ENSC Weekly Notes
March 9, 2015
I realize this is an extremely stressful week for our staff who are affected by the test. Everyone can relax now and return to teaching and serving our students. Well, at least until Part II arrives.
Saturday, Becca and I attended the Kendallville public forum with Rep. Ober and Sen. Glick. When Nancy Bodecker asked what the status of ISTEP is, Sen. Glick expressed her frustrations with the ISTEP test that continues to change each year. She also appears to support a standardized test that is historically valid and used across the U.S. While she did not name a specific test, Indiana superintendents have been working to inform and persuade legislators to replace ISTEP with NWEA.
Both Ober and Glick seem to recognize the same frustrations with education that we feel daily. Now, will they vote to support remedies to our frustrations? That remains to be seen. At least they heard East Noble concerns which were expressed by Nancy, three of our Board members (Babcock, Beall, and Desper), and myself.
The last school day for the 2014-2015 school year is currently, Thursday, June 4. Graduation will be 2 p.m., Sunday, June 7.
Technology Department Notes
The Technology Department has recently seen a number of damages caused from liquids spilling into the keyboards of laptops. If you happen to spill something onto any electronic device, follow these tips to limit the damage:
1. Power the device down immediately and remove the battery if possible. Do not continue to use it as it will cause damage and may make the device unusable.
2. After powering the device off and removing the battery, report it to the Technology Department right away if it is a school device. Do not use the device until someone from the technology staff has had a chance to look at it and get the spill properly dried up.
3. If it is a personal device, wait at least 24 hours before powering it back on. If it is small enough (such as a cell phone), place the device and battery into a Ziploc bag of white rice and wait at least 24 hours before attempting to power the device back on. The rice will help to draw the moisture out of the device and prevent damage.
Following these steps will limit damages to the device and hopefully get you back and running in no time!
Links Worth a Look....
Google for Teachers: http://www.edutopia.org/google-for-educatorsSeven sites with safe kids videos: http://tinyurl.com/7YouTubeKidChannels
32 Remaining Indiana Education Bills: http://tinyurl.com/IndianaLegislation
Ted Talks on how the Brain Works: http://tinyurl.com/TedTalksontheBrain
All Star of the Week
Curriculum and Building Notes
Reading Aloud to Students (of All Ages)
How often are you reading aloud to your students? My guess would be that the younger the students, the more you read aloud to them. My guess would also be that by the high school level, reading to students become an activity that is minimally performed.
Reading aloud to students is a powerful teaching tool. It allows students to increase their vocabulary, develop second language skills, and broaden their background knowledge and understanding of content.
According to Joan Moser, one of the 2 Sisters and author of several books on reading,
“When we read aloud, we create a model for children of what readers look like, how they make sense of text, and how reading is as important to us as eating and breathing. Hearing text read aloud is all it takes to shift some of our students from being people who can read to people who want and love to read.
Because our students' listening levels are typically two years higher than their reading levels, reading aloud is an important part of increasing their reading levels. Steven L. Layne (2015) says, "When the text selected for read-aloud time has students 'listening up' one or two grade levels, teachers become the medium for exposing those students to more mature vocabulary, more complex literary devices, and more sophisticated sentence structures than they would be finding in the grade-level texts they could navigate on their own"(In Defense of Read-Aloud: Sustaining Best Practice, p. 55). Reading aloud is an important part of accelerating student achievement.
If we want our readers to grow, we must read to them, and we must read to them well. It isn't just a practice with a strong research base, but one that is enjoyable and richly rewarding for both ourselves and our audiences.”
So, what will you read to your students this week?
Rome City Elementary
Rome City students started ISTEP on Monday. Students were excited to see the primary students decorated their doors and give them gifts of encouragement. Romans are doing their best on the test!
ELearning was in full swing on Tuesday. Students are getting better at completing their assignments. Students enjoy emailing staff to communicate during eLearning days. The picture below is of Macy Buhro drinking her hot chocolate and completing her eLearning.
Fifth and sixth graders held their first Flying Aces. Students who turned in all assignments for the second trimester were able to make a paper airplane for each subject they turned all assignments in. Students we then able to fly their airplanes to win items such as scooters, video games, and tablets. Way to go to those who won! Keep turning in those assignments.
Dr. Seuss readings are took place this week in a March Madness form. Classrooms are reading Dr. Seuss books and voting on their favorite books written by Dr. Seuss. “Seuss Madness” will continue into next week. Students will be watching the brackets in the cafeteria to see what the winning Dr. Seuss will be.
South Side Elementary
The National Elementary Honor Society sponsored South Side’s annual Food Drive this week for the Friendship Food Pantry and collected more than 450 items for donation. Mrs. Owens's class came in first with 194 items donated, which averaged out to 5.88 items per student. Mrs. Spencer's class came in second with 93 items, which was 4.23 items per student. Excellent show of caring and citizenship, Trailblazers.
This week, South Side celebrated Dr. Seuss’s Birthday with Read Across American Day! Guest readers from across our community came to read classic Seuss books in our classrooms and joined us with a building-wide “read around South Side.” This is a fun day to celebrate as it reminds students that Dr. Seuss changed literacy education in America by showing us all how much fun it is to read!
Our grade level update this week comes from first grade: This week is full of excitement in First Grade! On Monday we celebrated TWO exciting events Dr. Seuss’s Birthday and Read across America. Monday afternoon we had amazing guest readers come to our classrooms and read different books by none other than Dr. Seuss. Our guest readers spent time talking to our students about how they use reading in their careers every day. Next our whole school stopped to Read Across South Side. Our guest readers even joined in! This week in first grade we spent time with Mrs. Becker sharpening up our fantastic technology skills working with Showbie. Along with all out new technology skills, we researched and created our very own “All About Books” Students selected animals of their choice and wrote fact-filled books about them. Mrs. Malcolm’s first grade class learned that it pays to collect box tops by earning a Popcorn party from our fabulous PTO!!
Wayne Center Elementary
March’s Pillar of Character is Trustworthiness here at Wayne Center!! Our students have been working hard to promote this pillar. Our National Honor Society created posters to hang in the hallways throughout the school. Also, our first grade teachers Mrs. McDonald and Mrs. O’Neill, and fifth grade teacher Miss Thomas have been collaborating with Tech Coach, Lance Yoder, to create a video to show at our next convocation. They are using the iPad app, ChatterPix, to record examples of how people can display trustworthiness in their lives.
Since it was Dr. Seuss’ birthday at the beginning of March, our fifth graders have used Dr. Seuss quotes to decorate our front lobby display case. They were asked to pick a Dr. Seuss quote that they liked and write about it on a “Cat in the Hat” hat. We were pleased with the types of quotes that our students chose. A lot of the quotes had the theme of: Being who you are no matter what. Some of the popular ones are listed in the pictures. Nice work fifth graders!
Alternative Learning Center
It was a great start to Trimester 3. The new students got quickly acquainted and everyone has been very productive. There are a few rule changes this trimester that the returning students are having to adjust to, but they all increase credit progress and completion. Just a reminder that Apex is a web-based program, so students can work on their class work anytime they have access to the web. Students also need to complete daily work during e-learning days to be counted present. Congratulations to Amaury Maldanado for graduating early! Good luck to him in all his future endeavors.
Spring is in the air!! Have a great week!
The National Elementary Honor Society is once again collecting coins for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The Pennies For Patients Program will be held starting on March 9th and continue through March 19th. OUR school goal is to raise $1000 this year. Grade level classes will be competing against each other for a prize. Classes that collect over $100 will receive a pennant for showing the pillar of caring! The NEHS will be sponsoring two Wii Dance Nights and will be hosting a “Spring Fever Week” the week of March 16th. Donations will be accepted and added to OUR total collected from these fun events.
This Wednesday is Spring Picture Day. Picture order forms went home with students last week. OUR students are currently selling cookie dough. Cookie dough order forms are due on March 16th and the cookie dough arrives on April 7. There will be more information coming soon about pick-up times for the cookie dough. Kindergarten Round-Up is on April 14th at 6:30. Please spread the word. We would greatly appreciate the help. OUR PTO Carnival will be held on April 24th. We need as many volunteers for this to be a success. Please contact the school if you can help out in any way. Muffins with Mom will be on May 5th at 7:15. Please contact the school if you can help out with this in any way.
East Noble High School
Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of one of our students. It is during times of tragedy that true compassion in the human race shines. Central Noble School sent our students and staff flowers this week. Our local Herff Jones representative donated a special keepsake for the family. ENHS staff made a monetary donation in her memory. Knight Café donated their tips for the day to the family as well. ENHS will also be providing the family with a commemorative brick in the Paver Plaza. These gestures, big and small remind us that we are one big family.
The Saturday edition of the News Sun had an article highlighting some of the successful efforts of ENHS to promote graduation rates. One such partnership exists between ENHS and Group Dekko. Group Dekko will be at ENHS Tuesday to meet with the next group of students to present their summer EXPLORE program. This is a great opportunity for students to get their foot in the door at Dekko while learning about the many different post-secondary opportunities available to them. This will be our third year for this partnership.
Recently Salvador Espinoza represented East Noble and Group Dekko in Indianapolis at a banquet at IVY Tech. Salvador was nominated for Indiana Intern of the Year through our Group Dekko partnership called Project Explore. He is an I.C.E. Student this year at Group Dekko and was nominated by his employer for this honor. He has shown tremendous commitment and loyalty the past two years. Congratulations to Salvador!!
Last Saturday some students had the opportunity to show how hard they have been working in Winter Strength class. Leo and DeKalb high school came to East Noble to compete in 3 lifts: bench press, deadlift, and power clean. At the end of the day East Noble came out on top with an average team score of 4.39 and a team total weight lifted of 10,520 pounds.
East Noble Middle School
This was IStep week at the middle school. Even with the E-Learning because of the ice, students worked very hard on their tests, and everything went smoothly! We have great students! One more round of IStep to go!
Next Thursday there will be a choir concert at the middle school. Come and see our students show off what they have been practicing.
Golf callouts and track practice have started, swimming and wrestling are almost over, Daylight Savings starts Sunday and hopefully spring is just around the corner.
North Side Elementary
This week at North Side was quite the week. Fresh off our Math Bowl Victory (great job team) Wildcat third through sixth graders began ISTEP+ this week. While ISTEP+ is always quite the challenge the wildcats were up to the task. Students worked dilligently, thought hard, and overall gave a great effort. Teachers have been reinforcing the value of hard work throughout the year and it really showed through this week. The staff is all so proud of the hard work the kids have put in! Pictured below our some third graders showing off their bowties in recognition of their “smartie” status as they prepared for ISTEP+.
Also at North Side this week was Family Tech Night hosted by instructional coach Angie Sibert and technology peer coach Zack Linson. The night was a HUGE success with an awesome turnout. There was root beer, iPads (none was spilled on the devices), and laptops gallore. Parents had the opportunity to see some of the amazing things kids do on their devices and the skills they have learned this year. A heartfelt thank you to all the parents and family memebers who turned out to make it a great night!