Skyline students celebrate Leap Day


By Hope Lecchi - [email protected]



Gabriel Toderescu, left, and Brooklyn Ditzfeld color their Leap Day hats in Hilary Owens’ class. To celebrate Leap Day the students used their math skills and a lesson on fractions to understand why Leap Day occurs every four years.


Rosa Mendez and Kiley Gilbertson sing “Happy Birthday” to Landon Blakenship as they wait in line Monday morning. Both girls are wearing their Leap Day hats they colored and made as part of their classroom activities. Monday was Cat in the Hat Day at Skyline Elementary. Students were encouraged to wear hats to celebrate Read Across America Week with Dr. Seuss and the upcoming book fair at the school.


Keegan Driver completes his last sit-up Monday morning as part of his class’ Leap Day activities. Students took a turn at the white board spinning the wheel to see what challenge they would have to complete in 29 seconds. Choices ranged from toe-touches and arm circles to jumping jacks and running in place. Teacher Hilary Owens thought of the idea to teach her students math concepts including counting, telling time and fractions as part of their Leap Day lessons.


Dakota Williams shares a smile with his classmates before coloring his Leap Day hat in Hilary Owen’s second grade class Monday. Students were allowed to wear hats to school to celebrate Read Across America Week with Dr. Seuss, which began Monday.


Landon Blankenship, who was celebrating his second birthday Monday, watches as the hand of the wheel lands on the space marked 29 sit-ups. Blankenship, who turned 8 Monday, was born on Leap Day. As part of the class activities Monday, students were challenged to do a number of activities in 29 seconds. Blankenship said his day had been really good, but doing the sit-ups really wore him out.


Landon Blankenship laughs as he celebrates his second birthday Monday in Hilary Owens’ second grade class at Skyline Elementary. Blankenship is actually 8 but was born on Leap Day in 2008. Blankenship’s classmate Brylee Kendrick shares her birthday with Blankenship but was in Chicago on Monday to celebrate her birthday. Blankenship was wearing his Dr. Seuss hat to celebrate Read Across America Week and the book fair at Skyline.


By Hope Lecchi

[email protected]

Gabriel Toderescu, left, and Brooklyn Ditzfeld color their Leap Day hats in Hilary Owens’ class. To celebrate Leap Day the students used their math skills and a lesson on fractions to understand why Leap Day occurs every four years.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_tsd030116leapdaybirthday2.jpgGabriel Toderescu, left, and Brooklyn Ditzfeld color their Leap Day hats in Hilary Owens’ class. To celebrate Leap Day the students used their math skills and a lesson on fractions to understand why Leap Day occurs every four years.

Rosa Mendez and Kiley Gilbertson sing “Happy Birthday” to Landon Blakenship as they wait in line Monday morning. Both girls are wearing their Leap Day hats they colored and made as part of their classroom activities. Monday was Cat in the Hat Day at Skyline Elementary. Students were encouraged to wear hats to celebrate Read Across America Week with Dr. Seuss and the upcoming book fair at the school.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_tsd030116leapdaybirthday3.jpgRosa Mendez and Kiley Gilbertson sing “Happy Birthday” to Landon Blakenship as they wait in line Monday morning. Both girls are wearing their Leap Day hats they colored and made as part of their classroom activities. Monday was Cat in the Hat Day at Skyline Elementary. Students were encouraged to wear hats to celebrate Read Across America Week with Dr. Seuss and the upcoming book fair at the school.

Keegan Driver completes his last sit-up Monday morning as part of his class’ Leap Day activities. Students took a turn at the white board spinning the wheel to see what challenge they would have to complete in 29 seconds. Choices ranged from toe-touches and arm circles to jumping jacks and running in place. Teacher Hilary Owens thought of the idea to teach her students math concepts including counting, telling time and fractions as part of their Leap Day lessons.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_tsd030116leapdaybirthday4.jpgKeegan Driver completes his last sit-up Monday morning as part of his class’ Leap Day activities. Students took a turn at the white board spinning the wheel to see what challenge they would have to complete in 29 seconds. Choices ranged from toe-touches and arm circles to jumping jacks and running in place. Teacher Hilary Owens thought of the idea to teach her students math concepts including counting, telling time and fractions as part of their Leap Day lessons.

Dakota Williams shares a smile with his classmates before coloring his Leap Day hat in Hilary Owen’s second grade class Monday. Students were allowed to wear hats to school to celebrate Read Across America Week with Dr. Seuss, which began Monday.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_tsd030116leapdaybirthday5.jpgDakota Williams shares a smile with his classmates before coloring his Leap Day hat in Hilary Owen’s second grade class Monday. Students were allowed to wear hats to school to celebrate Read Across America Week with Dr. Seuss, which began Monday.

Landon Blankenship, who was celebrating his second birthday Monday, watches as the hand of the wheel lands on the space marked 29 sit-ups. Blankenship, who turned 8 Monday, was born on Leap Day. As part of the class activities Monday, students were challenged to do a number of activities in 29 seconds. Blankenship said his day had been really good, but doing the sit-ups really wore him out.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_tsd030116leap-day-birthday6.jpgLandon Blankenship, who was celebrating his second birthday Monday, watches as the hand of the wheel lands on the space marked 29 sit-ups. Blankenship, who turned 8 Monday, was born on Leap Day. As part of the class activities Monday, students were challenged to do a number of activities in 29 seconds. Blankenship said his day had been really good, but doing the sit-ups really wore him out.

Landon Blankenship laughs as he celebrates his second birthday Monday in Hilary Owens’ second grade class at Skyline Elementary. Blankenship is actually 8 but was born on Leap Day in 2008. Blankenship’s classmate Brylee Kendrick shares her birthday with Blankenship but was in Chicago on Monday to celebrate her birthday. Blankenship was wearing his Dr. Seuss hat to celebrate Read Across America Week and the book fair at Skyline.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_tsd030116leapdaybirthday1.jpgLandon Blankenship laughs as he celebrates his second birthday Monday in Hilary Owens’ second grade class at Skyline Elementary. Blankenship is actually 8 but was born on Leap Day in 2008. Blankenship’s classmate Brylee Kendrick shares her birthday with Blankenship but was in Chicago on Monday to celebrate her birthday. Blankenship was wearing his Dr. Seuss hat to celebrate Read Across America Week and the book fair at Skyline.

Sometimes the older we become the more difficult our birthdays are to face.

Landon Blankenship isn’t too worried about the prospect of growing older just yet.

“Today’s my eighth birthday but I’m really only two though,” Blankenship said with a giggle while sitting in his second grade classroom at Skyline Elementary Monday morning.

“I was born on Leap Day,” he added as an explanation.

One of two Leap Day birthdays in Hilary Owens class this year, Owen decided to use the day as a way to have a special celebration while teaching math concepts.

“I haven’t had a student born on Leap Day before,” said Owens, who has been teaching for five years. “Since I have two Leap Day babies this year I decided that I really wanted to make the day special for all my students.

“I found out this morning that Landon’s classmate, Brylee (Kendrick) went to Chicago for her birthday today,” Owens added. “I hate that she is absent but we are still going to celebrate today.”

The students started the day with an explanation of what Leap Year is and the necessity for the day that occurs once every four years.

A year, or 365 days, measures how long it takes the earth to revolve around the sun. It actually takes 365 days and six hours for the complete orbit to occur. Every four years an extra day is added to the calendar, Feb. 29, to include the extra four hours.

“We’ve been studying fractions,” Owens said. “This was a good way to teach my students about what a quarter or a fourth of something is.

“We also are spending some time with the number 29,” Owens added. “I’m letting my students spin the wheel and whatever activity they land on that is what we do.”

The activities including running in place or jumping for 29 seconds, or doing 29 toe-touches or sit-ups.

The activities help to teach the additional math concepts of counting and time.

“We really cover a lot of material with our students and they work very hard,” Owens added. “It’s nice when we can have the time to celebrate and have a fun day that gives the students the opportunity to do something different and gives them the opportunity to color and have conversations with each other.

“They have had the time to color their Leap Day birthday hats, and talk to each other while they are working and just have some fun,” Owens added. “They are really so sweet all the time.”

Blankenship was happy with the fun his class was having and for another opportunity to spend time celebrating his birthday with friends.

“We had my birthday party this weekend,” Blankenship said. “It was when my family could come and we had a really good time.

“My little cousin Brooklyn and Collin came and so did my grandma and my aunts were there,” he added. “We played dinosaur ball and with some cars that my mom and dad gave me that you control with an app that we put the phone.”

Blankenship said that to cap off the weekend, some of his friends came to his home for a sleepover.

“We watched ‘The Good Dinosaur,’” Blankenship said. “It’s a really, really good show; I think you should watch it.

“Today has been fun too, but the sit-ups wore me out,” he added.

Blakenship and his classmates will need to rest up for the next round of birthdays.

“I have three students who all have a birthday on March 25,” Owens said “I’m already planning what we will do to celebrate them.”

Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484

Sedalia Democrat

Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484

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