Friday Focus

A Week of Awesomeness at EHS


Happy Friday! It's been a bit of a crazy day here, so I finally have a moment to put some finishing touches on the Friday Focus for this week. We're well into April now - let the craziness begin!! Thank you all for your dedication and continued hard work day in and day out!

Students As Learners

Mrs. Splichal

This week in Julie's class, students have been researching various types of waves. She split students into groups, and each group was responsible for researching a certain wave. They then had to present it to the class. The neat aspect about this project is that it didn't stop with the research and presentation - the students had to make their presentations interactive, and they had to create a worksheet for students to take notes on for their presentation. When I watched a couple of presentations, I saw some really great things! One group had found a short YouTube video that perfectly supported their presentation and was a great clarifying part of their research. It was great to see our kids take on the role of the teacher!

Also, I just want to point out, look at the picture below of what is written on Mrs. Splichal's board. I haven't had a chance to talk to her about this, but I just loved seeing this. It spells out the things that students can control, and the things that are outside of their control. An excellent skill and understanding that our students need to grasp, especially when working within a group! That was awesome!

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Ms. Wendt

This week, Sara had Gus Andrews bring his pigs to her class. She set them up outside the EDTEC building and her students were able to practice livestock judging in person, rather than from pictures or a video. Not only did students get to see four different pigs in person to put concepts that they've been learning in class into action, but they had to score a pig, and with the older ag class that is embedded in the beginning class, they had to defend their judgements and explain why they judged a pig a certain way. Nice higher order thinking skills at play here!

Mr. Gish/Ms. Koppes

It's that time of year again for Romeo and Juliet. I really like what Jeremy and Anna have going on in their classroom to get students motivated and excited about Shakespeare. They have split up the class into two teams - Capulets and Montagues - and the battle is on. They earn hearts (points) by competing in Prologue battles and also competitions based off of memorizing the Prologue. This is to help prepare them for their Prologue memorization. They also have challenges for line identification, vocabulary, and trivia. What a fun way to get them engaged and enthused about the play! When I came into their classroom this week, students were up in front of the class enthusiastically reading lines from Romeo and Juliet, and Jeremy and Anna were able to explain little by little all the nuances of the play. They did so in such a way to really get the kids excited and thinking about the themes and actions of what's happening. It was fun to watch!

I also have to congratulate Mr. Gish and the freshmen for total domination in the St. Jude fundraiser!! Every day, they had a sizable donation, and ended up raising well over $300 just from their students alone, and even more from support staff he has in his classroom who wanted their donation to go to the freshmen jar. So awesome!

EDTEC Fundraiser

Don't miss out on Saturday for the EDTEC fundraiser!! It's going to be a beautiful day to help our EDTEC programs raise some money! There is going to be BBQ (see awesome, mouth watering photo below) and an auction ran by the great auctioneer Mr. Paxton! They'll be auctioning off a 2008 F150, so if you know anyone in the market, send them on down!! (If only it was a minivan... :)
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Instructional Strategy of the Week

Mr. Tharp

Jason's civics class has been giving presentations in his "Tharp Tank," and I've been lucky enough to have been included in the judging process! It was a ton of fun, and it was great to see the products that the students put together. Basically, the project was run just like the show "Shark Tank." Students had to come up with a proprietary idea, and sell us to it, and get us to want to invest our "money". They had to do research on what it would cost to make their product, what the market is like for their product, come up with a marketing plan, know how much they wanted us to invest, what we would actually be investing in, WHY we should invest in their company, and all the other details that come along with a start up business. There were some really awesome ideas, that if I had an extra one or two hundred thousand dollars lying around - I may consider investing!! There was so much higher order thinking skills at play here, and students had to come up with answers to our questions on the fly, so they had to be prepared and know their company very thoroughly. There were a few groups that made us prototypes (shower foot scrubber anyone?), and some groups that had miracle products (something that folds laundry for you. Yeah, we told this group they need to get this figured out ASAP.). Anyway, it was a lot of fun, thank you for inviting me, Jason! (Although I may have invited myself when I heard he was doing this. Either way - thanks!)
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Video Worth Watching

Don't Quit On Me

This quick two minute video does a great job of illustrating the difference you can make in a student's life. This is why education is so important. This is why you are so important. We help students see the value in themselves, so they can start on the path of personal accountability and success. Thank you for being this person to so many of our students. Let's make it our goal to have every student in our building feel valued here at school!
Don't Quit on Me: Mini Documentary

Final Thoughts

I apologize for the brevity of this week's Friday Focus (or maybe you're happy it was so brief this week!). It's been a hectic week to say the least, but I do want to thank EVERYONE who has helped the Kindness Club fundraiser this week go smoothly. We had some students step up and really help, but I have to give a special thank you to Melanie McQueen who did a lot of behind the scenes work this week, Nate Robinson who helped make the movie night possible (ok he DID make it possible), and Teresa Carnagie for helping me in my crazy state all week!! I'll be excited to see the totals after movie night tonight, but as it stands now, we've raised almost $750 to help the children and families at St. Jude! Thanks to all the teachers who agreed to have a jar in their room as well - I hope it wasn't too much of an inconvenience to you!

I hope you all have a fantastic, well-deserved weekend. Hopefully you have a chance to go out and support the EDTEC programs tomorrow and enjoy a gorgeous day! I'm sad I'll have to miss it - I'll be in Columbia, MO, but I'll be thinking of you all! Happy weekend!