K-4 News and Notes

North elementary logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

North Elementary fourth graders each received their very own hard-covered copy of Shel Silverstein’s “Where the Sidewalk Ends,” on Tuesday as part of the Greater Mankato Area United Way’s book project which covers a four-county area in south central Minnesota 

  North's fourth graders pose with their new copy of 
  Shel Silverstein's "Where the Sidewalk Ends."

Every spring since 2017, the Olseth Family Foundation and Greater Mankato Area United Way have provided approximately 1,700 brand-new, hard copies of this book to fourth-graders throughout Blue Earth, Le Sueur, Nicollet and Waseca counties. 

North fourth graders gathered in the school’s media center to meet with Karli DesLauriers, Greater Mankato Area United Way’s office and programming manager, and Amanda Slingsby, a local United Way volunteer from the Jay Zender Agency. The two United Way reps offered some insight into the Olseth Family Foundation’s donation and S

ilverstein’s book, before distributing almost 180 copies to the North students.

After each fourth grader had a copy of the book, one of the fourth grade teachers, Ms. Mathiowetz, and a handful of fourth graders took turns reading their favorite poems from “Where the Sidewalk Ends.”

North elementary logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

North Elementary fourth grade students in Mrs. Friedrich's and Mr. Lewis's classrooms, through the generosity of the local Domino's and McDonald's, took part in a fun math activity during an afternoon in late November.

  Abdullahi Farah waited on Principal Darin Doherty
  during Mr. Lewis’s restaurant unit as part of their
  math unit.

The classrooms set up a restaurant with the food donated from both local businesses. Students took turns selling and buying food from each restaurant.

"We used this lesson to help us apply our knowledge of fractions and decimals to real world situations," Friedrich said. "We're so thankful to Domino's and McDonald's for helping us out with this."

Students took turns being workers and patrons at the restaurant. Each student and staff member, who were patrons, were given a "debit" card with a $10 limit to purchase food. Principal Darin Doherty even stopped by to check things out and grab a quick snack!

The logo for south elementary
Kurt Hildebrandt

  Mrs. Eyler's first grade class at South took part in
  the reading fun recently, while the Read A Thon
  Bear made sure there weren't any interruptions.

South Elementary School's Star Pride PBIS held its annual Read a Thon fundraiser in November. Students raised more than $5,000 for Star Pride activities and incentives as well as for Star Pride shirts that the school's new students (kindergarten and any new to the district first graders) receive each year.

"We have Star Pride shirt dress up days each Wednesday. Star Pride activities and incentives paid for with these funds include our Star Pride Activity Day, Winter Bingo, assemblies, as well as school, classroom, and individual incentives throughout the year for demonstrating Star Pride in our school," South PBIS committee member, Stacy Abel, said. "This includes being safe, being responsible, and being respectful.

South's Read A Thon was held on November 23. The Star Pride Bear traveled from classroom to classroom throughout the day, as at least one classroom was engaged in reading activities throughout the entire day. That day was also South's "Read My Shirt" day in honor of the Read a Thon.

North elementary logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

Kids in both buildings get the chance to take part in hands-on learning experiences

  These North Elementary 4th graders
  work on a STEM Challenge activity in
  which they had to stack six cups into
  a pyramid without touching the cups
  with their hands.

STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Math) students in Rachel Schweigert's classes at South Elementary and North Elementary have already been very busy with several class projects.

Schweigert spends the morning hours with students in grades 2-4 at North while moving over to South in the afternoon to work with Kindergarten and first grade students. The following is a summary of some of the work those students have been working on in her STEM classes to date.

Growth Mindset project
First grade STEM students started out the year learning about having a growth mindset, to prepare them for challenging engineering activities we will do later in the year, according to Schweigert.

  South Elementary first graders
  learning about the power of “YET”
  and having a growth mindset.

"We read the book “The Magical Yet” together and talked about how we can use the word ‘yet' when we talk about our learning," she said.

STEM Challenge
The fourth graders were given a STEM challenge. They were tasked with stacking six cups into a pyramid without touching the cups with their hands.

"They were only given four pieces of string and a rubber band to use," Schweigert said. "Using teamwork, this group created a tool to use to pick up the cups."

Car Seat Checkup event set for Sept. 25th for local families
Kurt Hildebrandt

A free Car Seat Checkup event is set for Saturday, Sept. 25th from 9 to 11 a.m. at the St. Peter Fire Department (227 West Mulberry Street). This event is presented by Saint Peter Police, River’s Edge Hospital, and Nicollet County Public Health.

“This is a great program that allows families to make sure they have their vehicle’s car seats installed properly and they are used correctly,” Officer Jon Hughes, Saint Peter Public Schools’ School Resource Officer (SRO) said. “Our number one goal with this program is to ensure your kids are safe when they are riding with you in a car seat, and by working with our families on installing their car seats correctly we can help accomplish that goal.”

Appointments for this event are preferred. To schedule a car seat check or if you need more information please contact the Saint Peter Police Department at (507) 931-1550 or via email at janett@saintpetermn.gov.

Certified child passenger safety technicians will check for recalls and ensure all child safety seats are installed by manufacturer specifications. Each seat check takes approximately 30 minutes. Participants are also asked to bring all manuals for their vehicle(s) and car seat(s).

“In Minnesota, all children must be in a child restraint until they are 4'9” tall, or at least age 8, whichever comes first,” SRO Hughes said.