This submission is from the May 2019 RSU 18 Administrative Report, submitted by RSU 18 Assistant Superintendent Keith Morin.
Belgrade Central school has been challenging their students to excel in and outside of the classroom in recent months. They completed the Black Bear Book Award Program with a total of 481 books read. The fourth graders won with 165 books read, followed by third grade with 160, and fifth with 156. Educators Daniels and Bailey expressed their pride over their students’ achievements.
One group of students in Mr. Brooks’ third grade class read the Newbery Honor Book, Because of Winn-Dixie.
Outside of the classroom, second graders spent the day at Bond Brook in Augusta to release salmon fry into the wild. The fry were raised from eggs this winter, with 194 out of 200 surviving even through a power outage and a cooler malfunction. The students were able to witness the lifecycle of a salmon firsthand.
A third grade class, under the instruction of Mr. Brooks, wrote nonfiction books as part of the Lucy Calkins Units of Study, which is a method of teaching literature to students in applicable ways that adapt to their needs while providing challenges. Students wrote books about the Sun, Computers, Moose, Harpy Eagles, Sloths, Hummingbirds, Flamingos, and many other topics; they then included tables of contents, headings, page numbers, captions, diagrams, and other information. The elementary students were required to perform their own research and take notes in order to write their books. More can be learned about the Units of Study method here: http://www.unitsofstudy.com/k5writing/
Second grade students at Belgrade Central are celebrating the last 26 days of the school year with an “ABC” countdown. Every day involves a special activity starting with a letter of the alphabet.
Kids have been learning in and outside of the classroom, but they have also been improving their fitness with the BCS Running Club. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons, you can find first through fifth graders running around baseball and softball fields. This club includes 94 students, and after every club meeting, students use QR codes to track their mileage, which totaled to 1,890 miles, the highest yet. Each session, the students’ mileage is compared to lengths of travel to certain parts of the U.S., then the students learn a fact about the given location. Twenty runners in the club have totaled more miles than the length of a marathon, with the highest at 42 miles.
Third graders in Brooks’ class were introduced with great joy to the Newbery Honor Book, Because of Winn-Dixie. Students couldn’t stop reading the novel, finished their assignments with excitement, and at the end of the book created a number of projects based on the story. The author’s use of figurative language and more complicated vocabulary, as well as themes such as change and loss, provided a deeper learning experience for students to explore. The unit ended with a Winn-Dixie-themed party featuring menu items inspired by the book.
Belgrade Central also had students delving into the arts, with first graders creating a mural of the four seasons. Throughout the year, the students heard stories about the seasons, explored the uniqueness of each one, studied authors and illustrators, and discussed things such as healthy living, the senses, and nature, among many other things. After finishing the mural, pictured below, students wrote about their experiences and what they learned.