A Silent and Active Science Class at SPC

We want to wish Stony Plain Central’s current health champion, Charity Erickson, well as she welcomes her new baby into the world.  Charity has passed the health champion torch onto teacher, Miranda Niebergall–a Grade 3/4 teacher.

From Miranda’s Desk:

“I am super excited to be taking on the Health Champion role at SPC. I am a new teacher who really tries to push the envelope and try new things. SPC is a happening place right now. We have significant staff changes last year, and I believe that the staff we have on board right now is looking to make SPC an even stronger learning community. The health and well-being of staff and students is a huge focus for next year! We are hoping to catapult SPC to the top of the PSD Healthy Schools list!  I am on my own personal health and wellness journey and I ultimately hope to inspire my colleagues. I was always an athlete, but when I took on the role of “Mom” I suddenly put the needs of myself behind the needs of my two children. When I turned thirty this year, I decided that I had to find a balance of my needs and the needs of my family. Because I was not taking care of myself, I was, in a way, not taking care of my family. I am now rowing 3 times a week and walking every evening with my husband. And I might add that my house has never been cleaner and the laundry baskets less empty! I have so much energy now that I am more conscious of my physical and mental well being! This has trickled into my classroom and I have noticed a huge change in my students as well! It is not that I am adding something more to my plate as a teacher, I am just changing the way I am teaching:) I am looking at all of the ways to tie in health and wellness into what I am already doing.

One example of how I’ve recently integrated this new way of thinking comes from a recent science class.  My grade 3’s are studying hearing and sound. Rather than brainstorming sounds from our desks, we took to the streets of Stony Plain. Students were given a clipboard, piece of paper and a pencil to record all the sounds that they heard while we were on our 45 min. walk. They were also asked to walk in complete silence…no talking! They all complied except when we were stopped by a lovely old lady who engaged in quite the conversation with the students about what we doing on Main Street. They were so excited to tell her what we were doing!

After returning to the school from our walk, students were then asked to plot their recorded sounds on two continuum tables–pitch and decibel level. This is absolutely something that we could have done from within the classroom, but I wanted to incorporate some physical activity into my lesson and thought that this would be a fantastic way to give both myself and my students a body break WHILE we were still learning!

After sharing with the students that we’d walked for an entire 45 minutes, my student Connor said, “Mrs. N, that was so much fun! I can’t believe that we just walked that long….it felt like we were gone for like 5 minutes.”

I look forward to sharing more of what I’m learning in my personal and professional life about health and wellness with my students.

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