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Kindergarten class goes out to the ball game for ‘Opening Day’

by CHERYL SCHWEIZER
Staff Writer | May 3, 2021 1:00 AM

MOSES LAKE — The concession stand was busy, the dugout was bustling and everybody stood up during the seventh-inning stretch for a rousing rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”

“Opening Day” went over big in Heidi Ragan’s kindergarten class at Peninsula Elementary School. Instead of regular Friday lessons, the classroom was transformed into a baseball stadium.

“All their activities are centered around baseball,” Ragan said. “We’re using things that would be in the ballpark to practice some of our skills.”

The kindergartners learned about baseball for a few weeks before Opening Day, reading books about the game and learning how baseballs and bats are made.

Student Liera Mclane showed how the kids made hot dogs at the concession stand. She picked up a ketchup and mustard bottle (empty, of course), and examined the paper before her, printed with a word.

“Mmm,” she said, giving the ketchup bottle a pretend squirt. “Ah,” she added, doing the same with the mustard bottle.

“Puh,” she said, giving the ketchup bottle a final squirt.

“What’s the word?” Ragan asked.

“Mop,” Mclane said.

“They’re making words, sounding words out,” Ragan said.

In the bullpen, kids picked up a baseball printed with a letter and used that letter to change words. They also determined whether one number was bigger or smaller than another on their baseball scorecards.

“In the dugout, they’re solving math problems,” Ragan said.

Each kid got a bag with Cracker Jack and sunflower seeds, which of course, are part of every ballpark.

“None of my kids have ever had Cracker Jacks,” Ragan said.

In the background, the crowd was buzzing (on a recording), then the stadium organ gave the cue and it was time for the seventh-inning stretch. And of course, no seventh-inning stretch would be complete without, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” which the kids had learned as part of their baseball unit.

Every kid on the Ragan’s Rebels team got a T-shirt, courtesy of Cox Designs in Moses Lake, and a baseball cap, donated by Skone Irrigation Inc. in Warden.

“A little math, a little reading. A lot of fun,” Ragan said.

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Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald

Dean Wilson practices sounding out words with the help of ketchup and mustard bottles. Peninsula Elementary kindergarten teacher Heidi Ragan focused all class activities around baseball on Opening Day Friday.

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Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald

From left) Holland Hildebrand and Chris Calderon sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" on Opening Day in Heidi Ragan's kindergarten class at Peninsula Elementary Friday. It was a day of baseball-themed activities.

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Daphne Sario does her math in the "bullpen" in Heidi Ragan's kindergarten classroom Friday. It was Opening Day in the class, and all lessons had a baseball theme.

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Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald

(From left) Colton Shaw, Logan Asplund, Dakota Gregg and Daphne Sario dance during the seventh-inning stretch on Opening Day in Heidi Ragan's kindergarten classroom at Peninsula Elementary Friday.