With this week including Veterans Day, our class took time to reflect on what it means to be a veteran. We read the story, What is a Veteran, Anyway? By Robert C. Snyder (recipient of Notable Social Studies Trade Book Award) to understand that Veterans Day is a wonderful holiday for citizens to recognize the brave men and women who keep us free. It gives the perspective of what veterans go through on a daily basis, and alludes to their sacrifices during both wartime and peacetime.
After brainstorming ways to show appreciation to veterans, the third graders chose to write letters to veterans (both families and friends) to thank them for their service. It provided an authentic opportunity for the students to learn how to write a letter and create a message to thank a veteran from the heart.
After last year’s Veterans Day Celebration, Prairie Ridge Veteran, Ben Winborn, (Ridge parent of Colin, Zach, and Thomas) was asked to share his story of why he chose to serve our country and what that has meant to his family. His story is now displayed on the Service Stone in the courtyard/garden area. A special thank you to the Winborn boys for designing the images for the stone, Senora Rolfes for painting the stone, and CR Signs for donating the sign with Mr. Winborn’s story. If you are at Ridge, be sure to check it out!
At Prairie Ridge on Veterans Day and other days of the year, we thank those who have served or continue to serve, while sacrificing so much for America to remain the land of the freed and home of the brave.
Ben Winborn’s story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpVw3FsS7cQ
Fourth grade is off to a great start! You may hear your child mention Blended Learning when they talk about their school day. Fourth grade teachers have participated in several days of training about Blended Learning through Grant Wood Area Education Agency. Blended Learning is an educational approach that focuses on personalized learning where students are encouraged to take ownership of their learning. Blended Learning combines face-to-face traditional methods of teaching with online educational digital content, collaboration with peers, and opportunities to communicate and create in a variety of ways in order to demonstrate understanding of content. Teachers use data and assessment to design learning opportunities in which students are able to work at their own pace, place, and path. We have used Blended Learning primarily in reading and math, and are designing learning experiences in other subject areas, as well. It is exciting to see the increase in engagement as students participate in Blended Learning!
In our class meeting last week, we focused on Kindness. We reflected on questions such as: What does it look like and sound like? How does it make us feel? How does it make others feel? Does it cost any money or take much time?
We watched a short video about a girl that starts passing a post-it note that said, “You are amazing.” As the video goes on, we see how the post-it gets passed around the school. Each person that finds it needs a little ‘pick me up’ after a struggle they faced in the day such as: sitting alone at lunch, feeling sad about a broken arm, receiving a bad grade, or lacking a sense of connectedness at school. Everyone who finds the post-it and reads it smiles immediately. We discussed how being kind is usually free and doesn’t take much time. It can be as simple as a smile or a hello. It can be an action like helping a friend pickup their spilled crayons or asking someone on the Buddy Bench to play with them. In the video the post-it note makes it way back to the same girl who started it to stress that kindness will always return to you if you send it out.
Along with this video we watched, Kindness Boomerang. The video begins with a construction worker who helps a boy up who had fallen off his skateboard, who in turn helps a lady carry her groceries across the street. The boomerang continues as you see how each person who had kindness shown to them shows kindness to another person. The video ends with the same construction worker getting a free cold glass of water from a waitress. Kindness spread throughout the city block within minutes as one act of kindness led to another.
The next morning, students came into the classroom with a post-it on their chair with a handwritten affirmation from myself. Students asked if they could have post-its to write on and then place them in different areas of the school (on staff’s doors/desks or in each others mailboxes). If you see post-its around the school, know it is a simple act of kindness. Read the post-it but don’t keep it, pass it on! Spread kindness around Prairie Ridge and throughout our community. Look around; everyone needs a little bit of kindness.
Prairie Ridge is participating in Take Your Parent to PE Week!
Sponsored by the Active Schools movement, Take Your Parent to PE Week is a nationwide campaign that highlights the importance of physical learning in schools and helps keep parents involved in all aspects of their child’s education.
We invite you to come participate in PE class to witness the fun and engaging ways we are helping your kids feel better, work together as a team, reduce anxiety, maintain focus in the classroom and develop lifelong healthy habits.
Check out www.activeschoolsus.org/pe-week for more information, including a toolkit for parents, and once you’re here, be sure to tag #ParentsLovePE and @ActiveSchoolsUS to share the fun!
Hope to see you soon!!!
Mrs. Becky Sorg
Prairie Ridge P.E. Teacher
The beginning of the year covers just about every emotion there is for the newest Ridge Rock Stars every year. Learning about a new school and all of the expectations that come along with it can be a really overwhelming thing. Knowing this, the last couple years, we have been exploring how to get back to some more basic enjoyments. One of the things we have begun to implement is remembering to learn to love reading. Reading for enjoyment is a life long skill that we hope to instill in all of our students. One of the ways we are trying to do that is by helping each student develop their reader identity. Reader identity involves helping students see themselves as readers, finding books for enjoyment, and sharing that excitement with someone else. Some of the ways we tackle these questions is by modeling. Finding books we love to read and sharing that excitement with kids gets them excited. We try to expose them to different genres like fairy tales, historical fiction, realistic fiction, and non-fiction to name a few. We like to share silly books so we can laugh and serious books that help us deal with our emotions, as well as learn rules, how to be a friend, and how to appreciate all diverse kinds of friends. You can find a book about just about every topic! It is important for students to see themselves as readers. We talk about how you can read a book in several different ways, like telling the story you see in pictures. So even if you can’t read all the words yet, you can still be a reader when you “read” the pictures. Lastly, we try to give them time to read for enjoyment and talk about the books they are interested in. My favorite day of each month is our READ Day. We celebrate reading by welcoming our Third Grade Buddies into our room. We spend one-on-one time with them, just reading. They read to us and, later in the year especially, we read to them. We talk about what we are reading, we appreciate the illustrations, and we share what we love about the stories. It is pretty cool to watch happen. I have included some photos from our first Read Day. I hope you can all find some time in your day sometime soon and just read for pleasure – just because you want to! Happy reading!
Welcome to Second Grade at Prairie Ridge! I am so excited that the new school year has started! As I was thinking about new beginnings I decided I would like to try starting each day a little bit differently than I have in the past. Instead of the kids coming in first thing in the morning and getting right to work on some sort of morning job, I wanted to try a softer, less stressful start with some daily theme routines. I am sure there will be tweaks along the way and each second grade class is putting their own spin on it but here is what I am thinking our daily themes will be…
Monday Munchies and Mingling: Monday mornings will be a time where kids can visit with their classmates and catch up on the fun things they did over the weekend while enjoying a little extra breakfast treat. We can practice our speaking and listening skills in a fun, low stress manner.
Book Talk Tuesday: Each student will be assigned a Tuesday of the month where they will share with the rest of the class a book recommendation.. A variety of options will be given for how kids can share. We also hope to work with Mrs. Haskin in the library to create QR codes of book reviews. The QR codes will be attached to the library books for others to enjoy.
Wednesday Wisdom: Students will be writing and sharing on a variety of topics. This is a great way to learn more about each other and build community.
Thoughtful Thursday: It is my hope to help the kids be more aware of the really amazing people that surround them each day and to give them the opportunity to recognize them for their acts of kindness.
Friday Favorites: When students come into the classroom they may choose a favorite activity for a few minutes and then our community circle theme will be sharing our favorite things from the past week or favorites on a variety of topics.
It is my hope that this less stressful start will ease us into our day and help us build a really amazing classroom community that is ready to take on second grade together!
Prairie Ridge is excited to welcome these new staff members joining our Ridge team in helping provide education for your children.
Jenn Meier graduated from Coe College with a degree in Elementary Education. She received her Master’s Degree in Collaborative Teaching and Learning from Graceland University. This will be Mrs. Meier’s 21st of teaching. She taught 15 years in the Cedar Rapids School District and will be going into her 6th year here at Prairie.
Mrs. Meier and her husband have 3 children. Sophia is a freshman at UNI, Reid is an 8th grader at Point, and Emma is a 7th grader at Point. When not at school Mrs. Meier and her husband enjoy watching what their 3 children love to do soccer, basketball, or baseball.
Kylie McDermott grew up in Cedar Rapids and attended the Cedar Rapids school district. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Mount Mercy University with a degree in Elementary Education and a focus in the area of reading and special education. Prior to joining the College Community School District, Mrs. McDermott worked In the Cedar Rapids school district as a special education, 1st grade and 2nd grade teacher.
Outside of school, she enjoys spending time with her family, especially her daughter, and cheering on the Iowa Hawkeyes!
Mrs. Heber earned her Bachelor of Arts degree of Buena Vista University in 2000 and went on to further her education and graduated from Viterbo University with a Master’s in Education. Mrs. Heber is a certified K-8 teacher with endorsements in reading and special education. Prior to joining Prairie Ridge, Mrs. Heber taught 7th grade reading, language arts and special education at Prairie Point Middle School and Ninth Grade Academy for the last seventeen years.
Mrs. Heber enjoys reading, swimming, exercising, working in her yard, camping/traveling and spending time with her family and friends.
My name is Faith and I am a 16 month old yellow Labrador. I am thrilled to join Taxi at Ridge this school year as another certified therapy dog. I have previously lived in South Dakota and Kansas where I received my training. Miss Klekar traveled to Kansas this summer and we trained together and graduated through the CARES (Canine Assistance Rehabilitation, Education and Services) Program. I enjoy going on walks, being read to, and playing fetch to burn off my puppy energy. During the school day, I will be alongside Mr. Marshall, and have the opportunity to go into all of the classrooms and interact with all students throughout the day! I am looking forward to a fantastic school year.
Prairie Ridge also welcomes two new paraprofessional , Lisa Metzler and Breonna Patrick.
College Community Schools is excited to announce that Back to School Registration is now online and available for all families this summer. Online registration opened today, July 1, 2019 and will be available until August 2, 2019. Click here to register.