Deer Meadow problem spawns creative effort

Saturday, April 16, 2011
A water-damaged wall at Deer Meadow Primary School sparked a collaborative effort to turn a problem into a solution recently. Instructors Tammy Bacon (left) and Laura Brentlinger prepare the concrete for student activity.

When life hands you a lemon, the old story goes, the optimists among us make lemonade.

Well, Deer Meadow Primary School first-graders squeezed every drop of creativity out of that old adage recently after spring rains damaged one of their classrooms at the newest of Greencastle's elementaries.

The water problem caused some damage to a special books collection as well as creating a lot of work and necessitating considerable flexibility on the part of the school staff and students.

But a little poetry, a little painting and lots of perseverance later, the students and their teachers created an artifact they hope future elementary school Indiana Joneses will eventually discover.

While all the work that went into the project ultimately will be covered over by necessary repairs to the rain-damaged wall, student efforts will not go for naught, Primary Literacy Coordinator Tammy Bacon said.

"We hope that it will some day be uncovered and will act as a time capsule for future students," she said.

The creation unfolded after Deer Meadow students in a Writer's Workshop on Poetry found a spot on the water-damaged wall that "resembled a notebook," Mrs. Bacon said. She explained proudly that the youngsters have been encouraged to look at the world "through poets' eyes" as part of the ongoing literacy workshop program.

First-grader Ethan Branco, the son of Cerelly Neeley, presses his thumbprint into the budding collage.

Their resulting class poem reads:

We weren't dancing in the rain.

Water rushing down the wall,

The finished product.

Our class has to move across the hall.

The books were crying and soaking wet.

Mrs. B said, "Do not fret!"

The storm passed.


The sun is out,

It's a new day!

After students collaborated on the poem, they all signed their names on the concrete wall. Each pupil also pressed a thumbs-up in paint onto the concrete and watched the pattern collectively emerge into a spring flower.

Mrs. Bacon and first-grade teacher Laura Brentlinger co-teach the collaborative unit for an hour each day. Mrs. Scott is their instructional assistant.

"In order to turn a problem into a solution, the students worked work with us to come up with a plan," Mrs. Bacon said.

Only time will tell how much their efforts are appreciated.

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  • This the perfect example of exceptional teachers who should be rewarded outlined in the Govenors education reform bill.

    We have great teachers in Putnam county, fear not this reform. It is part of fiscal responsibility.

    -- Posted by DefiantToo on Sat, Apr 16, 2011, at 6:12 PM
  • Wonderful story, and great job. I bet the kids learned alot,

    and had fun in the process. And that my friends is what it's all about.

    -- Posted by greatful mom on Sun, Apr 17, 2011, at 11:32 AM
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