In Middle School, students begin to want to learn more about certain subject areas, they may steer towards Math and Science or Music and Art. With our elective program 7th & 8th graders can choose classes that interest them and allow them the chance to learn more about an area of study. Examples of Elective Classes are Photography, Ukulele, Graphic Design, 3D Printing, Cooking, etc. This year our 7th graders are participating in the Bushcraft Elective, taught by Mr. McCullough. As an outdoor enthusiast Mr. McCullough wanted to give students the opportunity to get outside, problem solve, and learn about the world around them.
The past few weeks, students have studied the practice of signaling for help in a survival situation. They focused on contrasting colors, signaling in threes (the international number of distress), reflection tactics, and calling for help.
After their lab study of signaling, they went outside to put their skills to the test. Students were divided up into six groups and randomly assigned a specific environment in which they were signaling from: a snow covered landscape, arid desert, sea, deciduous forest, sandy beach, and a mountain side. Students then selected supplies, and crafted signals to be seen by a passing search plane (Mr. McCullough on the roof). The students has a blast!
Thus far they have studied the psychology of survival (handling stress, signs of stress, staying calm, etc.), and signaling. Next week they move on to shelter building, then fire building and concluding with wilderness first aid!
What do you do in Music Class during a Pandemic when you can't sing? Contrary to popular belief, Music Class is not all about singing, there are so many things children can experience through Music Class, and important lessons to be learned that will carry them through life.
For little ones, exploring music through a variety of ways and learning to listen quietly is an important lesson. Our Early Childhood and Primary students listen to a piece of classical music with their eyes closed and then draw what they saw in their mind. We called this Musical Sketching and they loved it! Their favorite game also involved listening as they would have to close their eyes and guess which instrument was missing in a group of instruments all being played at the same time. Very rarely in a typical day do we have time to simply sit and listen to the world around us, but the benefits are great!
3rd Graders worked on composing Music for Video Game concepts they created! The creativity the students have is amazing, and when they are able to tape into that in a way that interests them, their passion grows!
4th & 5th graders were able to learn Bucket Drumming this year! This new unit began as a way to be able to safely play an instrument in class this year, but will become a new tradition as the kids loved it so much! Not only did this allow them to learn about Beat, Rhythm, and Rhythm Patterns, but they also composed their own bucket groove and competed in a friendly "Battle of the Bands" to end the unit. You can see the 4th grade Battle of the Bands Video HERE
Middle School worked on Music Technology this year. They created and composed songs using a variety of Music Apps. They also learned about different genres of Music and researched bands such as The Beetles.
Music builds confidence, and it was so great to see students growing in their confidence this year through the Arts!
A special thanks to Menards for the donation of buckets!
Why have a class pet when you can adopt a 1,500 pound dairy cow? Maybe that was what Ms. Roloff was thinking when she signed the entire 4th grade unit up for the “Adopt a Cow” program sponsored by Discover Dairy, an organization that raises awareness about farming and where we get our food from. The program matches classrooms with local dairy farms, and the class "adopts" the cow.
Our 4th graders got matched up with ‘Dorito’. Every few weeks they receive updates about Dorito and how much she's growing. The host farm family provides the class with pictures, videos and slides to keep them learning about their “adopted” cow Dorito. Ms. Roloff has taken the information they send and has created social studies lessons for the students. They have even learned about how a dairy farm works! Students have also included ‘Dorito’ in their writing lessons, as they were able to write letters through the site's online portal, to the family farm that Dorito lives on.
‘Moo Monday’, as the the 4th graders call it, are Monday’s when Ms. Roloff incorporates Dorito and the Discover Dairy curriculum into her lessons. “It is interesting to see how milk is made and how cows live” said one 4th grader. “I never knew that milk comes out of the cow hot!” said another student. Living in Wisconsin, the Dairy State, it’s important for our students to understand the state in which they live.
Our Lady Queen of Peace School was ecstatic to learn that not one - but two - of their teachers had been nominated this year for a National Education Award through Catholic Financial Life.
Carly Cooper, K4 teacher at Our Lady Queen of Peace School, was nominated by a parent of one of her current students. Her nomination letter said in part, “To say that she was born to do this job would be an understatement. Miss Cooper has an incredible way of connecting with the littlest learners, helping them to feel both heard and understood. Her positive energy is palpable from the moment you set foot in the classroom (or, more recently, her Google classroom)! Whether in person or virtually, Miss Cooper consistently keeps her students engaged — they realize the importance of being a good person, a kind friend, and respectful of all. Students gain an immense amount of confidence both in their learning and in themselves.”
Courtney Leuzinger, 1st Grade teacher at Our Lady Queen of Peace School, was also nominated by a parent of one of her current students. “My greatest reward is most definitely my students. I love watching their ah-ha moments” says Leuzinger. Mary Jo Vitale, principal at Our Lady Queen of Peace School, echoes praise about her. “I noticed right away she had a passion for learning and teaching. She is passionate about meeting the needs of each student, and understanding that what works for one student, doesn't always work for another. Her faith guides her belief that a classroom needs to be a balance of faith and friendship.”
The national contest run by Catholic Financial Life, occurred during Catholic Schools Week. Both teachers finished in the top 10 in the Nation and were humbled by the outpouring of love and support shown by the Queen of Peace Parish and School Community!