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Monday, 25 November 2013

Starring: Angie Malley

Far-out Teacher Angie Malley still smiles when parents of her kindergarten students tell stories about how the children continue to care for their pet rocks at home, many days after the class's unique 70th Day celebration. This year, Malley's students at Poplarville (Mississippi) Lower Elementary marked the seventieth day of school with a 1970s-themed event.

"Our state curriculum requires that students be exposed to diverse people, culture, and changing environments," Malley told Education World. "To help meet those goals, our school had special celebrations for the 50th day and the 100th day. With 50 days in between those two events, I decided to groove it up a little and celebrate the 70th day of school too. I shared the idea with other members of my team, and they joined in." Malley's kindergarten class is filled with active learners, and she strongly believes that their learning experiences should be fun. She uses special events like 70th Day as incentives, and finds that student participation is higher when they have those occasions to look forward to. After all, who wouldn't be motivated by the prospect of dancing to "YMCA," the 1978 tune by the Village People?

"I researched different inventions and toys from this era," shared Malley. "While wearing tie-dyed shirts, my students rotated through centers that included dancing, making pet rocks, playing the game of Twister, playing with Hot Wheels, and face painting. We talked about how times have changed; however, the students quickly realized that reading, writing, and other school subjects were important then and now."
The event was so much fun that students never noticed they were learning and practicing essential stills. Their excellent behavior is just one reason that Malley says 70th Day is here to stay -- the kids really "dig" it!


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