Principal’s Corner: Some ‘reel’ life experience for Halverson students

Published 6:15 pm Friday, May 10, 2019

Principal’s Corner by Tonya Franks

Tonya Franks


Spring in Minnesota is always an adventure. Baseball enthusiasts wonder what each new day will bring as the weather throws us curve balls. No matter the weather — each phase has its own way of contributing. What once was a land of snow and ice is now vibrant with the colors of spring. With spring comes the thoughts of outdoor activities and, in turn, as children are winding down the school year, their thoughts are filled with how they will fill those summer days. A fantastic outdoor recreational activity may be fishing.

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The Governor’s Fishing Opener has been kicking off summer fishing and recreation for 72 years in Minnesota; this year the event is in Albert Lea. As part of the Governor’s Fishing Opener, Halverson fifth graders had the opportunity to participate in Kids Education Day. Students participated in education stations throughout the day. First, students explored topics such as enviroscape, water quality and dredging at the Shellrock River Watershed station. The Department of Natural Resources also provided two learning stations for students — DNR fisheries had a live fish display station, while DNR outreach taught students about the food chain. Finally, students learned how to rig and cast prior to spending the afternoon fishing on Fountain Lake.

The educational standards that are taught in our classrooms come to life during this event, providing students with an experience to see their learning in action and how it applies to the real world.  To prepare for Kids Education Day, fifth grade teachers Anna Wescott, Nicole Chesney and Rachel Lankford  have taught students about:

• Habitats: Students designed a habitat for a living organism that meets its need for food, air and water.

• Fishing rules/regulations and water safety: Students determined and learned how to use appropriate safety procedures and tools.

• Conservation: Students compared the impact of individual decisions on natural systems. Students also gave examples of beneficial and harmful human interaction with natural systems.

• Water cycle: Students identified where water collects on Earth, including atmosphere, ground and surface water, and described how water moves through the Earth system using the processes of evaporation, condensation and precipitation.

• Erosion: Students explained how slow processes, such as water erosion, form features of the Earth’s surface.

• Food chains: Students described the roles and relationships among producers, consumers and decomposers in changing energy from one form to another in a food web within an ecosystem.

• Fish species: Students investigated how an invasive species changes an ecosystem. Students described a water habitat in Minnesota, in terms of the relationships among its living and nonliving parts, as well as inputs and outputs.

Halverson is thankful for the chance to explore fishing as a recreational activity. No matter the weather this spring, this will be an event to remember for our students.

Tonya Franks is the principal of Halverson Elementary School.