California Educator

February / March 2019

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 47 of 71

N O , T H I S I S N ' T Little House on the P rairie; it's third- graders at Dena Boer Elementary School in Salida going back in time to fully comprehend pioneer and Native Amer- ican life in the 1850s. It happens every May. "Their whole world changes," says teacher Lenora Ger- ber, who started the tradition over two decades ago in this rural community near Modesto. "It's a great way to end the school year." Gerber and fellow third-grade teachers Lori Hall and Michelle Kwietkauski, all members of the Salida Teachers Association, take the "Wagons Ho — Pioneer Days and the West We Go!" project seriously, and so do the children. Lights are off to simulate life without electricity. Paper, pencil and computer are replaced with slate and chalk. Students learn to weave cloth and Native American bas- kets, churn butter, make strawberry jam and ice cream, and bake pretzels. Boys sit on one side of the room and girls on the other. PIONEER DAYS Salida students have a blast from the past By Sherry Posnick-Goodwin Photos by Scott Buschman he girls wear braids, bonnets and long dresses. The boys sport suspenders and caps. Students share their "readers" with classmates. During recess they pitch pennies and play jacks and pick-up-sticks. At PE, they square-dance. T Third-graders at Dena Boer Elementary in Salida take their slates and chalk outside for a math lesson as in the pioneer days of the 1850s. 46 Teaching & Learning

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of California Educator - February / March 2019