- Sponsorship -

From relay races to flamingo stands & tissue crawls

During a distance learning lesson, Kathleen Messina asked each of her students what they were looking forward to most in third grade. Lucas Bly, one of Messina’s students, said his favorite day of the year was field day. 

Since schools closed their doors in March, yearly activities that students look forward to such as proms, graduations and even field days were postponed or canceled. Messina, a second grade teacher at South Elementary, saw that field day was important to several of her students and decided to find a way to make it happen. 

Alina Theis and her sister, Jenna, do the ‘flamingo standstill’

In the past, Messina had hosted “Minute to Win It”-themed holiday parties with her class, which she said her students really enjoyed. Since they couldn’t gather for a traditional field day, she decided to try a new approach. 

So she put together a document that explained the event with a picture of her daughter modeling how to complete each task. They included activities like “the tissue crawl,” where students had to blow a tissue across the room and back without using their hands. In the “flamingo standstill,” students posed, hands on hips and one foot raised, for 60 seconds. 

“I tried to be creative with the titles of the events and think of tasks using items all families have,” Messina said. 

A Day to Remember 

For Lucas, who enjoys playing soccer and basketball, the hardest part about completing field day tasks was trying not to laugh, he said. 

His mother, Lea, said watching Lucas’ reaction was the best part. 

“As a parent, I loved it. Social interaction is so important for our kids. This was a great opportunity for them to have some fun with their friends.” 

Lucas Bly participates in the ‘cookie face’ activity for virtual field day

Alina Theis participated with her little sister, Jenna, a kindergarten student at South Elementary. Involved in dance classes outside of school, Alina said she looks forward to field day every year. 

For Alina and Jenna’s mother, Jodie, this year’s field day was a welcome addition to the school year. 

“I think it helped make the kids feel more connected and involved with their school during this crazy time,” Theis said. “The kids are always very encouraging of each other, and even though this was a virtual field day this fact did not change.” 

Though Alina and Jenna both miss seeing their classmates in person, their mom said virtual field day helped. 

“Both Alina and Jenna are still talking about how much fun they had and the silly events that they had to do.”

For South Elementary principal Darla England, the activity was a tribute to the day that students look forward to each year.

“Field day is a huge event for students, and they wait all year to compete with their friends,” she said. “This is our version of how we still want to honor this tradition, but within the guidelines that we are all currently under.”

- Sponsorship -
Hannah Lentz
Hannah Lentz
A 2017 graduate of Grand Valley State University and a lifelong teacher’s kid, Hannah Lentz has worked as a journalist in and outside the Grand Rapids area for more than five years. After serving as editor-in-chief at the GVSU student newspaper, Hannah interned at the Leelanau Enterprise where she learned a lot about community journalism. In addition to her work for School News Network, Hannah has worked as a freelance blogger in the furniture industry, focusing on design trends, and as a social media manager for World Medical Relief in Detroit.

LATEST ARTICLES

Learning from a place full of living things

Rebecca Perry and her class of eager kindergartners spent their morning exploring the newly redone Living Lab at Zinser Elementary...

Mapping the road to learning

Elementary teachers Billie Freeland and Nicole Andreas are at the forefront of using a curriculum designed to further educational goals, regardless of whether students are in person or online...

‘Even though it is extra work, I don’t mind the changes’

Teachers of specialty subjects — art, music and physical education — share their experiences after the pandemic prompts changes to class procedures...

Bus drivers work as daytime cleaners during pandemic

It’s also a plus to have familiar faces around school...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Bus drivers work as daytime cleaners during pandemic

It’s also a plus to have familiar faces around school...

‘These kids just really want to be singing’

Determined to bring back choir in a safe manner, this teacher made changes to her classes based on the latest scientific research and best practices by fellow teachers...

Teaching from a distance: ‘they have to learn to be patient’

Lana Tran, a 26-year district teacher, is in her regular classroom this year, but behind a locked door. Her 18 students are at home, their parents having chosen distance learning...
- Sponsorship -

HOW'S SCHOOL TODAY?

Engagement: The Most Important Measure of Student Success

Polls find that students’ engagement in their school work declines as they ascend the grades. Tests that don’t relate to their real-life experiences exacerbate the problem...

RADEMACHER & FRIENDS

Food ‘angels’ support hungry kids through pandemic

They work all across Kent County, guardian angels with peanut butter on their hands and crumbs on their shirtsleeves...
- Sponsorship -

MEDIA PARTNERS

Maranda Where You LiveWGVU

SUSTAINING SPONSORS