Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Preschoolers Learn From Former Cardinal Graduate

Cardinal preschoolers had a special visitor today, Andy Noe, from Winger.  Andy is a Cardinal graduate who attended here all his life and his two daughters attend Cardinal Preschool.  Andy learned about the recent topic being studied and he volunteered his time to come talk to the students about what he does everyday.  Winger was part of the construction project completed last summer at the elementary, so Andy was able to bring drawings from the actual construction project for the students to see.  Andy showed the students different areas on the drawings that the students would recognize like: the office, the safe room, their classroom, the bathrooms, and the library.  He counted light fixtures on the drawings with the students and then they counted the light fixtures in the classroom to see if they had the same amount.  The students had great questions lined up for him when he got here.  Here are a few:
Do you use a hammer?
How do you stay safe?
What do you build?
What materials do you use?
After his presentation, the preschoolers built buildings with Legos and made their own drawings, like the engineer's drawings they saw today.
Andy said he was happy to give back to the community that he lives in and the school that got him to where he is today.  Cardinal Elementary would like to thank Andy for volunteering his time to benefit our students' learning today.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Math Night

    On Thursday, October 17th, the 1st-5th grade teachers had a Math Game Night.   Kids showed their parents how to play the games and then challenged them to a couple rounds.  The teachers had fun sitting in on the games and playing too.  The game portion of Everyday Math is a vital part of the curriculum.  The kids enjoy playing the board games as well as the online games. Students think they are just playing,

but as they play, they are reinforcing their math skills.  Parents can make some of these games at home with simple things found around the house or you can also access the games online at home.  Please see your child's teacher if you need more information!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Safe Room

The students have started using the new safe room addition at the elementary school.  During the day, students use the safe room as a cafeteria or a place for small group instruction or assemblies.  In the case of a tornado or significant weather related issues, that space will be used as a tornado safe room.  The safe room itself is built strong enough to withstand an F5 tornado with 250 MPH winds.  The walls are 12 inches thick with concrete.  The roof is even made of concrete, 320,000 pounds to be exact!  There are windows in the safe room, but there are hinged doors that easily swing shut and automatically latch into a locked position, which will withstand a tornado.  Inside the safe room, there is an emergency back up generator that will keep the electricity operating for up to 24 hours, in case of an emergency.  The safe room was funded by a FEMA grant and the state's 1 Cent Sales Tax.  Today our students practiced their first tornado drill of the school year and it took us roughy 3 minutes to get all of the elementary in the room and seated.  This was great, considering it was our first practice run.  We noticed a few things that could be changed so we can make it even quicker next time.  The students did a great job with our first drill, I was very impressed how smoothly it ran today!  As the principal and a parent, I am thankful that our superintendent and school board took on this construction project to do something proactive for the safety of our students.  If you happen to see a school board member, be sure to tell them "thank you"!  

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Patriot Day 2013- A Memorable Learning Experience for Students


     On September 11, 2013, students at Cardinal Elementary wore red, white, and blue for Patriot Day. None of the students in this building were alive yet when the terrorist attacks happened, so this day is truly a historical event to them.  Teachers spent part of their day teaching children about Patriot Day.  Teachers adjusted their instruction to the level of students they teach.  For example, 1st grade students learned about helping others, while 4th grade students Skyped with a New Yorker, Mary Beth Easley, who lived in Brooklyn on September 11th, 2001.  
   Many adults remember exactly where we were and what we were doing on that day.  As I listened to the Skype session with the Brooklyn native, I learned so much.  The students asked questions to Mary Beth and she responded to her captive audience.  She did such a great job of providing them with first hand accounts of what that day was like, without being graphic or saying "too much" for their age level. 
    Mary Beth described what it was like trying to get to her 3 children who were all in different schools in the city, each about 2 miles away from each other.  No public transportation was running, so they had to walk to each school to get their children.  All of the businesses in the city were closed, except the shoe stores.  She said the shoe stores stayed open and many of them gave away shoes to people who were walking miles to get from one point to the next.  They weren't used to walking because they always took public transportation everywhere.  She told the children she remembered seeing people covered in smoke and dust, just like we all saw on the news.  She said the city smelled of smoke for at least 60 days after the tragedy, creating a constant reminder of what happened.  She told the students that she and her husband went to the hospitals and tried to donate blood, but they weren't taking any donations at that time because there were not many survivors.  
    One student asked her what the days after 9-11 were like.  She said it was great to see the communities gather together and help one another.  As she walked through the city and saw the walls of photos of missing people, she was reminded to be thankful for her family and friends and to truly cherish each day we are given.  The learning experience the students at Cardinal were given through a wonderful technology tool (Skype), is remarkable.  I am blessed to work in a school district that embraces technology and employs adults who go the extra mile to make learning accessible to every student.   

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Meet Manny!

Sometimes learning experiences visit you unexpectedly on the playground.  This is Manny, the praying mantis.  The preschool class found him today on the playground and they were super excited!  It is so much fun to see the excitement on the faces of little ones when they discover new things.  The passion for learning that students have is so captivating.  There is nothing better than to watch students explore the world around them.  They were thrilled to tell everyone in the office all about their new friend.  One little boy thought it was funny that Manny kept jumping around and that it made Mrs. Kern nervous!  When you see things through a child's eyes, learning opportunities are all around you! 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Why do I love my job?

Why do I love my job?  The pictures above are just a few of the "fuzzies" that were handed out by teachers and students today at Cardinal Elementary.  My secretary, Chasity Rupe, got 15 fuzzies from staff members and students.  Some of our teachers received over 25 fuzzies!  I left for a meeting and returned to my office to find 10 stuck to my office door.  I asked the staff members to email me the number of fuzzies they received today.  At 4:00 our number was 308 and I know we have even more than that because I haven't heard back from everyone yet.  What takes the sender 2 minutes (or less) to complete, totally makes a difference in a person's day.  The students were completely engaged in this today as they were writing fuzzies and delivering them to teachers and other students.  This is just one the reasons that I love my job!  I am going home today with a warm heart! :)

Our elementary students have had a great time making their "I Spy" wall for art class.  The students had so much fun finding each other and it turned into a big challenge to "find Ms. Shepherd".  Each day I have students telling me they found my portrait.  We are being sneaky and moving my portrait around, Shhh... don't tell them it keeps moving around!  Stop by sometime and see if you can find it!