ENSC Weekly Notes
December 15, 2014
Tuesday, I had the opportunity to listen to Darryl Scott. He is the father of Rachel Scott who was the first student killed in the Columbine High School shooting in 1999. If you are not aware of Rachel's Challenge, talk with any student from ENMS and they can tell you all about Rachel and her legacy to create a more compassionate world . You can also learn more about her at this link: http://www.rachelschallenge.org/ Mr. Scott reminded the audience of the importance of our passions, what drives each of us, and the impact we can make on others. It was an excellent moment of reflection for me on our district and the challenges public education faces.
I consider ENSC as family. I also know most of you feel ENSC is family. When you are a part of a family, you feel the compassionate environment that the Scott's believe are instrumental to a happy life. It is an environment where you feel valued, respected, and believe you have an important role, and are able to express your opinions and passions without judgment.
I think we all become involved in some sort of cause or group and become very passionate about what it represents. I have many times had conversations with administrators, teachers or parents debating the topic of technology in the classroom. The conversation often ends with we each agreeing to disagree. A comment I usually use is this: "We each are very passionate about our beliefs and/or roles. If we were not, we each would be negligent in our duties or commitment.
We all feel passionate about our role with ENSC (teacher, instructional assistant, secretary, bus driver, food service, administrators, etc.) and sometimes we may not always agree with the point of view of other staff members. Hopefully, we can respect the passion and viewpoint of others and come together to create a compassionate, respectful environment for our students. They are the reason we are educators. They give us purpose every day.
All Star of the Week
This week’s Star of the Week is Jackie Foster. Mrs. Foster teaches both a morning and afternoon preschool class at Wayne Center Elementary School. She in very in tune with the needs of her students and goes above and beyond to address their specific needs whether it be academically, socially, or emotionally. Mrs. Foster is always willing to try new approaches and methods so that all of her students are successful. She demonstrates great patience in working with the students as she works to provide instruction that challenges each student even with the diversity in their developmental skills. Mrs. Foster also works collaboratively with other service providers such as OT, PT, and speech to further help her students grow.
Mrs. Foster is dedicated to the teaching profession and it shows in all that she does. Wayne Center preschool students are lucky to have Mrs. Foster as their teacher!
North Side Elementary - 97.7 percent
Avilla Elementary - 97.2 percent
East Noble Middle School - 97.1 percent
Rome City Elementary - 96.5 percent
East Noble High School - 94 percent
Wayne Center Elementary - 93.5 percent
South Side Elementary - 92.7 percent
Enjoy Your Week
I hope you are able to get some free time for yourself during break to relax, read a book for leisure, and perhaps sit long enough to watch a mindless TV show from beginning to end.
Happy Holidays to all.
CURRICULUM AND BUILDING NOTES
While Indiana has its own set of adopted standards, most of them were based on the work of PARCC or Smarter Balance. This poem and further advice was shared by Mr. Peterson with the HS staff this week and I found it very informative. So, if you were asked the question I posed on an AdvancEd visit this week, “What have you done to prepare for the INCCR standards?”, could you identify some of strategies below?
P - Plan PARCC-Like Lessons
A - Adopt PARCC-Language
R - Require Rigor with Thinking
C - Craft PARCC-like Reading
C - Copy, Replicate PARCC Items
P - Plan PARCC-Like Lessons
· Highlighting, Reordering, Categorizing.
· Audio only listening practice with questions after.
· Short Informational video with questions after.
· Select from drop down or list of choices.
· Take Sample PARCC Test-Plus, Minus, Interesting
· Ask, “Did I Answer the Question?”
Adopt the PARCC-like Language
· Revise the wording on your directions.
· Use multi-step tasks.
· Ask for connections to elicit context clues.
· Give them a kick-start to the rigor they will face in these complex literacy tasks.
· Do ON-YOUR-OWN items-don’t wait until spring.
R - Require Rigor with Higher Order Thinking Skills
· Analyze, Compare/Contrast, Distinguish, Draw Conclusions, Differentiate, Determine, Decide, Synthesize, Infer, and Explain
C - Craft PARCC-like close reading from class work:
· Passages from Science, Social Studies, Literature, Math, etc.
· Work with complex text.
· Push students now, so they are comfortable with challenges.
· Teach strategies to analyze, dissect the text for meaning.
· Build confidence; encourage with high expectations.
C - COPY or replicate, mimic PARCC Performance Tasks
· Use an Actual PARCC Sample Item.
· Select Content Passage from Texts Student are Reading.
· Mimic the language, structure of PARCC Item Exactly.
· Study the Following Example as You Do One on Your Own.
Wayne Center Elementary
It was very busy at Wayne Center this week! On Tuesday, students who sold at least 12 items during our fundraiser got to participate in a Mega Party. Students were able to spend time playing with their peers on different inflatables in the gym! Some student even got the chance to earn money! On Thursday, there was a Winter Music Program for grades 1, 3, and 5. The students did a great job performing for their friends and family! Nice job, Mrs. Mettert and students!
Student Council held their annual Jar Wars fundraiser to help support their adopted Christmas families. Students got the chance to put money in jars for different teachers to earn a pie in the face. There was quite a competition between teachers about who the lucky recipients would be. Stay tuned next week to see who the lucky winners were!
The 4th Graders had a guest teacher come in to teach about aerodynamics. Students learned about four basic terms: lift, thrust, gravity, and drag. They even got to experiment by making their own flying device to see how different weight affected its course.
Alternative Learning Center
This week flew by too quickly. Mrs. Justus met with several students individually to complete service and make plans for the remainder of the trimester. Setting goals with each student with what they want to accomplish each term helps keep everyone on track.
It is obvious the winter break is arriving soon. Patience and motivation are a little less than normal. Most students are still working hard to complete their class before break, but like several of us, it's easy to start to checking out early. Staying focused and getting some work done will be the goal for this coming week.
Congratulations to Kalli Cox for winning the Elk's Free Throw contest! She will compete at the next level in January. Congratulations also to Caden Anderson and Anna Becker for finishing in 2nd place.
The past two weekends the National Elementary Honor Society has spent many hours outside in the cold volunteering for great causes. One evening several members spent time representing OUR school at Wal-Mart ringing the bell for the Salvation Army. The NEHS also spent two evenings volunteering at the Drive-Thru at Bixler Lake. Students spent this time handing out hot drinks and snacks and collecting donations for the Kendallville Parks Department. A HUGE THANK YOU goes out to the students and parents for making this happen.
Wednesday evening Mr. Smith led kindergarten, 2nd, and 4th grades in the annual Winter Program. The students did an outstanding job representing OUR school in front of a full house. Panther University took place afterwards. Students were able to put together “Reindeer Dust” in preparation for Santa’s upcoming visit!
The students in 6th grade have been learning about the solar system for the past few weeks. The students have created a “Solar System Walk”. OUR students scaled down the diameter and distance from the sun. They then wrote informational essays about a planet. Students then created a Scavenger Hunt on Publisher. The culminating activity for the unit was inviting the 2nd grade up to complete the Hunt.
A HUGE THANK YOU goes out to all of OUR students for collecting over 1,000 nonperishable items for the food bank. Thank you to STAR students for collecting these items.
East Noble High School
East Noble Theatre had a great holiday showing with three great performances of Honk last week and the annual Breakfast with Santa this past weekend. The student performers were wonderful. Be sure to get your tickets for the upcoming children’s theatre performance of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This student-directed show will be on January 16 at 7:00pm and January 18 at 2:00pm.
The art classrooms have been very busy as well. Sculpture finished their symbolic representation of a song of choice with paper mache and mixed media. The example is by Caitlin Blair. Ceramics got started with a textured vase to learn multiple ways to embellish clay for upcoming projects. The AP art class has been working on using cast shadows to create patterns in their compositions. This example is by Lydia Walterhouse.
The HS music department will present their annual Christmas concert Wednesday the 17th featuring both the choirs and the band. The choirs are also preparing for their competition season which begins this month.
Our Social Studies classes have been taking advantage of the technology and have been having students create original artifacts that demonstrate mastery and comprehension of standards. Government students recently engaged in a class project to produce documentary movies on their Constitutional hero using Windows Movie Maker. Among student subjects were; Rosa Parks, Malcom X, Jackie Robinson, Gloria Steinham, and Ben Bradlee. Sociology Class is getting ready to begin a decades project to see the changes in norms of society from 1940-Present. Students will look at all facets such as music, technology, schooling, types of jobs, and deviant behavior. Other interesting facts such as: Gas Prices, Movie/Concert Tickets, TV Shows, Average Income, Average House Cost, Family Structure. World History Students have been creating a Weebly Web Page from the perspective of an explorer as they learn about the Age of Exploration. Students are blogging on that web page also to work on writing in the curriculum. U.S. History classes made documentary movies on New Deal programs. These documentaries used historical pictures and narration to explain how the program worked, whether it was successful, and what legacy it left for today.
East Noble Middle School
In academics, students are being challenged to turn in missing assignments to earn rewards during NE. We want to finish this semester maximizing our potential. This week 8th grade finished their study on Picasso 2-D Masks and took their final exams. Seventh grade students are still at work with their Vincent van Gogh flowers. They also finished their Final exams today. Finals schedule is Electives on Wednesday, Math and Language Arts on Thursday, and Science and Social Studies on Friday. After Christmas break, all elective classes will switch for second semester.
The middle school choir concert will be held on December 17th at 6:00 at Cole Auditorium. It will be free admission. The choirs will be a wide variety of Christmas songs to help you get in the spirit!
The 8th grade boys blue basketball team is 5-2 and the 7th grade is 6-1 on the season. Come out and support them Tuesday the 16th and Thursday the 18th when they play the first home conference games of the season!
North Side Elementary
North Side was abuzz this past week with ugly sweater contests, Christmas musical performances, and Hour of Code activities. Third and fifth graders performed their annual holiday performance to a packed house of friends and family. Even Oliver the dog was dressed up in his fancy bow-tie! The kids did a great job and in a true holiday spirit there were no less than 10 volunteers who stayed afterwards to help the custodial staff put 250 chairs back and set the cafeteria back up. The week concluded with an ugly sweater contest amongst the staff. The winner will be announced on Friday based on “votes” from students in the form of a coin fundraiser.
In academic news North Side students participated for the second year in a row in activities based around the Hour of Code. Hour of Code has become a worldwide phenomenon aimed at encouraging young kids to learn computer programming. North Siders of all ages learned various skills related to computer programming and continued to build their skills. We believe this is the language of success moving forward.
Rome City Elementary
Rome City first graders celebrated reaching their monthly Pizza Hut Book-It calendar goals. If students read for 1 hour each week they receive a weekly sticker. At the end of each month if a sticker is earned each week, they receive a free pizza at Pizza Hut. Great job first grade Romans.
Last Friday evening Santa, Mrs. Claus and one of Santa’s elves made a visit to Rome City. Children were able to share their Christmas lists with Santa and enjoy milk and cookies. STAR members and Honor Society members helped make this evening a success.
Our Christmas Program was performed to a packed audience this past Thursday. The 1st, 3rd, and 5th graders performed an array of festive holiday music. The 1st grade sang Christmas classics, 3rd graders played on their recorders and the 5th grade sang their version of some classic carols entitled “Crazy Carols.”
South Side Elementary
South Side’s National Elementary Honor Society rang the Salvation Army Bell at Walmart on Tuesday, December 9th. Members sang carols and greeted customers with the Christmas spirit. Students sang some traditional carols as well as a twist on some new songs. “What Does the Bell Say?” made a reappearance as well as a new version of “Let it Go” to encourage customers to let their donation flow.
Our annual Winter Music Program was this week as well. First and third graders performed classic seasonal songs to an audience of over 300 South Side family members and friends. The third grade program incorporated an ensemble of students who have already learned to play our brand new xylophones purchased for us through the South Side PTO using box top funds! These instruments will be used in grades K-6 and will foster a love of music for all of our students!
The grade level update this week is from 2nd grade. Second grade has been busy making snowman and Polar Express ornaments to put on our brand new Christmas tree the PTO bought for our school! We have been working on persuasive writing by writing book reviews to recommend texts to other classmates. Second graders are getting better at their addition math facts by answering math problems in 1 minute through a program called “Kicking It Math”! Each week they try to pass their level to move on to the next one. Once they have passed their specific level, they earn a belt to go on their chain. We are all working towards being black belts!