As the 2018-19 school year concluded, the Pawnee Panthers marked the success of a schoolwide effort and bid farewell to new friends from overseas.
Recently, students at the school celebrated their collaborative efforts at a fall jog-a-thon. In October, all students ran laps as part of a school fundraiser. Families sponsored their student runners and students in each grade spent 20 minutes running and walking laps at the school.
Student participation was celebrated with a variety of rewards this May. Students enjoyed everything from breakfast to a bounce house. The final reward has become a tradition at the school. Students were invited to toss water balloons and pies at Justin Green, Pawnee Principal.
This year, Pawnee had a special guest for student Carter Patterson who serves on the Pawnee Leadership Team. Dr. Mike Fulton, Superintendent of the Shawnee Mission School District also joined the celebration
Pen Pal Sign-Off
Throughout the year, students in Rachel Cherry’s third-grade class have been corresponding with students in Vallorcine, France. Cherry helped connect the students through a family member who is serving as an English-language teacher in France.
Throughout the year, students in both locations have been sending letters and videos to one another. The project helped the students in both locations develop letter-writing and speaking skills, as well as practice in reading, writing, and listening. Each student was connected with his or her own pen pal over the course of the year. In the letters, the students wrote to one another about their families, hobbies and interests, and their school experience.
“I think my students will remember the giddy anticipation they felt preceding every letter and video,” Cherry said. “They were incredibly excited to receive and read their letters.”
The pen pal exercises exercise also inspired several cross-curricular lessons, Cherry said. She and the students intentionally read about French culture and history. During a classroom unit on weather they tracked weather in France and compared it to weather in Overland Park.
“The students had a connecting experience that made these lessons meaningful.”