The Digital Student Newspaper of Peters Elementary
Volume 5, Issue 2
Peters Elects Student Council
Students in third through fifth grade voted for Student Council officers in December. Candidates gave speeches and then students made their decisions. The new elected president is Raegan Woodlee, the vice president is A'ryia Calloway, the historian is Maggie Palmer, and the secretaries are Lindsey Kupp and James Daugherty.
"Student Council is a group of kids working together to make the school better," Mrs. Borgelt said.
Student Council is usually the people who plan when school events happen, like the canned food drive. Student Council representatives tell their class about some of the upcoming events. There will be one representative for each class. Student Council meetings will be after school in library one Wednesday a month.
Third grade representative Keira Wilson said she wanted to be in Student Council because she thought it would be fun to help the school. She said that "We write down what we should and could do!"
President Raegan Woodlee said that she wanted to be president because she wanted to be a part of the school in some way. She put on her poster "I would help the school by keeping it straight."
Raegan said she will help people if needed but does not plan to change anything at the moment. "This is a good school," she said.
Playground Changes Coming in Spring
Peters is scheduled to get a playground upgrade in the spring this year. This will be paid with money from taxes. But don't get too excited yet -- most of the changes will be made to the pea gravel that is under the playground equipment.
Union Director of Operations Dr. Robinson said that the pea gravel will probably be replaced with mulch similar to what is on the pre-k playground. Mulch is like a cushion so that kids do not hurt themselves if they fall.
When Peters was first built in 1978, the playground equipment was made out of wood and it didn't have a gravel or mulch cushion. The playground now has plastic and metal equipment because with wood, kids could get splinters easily. The playground equipment at Peters is still usable, so it does not need to be replaced, Dr. Robinson said.
The zipline toy has not been working for a long time, but it will not be fixed. "The handle fell off when a child was playing on it," Ms. Amber said. Kids were also flinging themselves off when they got to the end of the zipline. Some got hurt doing this.
"We've had requests from principals to remove the zipline toys from playgrounds," Dr. Robinson said. Eventually the entire zipline toy will be removed, but not yet because its poles are about 8 feet deep in the gravel.
Union does not buy small toys like chalk, hula hoops, jump ropes and and more. Instead, the school and the PTA do fundraisers to make money that can be used for small equipment and toys. Mrs. Weese said that some of last year's fundraiser money was spent on bags full of playground toys for every class.
Union does do simple painting on concrete like 4-square or basketball 3-point lines. Mrs. Weese encouraged Student Council to make a request for what they would like painted outside.
Take Care of Your Device
You may have noticed a lot of new technology at Union this year. Union has bought enough devices for every student in pre-k all the way through 12th grade. Students in pre-k through 2nd grade are assigned iPads and 3rd through 12th graders are assigned laptops. That means Union has to take care of more than 15,000 devices.
According to Union technology specialist Mr. Kost-Day, high schoolers are given the better quality laptops because they do more assignments on their computers. Elementary kids' laptops are not as powerful since they are only used for basic things. Some students may get touchscreen laptops, but it is completely random and not because of their class.
Mr. Kost-Day said that each device is meant to last at least five years. Students will turn in their devices over the summer, but Union will try to give the devices back to the same person next year.
Keeping up with all these devices is a tough job. "We actually track the computers with computers," Mr. Kost-Day said.
Students must take care of the devices so they do not break. Mr. Kost-Day said that the most common problem with laptops is cracked screens. Some other common problems are broken keyboards and headphones being unplugged incorrectly. He said that many students also lose their chargers. The cost to replace a cracked laptop screen is $75, a laptop charger costs $40, and an entire laptop costs $400.
"The best way to take care of your laptop is to be careful," Mr. Kost-Day said. Hold your laptop with two hands when you are carrying it. Do not leave your device on the floor or put it next to water or food. If everyone takes care of their devices well, they will last for many years and for many students.
Peters Welcomes Back Virtual Students
In January, 53 virtual students returned to Peters for the spring semester. Several teachers also returned to teaching in-person: Mrs. Brown in kindergarten, Mrs. Brunson in first grade, and Ms. Edmoundson in third grade.
There were only nine students who returned from virtual in first grade, so some in-person students had to switch classes to make a full class. Some students also switched classes in third grade.
First grader Claire Adams moved from Mrs. McDonald's class to Mrs. Brunson's class. "I liked my old class because it had all my friends and my teacher was nice," she said.
"There are some positives and some negatives about virtual," said fifth grader Shelby Finton. She said that it could be distracting at times when people turned on their microphone and had music or a TV on in the background. But a positive was that you could go into a breakout room with the teacher and get one-on-one help. Shelby said she came back to in-person because her mom had to go back to work.
Fourth grader Abby Bannister said she likes it better in person because she can talk to her friends alone and it is easier to make friends. "Seeing my friends is better than waking up and getting on a computer all day," she said.
PTA Spirit Nights Help Peters
Peters has several Spirit Nights each month. Spirit Nights are special times when a company, typically a restaurant, gives a percentage of the money they make to the school. Spirit Nights are good for Peters because the money that is raised can be used to purchase things for the school.
The more people that come to Spirit Nights, the more money the school gets. Last year PTA used some of this money to buy playground equipment, such as basketballs, soccer balls, footballs, and jump ropes for each class.
Mrs. Weese said one of the school’s goals this year is to raise enough money to fix the outside benches. The yellow rubber coating is coming off and the benches are rusting. She said she also hopes to buy more playground equipment.
Students and parents can find the dates for Spirit Nights on the Peters PTA Facebook page and also through Peach Jar, which is email that goes out to all the parents. The upcoming March Spirit Nights are:
3/17 - Panda Express at 71st & Mingo from 10:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
3/29 - Sonic at 71st & Aspen from 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
What is STAR and CRT Testing?
Students at all Union schools take CRT and STAR tests throughout the year.
CRT tests are taken by third through fifth graders three times a year in October, December, and March. CRTs are language arts and math tests that quiz students over what they have already learned.
STAR tests are taken by kindergarten through fifth graders also in October, December, and March. STAR tests are shorter than CRTs. They measure how much students know overall in math and reading.
The difference between STAR and CRTs is that CRTs test what students recently learned, but STAR tests everything they know about a subject.
Ms. Dana said that teachers use these tests to find out what students have learned and what students are ready to learn. They are also practice for state tests. She said this is why it is important for students to try their best on the tests.
EDP: Union's Extended Day Program
Have you ever noticed kids before and after school hours playing with toys in the cafeteria or playing outside or even in the gym? These kids are in EDP, which stands for Extended Day Program. EDP is for parents/guardians who need supervision for their child before and/or after school.
EDP has many activities and opportunities for students. Some of the activities are playing outside, playing in the gym, watching movies, doing crafts and having parties occasionally. Students get snacks and drinks every day. The staff helps students with homework after school.
Parents must pay for their child to attend EDP. The program is open in the morning from 6:45 to 7:15 and after school from 2:30 to 6:00. Anyone in grades pre-k through 5 can attend.
There are currently 25 students enrolled in EDP. EDP has 3 full-time and 5 part-time workers.
Meet Principal Mrs. Weese
Mrs. Weese has been principal for a total of 10 years. She started as an assistant principal at Rosa Parks. She then took a head principal role at Briarglen Elementary, where she worked for five years. Then she moved to Peters and has been principal for the past four years.
Before Mrs. Weese became a principal, she taught in a classroom for 14 years. She taught second and third grades, and was a literacy resource specialist at Angus Valley Elementary in Sand Springs for a total of seven years. She started teaching at Union at Moore Elementary in third grade, then moved to fifth grade, and worked there for a total of seven years.
Mrs. Weese said she became both a teacher and a principal because she loves the community and students.
"Being a principal is rewarding but can be difficult at times when there are many things happening and not enough time to get everything done that I want to get accomplished," she said.
Mrs. Weese said she enjoys spending time with her family. She works in her garden as a hobby. She also works with her two black lab and blue healer puppies on training skills.
Third grade teacher Mrs. Hammond said that Mrs. Weese is very kind. "I really like how she cares about both students and teachers," she said.
Meet Fifth Grade Teacher Ms. Clements
Ms. Clements replaced Mrs. Lira as a fifth grade teacher this year. Ms. Clements graduated from Oklahoma State University. She previously worked at Tulsa Public Schools, teaching fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. This is her seventh year teaching.
Ms. Clements said she became a teacher because her mom inspired her by immigrating from Korea at 18 without knowing any English and put herself in a nursing school all on her own. She said her mom always talked to her about education and how important it is.
Ms. Clements has one dog and her name is Phoebe. Ms. Clements said she loves to be outdoors, travel, cook and read.
Ms. Clements said she likes her fifth grade class this year because “they are awesome.” The thing she likes the most about teaching is seeing students have “Ah-ha” moments. Her favorite subject to teach is math because it is a universal language.
“The thing I like about Ms. Clements is her emotions when she is reading,” said fifth grader Kymbirlee Sloan.
Fifth grader Eli Boggan said, “She is kind and smart, because even if we do something wrong she stays calm.”
Meet Third Grade Teacher Mrs. Hammond
Mrs. Hammond is a third grade teacher at Peters. She graduated from Oklahoma State University in 2019. This is her second year teaching third grade.
Mrs. Hammond said she became a teacher because she always liked working with kids. She started working with kids at church and when she got older, she started babysitting.
She said that her favorite thing about being a teacher is “helping kids learn and grow, and making a difference in their life.”
Mrs. Hammond said her favorite subject is math because everybody has a different way of seeing math.
“I like how she teaches math,” said third grader Taivi Young. “She is smart and she teaches us new stuff.”
When she is not teaching, Mrs. Hammond’s hobbies are baking and exploring nature. Her favorite colors are light blue and light pink. Her favorite song is “Golden” by Harry Styles. Her favorite candy is Sour Patch Kids.
Third grader Samantha Mason said she likes having Mrs. Hammond as a teacher. “She lets us play on Prodigy and lets us have jobs like line leader,” she said.
Meet Third Grade Teacher Ms. Edmoundson
Ms. Edmoundson is one of three third grade teachers at Peters. She has been teaching for three years. Before she came to Peters, she taught first grade at Tulsa Public Schools. She went to college at Oklahoma State University.
Ms. Edmoundson said she decided to become a teacher when she was in high school. She came to Union because "I really like the district and I wanted to teach third grade."
Ms. Edmoundson taught virtual for the first half of the year. She said she likes teaching in person better because she likes seeing kids' faces.
She said her favorite part of Peters is the students. "We laugh and joke and it's not so serious," she said.
Ms. Edmoundson's favorite subject is math. "I like teaching it because it is more hands-on and there's a lot more fun activities," she said.
Her hobbies are hiking, bike riding, and listening to live music.
Many kids in her class said she is nice and fun. "She's the best teacher," third grader Viviana Luzuriaga said.
Meet Art Teacher Mrs. Arnold
Mrs. Arnold has been the art teacher at Peters for eight years. Before teaching art, she taught kindergarten and fourth grade at Peters. She also taught fifth grade at Anderson.
Unsurprisingly, she really likes to do art.
"Of course I like to do art," she said. "I'm not just someone who does a job for money. I do art because it's so relaxing to me to just stroke my brush on my paper."
She said she gets inspired by other art and what she likes. "My favorite part about art is letting kids get creative with their art," she said.
Her favorite things to do outside of art are dance and jazz. She also likes to hike, and of course she likes to spend time with family.
Mrs. Arnold recently got married. That's why her name changed from Mrs. Salinas to Mrs. Arnold.
"In my opinion Mrs. Arnold is really nice," said first grader Berkley Gwartney.
First graders Arya Storjohann and Sebastian Smit agreed. "Art is really fun," they both said.
It's Time For New Year's Resolutions
New year's resolutions are reminders and goals you set for yourself when a new year starts. For example, you would set a goal for yourself, like working out every day. Then, you try to do that every day of the year, without breaks. You cannot give up doing it, or you basically lose your goal for the new year.
The ancient Babylonians are said to be the first people to start this tradition, about 4,000 years ago.
To make a new year's resolution you need to understand why you want to reach that goal, and how you are going to reach that goal. Put it in writing, and make sure you are committed before you start.
Do you have a new years resolution? Will you make one now?
Stop Making Excuses
Just a minute ago a student in my class was caught playing games. When the teacher reminded her that was not the assignment, she said “but they're doing it too”, talking about three boys doing similar things. This is an example of trying to shift the blame and not trying to take accountability.
An excuse is an attempt to avoid blame and should not be a go-to thing. Another example of one is, “I didn’t complete the assignment because my laptop was dead and I didn’t want to charge it.”
Instead of using an excuse you should use an explanation. An explanation is a statement or account that makes something clear. For example, my teacher tripped over a box and blamed it on a student because she was doing something that distracted him, but he gave an explanation with it, too. Also if you use an explanation you are taking responsibility and the blame, you also learn from your mistakes. And an example of an explanation is “I wasn’t in the online class because there was a power outage, what assignments do I have to do”. So if you use an excuse you will get in more trouble, but if you use an explanation you still get in trouble but it’s not as bad as using an excuse.
In Favor of Homework
I believe homework is beneficial for kids.
Homework shows students that learning occurs outside of the classroom. School allows you just to raise your hand and get help. With homework, on the other hand, you’re on your own unless you have a very patient parent. Because of this, homework challenges students and helps them learn how to learn outside of the classroom.
Homework shows students how to be responsible in the real world. If a student is always turning in homework it shows that they are responsible and able to complete tasks on their own. On the other hand, if a student does not turn in the homework, they are hurting themselves in the long run as they will feel that they do not need to be responsible in the real world.
Homework helps students practice what they need to learn. If you practice a material or subject over and over it becomes much easier to use it. Sometimes you don't have enough time in class to get enough practice.
I went around and asked some 5th graders opinions on homework.
Q: what are your feelings on homework?
A: “It is a bad experience, but I think its beneficial.” -- Eli Boggan, fifth grade
A: “It’s a good thing, but ugh, it's annoying.” -- CJ Robinson, fifth grade
Then, I asked some teachers.
Q: What is your opinion on homework?
A: “I believe homework teaches independence and responsibility while reinforcing new skills learned at school. Most Importantly, it emphasizes that learning should occur everywhere, not just in the classroom." -- Mr. Bowen
A: “I think homework is good but too much is bad." -- Mr. Pearson
Why I Think Tik Tok is a Good App
Tik Tok is an app that lets users create short videos about different subjects. Douyin was the original version of Tik Tok. It was originally only released in the Chinese market in September, 2016. Later, Tik Tok was launched for iOS and Android in most companies outside of mainland China; however, on August 2, 2018 Tik Tok merged with Musical.ly (another Chinese company) and became worldwide. I think Tik Tok is a good app for people of all ages to use because it lets you create videos, its entertaining and educational, and it lets you connect with people.
The best thing about Tik Tok is it lets you be creative. Most often people make videos of dances. You can learn these dances and make your own videos how you like it. It's really fun to learn the dances. You can also make videos about your daily life. To me the most entertaining videos are the story times because you can tell a story that actually happened to you or be creative and make up your own stories. Usually they are two parts, because the limit of a video is one minute.
Tik Tok is really entertaining and educational. There are some funny videos on Tik Tok. A bunch of people make prank videos which can keep you scrolling through Tik Tok for hours. Some people make “fun fact” videos and teach you about cool things. There are cool transition videos and there are also tutorials on how to do them.
Another benefit of Tik Tok is its ability to connect people all across the globe. The videos that you make can go viral, which means that a lot of people have seen it and interacted with it. There is a follow, like, comment and share button on each video. You interact with the video by clicking those buttons. So for instance, your video can go viral if a lot of people see it on their "for you" page (it’s a page where Tik Tok finds the perfect videos for you or the most popular ones). Also on Tik Tok, you can organize protests for what you think should be talked about because there is whole community of people on the app.
Although I think Tik Tok is a good app, there are some bad things about it. You have to be careful about what you post because there are also hackers on Tik Tok just like any other app. Or you could accidentally post something embarrassing when you were young that you might later on regret. If you are worried about your privacy, you can choose to set your account to be private. That way only the people who follow you and who you follow back can see your posts. There are many more reasons why I think Tik Tok is a good app, but I hope this is enough to encourage you to install Tik Tok.
Editor's Note: You must be 13 years old to sign up for a Tik Tok account.
Snow Days Are Fun
Snow days are not like any other school day. During a snow day you can do so many fun things. Usually, you would have to wake up to a loud alarm or someone waking you up, everyone is thinking of work or school, or kids just don’t have time to play and have fun. But on snow days, everything is different.
On a weekday with school or work everyone is hung up on all they must do. People don’t always have time to spend with one another. You can do so much together if you don’t have school -- you could play board games, drink hot cocoa, or gather around the fireplace. Just doing those things could be so much fun.
With school, almost everyone has to wakeup early. You would have to wake up to an annoying alarm or have someone wake you up, get yourself out of bed, and rush to get prepared for school so you aren’t late or so you don’t miss the bus. On a snow day it all changes. The night before the snow day you can watch a family movie and stay up as long you want or you could play and do other stuff, and the next morning you don’t have to worry about waking up early, you could get as much sleep as you need without a loud alarm waking you up.
On a day with school it could be cold and windy, it could be rainy, or it could be hot. On a snow day it might look like a winter wonderland outside! You could always do a lot on a snow day. There are many ways to have fun on a snowy day. If the roads where you live freeze over, you can put on your shoes and ice skate. If it snowed enough you can build a snow man. If it didn’t snow too much you can lie in the snow and make a snow angel or have a snowball fight. You can do these things if it snows and you can have a lot of fun.
These are some of the many things you can do on snow days that make them special. I love snow days and think that they are awesome.
Editor's Note: The Paw Print staff is working on an article about Union's snow day policies. Look for it in next month's newspaper.
Video Games For All!
by Corbyn Jensen, 4th Grade
I think video games are better than no video games because they are fun, funny, and cool. Video games are fun because of the many things you can do. Video games are funny because of the costumes your character wears, the weird and crazy things that happen, and even the wacky things you do. Video games are cool because of your character and the way things look. Video games are definitely something everyone should have. What do you think?
All About the Rubik's Cube
The person who created the Rubik’s cube is Erno Rubik. The Rubik’s Cube was made in 1974. Different Types of Rubik’s Cubes are a s 2x2 Pocket Cube, the standard 3x3, the more difficult 4x4 Rubik's Revenge, and the 5x5 Professor's Cube.
If you want to learn how to solve a Rubik’s Cube you can watch a lot of tutorials on YouTube.
There are a lot of color combinations on a Rubik's Cube -- 43 quintillion, or 43,252,003,274,489,856,000! The current world record speed for solving a Rubik's Cube is held by Yusheng Du at 3.47 seconds.
There are special kinds of Rubik's Cubes built for speed. You can buy a speed cube online. Once you get ahold of your speed cube, break it in. At first, it will feel extremely fast, especially if you've been using a Rubik's brand or another speed cube. Breaking a cube in is basically solving and playing with it until it moves smoothly. Practice until you can solve the cube in under one minute -- then you can call yourself a speed cuber!
Curiosity Corner: Mosasaurs and Plesiosaurs
The mosasaur was a reptilian sea creature that lived in the late Cretaceous Period. They could be up to 63 feet in length (18 meters). They lived in the oceans of Europe and North America. They weighed 15 tons. The Cretaceous Period that they lived in was 66 million years ago.
The plesiosaur is a reptilian sea creature that lived in the early Jurassic Period during an Ice Age. It had a 13-foot long neck and could grow to 54 feet in length. It weighed more than 12 tons. It had large jaws that were around 6 feet in size, and had large teeth that were large enough to kill a megalodon. Its main diet is krill, Phytoplankton, megalodon juveniles, and smaller plesiosaurs. But its main predator is a fully grown megalodon. It had very little cartilage and many bones. It also was the mosasaur’s predator. And the last fact is that it was at the edge of extinction when the megalodon went extinct.
Letter to the Editor: Let's Do More Science!
I think we should do science differently at Peters. My problem with the way we do science is that we don’t do science every day and we only watch videos. I think we should go to the science lab and do experiments at least once a week.
Kids can do experiments which will make them more interested in science. If science is fun they will learn more and they will want to learn more. When kids get more practice in science, it will be easier to do more complicated experiments.
Science experiments let kids see what other kids’ ideas are and they can help each other. When you do science experiments you have to work together. This teaches you teamwork and lets you learn from other people.
I like science and I want kids to be interested in science.
Connor East, 3rd Grade
Letter to the Editor: Keep Eating in the Cafeteria
In my opinion, eating in the cafeteria is better than eating in your classroom.
If you want seconds you're going to have to walk all the way to the cafeteria and all the back to your classroom. You also have to walk to the cafeteria again to dump your tray when you are finished eating. If you spill food or your drink, your teacher is probably going to get mad at you.
In the classroom, most likely you won't be by your friends. When you're in the cafeteria, you sit in groups, which means you can sit with friends.
For these reasons, I think students should eat in the cafeteria.
Laila Smith, 4th Grade
Editor's Note: Some grade levels are eating lunch in their classrooms this year because there are too many students to spread out in the cafeteria.
Advice Column: Ask the Panther
I'm going to a new school next year. How do I fit in and make the right friends?
Look for people who make good choices, like people who respect their teachers and treat others kindly. Look for people who act responsibly even when no one is around. You might want to find other people who share the same interests as you. Once you find some people who you would like to get to know better, you can introduce yourself and try to start a conversation. Good luck!
Editor's Note: Send your questions to Ask the Panther by putting them in the box outside Mr. Bowen's classroom.