CLARKFIELD - The first-graders start their days with numbers and the second-graders are writing their own poetry at Clarkfield Area Charter School during National Teacher Appreciation Week May 3-7.
Jasmyne Jacobsen figured out how to convert May 4, 2010, into numbers in Heidi Sachariason's first-grade classroom on Tuesday and Gionna Parsa organized the calendar in the morning meeting before the kids counted to 100 by nickels (or by fives) and did the Macarena while singing the months of the year in English and Spanish.
"It's good to get those little ones up and moving," said Sachariason. "Repetition to get the day of the week, month and year. It gives them ownership of their learning. Routines are important so they know what to expect and are comfortable in their classroom."
Photo by Jodelle Greiner
Brennin Aguire reads his poetry to his second-grade classmates at Clarkfield Area Charter School on Tuesday. April was National Poetry Month and the kids are finishing up their poems which they will publish, said their teacher Alicia Tongen.
She led the kids in a worksheet where they had to identify coins (some by the backside) and tally up how much money a dime, two nickels and four pennies is. The kids also drew hands on a clock face and read a digital clock, among other activities.
It's all part of their math lessons, Sachariason said.
"Some life skills is what we're learning with money," she said. "The math curriculum continues into second grade and is part of our standards."
The second-graders in Alicia Tongen's room were reading their poems on Tuesday.
"I think it's really fun," said Nikki Knutson. "I get to write all these poems. It's just amazing for me. Writing is the most fun thing I like to do. I just really like the poetry because it sounds like music."
"People say it's boring, but it's pretty fun," said Lila Blue. "I like the poetry because you have to get ideas in your mind."
"I like it because it's really quiet and I just like to do something that feels really good," said Brennin Aguire. "Ms. T said she wouldn't be surprised if I became a famous author some day."
Conner Sura likes riddle poems.
"I always make them funny," he said, "to make people laugh."
"April was National Poetry Month and we're finishing up this week," said Tongen.
"With every unit, we pick favorite pieces and edit and publish it on special paper and share with the class and bring in parents," she said.
"They love writing, and their favorite part of writing is sharing. They love to share it with everyone," Tongen said. "It's probably my favorite thing to teach. We're all enthusiastic. They have such wonderful ideas. I'm just amazed by what they come up with.
"Overall, I'm just trying to get a love of writing and reading," she added. "It will relate to everything else. When they love something, they want to do it and they'll feel success in their own lives."