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22nd of October 2018

Sport



Sound panels help learning process at Littlejohn

LittleJohn Elementary School teacher Bryan Henning teaches second-grader Finn Keller, 7, how to snap a football during physical education class Friday morning in DeKalbChristopher Heimerman – cheimerman@shawmedia.com

Caption

LittleJohn Elementary School teacher Bryan Henning teaches second-grader Finn Keller, 7, how to snap a football during physical education class Friday morning in DeKalb

DeKALB – Sound-absorbing panels have been installed in the past week in the gymnasium at Littlejohn Elementary School to help students and teachers alike.

Despite the innovation, physical education teacher Bryan Henning reminded his 25 third-graders to mind their noise levels Friday morning at the tail end of a game of rock-paper-scissors.

“Remember, when somebody wins, we golf clap,” he said, demonstrating the gentle, eardrum-friendly commendation.

Henning, 31, who’s in his third year with DeKalb School District 428 and splits time between Littlejohn and Tyler Elementary, wrote a grant application to the Lowe’s Toolbox for Education this past spring and was thrilled to recently learn the school was awarded $5,000.

“That was fantastic,” he said. “I mean, we could’ve gotten $500, or nothing.”

He said the school’s administration has been conflicted about using the gym altogether, given how often teachers heard about headaches students were suffering because of the amount of noise generated by 25 children and a teacher in such a small space. Henning added that the space is great for PTO meetings and other groups, but that the sound bouncing around simply was obnoxious.

“The PTO met in here Wednesday, and they said there was a major difference,” Henning said. “I’d say it’s about a 60 percent reduction in sound.”

He’s a fast talker and loud, as any gym teacher should be. One of his second-graders, Finn Keller, 7, said he’s relieved that Henning can speak up – and that Finn and his classmates can have asides.

“This is pretty nice,” Finn said, moments after Henning demonstrated to him how to properly snap a football. “Now Mr. Henning can talk, and we can whisper and not interrupt him, because the shades are up.”

The 20 fabric panels, which are 4-by-6 feet and an inch thick, started going up last week, and the work was finished this week. Henning said Principal Billy Hueramo, co-teacher Sam Gerace and maintenance staff were integral to getting up the panels.

“It really was a team effort,” he said.

Henning said they’re great for not only him and his P.E. students, but the rest of the staff.

“It’s really important that these children are as settled down as possible, and ready to learn, before they head back to another class,” he said.

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