Bearcat Brief

May 17, 2019

Notes from Niki

I try not to count the days because I have a job to do and the third to last day is as important, instructionally, as the first if we are to get a year's growth from a kid in a year's time, but... I am very cognizant that we have 3 days left and so are our kids. Some of them are trying things they haven't all year, some are doing the same things they have done all year but those things are driving us a little crazier than normal. Hang on... we're almost there.

Things to keep in mind for the end of the year:

  • Here's a schedule for the 21st- awards and Chromebook turn-in. 5th and 6th grade may want to modify your afternoon schedule from this since your awards will be done. Let me know if there is a problem.
  • I will get a sign-up sheet for adults on the incentive day out on Monday and try to get student schedules and activity rosters done by Monday afternoon.
  • Here is a link to the end of the year checklist- please take care of getting all of these items initialed at the same time.
  • I will email budget numbers to you individually a little bit later- I'm headed to my nephew's preschool graduation now (it really should be illegal to put 5-year-olds in caps and gowns- the cuteness is killing me). We will take care of office supplies like tape, glue,... from the office budget unless you use an extraordinary amount for a particular project. You may get more than one email if you have access to more than one supply account. Please coordinate purchases with the other teacher(s) listed on the particular email.

Professional Reading/ Resources:

Drawing as a Learning Tool

“Encourage students to draw,” says Youki Terada in this Edutopia article. “Doing so is a powerful tool to boost student learning because it improves recall by challenging students to explore an idea in different ways… It forces students to grapple with what they’re learning and reconstruct it in a way that makes sense to them.” Drawing doubles recall, says Terada, by having students process information in several ways.

Studies have found this to be true of college students as well as young children, and it’s unrelated to artistic talent or a particular learning style. “Research has debunked the idea that students learn best when teachers try to match instruction to a single modality,” says Terada. “Instead, what’s happening is that drawing taps into multiple modalities – visual, kinesthetic, and semantic – which is superior to tapping into only one. When students draw something, they process it in three different ways, in effect learning it three times over.”

Terada suggests several ways teachers can get students drawing in academic classes, across all subject areas:

- Have students create anchor charts, maps, and diagrams to display on the walls.

- Have students write notes on one side of a page, draw on the other side.

- Ask students to collect, study, and present data in visual form.

- Have students make books in which they visually represent information, perhaps in the form of a comic book.

- Assess learning, challenging students to demonstrate their understanding in visual form.

“The Science of Drawing and Memory” by Youki Terada in Edutopia, March 14, 2019,

Upcoming Events


May 21- Grade-Level Awards

May 21- Student of the Month Assembly

May 22- Last Day of School, Incentive Day

May 23- Staff Work Day- I believe the district gathering will be in the morning, but don't have any details yet. We will get together as a building, briefly, for ice cream treats and to welcome our new staff members.