Bike tours, cooking part of school lessonsA mini-golf outing on Barker’s Island July 16 capped off a series of two-wheeled adventures for fourth and fifth grade students in the summer school program at Great Lakes Elementary School.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
A mini-golf outing on Barker’s Island July 16 capped off a series of two-wheeled adventures for fourth and fifth grade students in the summer school program at Great Lakes Elementary School. As part of the school’s “Get Active, Get Fit” theme this year, they biked up to three and a half miles to visit city parks during their weekly treks.
“We didn’t rent a bus once in summer school,” said Kristin Trianoski, who taught the fourth and fifth graders with Jennifer Sullivan. But they spent plenty of time out in the sun.
“We do a lot of fun stuff,” said McKenzie McKinnon, 10. “We went on bike trips and we cooked.”
All of the 211 students enrolled at Great Lakes participated in different fitness activities, as well as language arts and math. The fourth and fifth graders focused on setting fitness goals, including running or walking a mile twice a week and working on push-ups, team games, jump roping and biking.
“We tried to have them work on activities they could continue improving on after summer school was over, no special equipment needed,” Trianoski said.
The students set personal fitness goals, kept journals, studied articles and produced promotional movies on fitness. They also served up pancakes with homemade blueberry syrup, strawberry shortcake with whipped cream, fruit pizza and veggie pizza in class.
“We made the kids do all the work themselves,” Trianoski said. “So it’s kind of cool to see their skills grow.”
McKenzie said she baked a strawberry shortcake for her family.
“We all loved it,” she said. “It was good.”
Too often, the teachers said, students stay inside playing video games and watching television over summer break. Gabe King, 10, agreed it was easy to get sucked into video games. But he has enjoyed the fitness curriculum, especially the bike riding. While many of the students had bikes and did ride them around the block at home, Trianoski said the weekly bike trips helped improve their stamina over long distances. The teachers hoped the students would remain active until classes resume Sept. 3.
Planning curriculum around fitness, instead of plugging fitness components into curriculum, was a freeing, fun experience, Sullivan said. Great Lakes had a higher summer school enrollment than any other district elementary school, according to the district office — 211, with second place going to Northern Lights with 187 students and Cooper in third place with 172. Student numbers usually dip after the Fourth of July week, the teachers said, but not this year. They attributed that to the fact that the students spent lots of class time outdoors enjoying the summer weather.
“It has been a very successful summer,” said Great Lakes Principal Cindy Magnuson.
Summer school ended July 17 for the district elementary schools and Superior Middle School. Superior High School students have summer school through July 31.