By the end of the school year, Dawn Emling’s class will know their states.
For the second year, Dawn Emling’s class, like a flock of geese, will fly through the school year together.
“I had them in the first grade, all 21 of them,” Emling said. “I had the opportunity to move to the second grade with them and I did.”
Emling is at home recovering from surgery, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t in the “control tower” manning their flights.
“Dr. (Terence) Culver wanted us to do flight themes, so last year we had an airport theme,” Emling said. “This year we will fly to the 50 states and Washington, D.C.”
Over the summer the students selected and started preparing their presentations on the state they wanted. Twenty-three states will be featured throughout the year. The children will learn airport identification codes. These codes are the learning stations. The MCO (Orlando) station is the writing station, JAX (Jacksonville) is for reading.
Emling chose Florida as the first state to learn about and to give the students ideas of what they could do in their presentations. Under the supervision of mom-volunteer Amanda McGovern, the students painted the shape of the state on canvass while they enjoyed fresh Florida orange juice -- to quote student Kennedi Cooper, “Ahhh, paradise.”
Jack Rossheim will introduce the next state, South Carolina. Jack’s parents both attended Clemson, and don’t be surprised if a famous tiger is seen walking the halls.
“I want to make the states come alive,” Emling said. “During the election, the students will fly to the nation’s capital to vote. We will set up the classroom for a mock election and invite the other students to cast their ballots.”
Actual letters will be written to the class’ pen pals in Georgia. While e-mail and online face-time will also be used to learn about Georgia and teach the Georgia students about Florida, Emling said some good, old fashioned pen pal letters would be exchanged.
Another special partnership the class has is with the Daytona Beach Airport. On the first day of school, Jay Cassens, business development and marketing director for the airport, made sure there were bags of airport goodies, from T-shirts shrunk into the shape of airplanes, to luggage tags, on the children’s desks.
Her classroom is a bit smaller than the one she had last year, but that hasn’t stopped Emling from figuring out a way to transform the area into an airplane cabin, complete with flight attendants and “in-flight” snacks.
“I want them to learn a little bit about our culture. Some of the children have never been on a plane,” Emling said.