Friday Focus

A Week of Awesomeness at EHS 10.9.15

Happy Friday! Oh a beloved work day on a Friday. It doesn't get much better than that, right? I hope you all had a fantastic week! I know mine was super busy. I want to apologize ahead of time, as I did not make it to nearly as many classrooms as I would have liked this week. Next week will be a challenge as well, but I'm still going to give it my best shot! I encourage you to give me a shout when you're doing something new, fun, innovative, etc. I won't in the least view it as arrogance or anything along those lines. I sincerely want to come see it! I hope you enjoy this week's (abbreviated) version of Friday Focus!

Staff News

Homecoming

What a fun week it has been with homecoming and spirit days!! My newest regret is not getting pictures of all the staff members that dressed up each day to include in my newsletter, but I suppose I can get over that. I'd like to thank Mr. Magette for all of his hard work, organization and coordination to have a successful homecoming week! Also, Cara did a lot of work to run the parade smoothly, along with what seemed like 100 extracurricular activities this week. Thanks for a fun week for our students!
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Students as Learners

EdTec

Thursday, the Eudora Fire Department came out to our EdTech building and had some fire safety lessons with our students. They first learned about various aspects of fire safety, then got to go outside and have some fun with...fire (an administrator's nightmare...right??) :) It was a good time and students learned a lot too!
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Señora Lancaster

As I was walking down the hallway earlier this week, I couldn't help but just soak in the awesomeness of these Spanish posters that were hanging up. Kim had her students make homecoming posters, in Spanish, that also reinforced what they're learning in Spanish class. Now, I haven't spoken with Kim about the posters, but if I had to guess, I would say they've recently learned about commands in Spanish (telling a group of people to do something, i.e. Sit down! Be quiet! ... Beat the Broncos! Fight to Victory!) What a fun way to add relevance to the content!

Miss Wendt

Sara had a really awesome lesson for her students on Monday. They've been learning about animal judging in animal science, and most recently, horse judging. Sara knows some local patrons who have horses, so she called them up, and they brought their horses in for the kids to be able to judge first hand. Additionally, she had Carly Hines bring her horse for the same purpose, so it was really neat to see one of our students be able to bring their horse for the benefit of the entire class. Students were able to learn first hand from experts in the field, and then have their own judging experience, with immediate feedback from that professional on their judging. It was a great way to start the week!! Great job, Sara!
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Mr. Pickett

Joe once again had a really fun experience for his biology students. They were learning about the flow of energy as one progresses through the different levels of the food chain. In order to demonstrate this in a hands-on way, Joe took his students outside, and in a relay type of activity, students experienced primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary consumer levels. Students in the primary level started with a certain amount of water in a beaker. It was poured into a styrofoam cup with holes in the bottom. They raced it over to the secondary consumer, measured how much water they had left, poured it into the secondary consumer's cup, which also had holes in it, and they raced to the tertiary consumer, and so on. They measured how much water they had left at the end, and the water represented how much energy was lost throughout the food chain. It was a really fun way for students to be able to experience this rather than just hear and read about it. What a fantastic lesson!!
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Mr. Lauxman

This week's instructional strategy of the week goes to Austin. It all started by him sending me an article about technology, and then coming to my office to talk about it. We had some good philosophical ideas going back and forth, and then somehow it morphed into this idea he could use into his classroom. It was honestly one of my favorite parts of the week. I mean, professional dialogue followed by a spark of innovation?? I was on cloud 9! Anyway, Austin has been looking for meaningful ways to incorporate technology into his art classes, which is no easy task in a very hands-on classroom where you are creating... art. He's been looking for a way to amp up his peer critiques in his class, and he discovered that Google Docs had the potential to be a perfect tool. He had students each take a picture of their projects on their phones, and then upload them to their Drive, then they all put these pictures in a shared Google Doc. Then, he had students use the commenting feature within Docs to peer critique others' projects. It ended up being a really great use of Docs! What Austin did extremely well was show students step by step what they needed to do. He walked them through the entire process. It curved a lot of questions, and allowed for a smooth work flow. He also gave examples within the Doc of what their comments should look like as far as positivity, how to critique someone in a constructive way, etc. What was really neat is that these were mid-project critiques, so students could take the ideas of their classmates, and make adjustments before they had a final product. Once the system was set up, students were either working on their projects, or in the lab critiquing the projects. It had a really nice organizational aspect to it. The next day, Austin was able to have really meaningful 1 on 1 conversations with students based off of the peer feedback that was in the Google Doc. What's great about Austin is that he went home that night and did some reflection on how he felt it went, and has even more ideas for the next time he uses this method. Awesome job, Austin! I was so impressed!
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Articles Worth Reading

"Students Who Frequently Use Computers Do Worse In Learning"

Say What?!?! An article that bashes technology?!?!


I hesitated to include this article in our Friday Focus, because sometimes we have a tendency to skim the first few paragraphs, make our inferences, and move on. I mean, it's a reading strategy! I urge you to read through these thoughts, and then read the entire article before making your judgements.


The reason I include this article is because it addresses a few important points that I think we all need to understand:


1) Relationships are still the most important part of a student's experience at school.

2) Technology is not the silver bullet it's been promised to be. SOLID TEACHING is the silver bullet. Technology is a way to amplify that. (Please note that the data from this study is from 2012. Just think how much technology has changed in the last three years, and how teachers have probably adapted and improved their teaching with technology since then.)


Here are a couple of quotes from the article that drive this point home:

"Technology can amplify great teaching but great technology cannot replace poor teaching."

"School systems need to find more effective ways to integrate technology into teaching and learning to provide educators with learning environments that support 21st century pedagogies and provide children with the 21st century skills they need to succeed in tomorrow's world."


Please, please read the last two paragraphs of the article.

Ok, this week's video worth watching is just for fun - hopefully a little something to make you smile before the weekend. I can't help but crack up when this little peewee football team can't resist from doing the "whip and nae nae" even in the middle of a play... for several plays. I hope you get a good laugh out of it. I think sometimes we can relate to how those coaches felt...right? :)
Pee wee football team loses focus when Whip/Nae Nae plays

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed seeing what (a few of) your colleagues did this week - we've got some great things going on in our building!! I hope you're enjoying a day to get caught up with grades! If you're going to homecoming tonight - bundle up! I'll be the one in about 8 layers!! Just kidding. (Sort of) Have a fantastic weekend!


Megan