Saturday, June 23, 2018
Education

100th day of school was cause for celebration at Challenger K-8

SPRING HILL — First-graders are small and youthful. But something about them was different Jan. 30 at Challenger K-8 School of Science and Mathematics. Something was not quite right. They looked, well, old — really old.

"It's the 100th day of school," said first-grade teacher Laura Holmes, "so that's what we asked our kids to do, is dress like they're 100 today."

And many of them did. They hobbled around on canes and walkers. They wore glasses and hats or had graying hair pulled back into buns.

"Everything is about 100 today," Holmes said.

In first-grade teacher Bonnie Brockhoff's classroom, students were having what she called a "working lunch." The children were eating pizza while counting and graphing the 100 items topping the picture pizzas each student had.

Besides sneaking math into the 100-day theme, Brockhoff's and first-grade teacher Brittney Gariepy's classes rewrote the poem 100 Animals by Karen Fenstermaker into 100 Migrating Animals and 100 Hibernating Animals.

The activity added language arts and science lessons into the mix. The poems included facts about habitats, use of adjectives and writing conventions, which Brockhoff explained are "everything that makes a clear, stretched sentence to paint a great picture in the mind of the reader."

Meanwhile, kindergarteners had been busy celebrating the 100th day of school in their own way, and that was on display in the school's mall area.

"Each student has to count out any item that they want and display it in a creative way," said kindergarten teacher Jessica Nicolai.

And they certainly were creative. There were poster boards with 100 cotton balls, pieces of macaroni, paper snowflakes, ink thumbprints, dried beans, photos and stickers.

There was a rocket made of pennies, a birthday cake made from lollipops and a colored cereal loops necklace. Children used jelly beans, balloons, crayons, Legos and Goldfish crackers to create their 100-day art.

There were other activities as well.

Nicolai said students were asked to write their names as many times as possible in 100 seconds; they exercised for 100 seconds; they were quiet for 100 seconds (a teacher favorite), and they went around their classrooms looking for 100 words they could read.

They also practiced math by manipulating Skittles candies into 10 sets of ten, five sets of 20, four sets of 25 and two sets of 50.

The 100th day of school is something to celebrate, Brockhoff explained, because "students are more than halfway through to their next grade level."

Comments
First step for Hillsborough schools facing biggest challenges: Hire more teachers

First step for Hillsborough schools facing biggest challenges: Hire more teachers

TAMPA — As chief of diversity for the Hillsborough County School District, Minerva Spanner-Morrow tries to keep her expectations realistic."We want the best of the best and I know that’s very difficult," she told principals last week as they prepared...
Published: 06/23/18
Hernando school officials set to discuss replacement, sever ties after firing Superintendent Lori Romano

Hernando school officials set to discuss replacement, sever ties after firing Superintendent Lori Romano

BROOKSVILLE — With dust still settling from the Hernando County School Board’s close vote to fire Superintendent Lori Romano — and days before her time as head of the district runs out — school officials and community members seem to be already movin...
Published: 06/20/18
Hernando students score slightly better on state tests

Hernando students score slightly better on state tests

BROOKSVILLE — As schools and districts across the state await their 2018 grades from the Florida Department of Education, the standardized test scores that factor into those ratings and were dropped last week show slight gains in Hernando County.The ...
Published: 06/20/18
Budget analysis projects deficit, deepened by security costs, for Pasco schools in coming year

Budget analysis projects deficit, deepened by security costs, for Pasco schools in coming year

An early analysis of the Pasco County School District’s 2018-2019 budget projects a deficit of more than a million dollars, with more than half of that coming from a shortfall in funding new school safety requirements.Costs to hire and train 53 new s...
Published: 06/20/18
New dorm still coming to USF St. Petersburg, but in a smaller package

New dorm still coming to USF St. Petersburg, but in a smaller package

ST. PETERSBURG — Originally pitched as a nine- or 10-story, 550-bed dorm for the overcrowded University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus, USF’s latest residence hall project will likely look much different by the time it’s done.For starters, it...
Published: 06/20/18
Carlton: From Sun Dome to Beer Stadium: Don’t let suds scare you

Carlton: From Sun Dome to Beer Stadium: Don’t let suds scare you

Am I missing something in the — pardon the expression — brouhaha over the renaming of the University of South Florida Sun Dome to the Yuengling Center? In trading a college arena’s longtime name for that of a big-name beer brewed ne...
Published: 06/20/18

Hillsborough school district will pursue two kinds of local taxes

TAMPA — Hillsborough County School District officials took an important step Tuesday toward asking the voters to pay higher taxes for schools that, they say, are not getting enough money from the state.The board voted 5-0 to submit a tax referendum r...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/20/18
STEM camp beats the summer doldrums for some Pasco students

STEM camp beats the summer doldrums for some Pasco students

DADE CITY —Just a few weeks into summer vacation, Pasco Middle School student Jade Neal, 14, was back at school, delving into a challenging STEM activity on force in motion, as the theme to Mission Impossible played in the background.The assignment? ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/21/18
Ethan Hooper steps up with a salute to teachers

Ethan Hooper steps up with a salute to teachers

Editor’s note: Ethan Hooper wrote today’s column to give Ernest Hooper Father’s Day off.In May, I graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in elementary education, and I recently secured a job as a first-grade teacher with Orang...
Published: 06/18/18
AP World History course is dropping thousands of years of human events - and critics are furious

AP World History course is dropping thousands of years of human events - and critics are furious

Since 2002, the AP World History course has covered thousands of years of human activity around the planet, starting 10,000 years back. But now the College Board, which owns the Advanced Placement program, wants to cut out most of that history and st...
Published: 06/16/18