Social Studies Night at Putnam

Putnam Elementary staff, with support from our PTO and some community members, will be having a social studies night on Feb. 27. This will be an opportunity for Putnam students and families to participate and enjoy activities, demonstrations and see some displays together. Over the past several years, most of our family nights have focused on literacy and math. The staff members decided to change the focus for this year, and help the students see and experience some of the changes from the past to the present.

The evening will include displays of older technology, gadgets and toys. Children will be able to explore and guess what each item is and its use or name. Depending on the weather, we hope to have some old vehicles on display at the entrance of the school. A group of Katooga Dancers will be in full costume and are scheduled to perform their native dances in our gymnasium. A photo booth will be available for families to stop in and snap their own pictures to save for memories.

Our staff has prepared six different sessions for families to participate in and enjoy. Each of these will last approximately 20 minutes to allow everyone enough time to get to three sessions coupled with the other activities and displays. Many staff members along with some community help will be leading the following:

Session One is an automobile assembly line led by Pam Stephanik and Jessica Smith. This team of first-grade teachers will help students and families understand and participate in a fully operational assembly line. Beginning with a short video, actually building candy cars, and discussing quality control, is the agenda for this session.

Session Two will focus on the Evolution of Dance, and will be led by Lisa Gardner and Brittnany Schaad. This team of teachers will be stepping outside their normal instructional areas of third, fourth and fifth grades, to help participants learn a variety of dances from the past and present. This will undoubtedly be energetic and entertaining at the same time.

Session Three is a mix of second-grade teachers Melissa LeVelle and Donna Kubisiak. They will be leading the kneading of bread and churning up the butter with our families. It is quite possible for this duo to stir up some trouble along with the rest of the ingredients.

Session Four will be led by Emily Diehl and Jennifer Simmons, having combined expertise in speech and language and social studies and language arts. This team will help participants see and understand the evolution of hornbooks to dry erase boards, while they experience writing on the two different surfaces.

Session Five will have Putnam’s own librarian, Beth Bauerbach and her brother, Scott Moore working together. Antique farm equipment will be displayed and discussed to show just how far technology of farming has come over time. Sibling rivalries may be another appropriate topic for this farming family.

Session Six is the last team made up of our own art teacher, Megan Lankford and local historian, Glenna Hoff. This artistic team will lead the experience of writing with quills and ink pens that help us appreciate the simple improvements that we probably take for granted. Demonstrations and opportunities for everyone to try their hand in calligraphy will help individuals to develop an interest in it and an appreciation for neat writing.

Each child that registers in advance, will receive a book to take home, entitled “Now and Then.” All of the books were purchased by our wonderful Putnam PTO, which has and continues to provide so much for our staff and students. Our PTO officers are: Lisa Barth-President, Lori Young-VP, Holly Menzel-Treasurer, and Beth Bauerbach-Secretary.

This evening has been created by an awesome staff, with the help of members from our community and support from our PTO.

Scott Kratche is principal at Putnam Elementary School.