One of the highlights for Herkimer Elementary School students on their first day of school was their specials: art, library, music and physical education.
In art class with teacher Heather WheelerStapf, third graders worked on drawings that will be submitted through Square 1 Art for the students to receive free stickers of their artwork.
“It’s a fun thing to start off with,” WheelerStapf said. “I take the opportunity to integrate a lot of art vocabulary into the lesson, and then I kind of build off of that.”
The first day of school on Thursday, Sept. 7, at Herkimer Elementary School was filled with the excitement of a new school year, learning with classroom teachers and – for most students – the familiarity of returning to specials.
The Herkimer Elementary School specials teachers are WheelerStapf, library media specialist Jennifer Olds, library licensed teaching assistant Sarah Eastwood, instrumental music teacher Aaron Decker, vocal music teacher William Pegg, physical education teacher Kory Lewandrowski, physical education teacher Joe Schneider and physical education teacher Kevin Thomas.
During one period on Thursday, Sept. 7, first grade classes were split among library, music and physical education.
In the library, Olds spoke to students, read books to them and let them visit one of several stations: books, puzzles, a train table, coloring or a new station called “mindful moment” with calming items for students to play with.
“This is a good place to kind of relax,” Olds said.
In music, Pegg went over the class rules and spoke about some of opportunities students would have during class including playing with instruments and earning prizes through good behavior. Then, he said a comment any student would like to hear.
“We’re going to play a game today,” Pegg said. “Two games.”
Students then played games to help them break the ice and get to know each other better.
In physical education with Thomas and Lewandrowski, first graders heard about the plans for the year, started off by showing their dance moves during a song and played a game of “Nice to Meet You Tag,” during which you get frozen if you are tagged and can only get unfrozen if someone shakes your hand and you introduce yourself to each other. In following rounds, introductions turned to other topics such as what students did over the summer.
During their own introduction to the class, Thomas and Lewandrowski spoke about how physical education can be a class that students really enjoy.
“Obviously, we are your PE teachers,” Thomas said, “and we love to have fun.”
Herkimer Central School District third graders participate in art class with art teacher Heather WheelerStapf during the first day of school on Thursday, Sept. 7:
Herkimer Central School District first graders participate in library class with library media specialist Jennifer Olds during the first day of school on Thursday, Sept. 7:
Herkimer Central School District first graders participate in music class with vocal music teacher William Pegg during the first day of school on Thursday, Sept. 7:
Herkimer Central School District first graders participate in physical education class with PE teachers Kory Lewandrowski and Kevin Thomas during the first day of school on Thursday, Sept. 7: