Steamboat Springs Middle School sixth-grader Daria Standish reads in Spanish a description of the things that could be found in her ideal school Wednesday in Julie Warnke's Spanish class. Daria completed "The Ideal School" project with classmates Kursten Keeler and Hannah Thvedt.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Steamboat Springs Middle School sixth-grader Daria Standish reads in Spanish a description of the things that could be found in her ideal school Wednesday in Julie Warnke's Spanish class. Daria completed "The Ideal School" project with classmates Kursten Keeler and Hannah Thvedt.

Middle school students practice Spanish

Students describe ideal school for class project

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— The perfect school for sixth-grader Norma Techarukpong looks like a page from Willy Wonka's world. Entering the classroom, the doors are made from Pixy Stix. The teacher's desk is fashioned from Kit Kat bars and a student couch is made from two packages of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

This is Norma's world, and she also has decided that the teachers will dance all the time and textbooks will be created from Bazooka bubblegum comics. The students will take their normal courses, but will also have an additional class to learn the history of candy.

Norma's creation is the result of a lesson in Julie Warnke's Spanish class this week. After Norma finished a Spanish-language presentation to her classmates, she said she wasn't sure what students would do all day in a room filled with sweets.

"I guess they'll eat a lot of candy," she said.

Señora Warnke, as she is known to her students, has been teaching Spanish classes for nine years in Steamboat Springs and recently made the transition from Steamboat's high school to the middle school. As she did that, she said she wanted to incorporate more hands-on activities such as the diorama building the students have been working on for the past week. Each student, working alone or in groups, had to prepare a miniature version of their ideal school.

Keagan Scronek, working with Katie Brodie and Harper Mattox, decided they wanted an all-soccer school, complete with soccer balls in the classrooms and soccer math questions on the miniature blackboard.

During their presentation, the girls had to demonstrate their knowledge of school vocabulary to describe what makes their school special.

"Using hands-on projects with middle-schoolers is great," Warnke said.

And it gave Charlie Schmidt the chance to come up with his ideal classroom accessory - el Jacuzzi.

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