Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

By Daria Anderson-Faden
The Observer 

Basket Giving Teachers Make May Day Special For First-Graders

 

Daria Anderson-Faden / The Observer

Barrett Brown and his brother, Mason, wait patiently as Barrett's teacher, Kelli Patterson, leaves a May Day basket on their porch.

May Day has made a comeback in Kimball as two Mary Lynch elementary teachers took to the streets and gave May Day baskets to their first grade students.

The baskets, well really the buckets were filled with candy, pencils, games and a variety of other gifts and activities for the young students.

Teachers, Cathy Flores and Kelli Patterson concocted their May Day surprise and then started gathering materials for the buckets, contacting parents and then planned the day long outing. Friday, May 1, Mrs. Flores and Mrs. Patterson spent the day delivering twenty-two May Day buckets to their first grade students. Most of the kids were unaware of the concept of May Day but readily accepted the springtime gift. May Day is actually an ancient festival of Spring.

Mrs. Flores and Mrs. Patterson reflected on the last couple of months of "school". There had been talk of school letting out due to the corona virus, but on Thursday, March 12 the teachers and students said their normal good-bye thinking they would have a day or two to make plans, but school was canceled on Friday, March 13 due to a snow day and then the decision was made to halt school immediately and so ended the physical contact school days.

Mrs. Flores and Mrs. Patterson decided to make the transition to on-line learning as easy as possible for the first graders. They log into a pre-selected website and are to work for 30 minutes on reading and 30 minutes on math each day.

Since March 12, the teachers have only seen their students on Zoom, yes the first graders are using Zoom. Every Saturday the two first grader teachers have a Zoom meeting with their students, usually 15-18 of them show up. All the students have internet capabilities. Knowing first graders, the teachers created games to play at their Zoom meetings, they had a scavenger hunt and also played "I Spy". Of course there is "show and tell".

The Zoom meetings are quite entertaining according to Mrs. Flores as occasionally "you just see the top of their head" they both laughed, "move the camera down." Mrs. Flores continued, "Oh and they wiggle, you forget how much they move, in the classroom they are a little less movey, but they do move, but with Zoom they wiggle."

"They have to show you everything. We have seen dogs, ducks" and then they will disappear and reappear with a stuffed animal or something else to show off to the class and teachers.

Kelli Patterson said, "It was great to see the little ones. Some weren't quite sure what to think or how to react but lots of smiles!"

Plans are in the works by Mrs. Patterson and Mrs. Flores to have a party in the summer at the park when the whole COVID-19 is over.

With just a couple of weeks of school left, the May Day buckets were a big hit and a good way to reconnect with the students in a fun way before the students return their Chromebooks at the end of the year.

 

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