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Sneaky Guitars, Snooty Otters Make for Good Reading

An author who visited Lee Elementary recently didn't just inspire students to put drawings of doughnuts with sprinkles on hallway walls, she made them want to read. She didn't just make them draw cute little otters, she taught them about...

‘Best Day Ever’

It's fun to send a model car down a plastic track and watch it fly off a ramp. It's even more fun to send a model car down a track and watch it fly over a classmate. That's what Matthew...

Teachers’ Turn to Learn

This year, nearly 1,000 K-12 school leaders in 45 states and 38 countries signed up to participate in Shadow a Student Challenge. It's a full school day when administrators and teachers spend a day in February alongside one of...

Little Jumpers Raise Big Bucks for Heart Health

Lee Elementary is known to Thornapple Kellogg students as "the school where you get to do Jump Rope for Heart." It's a crazy, loud, happy time where second- and third-graders jump rope in the gym all day while parents...

Coming Soon: Lessons in Thinking

Donna VonderHoff's AP computer science class learned how to solve a problem. While describing it that way may sound simplistic, it wasn't. The problem was how to help students struggling in school. The method used to solve the problem was...

‘You Find Yourself Striving to be Greater at Something’

Noah Miller and Heather Price, both 2016 district graduates, are members of the Western Michigan University Marching Bronco Band and got to play at the Cotton Bowl game on Jan. 2. Here's what they had to say about what...

Parent-initiated Program: Muy Bien

Cabeza, hombros, rodillas, pies. That's the Spanish version of the children's song "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes," which McFall Elementary kindergartners were singing during their once-a-week Spanish lesson. The class got its start this year when kindergarten mom Lyndsey Carpenter moved...

Looking for That Perfect Teacher Gift? Here’s One

For Lee Elementary parents having a tough time figuring out what to get their child's teacher for Christmas, skip the hand lotion and send them on an exploration with your child. It's an easy way to give: just donate...

Look Out Humans — Here Come the Robots

A robot made of Legos pushing around poop could lead to students being scientists and engineers. Settle down, it's not real poop. It's manure made of Legos, and it was part of the challenges for students as this year's...

Filling a Need by Filling Backpacks

Surrounded by tubs and shelves bursting with food, Jenny Steele ticked off the numbers of children at half a dozen schools who would soon be receiving it. Here in a portable classroom behind Meadow Ridge Elementary School, the Rockford...

Fitness or Fundraiser: Why Not Do Both?

Two more things are certain in life: Children who stay fit do better at school — and you have to fund-raise for your child's school. Both were accomplished at at the Middle School Fitness Palooza recently when students zumba-danced, played...

Before ArtPrize: Crosswalk Signs, Keeping Up, Basic Manners

ArtPrize venues were filled with students learning about art, but for one group it wasn't just about that — it was a way to practice the life skills they had learned in the big city. Every month, moderately cognitive impaired...

New Alumni Group Forming

District graduates can register for a new alumni group at the Sept. 30 homecoming game. "We are still putting most of our time and effort into communicating with alumni through Facebook and our e-mail site," said Don Williamson, one...

Way Beyond ABC’s: Kindergartners Master a Growing List of Academic Skills

Byron Center’s Brown Elementary School kindergarten students are seated on a carpet in a big circle fronting a white board. They are making sense -- “number sense” that is. Teacher Andrew Smith writes the number 912 on the board and...

Is Play Still a Kindergarten Expectation?

Ask any parent of a dinosaur lover who can identify an Apatosaurus atage 3 if learning occurs during play, and the answer is an obvious “yes.” But with the added work on kindergartners comes less time for leisure, and one...

A Positively Positive First Day

What is Your Dream? A big sheet of paper with a big question written in big letters and spread across 8-foot-long tables greeted high schoolers on the first day. Students' answers were full of hope, ambition, compassion and a bit...

Dear Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy

Editor's note: Following is Katie Marentette's letter to Leo Tolstoy, for which she won the state award for the Library of Congress Letters About Literature contest. My dad adores bookstores. He could spend hours nursing a cup of coffee and...
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