Changes in our Daily Schedule
I would like to explain a couple of the changes we’ve made this year in regard to the beginning of the school day.
Last spring we started training our teachers in the Responsive Classroom approach. Our intent is to help students build both academic and social competencies. We gather students in either the library (grades 3 & 4) or the gym (K-2) as they come off the buses. Students play games, color/draw, dance (GoNoodle), work on puzzles, participate in a staff-led activity or chat. Breakfast for about 70 students begins at 7:30. By 7:40 all buses are in and students go to their classrooms at 7:45, putting their things away and settling in. Announcements are at 7:55, and morning meetings begin at 8:00.
Research tells us that physical activity is essential in keeping the brain alert and ready to learn. At our opening district event this year, we listened to Mike Kuczala, the Kinesthetic Guy, and his topic was “inspiring learning through movement and physical activity”. I would say all teachers left that talk equipped with lots of information and several ways to easily incorporate physical activity into their lessons.
This year, every day children will participate in a morning meeting that includes greetings, activities (physical), and morning messages. There are “energizers” (short, playful, whole-group activities) built in throughout the day to be used as breaks during lessons. Our kindergarten and first grade students do have a 15 minute recess mid-morning, and all students have a 20 minute recess mid-day. Also, in recognizing the need for students to participate in more physical fitness activities, two years ago we started having PE class twice a week for all classrooms.
So far, we have found that the day starts much more calmly for the majority of students. Staff have shared that the morning meetings are going well. Connections are being made, and relationships are being built in a positive way. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Sincerely, Mrs. Pietz, Principal