Lifesaving Lessons at Kinawa

Kinawa students had the opportunity to learn First Aid and CPR skills this year as part of a special exploratory class. Teacher Sheree Jungwirth is a licensed CPR instructor who created the class to allow 5th and 6th graders the opportunity to learn valuable lifesaving skills, including CPR and the use of an AED (Automated […]

world map on bulletin board, blue background

Traveling the World Through Books

by Leanne Kent “Books are the windows to the wide world around you”, reads the large black lettering on the library wall at Okemos Public Montessori (OPM). Librarian Sally Langley has flung open those windows and is taking students on a journey around the world. For the 2017-2018 school year, all OPM students are traveling, […]

Teacher showing students scientific equipment in OHS classroom

Electrophysiology: Active Learning at OHS

OHS biology teachers now have specialized equipment to give their students an active learning experience in the study of neuroscience. OHS teacher Colleen Palmer requested an OEF grant to purchase three Human to Human Electrophysiology devices, equipment which allows users to see (and feel) how the human brain transmits messages through our neurons. Our brains […]

Adult holding snake in Kinawa classroom with students observing

Exploring Michigan Native Snakes

Kinawa students had an up-close and personal experience with Michigan snakes in David Pruden’s Outdoor exploratory class. Jim McGrath from Nature Discovery in Williamston brought several species of native snakes. He talked about their life cycle and impact on the ecosystem, while also sharing interesting snake facts and dispelling common myths. Students had the chance […]

Boy standing next to Tower Garden in Chippewa classroom

Learning about Plant Life with a Tower Garden

There is a tower of growing herbs and vegetable plants in Chippewa teacher Tarrah Miller’s classroom. The 6 ft tall indoor growing system both complements the grade-level science curriculum and provides an interesting focus for student observations about plant life. 7th grader Daniel Reid has taken a special interest in the project, even staying after […]

OHS English teacher Amy Huntley and OHS graduate Katie Slivensky, each holding the books they authored, in the OHS library

Okemos graduate shares her journey as an author

Class of 2003 graduate Katie Slivensky returned to Okemos September 27-28 to share her middle-reader novel The Countdown Conspiracy. Katie, a scientist with the Museum of Science in Boston, shared her path to becoming a writer with OHS students in a special writers’ workshop. She also visited with students at both Kinawa and Hiawatha (where […]

Kinawa 'History of Rock and Roll' class which features ukulele playing

Teaching Music History with Ukuleles

Okemos music teacher Erika Bridge received an Okemos Education Foundation grant in fall 2016 to purchase 30 ukuleles for her “History of Rock and Roll” exploratory class at Kinawa 5/6 School. This class, which Bridge developed herself, studies the emergence of the Rock and Roll movement from the 1950’s to today. By examining the popular […]

students crowd around owl pellet

Exploring Owl Pellets

Ever wonder what an owl eats? The 3rd and 4th grade students at Okemos Public Montessori at Central can tell you. They dissected owl pellets as part of a science unit on animal structure this winter. Owls consume their prey whole, then regurgitate a mass of indigestible parts. These hard, dry pellets can be pulled […]

Student thank you for KidBlog grant

Blogging: powerful and fun learning for 5th grade writers

In the fall of 2016, Kinawa teacher Laura Kampf requested an OEF grant to purchase an online subscription to KidBlog for every 5th grade language arts classroom. This child-focused blogging program gives Kinawa teachers a new and fun way to help Okemos students hone their writing skills. As Kinawa teacher Joan Ferguson explains, “Although many […]

Teacher Ivy Schmidt with students

LEGO StoryStarters – 2015 OEF Grant

LEGOs, the colorful plastic building bricks that kids assemble into amazing masterpieces, can be found in most homes of elementary-aged children. Now LEGOs are being used in one Okemos classroom to help students create imaginative stories and learn about the writing process through an innovative program called LEGO StoryStarters.Bennett Woods 3rd grade teacher Ivy Schmidt […]