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News and Notes

News and Notes 4.10


I have to admire the grit of teachers.  They do the work that is not always seen or rewarded.  They don’t take the easy way when so often they could.  Every day, they rise to the occasion to teach, care for, and strengthen this community’s children.  For that, I love to sing their praises.  And, boy, do they love snow days.  

They aren’t the only ones. In fact, our school community’s enthusiasm and creativity in sharing their reaction to the snow day on Twitter garnered attention and compliments from MLive reporter Lauren Slagter!

Knowing how much joy a snow day can bring made me appreciate the Whitmore Lake Middle and High School holiday choir concert. Regardless of the day off of school, the choirs, led by Ms. Fixler, still performed last night. As they say, “The show must go on.” The stage was full of students singing, led by their teacher on a snow day!  

Ms. Fixler didn’t miss the chance to bring the topic up to the whole audience. “Did you all enjoy the snow today!!??”  I can assure you, they did. The only applause that was louder came after the wonderful solo performances from Lily Baumgartner, Michaela Rooke, and Jacob Medina.  

Not surprisingly, as I walked out of the theater, the question was asked, “Another snow day tomorrow, Mr. D?”  As I grunted my NO and walked away, I could swear I heard them singing about the Grinch.

Snow days, like every day, are great days to be a Trojan.

Gingerbread Exchange

The holiday season lends itself to fun projects, particularly at the elementary level. One unique project this year, called a Gingerbread Exchange, comes from Ms. Ouillette’s kindergarten class. Essentially, students in her class made their own paper gingerbread men, which were mailed to new pen pals in 26 different states across the country.

Before the gingerbread men were mailed, they had a bon voyage party for them, celebrating with a special snack. And, yes, some students even kissed their gingerbread men goodbye (kindergarteners are the cutest).

As part of the exchange, students will receive gingerbread men from the schools where they sent theirs and keep track of them on a giant map in the hallway.

So far they have received 15 gingerbread men and letters from different schools! Each letter is filled with information about the school it came from, its community, state and weather. Ms. Ouillette said the most surprising fact they have learned so far comes from San Jose, California, who shared that in the winter they MIGHT have to wear long-sleeved shirts and pants. Students enjoyed learning that they share similarities with their pen pals as well. Many classrooms do brain breaks like our students and Daily 5 literacy centers too.

This project is a fun and festive way for students to learn about maps, directions, and other states, cities, and schools around our country.

You can check out more photos from this project on our Facebook page HERE.

Kids Zumba

Students in Kindergarten through 4th grade enjoyed a special PBIS celebration this past Monday, a Zumba Kids class!

For those not familiar, PBIS stands for Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports and is our school-wide approach to creating a safer and more positive learning culture. You can learn more about the program HERE.

When students follow the school expectations and follow the rules, they earn a variety of “rewards.” These rewards include WOW tickets, which are given to students by staff members who observe the students following behavioral expectations. Then students can turn those tickets in for classroom rewards, and after earning a certain number of WOW tickets, classrooms may participate in a celebration.

In addition to classroom celebrations, students participate in school-wide celebrations, which often include movie days, special guest performers, dances, etc. December’s school-wide celebration was the Zumba Kids class, courtesy of Whitmore Lake Community Recreation.

Whitmore Lake Community Recreation is offering a new Zumba Kids after-school class at the Elementary starting in January. For those not familiar with Zumba, it is a Latin-dance-inspired workout. Zumba Kids is built on the foundation of Zumba, where kids get to shake, giggle, and groove during the ultimate dance and play party. Kids also learn about Latin languages and culture during each class.

Silvana, a Zumba instructor who is originally from Argentina, led the PBIS celebration on Monday with the help of our very own Zumba instructor and WLCR Director, Maria Carter-Ewald. Silvana will be teaching the Zumba Kids class as well as Aqua Zumba at our Community Pool starting in January.

The students and staff had a blast, enjoying the chance to get up and move, which is often hard in the winter months. If you would like to sign your students up for the Zumba Kids class starting in January, click HERE for the details. Spaces are limited. WLCR does provide reduced rates and scholarship for families who qualify for the free or reduced lunch program. Contact Maria Carter-Ewald at 734.449.4461 x3057 or maria.carter-ewald@wlps.net for more information.

You can also check out a video of kindergarten-first-grade class celebration on our Facebook page HERE.

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