Pumpkin PIE Day brought together 58 fourth-grade students and their Partners In Education Friday for a day of problem-solving fun and relationship building.
“I love to engage my fourth-graders in meaningful activities,” said Elizabeth Pohl, a fourth-grade teacher at McBride Elementary School. She and Andrea Chambers, another a fourth-grade teacher, created the event with two goals in mind — to build the students problem-solving skills, as well as build the relationship between the students and PIE, the 192nd Infantry Brigade.
The pumpkin-themed activity took place in the school cafeteria and consisted of two fourth-grade classes and their teachers, parent volunteers, teacher or PIE member. Station activities included eating pumpkin pie, logic puzzles, measuring the circumference of pumpkins, calculator practice, algebra and coordinate graphing.
Each activity reinforced what the students learned during the school year and are consistent with Continuous School Improvement goals, which are based on the school’s areas that need most improvement, Pohl said.
“The teachers do a good job to keep kids engaged in their learning,” Lt. Col. Shaw Klawunder said. Klawunder manned the algebra station and said he loved visiting the school.
“The kids are always excited to have different people teach them,” he said. But Pumpkin PIE Day also allowed the 192d Infantry Brigade to become closer to the students, while the students learned. Students formed groups of around five per station, allowing the adults and elementary students to engage socially in a small group setting. “I love working with kids,” Capt. Dave Knadler said.
Knadler was in charge of the logic puzzles station. Bonds are also formed between PIE and the students by being on a first-name basis.
Using first names allows the students to connect with the PIE on a personal level, Pohl said. Bringing the students and PIE together, the students also learned important values, she said. “The purpose is to build a bridge between the Soldiers and students,” Pohl said. “The Army values that are instilled in the soldier, they are brought to the schools.”
Pohl said values such as duty and responsibility were taught to the students and she hoped to do similar activities involving PIE in the future.