The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

Fifth graders move into the kitchen 2011.12.21

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Sew a button. Make a grilled cheese sandwich. Memorize a poem. Do the laundry.

Those aren’t topics ordinarily covered in the fifth grade classroom, but Melissa Elliott’s “Life Long Learning” class is anything but ordinary. 

When students complete the one-trimester class, they will have learned some new skills that 

thumb into oven

aren’t generally taught in school.

By moving from the lower grades to a fifth grade classroom this year, Mrs. Elliott took on the duty of teaching something outside of the core studies for one trimester.

She didn’t see art or music as something she would excel in, but she did recall a life-long learning class that she taught several years ago at an Adrian school.

She remembered that it required a lot of work on the teacher’s part, but she also remembered that it was a lot of fun.

She presented the idea to principal Kelli Campbell who gave it her backing and planning got underway.

Mrs. Elliott had her own ideas for projects, but she’s getting suggestions from others, too. Another teacher, for example, suggested teaching everyone to tie a necktie. Mrs. Elliott’s mother wants to come to class and teach some basic dinner table etiquette such as setting the table and learning how to use a fork and knife.

“I love how other people are getting excited about the class,” she said.

That includes a set of parent volunteers who help out with certain projects—both through time in the classroom and with the donation of materials.

The projects lead to interaction between the adults and the kids, Mrs. Elliott said, and she thinks the class is great for the parent helpers, too.

Last week students divided into groups and worked with parent volunteers to make a batch of Chex mix and create corn flake holiday wreaths. They finished the session by cooking and eating oatmeal to complete the “Three Things with Cereal” project.washing dishes

The middle school has a room with stoves, sinks and counter space that hasn’t been used much since Jennifer Griffith retired.

“The kitchen lab is amazing,” Mrs. Elliott said. “I like all the learning that’s involved.”

Even for something as simple as the project last week, there are directions to read, verbal instructions to hear, certain steps to follow.

“I’m amazed at all the little things that we need to know,” she said. 

From another project, Mrs. Elliott learned that many fifth grade students have never before cracked an egg.

“You take so much for granted,” she said.

After the session two weeks ago about cooking a grilled cheese sandwich, several students went home and prepared them for their families—much to the delight of their teacher.

Parents will be involved in other ways, too. The laundry project—sort, wash and dry clothes—will be graded by a parent.

Michigan is one of many states pursuing Common Core Standards to make learning expectations consistent across the country.

“Many of the standards link to this class in many subtle ways,” Mrs. Elliott said.

She’s also attempting to find projects that mesh with the Search Institute’s 40 developmental assets for children, to help them grow up “healthy, caring and responsible.”

One of the 40 addresses the importance of adult relationships for children, other than their parents. The culminating project—the Dabble Fair—requires students to work with another adult (see details below).

From what Mrs. Elliott has seen and heard, the class is a hit with the kids. 

“It’s really neat to hear them talking about it,” she said. “They’re enthusiastic.”

That goes for their teacher, as well.

“I like to teach things I can get excited about,” she said.

She’s found a new opportunity for that during the third hour period every day at school.

 

Dabble Fair

The Life long Learning class ends Feb. 29 with Dabble Fair—a celebration of learning something about a topic of interest.

To dabble in something is to take part in an activity in a casual or superficial way. 

Mrs. Elliott’s dabblers will study a topic with an adult and then follow up with a how-to guide.

“I’d like it to be something they’ve always had an interest in,” she said.

The reports might show the product via a photo essay or in some cases a finished product will be shown.

In the final classroom project, students will prepare desserts for Dabble Fair. The show will be open to the public from 3 to 6 p.m.

One student heard about the upcoming class last trimester and dove into her dabbling before the class even started.

She learned how to sew from her grandmother.

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