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Inside the Classroom: Music, STEAM, and more

Throughout the academic year, we at The Crossroads will be providing updates about what area students are learning. In other words, we’ll take the public “Inside the Classroom” from outside the school. Kicking off this week’s coverage, The Chronicle overviews four classes: one at ECI, a second at SHS, a third at SPS, and, finally, one at DEA.

In late August, Emanuel County Institute’s band director, Ashley Akridge, led her class in a music study. Sixth grade students under her direction put on their detective hats to solve clues using the treble and bass clef. Those students then used the notes to decode words that would lead to their next clue. In the end, they were able to successfully decode all the clues and solve the mystery of the treble and bass clef.

Also in late August, students in Amanda Freeman’s class at Swainsboro High completed a murder mystery lab as part of their science class. In this activity, students learned how macromolecules can be used to solve a murder. The group tested “vomit” at the crime scene to see what foods the victim may have eaten, and they looked at DNA left behind by the victim, “killer,” and another person at the scene. In closing, students had to analyze the data collected from everyone who attended the party where the murder took place.

Swainsboro Primary School, dating back to mid-August, had a plethora of studies to report. For starters, four teachers’ classes combined for an outdoor “out of the box” alphabet matching activity. Kindergarten students called on an age-old game of “I Spy” to learn certain letters, and numerous classes read “How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World” by Marjorie Priceman, then followed up that read with baking activities that paired well with vocabulary learning. On September 2, some of Swainsboro Primary’s “little scholars” in Amanda Rigdon’s class used STEM activities to learn about the night sky; specifically, they made constellations using pretzels and marshmallows, then crafted spaceships with blocks to “travel to space” to see their constellation.

Also on September 2, Swainsboro Primary joined in a K-2 read aoud/STEM Zoom meeting through Magnolia Midlands GYSTC. They read a book entitled “Not a Box,” discussed problem-solving and engineering, and were presented with a challenge that required them to turn a box from home into “not a box” using their imaginations.

Rounding out this week’s “Inside the Classroom” is a STEM report from David Emanuel Academy. Ashlei Boatright serves as the school’s STEM, music, and creative arts teacher. On September 2, she and her class read “Three Bily Goats Gruff,” a Norwegian fairytale written by Peter Christen Asbjornsen. Boatright then had her class build a bridge using cups, toilet paper rolls, construction paper, and other like supplies that would support the three goats and keep them safe from the troll, all of which were characters in the narrative.

Check back next week to see what else Emanuel students are learning about, and, as always, teachers—if you have something about your class you’d like published, send an email to

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