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First day of school: What do kids learn?

Published on Tue, Sep 13, 2011 by JOURNAL STAFF

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So imagine doing this: Singing the song “The Wheels on the Bus,” reading along and carefully sounding out each word while the teacher points to the big book, learning the sign language for the word “bus,” adding the familiar hand motions for the lyrics and putting it all together simultaneously.  Not easy. 

That’s what kindergartners were doing as they started their first day of school in Mrs. Sorbo’s class at Hillcrest Elementary.  And they made it look easy!

A walk down the hall to Mrs. Moe’s third grade class found students learning some of the components of being a good learner—listening, organization, and respect for each other.  They were randomly paired up to conduct an interview of each other and then write out a report. 

Posted prominently on the white board was a calendar of work for the day:  writing, physical education, reading, math test, lunch/recess, math lesson, math test, recess, science, and reading.  That’s a full day.

Over at Lake Stevens Middle School students in Mr. Jorgenson’s advanced math class were reviewing the syllabus for the year:  in 180 days they will cover a year and a half of material. 

These sixth grade students were reminded that they needed to be self-motivated to succeed in the challenge class that they would be learning at an accelerated rate and they had to keep up with the material.

Key ingredient for success:  ask questions for understanding, ask lots of questions.  The good news—Mr. Jorgenson will be there to help, every step of the way, every day.

In The Lake Stevens Middle School gym three classes were amassed to get a run-down on rules and expectations.  Boys three to a locker, girls were lucky – more lockers available so two to a locker for them.  Tip of the day, change to PE clothes everyday and don’t forget to wash them regularly – bacteria really does grow in dirty clothes!

Lunchtime at Cavelero Mid High and the noise level is high.  Two lunches, roughly 600 students per lunch in 30 minutes.  
While half the student body is at lunch, the other half is in class.  In Mr. McCoy’s Geometry class students learn that 98 percent of the students that took the Algebra end of course assessment passed the test. 
 
That’s good news since it is a graduation requirement.  He went on to explain that now they are in Geometry, they will experience a new way of thinking about math.  He encouraged students to talk to him, “I’m here to help you.”
Lake Stevens High School: 7:15 a.m.

Band blazing, drum line marching, leadership students meet and greet.  Tradition engulfs the campus as leadership students form human tunnels greeting students as they disembark from the yellow busses.
Their neon-yellow tee shirts scream, “Need Help?  Ask Me.” 

Throughout every school the energy was high and learning was just beginning.

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