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Working together for a fantastic show

Top: Third-grade students sing in unison during a performance of their grade-wide production about teamwork. Above: Cathy Denault (center), music teacher at BRE, leads third grade students through songs during the parent performance of the recent third grade show.

Students at Buffalo Ridge Elementary (BRE) recently continued a favorite school tradition: the third grade show. All three third grade classes participated together to create a performance of song, dance, movements and art to showcase their skills and camaraderie. This year’s theme for the 30-minute production was teamwork.

Students worked closely with art, music and physical education teachers to create their performance. Music teacher Cathy Denault said, “The kids had four weeks in music class to learn the music, practice speaking parts, audition for solos, and create riser choreography.”

In physical education class, students had three weeks to practice and prepare for the show. They spent a week trying out and choosing a specific part for the performance. The choices included diabolos (Chinese yo-yos), gymnastics, balance boards, pogo balls, jump rope, balance feathers, hula hooping and juggling.

PE teacher Kelli Weinreich was impressed with the student’s creativity and determination. “Watching them problem solve and create some amazing routines with just a little guidance was amazing,” she said. “To see them take ownership of their learning and focus on what they enjoyed and what they thought would look amazing in the show, with their song, words, and tempo of the music was incredible.”

Art teacher Tim Ryckman guided the creation of a mural the students collectively constructed. In preparation for the show, they colored and assembled a massive mural from 108 individual pieces of art. The kids put each section together as a team to make an entire image of several little yellow minions working together.

Ryckman and the third grade students noticed how their art impacted the whole school. Ryckman said he and the students started noticing that kids all around the school left the show singing songs and drawing minions. He added that his 17-year-old daughter sang We’re All in This Together. “The show gave us the opportunity to talk about the incredibly special impact the arts have on our school, our community and the world,” said Ryckman.

Third-grade students had two performances – one for an all-school assembly and another for parents and families in the evening. Both shows were a success. Fellow students cheered and clapped through the entire assembly.

The third graders loved performing for their peers and families. Denault explained the students’ reactions on performance day when she said, “They were so excited they could barely see straight! The school assembly was fantastic, and our BRE kids were so impressed by the 3rd graders. The day after the show, the kids were so happy but also so sad at the same time because it was over, and because they wanted to perform again and again.”

By Celeste McNeil; photos courtesy of Tim Ryckman



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