See below with information about activities at Vernfield Elementary.
- First in Math
- Just Say No
- Math Olympiads
- Peer Mediators
- Planet Keepers
- Reading Olympics Club
- Safety Patrol
- School Play
- Student Council
The band program begins with like-instrument lessons groups (e.g. flute with flute, trombone with trombone, etc.) and is open to students in grades four and five who have an interest in studying a band instrument. The instruments offered for study are: flute, oboe, clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, trumpet, French horn, trombone, baritone, and percussion. Students receive one small group lesson once every week, in most cases with other students who play the same instrument, and one band rehearsal with all of the band members in the school once every week. These lessons are scheduled on a rotating system so that children do not miss the same time of day every week. Throughout the year students learn proper instrument performance techniques, as well as how to read printed music. Students are invited to join the large, mixed instrument group (concert band) when they have achieved the benchmark that appropriately prepares them to understand and perform the music used for concert performances. There is typically one performance in the winter and one in the spring. If your child participates in band, you will receive more information about the performances from the band director. Information will include location and time of the concerts, meeting place for performers, and proper concert attire.
In addition to the band program, there is an elementary honors band program. See Honors Band.
Chorus is open to all fourth and fifth grade students. There is NO audition process. We encourage all of our students to be a part of this fun and challenging ensemble! Rehearsals are scheduled into the school day with students having one rehearsal every week. Students are expected to perform in the winter and spring concerts. If your child participates in chorus, you will receive more information about the performances from the choral director. Information will include location and time of the concerts, meeting place for performers, and proper concert attire.
There are many things that we work on during our chorus rehearsals besides just learning correct tones and rhythms. We work on extending the range of our voices and how to use the proper muscles to provide support for singing. We learn how to pronounce our words so that the audience can understand them. We work on getting the correct tempo (speed) of the music that we perform, the correct dynamics (levels of loud and soft), and the correct style of the piece. We prepare a variety of music that touches on many different styles, time periods, and cultures. We teach many facets of music performance and have a lot of fun in the process!
First in Math is offered to all third grade students regardless of their mathematical ability. Funded by a one year grant from SAEF, the students received a one year membership and two additional laptops for the third grade. Students are provided with a membership card and passcode to a math Web site. This membership allows them to access the game from any Internet connection site. Based on the 24 Game, students practice math facts and operations at their individual level. They earn electronic stickers, which are reported individually and as a team. Students compete to be in the Top Five or Player of the Day.
The Just Say No club at the elementary level is offered to intermediate elementary students. During their time together the students memorize pledges, participate in activities (such as service projects), and view programs to enhance their excitement about life. The underlying message is "JUST SAY NO" to alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
"3 Steps to Say No"
- Figure out if what your friend wants is O.K.
- If it's wrong, say No.
- Suggest other things to do instead.
"Just Say No" Pledge
I pledge to lead a drug-free life.
I want to be healthy and happy.
I will say No to alcohol.
I will say No to tobacco.
I will say No to illegal drugs.
I will help my friends say No.
I pledge to stand up for what I know is right.
~ 1989 "Just Say No" International
This club meets most Wednesdays after school from October thru March. We call this club Math O.K., which stands for Math Olympiad Kids. Fourth and fifth grade students who are invited to join this club must have an enthusiasm and talent for mathematics. Students will practice many problem-solving strategies to solve a variety of very challenging problems. We work on important mathematical concepts through the sharing of individual creativity and ingenuity, and direct instruction. This national program has five monthly contests, and provides top achievers with pins and trophies at the end of the program in March.
Fourth and fifth grade students who sign up for the Orchestra Program will gain experience playing an orchestral string instrument (violin, viola, cello, or bass). To play in the orchestra for the Winter and Spring Concerts, students must pass the beginning benchmark from their lesson book as indicated by their teacher. All orchestra students receive one 30-minute small-group lesson per week and attend one 40-minute orchestral rehearsal with the entire group. Throughout the year, students learn progressive technical and musical techniques and develop skills for group playing and performance. Students participate in both the Winter and Spring Concerts. Exceptional elementary string students who pass the required benchmark are invited to participate in the SASD Elementary Honors Orchestra.
Vernfield's fifth grade students are members of a club called "Planet Keepers". They participate in ongoing activities that take place during the school year. Under the title of Planet Keepers, students participate in activities such as a "Trash to Treasure" recycling project, reading and discussing environmental literature, visiting the Philadelphia Zoo to learn about endangered animals, researching current environmental issues, and fundraising for local environmental causes. In past years Planet Keepers have collected shoes to donate to a variety of organizations such as Soles for Souls and even raised money by making bracelets to support local animal shelters.
Vernfield 4th and 5th graders participate in the Montgomery County Reading Olympics competition. The Reading Olympics program encourages students of all reading levels to share the excitement of reading books with their friends and culminates in a competition between districts. Beginning in November, students meet with a team before or after school to discuss books they have read from a selected list of 45 books. Students develop team camaraderie as they develop a team name, and encourage each other to meet team-reading goals. We hold a mock competition at Vernfield in which teams compete to answer questions about the books they have read throughout the year. Teamwork is emphasized. We then meet with teams from other Montgomery County school districts. Ribbons are awarded to all teams based upon the total number of correct answers the team supplied during three rounds of questioning. This collaborative celebration of reading will tentatively take place on the evening of April 26th at Indian Valley Middle School.
Student council at Vernfield Elementary School is a representative group of students, elected by their peers, from the third, fourth and fifth grade classes. Each class has two representatives who attend 8:00a.m., monthly meetings, beginning at the end of September. At the meetings students discuss and vote on school Spirit Days and Service Projects. Teacher advisors facilitate the program.
Monthly meetings offer a time for new ideas to be shared and discussed. To include the entire school population of K-5, each third, fourth and fifth grade representative is assigned a kindergarten, first or second grade classroom to visit. Information from the monthly meeting is shared and the younger students are encouraged to share their ideas for Spirit Days and Service Projects.
The Student Council has participated in a wide variety of service projects throughout the past two years. Some of these projects included: Unicef change collection, IVOC Food Pantry canned goods collection, Adopt a Family through the Pottstown Salvation Army, Children’s Hospital DVD and video tape collection, Tsunami Relief, and Courageous Hearts Lollipop sales.
Through this experience students learn the workings of a representative democracy and the importance of being of service to others.