Learning gets loud for elementary students

  • Blackburn Elementary students give their best rockstar performances during the recent Rock Your School Day.
    Blackburn Elementary students give their best rockstar performances during the recent Rock Your School Day.

Elementary schools in the county turned up the volume on academic rigor recently during the annual Rock Your School Day.
Students, teachers, and staff at Long Branch and Blackburn were decked out in their favorite Rock & Roll inspired outfits, while the hallways and classrooms were adorned with all types of musical decorations.
Classroom teachers incorporated music and fun themes into their lessons to make it a day to remember.
It's a national initiative designed to promote student engagement and academic rigor, said Long Branch Elementary Principal Jane Mullinax.
"We are trying to make it a fun and exciting day, " she said.
Mullinax added that doing events like this also helps to encourage student attendance, which increases as a result.
On this special day, teachers are encouraged to challenge students with their most rigorous lessons at the upper end of the academic standards.
At Blackburn, teachers planned fun, innovative activities, said Principal Betsy Green
For example, Kindergarten "rocked" the five senses with rotating groups.
And first grade "rocked" the fairy tales with lessons that included a guest princess reader, Green said.
Fourth grade teacher Karen Woody said they found subjects and predicates and types of sentences in rock song lyrics.
"Fourth grade learned about Elvis, The Beatles, and history of rock through reading skills," she said.
In math they practiced place value and four math operations using fuzzy dice.
Blackburn third graders in Melissa Bynum's class played rounds of "Musical Math" in which students danced to rock & roll music and had to solve a 3-digit subtraction problem to get the right answer when the music stopped.
At Long Branch, some of the parents even dressed up when they came to drop off their students, said Mullinax.
There was even a special visit from Elvis (school resource officer Nick Parrish).
And of course, Physical Education class turned into a dance party for students and teachers alike.
In the end, Rock Your School day was able to shine a bright spotlight on academic success while allowing everyone to feel like a rockstar for a day.