New Garden Elementary School’s Jump Rope Club is modeled after the American Heart Association’s Jump Rope for Heart event. The goal is for students to learn to take care of their heart by practicing different jump rope skills. Second and third grade students are invited to participate each year in this energizing after school activity with Learning Support Specialist Miss Hannah Lee and Fifth Grade Teacher Ms. Sarah Squires. Each week students learn new skills, and continue to practice the tricks they have learned in previous weeks. Students learn to jump using the individual, or short ropes, as well as the long rope. Some of the short rope skills include the side swing, skier, bell, jogger, and even a partner jump! On the long ropes, students learn to jump in and out, and also get a chance to try double-dutch. The kids really enjoy creating and naming their own unique tricks as well.
Weekly, several students meet before school to participate in Math Olympiad with Mrs. Mary Ella Verdes. Math Olympiad is an international contest that promotes:
- an enthusiasm for problem solving and mathematics;
- a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts and strengthen ability to use these concepts;
- a consideration of concepts that students might not otherwise encounter;
- intellectually stimulating mental activities; and
- a stronger foundation for assessments and for future mathematics studies.
As you can see from the pictures, these students are deep thinkers and problem solvers.
New Garden Elementary School’s band is comprised of fourth and fifth grade students who play a woodwind, brass, or percussion instrument. They meet once a cycle in small groups to learn the various aspects of tone production, music literacy, and rhythmic etudes on their instrument. The students begin by learning how to assemble the instrument and advance throughout the year to playing beautiful music! They also take the time to learn the historical importance of the various composers, events during their lives, and connections to other art forms. When concert time is near, the students take all that they have learned in their group lesson and rehearse together as one large ensemble. This gives the young musicians a chance to combine their part with the other instruments in the band to create complex harmonies and rhythms. The musical literature the students explore includes folk, multicultural music, movie soundtracks, and classical arrangements of both traditional band and orchestra composers.
New Garden Elementary School’s orchestra is composed of students in third through fifth grades who play instruments from the string family; violin, viola, cello, and bass. They meet in small groups once per cycle, as well as in a large group ensemble to prepare for concerts. The students begin by learning the basics of sound production on their instrument by establishing the correct right and left hand technique, and then advance to more complex bow strokes and fingering patterns using all the strings. A large emphasis is placed on learning to read music and understanding basic theory skills. The musical repertoire that is used in their development and concerts comes from many genres including classical, American fiddle, mariachi, rock, and movie soundtracks.
New Garden Elementary School’s instrumental program is a year-long commitment with concerts presented in January and May.
“Without hesitation,” said Mrs. Carol Davidson, “Yes, I think Taya Wuchter should be recognized for February’s Student Spotlight.” Here’s what her teacher had to say about her.
Taya is in my third grade class this year, and she is wonderful. Taya is hard working, helpful, and always does her best. No matter what the assignment is, Taya is hard at work. She asks questions, takes risks, and checks over her assignments to make sure it is the best she can do. You can tell that she takes pride in her work and wants to do well.
Taya is also helpful. She is more than willing to help other classmates by answering questions, explaining a problem, or sitting with them to buddy read. She always has positive things to say about her friends and goes out of her way to make everyone feel special.
In addition to being a star student in my class, Taya is very active at home playing with her five siblings. Taya wrestles for Kennett, and has won many matches and tournaments throughout the past four years. In addition, she plays on the Blue Demons field hockey team. Although she is athletic and loves to play, Taya’s favorite thing to do is read!
What I love most about Taya is her willingness to do whatever is needed without wanting anything in return. She is an amazing student and I feel lucky to have her in my classroom. Thanks Taya for being such a wonderful role model for others.
Mrs. Joan Viscuso has many wonderful things to say about January’s Student Spotlight. Her thoughts are below.
When thinking of a student to recognized, it is easy to think of Austin Guyer. He is so helpful to me and to all of his classmates. Whenever something has to be done and Austin sees that there is a need, he jumps right in to take care of what needs to be done. Austin jumps right in to help his friends when they are in need as well. In addition to explaining how to do things and helping to put things away, Austin is a positive influence.
“I would be lost without Austin,” Mrs. Viscuso says. “I have never had a student who almost reads my mind and gets the jobs done. He always does things without asking for anything in return. Perhaps Austin didn’t know I was watching his awesomeness, but I was!! Thanks Austin for being you and for being a role model to others.”
Claire Pruitt is a 5th grader in Mr. Harris’s class. He describes her as a high achiever, good natured and an excellent citizen. Claire is active in many extra-curricular activities at New Garden. Last Spring, she played a “centipede’ in New Garden’s spring production of “James and the Giant Peach.” She is eagerly awaiting the spring of 2017 to star in whatever production New Garden may have. Outside of school, she currently has a starring role as an evil minion in the “Enchanted Sleeping Beauty.” Other extra- curricular activities include “Reading Olympics,” in which she is the captain, 24 Math Club, chorus, where she will be a part of a group solo singing “Journey in Peace” and she takes violin lessons with Mrs. Mata. If that wasn’t enough, she plays lacrosse for the Blue Demons. Academically, she has read over 3,000 minutes this school year for the Reading Around the World program. She aspires to one day become an actress or a baker. She loves New Garden because the teachers and the students are so nice to each other. Her words of wisdom to her peers are, “Never give up! Show perseverance!”