The fourth quarter started this week for all schools within the Morgan County School District on the traditional quarter system. Fourth quarter at Morgan Elementary School is often our busiest time for learning. Along with end-of-level state core tests and the final academic push for the school year, many exciting learning activities dominate our calendar. The following is a sample from just the past four school days!
Former teacher, sketch comedian, aspiring rock star/professional basketball player and current author Chad Morris stopped by last Friday morning for a surprise assembly with our third, fourth and fifth grade students. Morris’ assembly was equal parts inspiration and entertainment, which immediately led to his new novel being the most requested book in our library.
The assembly was provided to our school district by Deseret Book in coordination with KSL Radio, in appreciation of a generous donation made to Primary Children’s Medical Center on behalf of a very special MES student. Morgan Elementary secured the assembly on the strength of Ashlyn Morrell’s writing as she was named the winner of an inner-district essay contest.
Also, last Friday, MES third graders participated in the annual Third Grade Trade Day. Complete with business licenses and innovative, often hand-made products, these students celebrated weeks of great behavior and academic effort by spending hard-earned classroom dollars. Students were more than excited to both sell their products and spend their cash on trinkets and treats they simply couldn’t live without. Along with the fun, students both discovered and applied important lessons with regards to budgeting, saving, and spending.
Tuesday, fifth grade students presented to both schoolmates and their parents innovative thinking and project-based learning with our first-ever Fifth Grade Invention Convention. Part history fair, part science fair and part nothing-like-you’ve-ever-seen-before, the whole school enjoyed the research, innovation and creative thinking that made each project special. The students’ smiles and pride at their hard work only increased as the day went on.
The same day, fourth grade students completed and mailed away for publishing, picture books and mini-novels that they have been creating for some time now. Student Treasures is a great company that binds stories authored by students. This allows hardbound mementos of the excellent work they completed in class. Writing has been a campus focus this year and helping students celebrate their successes is something we love to do.
Wednesday, the combined Kindergarten classes visited Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum in Salt Lake City for a unique field trip experience tailored just for them. Discovery Gateway is part of a collaboration between the Utah State Office of Education and several of Northern Utah’s leading science institutions called iSEE or Informal Science Education Enhancement. This program serves K-12 teachers and students and provides both exciting science experiences for students and exceptional professional development opportunities for teachers.
Wednesday was also a special day for second grade students as they viewed their previously recorded iPad movies in a project their teachers affectionately named “Morgan Cineplex 2.0.” This project allowed students to not only create great literacy-based projects, but also record them and view them as a celebration of learning. Many of the iPads used in our schools were donated by the Morgan Education Foundation through funding from local businesses and families.
Technology, as a tool to enhance learning, is an important part of the MES experience and the second grade has developed this project as a shining example of excellent teaching.
So, as a snapshot of learning over the past four days at Morgan Elementary, and with great appreciation to the students, teachers, parents and community volunteers, I think it’s easy to see why we say: Great things are happening at Morgan Elementary!