Education roundup: Lab experiences take China Grove Middle learning to new heights

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 12, 2023

CHINA GROVE — Students in the China Grove Middle School classrooms of Joshua Welch and Allyson Neves have enjoyed some engaging lab experiences this year.

Welch introduced the strawberry DNA lab to his seventh graders, who had a chance to see the fruit on an anatomical level. Welch indicated that he picked this fruit because strawberries carry eight copies of each chromosome, giving the students an excellent chance of seeing at least one.

In quarter two of the year, his class learned about genetics. As Welch put it, the students learned what makes them “them.”

According to Welch, while the study of genetics does make predicting outcomes more accurate, nothing can ever be certain.

Meanwhile, Neves leads a club where students interested in the medical field learn about possible careers while also learning about the human body through virtual reality, X-rays, and dissection.

One way Neves showcased anatomy to the students was by dissecting squids. Since the club is called Operation, the students were able to operate to see major organs and help build an understanding of anatomy and body systems.

Through the dissection, the class examined how the creatures breathe, pump blood, swim, eat and digest food.

Good morning Knollwood parents, have some coffee

SALISBURY — Knollwood Elementary School recently hosted parents for a coffee hour. The program that started last October is becoming a recurring way to host parents at the school.

During the event, parents rotated through four 15-minute sessions focused on different topics.

Parents learned how to navigate the school website to find information on school menus, calendars, PowerSchool access, school announcements, and more from Meredith Barbour, Instructional Technology Facilitator.

“It’s important for us as a school to reach out to our families and make connections,” Barbour said. “We want them to have the tools to help them and their students succeed in school.”

Taylor Jarvis, the data manager, talked to parents about the importance of regular attendance. Jenna Wilson, the school guidance counselor, talked to parents about her role and strategies for helping their students succeed. The last station was with Lead Reading Coach Betsy Farmer on the importance of parents reading with their students.

Other speakers included Erin Moody, prevention and education coordinator/forensic interviewer, and Ariella Sanchez, the family advocate who served as interpreter, from the Terrie Hess Child Advocacy Center of Rowan County. The center is under the umbrella of Prevent Child Abuse Rowan (PCAR). Prevent Child Abuse Rowan (PCAR) and Terrie Hess Child Advocacy Center began as a grassroots organization following the first Child Abuse Prevention Walk held in late 1997.

Moody and Sanchez spoke to parents about how and why they must talk to their children about keeping them safe online. They went into various topics about safety on social media, like not sending out pictures to anyone or being friends with strangers. They emphasized the importance of monitoring their students when they are online.

Knollwood Elementary School will continue hosting the events in 2023 to keep parents informed and offer them help and assistance with issues they may face with their children. Parents have enjoyed and appreciated these opportunities offered by the school.

Spurring future creativity

SALISBURY — New art is on display in the media center at Koontz Elementary School, thanks to pre-K students.

“Our students love to do artwork, and every Friday, we do Fun Friday,” said Heather Zablocki, Koontz Elementary Title One preschool teacher. “We choose to have them paint on cardboard. We told them to be creative and use their imagination.”

Zablocki and her assistant, Nichole Steadman, acknowledged how important it is to encourage creativity in students, even at such a young age.

“Artistic expression and dictation help the students with their learning down the road because it leads to writing words, using their imagination, and enjoying learning through this type of expression,” Zablocki said. “I hope that this will, down the road, create students that love learning and writing.”

The students were given washable acrylic paint and a brush for every color with which to create.

“Our students are not at the stage to write their own stories, so their artwork is their story,” Zablocki said. “When they finish their work, we ask them to tell us about what they made, and we dictate for them.”

According to the teachers, the students were excited to have their work shown for the whole school to view and hear what their older peers thought of their hard work.