We are well and truly into this school year now, and students seem more settled into their routines. Hopefully your family has made the transition back to school smoothly.
Our Discovery Day went particularly well this year. The weather was beautiful, students were engaged, we had great volunteers, and the activities were fun and interesting. The theme this year was studying Native Americans. We will continue this study and during the first week of December, we will be putting up our tepee and learning more about the Dakota Indians, and how they lived in the past. Recently there has been more discussion about how schools study Native Americans, and that children see them as people from the past and don't realize that they are alive and living their lives as modern people today. Although we will explore the Dakota past while the tepee is up, in classrooms we will also discuss how they are modern people, and not just relegated to the past. We will look at their contributions to society and famous Indians of today, such as Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, the first Indian woman to hold a statewide office in Minnesota. Dakota Indian culture is rich in tradition, and we want to make sure our students realize there are still Indians living and contributing to our country. We will also be having a Native American speaker come to Nerstrand to talk and work with students. I am excited about our updating this curriculum for our students.
I also wanted to give a shout out to our amazing PE teacher, Carmen Bonde. Carmen has been updating her PE curriculum using the SPARK program. The focus of SPARK is the development of healthy lifestyles, motor skills, movement knowledge, and social & personal skills.
It is expected that SPARK Physical Education/Physical Activity students will:
Enjoy and seek out physical activity.
Develop and maintain acceptable levels of physical fitness.
Develop a variety of basic movement and manipulative skills so they will experience success and feel comfortable during present and future physical activity pursuits.
Develop the ability to get along with others in movement environments (e.g., share space and equipment, employ the “golden rule” of competition: be a good sport and demonstrate cooperative behavior).
I am always impressed with how much focus Carmen puts into good sportsmanship and problem solving during her PE classes. She truly believes in children’s ability to work together, when given the tools, and the time. Cooperation is a large part of what she is teaching, as well as physical fitness. There are just a lot of good things going on in Carmen’s PE classes everyday.
Hopefully your family is able to enjoy this beautiful time of year. Thank you for your support of our school!