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Étude Elementary Blog

March 31, 2021
by: Ted Hamm

Flags of Resilience

As you look down 9th St. at Étude Middle School, you will see something a bit different flying from our flag pole. Flying just under the American flag are flags our students created in partnership with the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. The flags represent resilience. Or, I should say the flags represent what our students view as resilience. 

At the start of our Holocaust unit this year our students studied not only the history of World War 1, World War 2, and the Holocaust through historical, economic, and cultural lenses, they also looked at it through the lens of resilience. As an Entry Event to the project, our Étude Middle School Social Studies classes partnered with the John Michael Kohler Arts Center to look at resilience through a visual arts lens. An Entry Event is a way for our students and staff to kick off a project through a mini-project. It typically encapsulates the main theme of a project and allows students to look at that main theme through a lens that relates to themselves. It is an engaging way for students to connect to the main theme in a personal and deep way. That engagement carries through the rest of the project. In this case, it allowed students to connect with characters in historical books who brought to life the issues of the times. 

Through this Entry Event, students were asked to think about their resilience and answer questions such as How do you get back up when life knocks you down? Where does your resilience come from? Students were then asked to think of symbols and images that represent these sources of resilience and create a design on a flag. The project was done in partnership with artist Christine Wong Yap (www.ChristineWongYap.com). Christine has this to say about Flags of Resilience, “We organized online flag design workshops… In the workshops, participants shared everyday coping strategies and examples of finding meaning in adversity… Together these flags represent beloved family members, friends, and pets; coping strategies; and learned skills to reduce anxiety and stress. Strengths like these help individuals and communities endure adversities from the interpersonal level of relationships to the social level of the uncertainty and isolation of a once-in-a-century pandemic.”

The first flag is Emma Hovannisyan’s flag (pictured). In the flag, Emma uses an eye and the color green as key symbols. The eye represents all of the things she has witnessed and experienced. The green represents anxiety and mental health along with rebirth, prosperity, and progress. Emma wants people “to see this flag and be able to connect it to their own personal experiences… as a reminder that broadening our minds will help us understand others so we can all grow as people”. We will use our social media pages to provide updates on the various flags and their meanings. 

As students have closed out their project on the history of World War 1, World War 2, and the Holocaust, students have used this Entry Event to connect their own experiences with resilience with the stories from the historical fiction they have read, along with the holocaust survivor they met while through the Illinois Holocaust Museum. This personal connection builds stronger engagement and deeper learning. 

So, please take a walk or drive down 9th St and see the work that captures the resilience of our students.


March 24, 2021
by: Janet Weyandt

Building Real Community in the Virtual Classroom

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When the nation shut down last year and students and teachers were abruptly prevented from being in classrooms together, it was a serious blow on every level – to teachers’ workload and planning, to students’ socialization and education progress and a thousand other ways.

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February 16, 2021
by: Special Contribution to the Étude Group

Etude Group Receives New Charter for 5-year Contract

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Etude Group has been awarded its fourth charter with the Sheboygan Area School District, which means the elementary, middle and high schools can continue meeting and exceeding their goals for another five years.

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November 6, 2020
by: Janet Weyandt

Mindfulness Builds Resilience at Étude Elementary

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After lunch at Étude Elementary School, the students come back into the building, pick their favorite spot to sit or lie down and then spend a few minutes breathing, thinking and paying attention to how they feel.

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May 30, 2020
by: Janet Weyandt

Wilderness Wednesday takes learning into the great outdoors

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In the beginning, Wilderness Wednesday at Etude was simply a way for teacher Ali McKeone to get herself and her first graders outside and enjoy a little fresh air.

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April 22, 2020
by: Janet Weyandt

Teachers bring new ‘Mindset’ to math class after workshop

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If there’s one thing that’s become more important than ever in education over the last month, it’s flexibility. Teachers have initiated online learning on the fly, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and students and parents have risen to the challenge.

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September 3, 2019
by: Ted Hamm

First Day of School

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IMG 2332 2 This is my view of the first day of school. Quiet hallways, empty classrooms; not a teacher or student in sight. But, wait! It is the first day of school! The first day and two weeks are an important part of Étude. We use it to intentionally establish our community and culture for the school year. Today is all about culture, building a safe culture.

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March 9, 2019
by: Ted Hamm

Sheboygan Makerspace

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Image result for city of sheboygan

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September 11, 2018
by: Ted Hamm

National Arts Education Week: A Look at Dance

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Our school is fortunate to be one of the only schools in the area that offers dance as a content area taught during the normal school day. We teach dance Kindergarten through grade 12 and use dance/movement as an art form that used to communicate ideas, as well as, a tool for calming students through our yoga and Movement and Learning work. As people become more sedentary in general, it is important that we find ways throughout a students’ school career to remind them of the powerful impact of movement.

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September 10, 2018
by: Ted Hamm

National Arts in Education Week: The Arts at Étude

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As I write this blog, I am surrounded by the sounds of students creating music, the sight of students creating their own dances, and drama students working through their own scripts and improv pieces. At first look, it is a bit chaotic, but after further observation, it is productive chaos. Each student is engaged in doing something; not tacitly learning, but involved in thoughtful dialogue with other students and teachers. The arts inherently do this. The arts engage a child in a holistic approach to learning unlike other subjects. This is why the arts are core to what we do at the schools of the Étude Group. As we kick off National Arts Education Week[https://www.americansforthearts.org/sites/default/files/images/2015/by_program/networks-and-councils/arts_education_network/BILLS-111hconres275enr.pdf] I want to use this week to share with you the transformative impact the arts have played within our schools.

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