Bannockburn Christian Academy - Austin Texas Private School

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Archive for January, 2016

Finding Poetry

I discovered poetry in the fourth grade when a student teacher, fresh from college, bravely undertook the task of leading nine year olds through the poems that are always included in the anthologies of best loved poems. At that time, it was hard to imagine anyone loving them. I don’t remember the teacher’s name, but, she had long brown hair, silver hoop earrings, and a patchwork skirt. She smiled… a lot. Our class teacher, Mrs. Stern, whose name tells you all you need to know about her, had admonished us to listen, behave, and learn something. Then, she excused herself and left the student teacher to her fate. I would like to say that it was at that moment I learned to love poetry, but like many love affairs, poetry and I did not hit it off at first. I came away from that experience with an understanding that not all poems need to rhyme and with a wish that I had a pair of silver hoop earrings and a patchwork skirt.

However, some of that experience must have made a significant impression, because in the 5th grade it was such a feeling of revelation when I discovered the humorous poems of Shel Silverstein. I was completely enamored by “Where the Sidewalk Ends” and began to write my own poems. I remember particularly enjoying pairing words and names. For example, Wyatt Earp and burp. Much can be written on the subject of a burping gunslinger. By middle school, I expressed my teen angst in a journal filled with poems that owed much of their inspiration to song lyrics and boys I liked. My poetry may not have been great, it may not have been original, but it made me feel both great and original to compose it. Once all of my teen moodiness had found a home on the page, I was a gentler and kinder daughter, sister, and friend.

Today, I enjoy reading, discussing, and, sharing poems with my students, and still occasionally writing them. I love to tell my students that poetry is everywhere. It can be found in a drop of rain that falls from the eaves, or in the song of a cricket. It certainly can’t be contained in a single form, or follow one particular set of rules. Even the Bible is full of poetry, in particular, the books of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon. Poetry can also be found in the New Testament. Mary and Zechariah’s songs of praise from the book of Luke come to mind, and the Beatitudes are as beautifully worded as any poem. We talk about the power of poetry to paint a picture with words, to capture a moment, or to give expression to pain and joy.

One of the pleasures of our after school poetry club has been watching students develop their own love for poetry while experimenting with its different forms. I also relish those opportunities to share poems that I think they will connect with and love as much as I do, or listening as they read aloud a special favorite of their own.
Poetry club resumes during the 2nd session. I hope your 3rd, 4th or 5th grader will join us!

Melissa McDaniel, 3rd Grade

BCA’s Physical Education Program

1 Corinthians 6:19 – Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God. You do not belong to yourself for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

 PE

At Bannockburn, PE class is a time for fun and exercise!  At each stage of development, students learn to understand movement and the importance of physical activity for enjoyment, health, and social interaction. 

Pre-K and Kindergarten

In pre-K and kindergarten, students focus on locomotor skills (running, jumping, hopping) and non-locomotor skills (bending, stretching, twisting) as well as general spatial awareness.  Students advance in their ability to operate in their own personal space with greater body control through teamwork and physical activities.  It is exciting to watch students at this stage become increasingly aware of their strength, endurance, and flexibility!

1 – 2 Grade

In 1st and 2nd grade, students are more engaged with eye/hand/foot coordination and begin learning vocabulary and function of specific skills for each activity (games, sports, etc.) through focused learning and practice.  The concept of developing a lifestyle of physical activity and healthy eating has been introduced to students as well.  While 1st grade students are developing greater body control, 2nd grade students are gaining more mature form in locomotive skills. 

3 – 5 grade

In 3rd through 5th grade classes, based on the foundation of fully understanding locomotor and non-locomotor skills, students develop mature body management and balance with greater strength, endurance, and flexibility.  As students learn more about what it means to have Christ-like teamwork and sportsmanship, they have doors opened for them to enter into the world of complicated activities, dynamic games, and competitive sports.  At this level, students gain further understanding of safety and proper technique during physical exercise allowing them to develop fitness goals and exercise hobbies. 

In the end, students in PE at Bannockburn are able to safely run, play and enjoy as they develop physical knowledge and ability!

Shanshan Rothlisberger, Physical Education Director

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