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Groundhog Day
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Mrs. Alford's first-graders at Lorraine Elementary School celebrated Groundhog's Day with a great learning adventure, the best sort. Three teams picked a "substitute shadow", traced and cut out his actual figure. Their observational skills came to play as teams developed a list of clues about their "substitute shadow." As they were writing the clues for the other team members to guess, their capitalization, spelling and punctuation prowess was on display. Then, teams presented the cut-outs and clues, and a great deal of restraint was required from blurting out the substitute shadows' identities. That exercise was a warm-up to what was to come. Retired RCPS teacher, classroom volunteer and grandmother, Jane Scott developed a life-size groundhog burrow made from plastic roofing sheets duct-taped together with a fan blowing air in to inflate the space. The entire class fit inside its dark caverns to listen as Scott read several groundhog books - for some an unprecedented nap was had. Most of the 1st graders saw their shadows upon exiting the burrow. "Best day ever!", exclaimed Reed Lawrence.