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Meadowlark Sees Security Upgrades, Holds PTC, and Announces Awards


March 27, 2019

Team Building and Fun. Meadowlark students play a team building game, Minute to Win It, in an assembly last week. The challenge was not only in stacking the pennies without their toppling but ensuring that the partner held steady.

On March 25-26 during parent-teacher conferences, Meadowlark Elementary held a Scholastic Book Fair. Those attending encountered "Pardon the Inconvenience" signs to indicate that the school is under construction. The method previously used for releasing the locked doors to allow visitors to enter is no longer functioning as the elementary school undergoes the process of upgrading to a security system similar to the one at the high school.

In other news from Meadowlark, at an assembly last week, students reviewed the Universal Expectations that are part of the Montana Behavior Initiative (MBI). MBI is a positive behavior support program that develops the attitudes, skills and systems necessary to ensure that each student leaves public education and enters the community with social and academic competence. At Chinook Schools, some of those attitudes are captured in the acronym BEETS: Be respectful, Exercise responsibility, Engage in learning, Try your best, and Stay safe and smile!

Similar to the spirited approach of a cheerleader, five of the sixth graders led the students gathered in a call and response exercise using the BEETS acronym, beginning with "Give me a B!" After each letter, the students would shout back the expectation that matched. Following the sixth graders, Ms. Jones' kindergarten students used the acronym HALLS and shared their version for hallway expectations: "Give me an H," for example, was followed by "Hands to yourself."

Principal Jon Martin reported that grades 1, 2, and 3 had all filled their smiley faces with rewards for adhering to the positive behaviors outlined by BEETS. They will meet with their teachers to determine a celebration of their choice.

Also at the assembly, seven of Mrs. Emily Scofield's fourth graders read haikus they had written. They read their poems on topics like rodeo, lambing, pets, and books. All thirteen of the students in Mrs. Scofield's class will be published authors since their poetry will be published in the 2019 edition of Young American Poetry Digest.

Poems are selected for publication by a panel of educators who evaluate the overall quality of the poem based on the student's age, grade level, and five qualifying criteria: creativity, age-appropriate language, sensory/figurative images, structure, and poetic techniques.

First published in 1994 by Expressive Education, the Young American Poetry Digest is designed to share young talents with others, supply a national audience for student writing, and provide a publishing opportunity for young poets. Schools around the nation are invited to participate in the project by submitting their students' most creative poetry. Although not all poems submitted are selected for publication, the organization makes every effort to include as many authors as possible.

After the poetry reading, Librarian, Mrs. Kelsey Harry recognized several students for their reading and accumulation of Accelerated Reader (AR) points. Every book on the AR BookFinder list has a point value. The number of points is based on a book's length and difficulty. For example, a three-point book might be a short, somewhat easier choice. A ten-point book would be longer and more challenging. Students earn points when they take the quiz for each book and pass it with an 80% or better. Once a student accumulates 100 points, that individual earns a star. For every one hundred additional points earned, readers earn a rainbow. Star Readers are third graders Hayden Berreth, Kruz Crowley, Chyler Standiford, and Blake Miller. Fourth grader Rylee Chaffin earned her second Rainbow.

Following Mrs. Harry's announcement, Mr. Martin encouraged all of the students by saying, "Let's get reading!"

The assembly concluded with a rousing game of A Minute to Win It. Two sixth graders explained how to play the game, and two representatives from each class stood across from one another on opposite sides of a table. One held a standard tongue depressor between his/her teeth while the other stacked as many pennies as was possible to stack in a minute. The challenge was not only stacking without toppling but ensuring that the partner held steady. Before the time had lapsed, several of the teams had over a dozen pennies, but they weren't able to keep them balanced on the tongue depressor. Although the competition supports team building, it was more "just for fun," according to Mr. Martin. Mrs. Edwards' 1st grade, Mrs. Barber's 2nd grade, and Mrs. Weinheimer's 3rd grade all tied, and Mrs. Scofield's 4th graders won the final round.


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