April, 2018- Snapshots of Events at WSR
Cross Country Connections
"This opportunity provided our students with a chance to practice their speaking and listening and presentation skills. It was also exciting for me to see students improve their reasoning skills and negotiating skills." ~Mr. McGrane, Shell Rock Elementary (4th Grade)
Mr. McGrane assists his students to formulate questions during their Mystery Hangout. Ultimately, the students discovered that their peers were from Texas!
Shell Rock 4th graders pose for a picture with their new friends from New Jersey!
The students used Google Hangout to connect with classes from Texas and New Jersey.
WSR 3rd Graders Experience Young Writer's Conference
On March 26, 2018, all Waverly-Shell Rock third-grade students had the opportunity to participate in a unique writer's conference. They were able to attend the Posenkany Young Writer’s Conference held at Wartburg College. WSR teamed up with Wartburg College’s Dr. Stephanie TeKippe in the Education Department to provide an inspirational keynote speaker, Anne Mazer, author of The Salamander Room, breakout sessions, and lunch for all of our students. The Iowa Reading Research Center provides some interesting information in their blog about writing. We can see how important this day is for our third-grade students. Please follow this link to view the article. The Young Writer’s Conference certainly gave our students a community feel to writing with this experience.
In breakout sessions throughout the day, students were lead by Wartburg College students enrolled in the Language Arts methods course and are working towards a BA in elementary education. College students were responsible for writing and delivering the lessons geared towards writing enrichment. The lessons developed were also connected to writing standards for grade 3. These sessions held the purpose of enhancing students’ writing and creative processes. Sessions offered to 3rd graders included developing and organization in writing, descriptive writing, opinion and persuasive writing, narrative and poetry writing, and conventions of writing.
9th Graders at WSR HS Experience "Get to Green"
Students respond to learning about Get to Green:
"My initial reaction was that this information will be very helpful to students, especially high school students because we have a lot of stress in our lives. And this system will help us a lot." 9th grader
"I thought it was good information that is useful to all ages. This method is a great way to self reflect." 9th grader
"This is very useful and made a lot of sense. A few classmates and I just used this at the start of the period." 9th grader
Getting Ready to Learn
Identifying levels of stress to Get to Green and ready to learn.
Tools for Students to Manage Stress
Some classrooms at the high school are equipped with Calm Crates, which include stress balls, stretchy fidgets, post-notes for communication, and timers.
Community Builders bring in High School Students
Max Rutldege share his HS experiences.
Abby Bechtel listens as 7th graders talk about their future.
Ally Davis encourages 7th graders to think about their path.
W-SR Nexus: Bringing School and Community Together
Student and Community Partnership Benefits
Increased engagement/meaning/purpose by placing W-SR students in Real-World learning environments
Provides opportunity for students to develop success/career skills in this Real-World setting (Communication, Problem-Solving, Collaboration, etc.)
Students develop a heightened sense of community awareness and pride
Students provide an army of fresh (and free!) perspective to the unique challenges of today’s society and business world
Students engaged in partnering with their community as problem-solvers become the leaders of their communities in the future.
Parental/Student Goodwill toward community partners, resulting in positive public relations
Student and Community Partnership Possibilities
Inbound Projects (partner initiated, problem based)
Outbound Projects (student initiated, passion based)
Career Embedded Partnerships (Learning Focused “Internships”)
Existing National/International Initiatives
W-SR Enhancement (School Centered)
Other School/Community Partnerships NOT already identified
For more information about W-SR Nexus and other student-centered/community embedded learning opportunities at W-SR, contact Instructional Coach Chuck Buseman
Assessing Math Concepts and Developing Number Concepts
Elementary Teachers (K-4) spent a recent professional development learning more about Assessing Math Concepts (AMC) and Developing Number Concepts. AMC is a continuum of nine assessments that are formative, summative, and diagnostic to determine what a child knows and still needs to learn. Developing Number Concepts is a cohesive curriculum featuring hands-on activities that give students repeated math experiences.
Some other highlights about these programs include:
Short Personal Interviews
Focus on Number Sense and Concepts
Designed to give teachers the most information possible in the shortest amount of time
Aligned with Common Core State Standards in Mathematics
Contains teacher-directed and independent activities
Teachers begin with personal interviews to gain a cohesive look at a student’s understanding of core math concepts. These foundational concepts are needed in order for students to be successful in math, including at the middle school and beyond. The concepts identified in the interview correlate to the curriculum series.
The curriculum then provides an organized set of meaningful experiences for students. Teachers can differentiate the instruction to meet the needs to the students. This curriculum is based on years of research about how children learn, so the activities provide experiences to develop number sense and concepts from a concrete to an abstract understanding.
Instructional coaches have already been in numerous classrooms helping students gain access to this curriculum. Instructional coaches have helped with the assessments, analyzing and summarizing the assessment data, training teachers and associates for activities, and developing progress monitoring support.