2017-12-07 / Education

RMS fourth graders find a solution to recess problem


PROBLEM SOLVERS Shannon House’s fourth grade class at Roscommon Middle School took it upon themselves to secure fund­ing for new recess equipment recently. The students were able to purchase Hula Hoops, baseballs, basket­balls and soccer equipment, as well as Frisbees, chalk and jump ropes. The class is pictured with House and Roscommon Area Public Schools’ Parent Teacher Organization President Kate Gammicchia. (Photo by Krista Tacey-Cater) PROBLEM SOLVERS Shannon House’s fourth grade class at Roscommon Middle School took it upon themselves to secure fund­ing for new recess equipment recently. The students were able to purchase Hula Hoops, baseballs, basket­balls and soccer equipment, as well as Frisbees, chalk and jump ropes. The class is pictured with House and Roscommon Area Public Schools’ Parent Teacher Organization President Kate Gammicchia. (Photo by Krista Tacey-Cater) Instead of sitting back and do­ing nothing to solve their problem, Roscommon Middle School fourth graders took it upon themselves to obtain recess equipment.

Fourth grade teacher Shannon House said as part of a project-based learning assignment, her students were asked to identify a problem and then create a solution. The students recognized that because playground equipment is a “consumable” prod­uct and their equipment was getting old, they needed to find a way to replace those items. House said her students told her that it seemed as though their fellow classmates did not have much to play with at recess and something needed to be done.


CREATING AN OUTLINE Roscommon Middle School fourth grade teacher Shannon House writes down a draft script for her students to follow while making their “Powtoon” or animated multimedia video. The students were asked to create a video based on the script which would tell other students at RMS how the new playground equipment should be used. (Photo by Krista Tacey-Cater) CREATING AN OUTLINE Roscommon Middle School fourth grade teacher Shannon House writes down a draft script for her students to follow while making their “Powtoon” or animated multimedia video. The students were asked to create a video based on the script which would tell other students at RMS how the new playground equipment should be used. (Photo by Krista Tacey-Cater) As a team, House’s class decided to survey the entire fourth grade to find out what they wanted to play with at recess. They also shopped online to see the cost of the equip­ment.

Once they had identified the cost, the students were challenged to find a way to fund their list of playground equipment needs. With the help of Don Nester Chevrolet, Higgins Lake Landscaping and Ankle & Foot As­sociates of Northern Michigan some of the funding was covered, howev­er, they still needed additional funds. The students then looked to the Roscommon Area Public Schools Parent Teacher Organization and wrote a grant to Roscommon Coun­ty Community Foundation (RCCF). Both organizations came through with the funding needed to purchase all of the equipment.

Some of the equipment that was purchased included Hula Hoops, kickball sets, footballs, jump ropes, basketballs, baseballs, gloves, bats, Frisbees and soccer nets.

House said the project not only taught her students how to solve a problem, but also patience. She said her students were anxious while waiting to find out if their grant ap­plication was awarded by the RCCF.

With all the funding secured, the equipment was purchased and ready to be placed in the hands of eager students, but House’s class wanted to make sure the equipment would be treated with respect. In small groups, House’s students made a “Powtoon” or animated multime­dia video that would send a message to the other students that the equip­ment was theirs to play with but it needed to be treated properly. The videos were made and then sent to teachers throughout RMS to show to their students.

Over the course of the entire proj­ect, House said her students were completely immersed and showed a sense of engagement in the proj­ect. Each time they would take a break from the project, House said her students were eager to start back up with it to continue to make more progress.

Students Walker Borchers and Bryce Miller said their class was “really excited” when they found out they were going to be able to make recesses at RMS more fun for all stu­dents.

“It feels nice,” Miller said of helping his school.

Borchers said he hopes the videos that his class made to show the other students will help them understand how much work his class put into getting the equipment. He hopes that all students treat the new equipment with respect as he wants the toys to be at RMS for several years.

With their short-term goal of ob­taining small playground equipment reached, House said her students are now considering the long-term goal of getting larger equipment.

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