Krechel completes all of her chores after school before craft time.
Anthony Fiordimondo helped mom with the dishes so they could watch TV together.
Ethan Melson comes home everyday and does his homework before playing with friends.
Erik Melson comes home everyday and does his homework before playing with friends.
Olivia Manion creates her own checklist in the morning so she can be sure she is ready for school before she plays or watches TV.
Jackson Vennemann always sets the table for dinner without being asked.
Faith Manion studied for her states test before going outside to play.
Jadyn Wren always gets her homework and reading done before playing.
Dylan Westercamp shows his siblings how to take turns and everyone gets a chance to try.
Hayden Doss listens to mommy talk without interrupting.
Jackson Vennemann worked with his little sister to build a whole city out of blocks.
Olivia Manion reads to everyone all the time and practices her math facts.
Fourth grade students spent the morning trying to solve a fun problem in Mrs. Careklas' class! They began by using their imaginations to draw plans, compare their ideas, and create a catapult to launch a (candy) pumpkin! Students chose from a variety of materials within a time limit. After testing the catapult in a distance launch, teams had the opportunity to improve the design before launching the pumpkins at a target. This STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activity provided a great opportunity to practice problem solving, collaboration and communication skills, plus it was a lot of fun!