Students in EPISD returned to classes energized and ready for the new semester following the winter holiday break that ended on Tuesday.
Active learning activities and exercises highlighted the day to get students back into learning mode after the two-week break. Employees returned to work on Monday.
At Crockett Elementary School, students got back into the groove of school by moving to the Cupid Shuffle during physical education class.
“We always try to plan something fun like dancing because they all get into it,” Coach Veronica Padilla said. “It’s a great way to get them active and excited about learning again.”
Kindergartener Isabella Miranda smiled with her classmates as they shuffled back and forth in the school’s auditorium.
“I feel happy because I like dancing,” Isabella said. “My favorite song is head and shoulders, knees and toes.”
Padilla tries to instill a love of physical fitness in her students, whether it is through dance or more traditional exercises.
“I always tell my kids if you’re healthy you’re always going to be happy and feeling good,” Padilla said. “Whatever we do here is going to help in the classroom.”
At Rivera Elementary School students stretched their writing muscles, sharing all the things they did on break.
“They are working on a sentence stem to write about what they got for Christmas,” teacher Dianne Wolfenbarger said. “We did a share circle this morning and talked about it as well.”
Along with their writing assignment, students took time to work on Istation, an e-learning program.
“It is one of the stations in class, and they can spend 20 to 30 minutes working there,” Wolfenbarger said. “The program keeps track of their activities and helps reinforce their reading skills.”
First-grader Mariah Zilich loves to read, anything from Eric Carle to Dr. Seuss. She also loved spending time with her family over the break but is happy to see her friends again.
“I’m excited to be back at school. I like doing fun stuff with the whole class and teacher,” Mariah said. “It is nice to see everyone because I missed them.”
Armendariz Middle School students missed their friends, too. Clusters of students gathered at tables during lunch, laughing and catching up with each other.
“I was ready to see my friends and to get back to studying,” seventh-grader Julian Galvan said. “My favorite class is art. I love drawing the things around me.”
The break allowed sixth-grade student Alexis Campos to visit her grandma and attend her younger sister’s baptism. Once school started today, her focus turned to learning the difference between compounds and mixtures.
“I really liked spending time with my family,” Campos said. “I am excited to be back though. I am ready to learn.”