Wild rumpus rules field day | VailDaily.com
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Wild rumpus rules field day

Scott N. Miller
Shane Macomber/Vail DailyJet Quealy, 8, and Mason Daniels, 8, run the wild things two-headed race Thursday during the Edwards Elementary Field Day.
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EDWARDS – Roaring, teeth-gnashing and eye-rolling are hard to find in the Big Book of Appropriate Elementary School Behavior. But Thursday, the kids at Edwards Elementary School were roaring, gnashing and rolling their way to a wild rumpus, indeed.The teachers and kids at Edwards made something special out of their field day, a rite of spring as old as antsy kids looking at blue skies instead of their books.For this year’s field day, gym teacher Laura Malone threw a little reading into the mix. Using advice from a Web site she often visits, Malone decided to base this year’s field day activities on author/illustrator Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s book, “Where the Wild Things Are.”

The book is the story of Max, a bad boy sent to bed without his supper who then sails on his dreams to an island of wild monsters. Every kid in the school, from preschool to fifth grade, read the book over the course of about a week. School librarian Jackie Hijmans and music teacher Ava Skavarka helped decorate props based on the book, and kids were encouraged to dress as either Max of their favorite monster.On Thursday morning, the fifth graders read the book to the rest of the students at a morning assembly. Then the fifth graders went back to class – they’d had their field day at a track meet earlier this spring – and the younger kids hit the field.As music blared, teachers and parent volunteers lined up the kids for a host of wild activities.

One station was “rolled their terrible eyes,” which involved kids chasing ping-pong balls with squirt bottles. At the “showed their terrible claws” station, kids pulled off one shoe, then picked up marbles and plastic bugs.Just about the favorite of the events was “Max’s magic trick” in which kids got to chew bubble gum, another thing usually frowned upon during a normal school day.First grader Jacob Amaya was one of the kids having a ball during the morning session. A bit shy, Amaya nodded when asked if he liked the book.

“I liked when they rolled their terrible eyes and gnashed their terrible teeth,” he said.A lot of the boys seemed to like the more monstrous behavior, but second grader Michael Hancock had a different favorite. “I like the wild rumpus,” he said.Parents were having a fine time, too. “This is a great idea. It gives a little meaning to the day,” said Karen Howe, the mother of a pair of students at Edwards.”This is bringing back memories of when I read the book when I was a kid,” added Meg Sierant, who also has a pair of kids at Edwards.

With end of school looming, most of the kids aren’t thinking much about their summer reading. But first grader Devin Noriega said he knows one book he wants.”I want to read this again,” he said.

Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 613, or smiller@vaildaily.com.Vail Daily, Vail Colorado


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