On the day after current Head of Upper School Kristy Lundstrom was announced as the next Head of School for Mount Vernon, she began to build relationships across all four divisions with a visit to Grade 2.
Over the past month, these students have been exploring the question, how might we have healthy minds and bodies during an inquiry based learning (IBL) project called Healthy Me. Throughout this project, they focused on having healthy minds and bodies, taking care of their mental health, and how they can incorporate daily movement into their routines.
During the unit, students participated in identity work, celebrating “the best parts of me.” They learned that healthy choices, movement, and exercise can look different for everyone. When diving deeper into having a healthy body, they even discovered more about their muscles, skeleton, organs, and body systems.
When focusing on mental health, they thought deeply about emotions, and explored how they can name and manage emotions to help keep their bodies and minds calm. Led by Grade 2 Learning Coach and Health Expert Sarah Bristow, the students learned more about their five senses, participated in guided meditation, and learned how important sleep is to their bodies.
Sarah shared of the project, “Starting the school year with the Healthy Me IBL Unit in Second Grade has truly set the tone for the year. These young learners are so engaged with taking care of themselves and feel empowered to make healthy decisions that work for them. Learning that health is more than just the fruits and vegetables on your plate is an important way to set the children up for success.”
The culminating activity in their IBL was creating a Healthy Mind Platter. Each area on a Healthy Mind Platter shows a daily essential activity needed for optimal health – sleep time, physical time, focus time, time-in, downtime, playtime, and connecting time. The Grade 2 students in Ms. Goodell’s class were finishing up their platters when Kristy came to visit their class.
What these young Mustangs didn’t know was that when she first came to Mount Vernon, Kristy incorporated a monthly Coffee with Kristy initiative, where Upper School parents were invited to come meet her, ask their questions, and talk together for 30 minutes.
At one of the first Coffee with Kristys this year, she introduced a Healthy Mind Platter to the parents in attendance. Together, they talked about discovering, documenting, and demonstrating an understanding of time and what “balance” can look like. They wondered together how they might incorporate a Healthy Mind Platter into their family routines at home.
Learning that she had incorporated this same idea and learning with parents of our oldest Mustangs showed the Grade 2 students the importance of what they were learning, that these were skills they would be able to take with them to be well in the years to come.
In the video conversation with Dr. Brett Jacobsen, Kristy shared, “I believe we strengthen each other, that we multiply the strengths of each other.” As she prepares to transition into the role of Head of School for the next year, she is excited to be in the classrooms more, across all four divisions, continuing to build strong relationships with Mount Vernon students, teachers, and families.