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Reading and everything Dr. Seuss were celebrated as Mountain View took part in Read Across America – a nationwide campaign designed to motivate kids to read. Sponsored by the National Education Association, Read Across America is held annually on the birthday of the legendary children's author.
On that special day, parents, grandparents, Mount Olive police officers, board of education members, and administrators visited to read to classes, and students and staff donned their best Seussian attire.
Paul Czekaj, a singer and songwriter, kicked off the day’s festivities by singing his original song, “Reading's Lots of Fun.” His visit has become an annual RAA Day tradition.
Melissa Marvin, Mountain View’s library media specialist, coordinated the day's activities.
Kindergartners in Maria Donovan and Haneen Hamed’s class liked learning about creatures on the land and in the sea, and the habitats they call home. But now the students LOVE it since they’ve gotten several creatures of their very own.
Kindergartners are just discovering the world around them and the elementary science curriculum focuses on the living things found across the globe. The students first learned the necessities of survival for plants and animals. Then they studied various animals and the environments and locations on Earth where they can be found. These included polar bears in the Arctic, elephants on the grasslands, and deer in the forest.
During this unit, students also learned about the job responsibilities of an aquarium curator and became ones themselves when the class received three zebrafish. The students designed the underwater habitat for the fish by adding gravel to the tank, deciding the arrangement of plants and other tank materials, and determined the best tank placement within the classroom to ensure the proper amount of indirect sunlight.
To name the zebrafish, the kindergartners wrote suggestions and three were randomly chosen: Joy, Dory, and Shimmer.
In the spring, the students may have an opportunity to see firsthand how caterpillars turn into butterflies and also learn about the various stages of the butterfly life cycle. The kindergartners in the fall took an up-close look at worms, both the gummy kind and real kind.
The fourth and fifth grade wing at Mountain View Elementary School was recently transformed into an outdoor wonderland called Camp Read-a-lot. During the special three days, teachers infused the nature/camping theme into daily instruction to heighten student engagement and the enjoyment of learning.
With tents, sleeping bags, and faux campfires in classrooms, students engaged in a variety of activities that spanned all curriculum areas.
In math, for example, fourth-graders designed campgrounds and calculated the areas and perimeters of them. In addition, they practiced their multiplication and division using cards with camp-themed mystery pictures. In English language arts, the students used homemade fishing rods to fish for text passage cards from an inflatable pool. They then applied various comprehension strategies to the texts they caught. They also practiced their inferencing skills and went on a scavenger hunt to find domain vocabulary words related to camp.
Some classes also participated in a STEAM challenge to build a tent using toothpicks, aluminum foil, and marshmallows.
Of course, Camp-Read-a-lot featured a lot of reading. Students read a variety of books that were brought from home and borrowed from the library.
Fifth grade teacher Katie Goss made Camp-Read-a-lot tee shirts for all the camp counselors (i.e. teachers).
Your parents warned you against playing with your food. But that’s exactly what Ali Eppinger’s first grade class did. The food wasn’t for eating, however; it was for building.
The students worked in teams of three and four to design and construct towers of gumdrops using only toothpicks for support. The project guided students through the engineering process of brainstorming, design, trial, and revision.
“There were a lot of attempts and a great deal of learning through trial and error,” said Eppinger. “The kids talked things out and worked really well together.”
The tallest structure, more than a foot high, utilized toothpicks at the base of the tower to support the structure.
To conclude the project, all the young engineers took time to reflect. They listed which designs worked well and which didn’t.