1+1 Giveaway – Shelly Carlson

RAPID CITY, S.D. – For Pinedale Elementary third grade teacher Shelly Carlson, teaching her students doesn’t just involve regular classroom instruction.

11 Shelly Carlson Of Pinedale Elementary SchoolA few days out of the school week, Carlson takes out what she refers to as “Brain Boxes.” Inside the boxes are games and activities such as board games, magnet kits, and tangrams.

Games that she explains help students to build social skills, especially after a long year of online class sessions.

“We’re so grateful for our computers and our screen time, but I’m also grateful to get away from that for a bit and just kind of go back to basics of board games, and playing with each other, and looking at each other,” Carlson explained. “Knowing what it’s like to miss a turn and knowing what it’s like to win and all those good things.”

And for 10 to 15 minutes of their class day, she encourages her students to build, create, and even play without instruction.

“The brain is best working when it is in that kind of high state of engagement, but low risk,” she said. “And these bins really provide a chance to create in that kind of brain state, and so I’m just hoping that it really sets their brain to be in the right place for the rest of the day.”

Many of the games and activities, she says, once belonged to her kids.

Something she looks forward to upgrading thanks to her $500 grant.

“They love everything that’s in there so far, but to be able to buy new Lego’s, different Picasso tiles, and things like that? They’re really going to be excited,” Carlson stated.

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Categories: 1+1 Giveaway, Local News