Pancakes and pj's
Students and families at Tamarack learned from first-hand experience what it means to transform sap into delicious maple syrup. The students and families started their adventure by walking to the "sugar bushes" where they tapped maple trees for sap. They started by drilling into maple trees and looking to see if they could spot any liquid. Next, they hammered spiles into the trees that will help the sap drip into buckets as it collects over the spring. After the adventure into the woods, the families and students went into the classroom to taste last year's maple syrup. The students were able to enjoy the maple syrup drizzled on top of pancakes for a snack.
Students at Birch Lake Elementary woke up and stayed in their pajamas as they headed to school for a Read All Day Event. The students continued to celebrate "I Love to Read" Month by wearing their pajamas, bringing blankets and pillows to class and doing as much reading as possible. While one day the students wore pajamas, the next day both students and teachers dressed up as their favorite book characters to spark conversations about fun books to read. Students also took a break from the books and got busy jumping to celebrate the end of their Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser.
Students at Otter Lake and Oneka Elementary Schools are preparing for their productions of "Musicville," a story about Maiden Melody and Radical Rhythm trying to save their town from the Sorcerer of Silence. Otter shows are on April 7, 8 and 9 at the Maplewood Community Center. Click here
to order tickets for the Otter production. Oneka shows are April 20, 22 and 23 at the Maplewood Community Center. Tickets for the Oneka production will go on sale March 20. Tickets to Lincoln Elementary's production of "Peter Pan, Jr." are available at Truly in Downtown White Bear Lake. The show will be performed on the Community Auditorium Stage the evenings of March 31 and April 1 with a matinee performance planned for April 2. Find additional information here
. While elementary students are preparing for their shows, the middle school musical rehearsals of Lion King, Jr. are in full swing. Find information about the production, with tickets available to the public March 20, here
. Additionally, high school students are getting ready to audition for the spring theater production, "Play On!" Click here
for more information about auditions.
Central Middle School band students also recently benefited from a music stage, with guest composer Aaron Perrine coming in for a seventh grade band class. While a classroom visitor by a composer is always a rare treat, what makes this experience even more special is that the students are currently rehearsing Perrine's piece "April." The visit provided a natural tie to student lessons on large concepts from the piece, while the students also heard about what it means to be a composer and learned about the composing process. The classroom visit was covered in Friday's 62.4-second video update here
Several months ago, Action Ambassadors visited the kindergarten through fifth grade classrooms at Matoska to gather ideas of what issues were important to the Matoska community. Then, they brought those ideas back to Matoska's Action Team meeting and narrowed down the list of concerns brought up most by students. After a vote, the Action Team decided that they would focus on issues of hunger this year and the Ambassadors would be leading Matoska in all school Action Projects. There are committees working on setting up a Matoska service day with Feed My Starving Children, two groups working with local organizations to fight hunger and one group is raising money to donate to Heifer International. The group focusing on Heifer International organized a Book Drive in connection to "I Love to Read" Month where they asked Matoska students to donate used books for the cause. They collected more than 500 books and are selling each of them to students for 25 cents. All of the proceeds will go towards purchasing animals for families in need through Heifer International.
Transition Education Center and White Bear Lake Area High School's South Campus Programs hosted the 7th annual Community Partner Event. This event provided students with the opportunity to express their appreciation to community partners that are opening their doors to give students the chance to learn valuable employability skills. The event was standing room only, attended by community members, students and staff. See the event video here
and the press release here
. The students and families also had an opportunity to learn about resources in the White Bear Lake community by attending Conference Night Resources, aimed at promoting services and resources available to individuals with and without disabilities. Resources featured at the event included the White Bear Lake Food Shelf, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Vocational Rehabilitation Services and the Disability Linkage Line.
While students may be used to seeing Ronald McDonald on billboards, they were in for a special surprise when he visited Lakeaires Elementary to show students about how to be respectful to others. The Step to Respect show incorporated songs, props and audience participation into the performance to give students the opportunity to learn about respect in a hands-on approach. They explained how the definition of respect means treating others in a way that makes them feel cared for and important. At the end of the performance, they had students and teachers participate in a game show to review the content covered in the show.
Though it didn't involve a game show, Central Middle School students were entertained at Friday morning's Career Cafe when Dr. Melissa Samuelsson, a neurologist with a specialty epilepsy for Health Partners and Regions Hospital, visited. Dr. Samuelsson shared with our students information about the academic journey it takes for a person to become a medical doctor, in addition to the character traits of perseverance and strong work ethic required. Dr. Samuelsson also brought along some of the tools she uses to help her discover what might be going on with her patients and even put one of our students, her daughter Sofia's, reflexes to the test.
Normandy Park Education Center transformed into a zoo for its Rad Zoo Family Event. Families were invited to explore creatures in the reptile and amphibian world including snakes, turtles, frogs and more. They were able to learn about habitats, eating habits and life cycles. Families were even able to pet and view the reptiles and amphibians up close. The experience was covered in the 62.4-second video update shared out on March 3. See the video here
In other slippery-creature news, and on the other end of the age spectrum, high school students in the White Bear Lake Area High School Fishing Club recently heard from guest speaker Seth Feider, who is the 2016 Bassmaster Elite Series "Angler of the Year." Advisor Jacob Montgomery reports that the evening was a fantastic informational session for the students, who enjoyed learning from one of the best. The fishing club is in its second year of being a club offered at White Bear Lake Area High School.
Celebrating culture, creativity, kindness
High school students embraced their creativity as they worked with Wing Young Huie to establish a body of student-focused work for his collection that will be presented at the White Bear Center for the Arts, as well as at a gallery located at both North and South Campus. This activity gives tenth grade students the opportunity to describe their culture, as they work toward literary and self-analysis of individual cultures, which is part of their tenth grade summative assessment. These students completed a "chalk talk" based on the adjectives they used to describe their culture and took pictures of themselves with their "cultural word" that will be used as an artistic medium that accompanies an essay about the culture they have chosen to represent themselves.
At Vadnais Heights Elementary, students stopped, dropped, and read in honor of Dr. Seuss's birthday. Students from all grade levels formed a reading train in the hallways on Read Across America Day to celebrate the author's accomplishments. Students were able to read their favorite books for approximately ten minutes. While students had the opportunity to read and celebrate literacy, they were also able to recently enjoy a Kindness Retreat. See the 62.4-second video update that featured the reading train here