The Boys basketball game vs HTRS has been moved to Thursday Feb. 14th due to potential weather that will impact travel on Friday night. The JV game will begin at 6pm, followed by the varsity contest at approximately 6:45pm.
What is it like to visit a foreign market with limited language skills? A few Spanish I students might be able to tell you. On Wednesday, February 6th, Spanish I students became tourists/exchange students looking to purchase a list of goods, ranging from school supplies, food, and souvenirs. During our current chapter, we had discussed how to locate and ask for the location of an object in the room, we reviewed numbers, helpful expressions when one does not know what an item is, as well as how to discuss quantities of objects and costs. In order to take our trip, students created a passport and completed the required information in Spanish. To take away some difficulties, students were allowed a dictionary of helpful expressions which they could refer to, if needed. Classes practiced the role of a seller and customer, viewed videos of busy market places to know what to expect, and
During this yearly simulation there are rules before taking in this shopping experience. Students are required to only use their Spanish skills and not revert to English. (Doing so means a loss in points.) Rule 2, is only purchasing the listed items given to them with the foreign currency given to them. In grading these, I can confidently say that there were lots of fantastic grades. Students that participated daily, did a wonderful job at expressing their needs in the Spanish language. While students can become frustrated, it is normal to have such feelings. Imagine for a moment, your young child asking for something with limited vocabulary. They incorporate pointing and other hand gestures to get the job done. These skills are also prevalent in language learning. While the larger classes are a bit more hectic, it does provide students with an opportunity to peek into their strengths, as well as weaknesses that can be improved upon. Yes, they did get to play store today. But students also developed language skills, coping skills, financial skills on a limited budget and the ability to visibly see their language growth.
A huge thank you should also be given to Spanish III/IV students who used a prior chapter of knowledge to accomplish the feat of running a busy. They create a store inventory, accounted for sales, while keeping a balanced cash drawer. Any of these students could win over any retail busy with their bilingual skills.
In recognition of Youth Art Month, the annual ECNC art show will be held February 22nd - March 19th at Wells Fargo in downtown Lincoln. Each participating school will be displaying its ten best 2-D pieces, along with various 3-D sculptures from all high school classes. Palmyra students will be showing off their talents in many different mediums ranging from acrylic paintings, oil pastels, crayon art, clay, paper, colored pencil, pencil, and even recycled soda cans. All selections will be judged by the participating art teachers. Four students will win honors for PHS. Palmyra will also be hosting this years art workshop on March 19. ECNC students will be visiting Wesleyan’s art department on campus for a workshop given by Hastings College Alumni Kate Dredla.
Harmony Wheeler and Kassidy Skinner will be representing Palmyra at FCCLA State Leadership Conference in April. They received a Silver Award at District 1 FCCLA competition on Friday, Jan 25. There S.T.A.R. (Students Taking Action with Recognition) project was Helping Hands in the Focus on Children category. Last fall it started out with the items collected for the Nebraska Home Society for foster children. Our school collected over a 1000 items. The project was also used as a District project last fall involving seven schools.
As we begin a new semester, it reminds me to look back on the last. Of course we ended our December with the fun and time consuming piñata. As most classes are ending with testing and last minute projects, I use the last week to reward students with piñatas and catch others up who have fallen a bit behind. I really believe that the students enjoy the process of creating these, as well as bringing light to a custom over eight centuries old. While some students seem to create float-sized piñatas, others stick with more traditional designs that are more manageable. Once these art pieces are completed, they are placed on display in the high school library and then voted upon by staff. After a few weeks students will be given the option of destroying one to enjoy some candy, while others may take their work home to share. This year the voting was extremely close with a three-way tie.
1st place and a Three Way Tie
Ninja Turtle created by Trinity Bohaty, Anya Bogen, and Clara Whyman
PHS Panther created by Daniel Frey and Austin Pettigrew
Penguin with ornament created by Jami Gabriel and Taya Ptacnik
Please visit each slide show to see classwork and students in action.
In addition to piñatas as a fun activity, students and I will explore learning via multiple modes. Spanish I students have been known to dance for fun and even to practice prepositions. Lyrics are a wonderful way to teach sounds, accents, and rote learning. Even on a Friday morning students are ready to get out of their seats. As we start a new semester this week, we will be strengthen our knowledge of prepositions via drawing of vocabulary, as well as using vocabulary flashcards to speak and play games about items we have and do not have in our "paper" backpacks. Spanish II cannot be without fun either. We have started a fun unit on housing, which will require students to act out chores and describe a home or even a room to another while a partner draws what they are hearing. Students will also be creating their own graphic novel/cartoon to review vocabulary and a 3D model of a home they choose to design with a "for sale" ad to accompany it. Clearly no matter what level, learning can and should be fun in the Spanish classroom and does not have to take place in a chair. Although students have a great deal to learn, communication is really the key no matter the way in which it is delivered. Variety is the key.
Palmyra High School teacher Rebecca Gill-Rose was honored with 10/11 News' Golden Apple Award. Mrs. Gill-Rose has been inspiring Palmyra students for the past 23 years with Spanish instruction. Moreover, Mrs. Gill-Rose adds to the success of District OR1 students through her technology integration practices, 8 to Great mentoring, and her overall modeling of personal and professional growth.
See the story of Mrs. Gill-Rose's award at the following address:
The Palmyra volleyball team and cheerleaders hosted a pink night in October. All proceeds raised are given to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. T-shirt sales, a silent auction, and a bake sale helped raise funds for the donation. This year $1,500 was donated to the foundation. To date, we have been able to donate around $24,000 dollars to the foundation, since starting in 2010. A special thank-you to those who donated items for the silent auction and bake sale. Thanks to everyone who helped make this a success again this year!
In the fall, preschool students were introduced to our new curriculum, Handwriting Without Tears. It is a developmentally appropriate, research-based curriculum that focuses on key domains, such as readiness, drawing, alphabet knowledge, colors & coloring, pre-writing, counting & numbers, and writing lowercase letters. These materials, concepts, and activities are planned strategically to be incorporated into our play-based program. Our students’ first experiences with HWT included wood pieces, also known as lines and curves, and becoming familiar with those pieces through song play. The line and curve wood pieces are used to build the letters in the alphabet, and facilitate student’s learning of size, shape, and position concepts through teacher-directed activities.
As preschoolers became more familiar with the wood pieces and gained knowledge of each letter, more activities and materials were introduced. In small groups, students were guided by Miss Lamb and Miss Formanek through the steps to build a capital letter with wood pieces, then introduced to the Wet-Dry-Try method on a slate chalkboard. This provided writing practice opportunities through a multi-sensory experience. Students follow the written, capital letter with a small, wet sponge using a tripod grasp. They then follow the same lines and curves to dry the board with a small paper towel using the same grip. Finally, they will follow the lines once more with a small piece of chalk.
As a letter review, the whole class used small, skinny crayons, referred to as “Magic Crayons” in Miss Lamb’s class, to trace and copy a letter at the end of the week. Students are guided in the large group setting to review the steps and pieces necessary to create that letter, and have also experienced other multi-sensory opportunities during centers play and Clear Touch activities.
Other materials provided for learning include roll-a-dough trays, in which preschool students roll out play dough in follow a template set in side a small tray to create a capital letter.
The Handwriting Without Tears curriculum has increased students’ vocabulary, facilitated connections to concepts such as math and literacy, and provided a sequence that is developmentally appropriate for students to learn.
The sequence began with drawing and tracing lines, a cross shape, Capital L, square, and introducing “Frog Jump” letters (F and E). Capital letters are taught first because they are the same size, have the same starting point (at the top), and take up the same amount of vertical space.
During the remaining months of our school year, preschool students will continue learning to write each of the letters in the alphabet and numbers 1-10, along with their learning focuses and play-based experiences.