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Show and tell still popular with Luverne students

Lead Summary
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Mavis Fodness

An age-old activity is a much sought-after student reward at Luverne Elementary School.
Show and tell is an activity where children bring items to school and describe them to their classmates.
For third-grade teacher Dana Wolf, the students know show and tell is conducted the last Friday of the month.
“It provides a time in our busy schedule to focus on other important life lessons, like being a good listener and being respectful,” she said. “I let the children choose if they would like to bring something to share.”
At one recent show and tell event, student Haidyn Oye shared her new 10-month-old Australian shepherd puppy, Dakota, with her classmates.
The young dog eagerly greeted each student, sharing friendly licks.
For Deb Hoogendoorn, her fourth-graders have shared special medals, trophies, stuffed animals and family pictures.
By far the most popular show-and-tell items are the family pets.
“I love how students are given the chance to see, pet, and even hold animals that they have never seen before,” Hoogendoorn said. “You can just see the joy on their faces.”
Smiles and laughter were prevalent recently when fourth-grader Nathaneal Hernandez brought his hamster named Darby to school for show-and-tell.
Each of his classmates took turns holding Darby and watched the hamster roll around the floor in her exercise ball.
Excited about showing their items, it’s the telling where students practice public speaking skills, one of the state standards for fourth-graders.
The activity also creates a connected and caring environment in the classroom.
“It is great to get to know all aspects of their lives, not just how they do academically in my room,” Hoogendoorn said. “Students feel the same way.”
Regular show and tell events take place in the kindergarten through third-grade classrooms. In fourth-grade, students seek out the activity.
Hoogendoorn said each day a student could earn reward points called Cardinal Cards.
Throughout the week, students are given the cards for academic achievements, acts of kindness and respectful behaviors.
The names of students who earned Cardinal Cards are placed in a drawing, and they are able to “win” a time to bring an item for show and tell the following week.
“This is a highly sought-after prize as students are able to share a part of their lives that other students may not always see,” Hoogendoorn said.
Show and tell also has a positive effect on the children.
Students who are normally quiet are able to step into the spotlight as they explain their show and tell item.
For energetic students, show and tell calms them as they talk about a familiar object in front of their peers.
Either way, show and tell continues in classrooms for another simple reason.
“Seeing smiles on my students’ faces from the cute animals that are brought in is the best,” Hoogendoorn said. “Who wouldn’t want to spread that joy?”

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