I visited Sarah Winnemucca Elementary School and spent time with first-year teacher Muriel Zug and her first grade students. It was a real pleasure to talk to Ms. Zug about her journey to her first classroom and to learn about her desire to be a teacher and follow in her mother’s footsteps. She has done a truly amazing job with her students. The kids have the morning school routine down. They all came into the classroom, put their backpacks in their cubbies, and went to their seats for attendance, lunch count, and their daily schedule review. Then the students moved to the carpet for shared reading time. They were working on October Sky, a poem all about the activities in the month of October. Ms. Zug read the poem to the students. Next, I did echo reading with the students followed by reading the poem together. The students did a great job reading with me.
After reading, it was Center Time. The students went to groups and did activities with their sight words. The activities were cutting and sorting, weekend news writing, writing sight words, and spelling sight words with magnetic letters. The students rotated to a new activity every 15 minutes and all the kiddos were engaged and on-task during their time at each of the activities. I was able to sit with most of the students while they worked on the activities but I was especially interested in spending some time with Ella, a student I met last year, as she completed her center activities.
During this visit to Winnemucca Elementary School, I was filming for an inclusion video that I will be using at District, community, and professional presentations. Last year, I visited Winnemucca Elementary School on the first day of Kindergarten. During this visit, I met Winnemucca student and super star, Ella. Ella has been a student at Winnemucca since preschool. It was a real pleasure and joy to see Ella as a first grader, to watch her learn and grow academically and socially, and to see the supports for her at Winnemucca Elementary School. Ella has ‘personality plus’ as her mom describes it, and that is a true statement. Ella has a bubbly personality and a huge smile. She is an engaged, social first grader who also has a disability. She doesn’t let this define her or limit her. Ella, along with her family, teacher, fellow students, and support network at Winnemucca Elementary School make her education fun, meaningful, and inclusive.
My thanks to the students and staff at Winnemucca Elementary School for allowing me join Ms. Zug and her first graders, including Ella, for a great morning of reading and learning. I hope you enjoy the photos of my visit shown below.