TONYA HARRISON: Coyote Corner
What is Happening at G.T. Norman?G.T. Norman Elementary is a busy place. Students arrive and teachers begin their day of educating the young minds in our community. Math, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies, pack the day, along with Physical Education, and the all-important lunch and recess. However, the business of education involves activities and projects that go beyond what happens in the classroom. The health and well-being of our students is critical. All students at G.T. Norman are provided with a free breakfast each morning. Students receive hearing and vision screening three times, during their tenure year at Norman. A school dentist also comes to the school two times each school year. Students at Norman also receive daily Physical Education. Our goal is to assist parents in keeping their children healthy. Healthy students have a greater ability to be successful in the classroom. G. T. Norman teachers are also interested in keeping students motivated through different learning activities. Teachers volunteer their time to offer six different Family Nights throughout the school year. Staff members create games and activities focused on different curriculum areas, including Math, Health, Reading, Arts, and Fitness. Families may come in for a free dinner and students leave with a collection of academic goodies and a book. A new project underway is the After School Reading Club. Two new groups have been created for Kindergarten to second grade and third to fifth grade. Students receive a snack and then report to reading groups, where they participate in Reader’s Theater and other reading activities. The groups meet twice a month, and the project runs through teacher volunteered time. Our goal is to foster the love of reading in our children. G.T. Norman Elementary is fortunate to house one of the ASD, or Autism Spectrum Disorder, rooms for the ISD. The students are mainstreamed into the general education classroom. However, the learning goes beyond what the student with ASD can learn academically . Our students learn about tolerance, learning styles, and how to view the world through new experiences. Over 30 students from the fourth and fifth grades, plus the students from the ASD program, participate in a Peer to Peer Learning Group. The students meet weekly to play games, learn about social skills, and talk about how to accept and treat other people. It is an opportunity for growth and learning that goes beyond the traditional curriculum. Students and staff arrive for learning and school at 7:55 each morning, in preparation for a busy day. Curriculum is taught throughout the day, kids go to gym and recess, and teachers leave with papers to grade each night. However, the learning and activities offered to our students extend beyond the normal school day thanks to the teachers and staff of G.T. Norman Elementary.