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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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home : education : nicolet college
June 20, 2019

11/10/2017 7:29:00 AM
Pelican families are unique

Mike Cheslock
Community Education Coordinator

As part of a school-wide effort to raise cultural awareness, families at Pelican Elementary School were asked to discuss with their children their unique cultural traditions and heritages at home. At parent-teacher conferences, families were given a "suitcase" to write their family name and the country in which their ancestors originated. As children began to compare their family heritages with others, they began to realize their families may have different traditions and these differences are fine and should be celebrated. This exposure to cultural traditions that may not be like their own, in particular, encourages acceptance and students begin to see, even within their own school, everyone's family is unique.

"We didn't all come over on the same ship, but we are all in the same boat." - Bernard Baruch

RHS German Club Snowfall Contest

The Rhinelander High School German Club has introduced its first snowfall contest "Heinrich's German Adventure!" For a cost of $5, contestants are able to pick the date between Nov. 15 and Jan. 15 that its resident garden gnome, Heinrich Hodag, will be covered in snow.

Heinrich is 12" tall and will be located on the WJFW Weather Deck, where the official total will be tracked. A total of $120 in prizes will be distributed, $40 at each of three ticket purchase locations including Trig's in Rhinelander, Hodag Pump and Pantry, and Press Express. Whichever date is closest at each of these businesses will win the $40 for that location. For more information, contact

Behavior Booster: Bus Expectations

At Pelican Elementary School, the staff believes in the importance of explicitly teaching students correct behavior for situations and locations both inside and outside of school. The teaching of those behaviors through Behavior Booster Skits is new to Pelican this year. Each month, based on the previous month's data, staff members perform a skit focusing on an area of behavioral need. In the month of October, staff reenacted the behavior area of bus expectations. With the help of Larry the bus driver, staff demonstrated incorrect behaviors such as physical and verbal aggression, eating and drinking on the bus, and sitting incorrectly on the seats. Students enjoyed finding all the incorrect behaviors and advising the correct behavior. Staff then did a do-over and demonstrated correct behavior on the bus. The skit was recorded and uploaded to YouTube and will serve as a resource for staff and parents to review correct bus behavior as needed. You can find the video at:

Potency of Poetry

ArtStart recently contacted James Williams Middle School (JWMS) eighth- grade English teacher Kristin Higgins asking if she wanted to write a grant to get American Players Theatre actor David Daniel to work with her classes. The grant was through the Hodag Schools Foundation.

Daniel's workshop focuses on Shakespearean language. One of his lessons this week was themed "What is poetry?"

The students are working on determining the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings. Also, they are analyzing the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts. They are also analyzing how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision.

The purposes of the program are: (1) to share American Players Theatre's (APT) deep enthusiasm for the language, and to help students appreciate its potency, vividness and immediate relevance to their own experiences; (2) to encourage students' confidence in approaching challenging language; and (3) to provide teacher and students access to a unique program that directly complements their lesson plans.

Beginning with the idea that words, like recipes, have been handed down over the years, students explore how to find the recipe for existing words. Guided by an APT teaching artist, students get up out of their desks to uncover and explore the clues - context, ingredients (the prefix, suffix, and root) - inherent in a word. From this base, APT PoP residencies take students on a thoughtful and thrilling journey: new words to new ideas to new worlds.

The PoP residencies are extremely interactive and can be thought of as performances in and of themselves. As the APT Education Director is fond of saying, "we believe learning can be a full-body experience. The key to Shakespeare, as a dramatic poet, is language. The key for students to understand the language is to experience it ... physically. It's not just about a teaching artist saying it or performing it; but for the student, to hear it and to feel it. The reason for theater, the reason for an education program around Shakespeare and these kinds of plays, is that they communicate the human condition in a way that no one else can. This is what we believe. But convincing students of this requires a strategic approach."

From the APT Education Director, "With our workshops and residencies, it is not enough - is in fact counter-productive -to just stand up front and explain that Shakespeare is good and good for you. We never say that. The linchpin of what we do is to tap into what they already know, into the spark of what they are already doing, and then reveal them to what Shakespeare has done. By leading them to discover Shakespeare on their own, by showing them the glimmers of richness in how they communicate with each other every day, they start to become interested in how they are doing it. They discover that they are already using simile, metaphor, assonance, alliteration. And then we lead it back to Shakespeare."

This tangible approach, linking their world, their problems, their desires to the problems, and desires of Shakespeare's world, leads directly to the discovery that reading, writing, and expressing with language can open worlds.

Public invited to 47th annual Veterans Day Ceremony at James Williams Middle School

James Williams Middle School (JWMS) will be hosting the 47th annual Veterans Day Ceremony on Friday, Nov. 10, beginning at 8:30 a.m. and concluding by 10 a.m. JWMS would like to extend a welcoming invitation to the general public.

This year's program will feature various speakers, and music will be provided by the JWMS music department.

The program plan will include participation by several veterans organizations, the local National Guard, time given to honor our past war veterans, and student participation both in words and songs. Students, staff and community members will share time to celebrate this great country we live in and those that have given service to the USA.

Local veterans, their families and the public are invited to attend this annual community observance, which will last approximately one hour.

School staff and students hope you will consider this invitation and that you have the time to attend. Furthermore, a brief social time will be held after the ceremony.

If you need additional information please contact the JWMS office at 715-365-9220.

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