The fourth graders at Green Valley Elementary School definitely know their Virginia history!
On Tuesday, April 3, the fourth grade class performed their program ‘Sing to Know Virginia Studies,’ which will help them with their Virginia Studies SOL test, coming up on May 23. Martha Rouelle of Northern Virginia created the songs, and music teacher Mary Lou Hagen, with the help of fourth grade teacher Beth Stanley, tailored the program to meet the needs of Green Valley’s students.
Since its inception in 2006, the “Sing to Know Virginia Studies” program has really helped the fourth graders at Green Valley to learn the objectives for their SOL test. In fact, the students started out at an 80 percent pass rate for the SOL; now, they’ve reached a 100 percent pass rate. Needless to say, Hagen and Stanley are thrilled.
The songs are introduced to the students in Hagen’s music classes each year, and the students continue to sing the songs in their Virginia Studies classes every day.
“The costumes are amazing,” says Hagen. “And we don’t spend money on them–the costume base is donated. Ponza Atkinson gets the costumes for a lot of the students.”
With costumes taken care of by Atkinson, music handled by Hagen and choreography by Stanley, the program really comes together, but ‘Sing to Know Virginia Studies’ is about so much more than just the program.
“We have very few behavior problems in social studies class because there’s an outlet of movement,” says Stanley. “We try to hit every style of learner [with the program].”
Because the program makes learning Virginia studies so interactive and fun, the kids love it. According to Hagen and Stanley, there is almost 100 percent attendance at the program.
“Kids are just smiling and having fun,” says Hagen, “and that’s what it’s all about.”