The Cougar Chronicle

Mrs. Sirois's Newsletter - September 2019

SAT Prep scheduled to learn etiquette

Friday marked the 30th day of the school year, and my classes are in the midst of several exciting activities. SAT Prep will take a break from practice tests and challenging vocabulary words in order to visit Indiana Tech on November 14. Not only will we tour campus, but we will also add to our professional skillset by attending Indiana Tech's etiquette lunch. This trip is especially close to my heart because I spent several years teaching business classes at Indiana Tech as an adjunct professor before I became a high school teacher (oh, so many years ago).

It all started with a driving question in Honors English class

The Honors English students finished reading Of Mice and Men and are connecting some of the lonely characters, who did not have a voice in the text, to real world groups of people. They began by identifying a voiceless or powerless group of people and will research that group.Their final product will include a 2-panel research display and either a TED Talk or Public Service Announcement.

The kids have really been pushing their ideas into new directions and have been improving their skills in inquiry, peer feedback, and collaboration. And, the beauty of this type of project is that I can cover an extensive number of state standards using subject matter that the students have chosen themselves. A few of these state standards include...

  • formulating an inquiry question
  • building research knowledge
  • citing nonfiction textual evidence
  • evaluating arguments and claims
  • synthesizing information
  • creating engaging presentations

Honors English - Of Mice and Men Socratic Seminars

Honors English Gallery Walk - Planning Stage

English 9/10 - Of Mice and Men & Flexible Seating

I have just one section of English 9/10, but this is a strong group, and they have demonstrated that by being conscientious about getting their work done. I've especially enjoyed reading Of Mice and Men and playing Vocabulary Jam with this class. Additionally, these kids have taken control of the flexible seating in my classroom. It is not unusual to find a couple of them painting or sanding furniture in the last few minutes of class once their work is done. How did I get so lucky to have these kids?

Flexible Seating Faux Pas

Reading class tackles Reading Strategies and Outdoor Classroom Project

In my reading class, we have been reading Boot Camp by Todd Strasser, reading out loud from Reader's Theater scripts, and working through reading strategies. Some of these strategies from Jennifer Serravallo's book include...

  • Finding the perfect reading spot
  • Rereading
  • Fixing the fuzziness
  • Building stamina
  • Setting page and timed goals

We are also hoping to expand the reading lounge (shared by all four high school English teachers) into an outdoor classroom. The reading class is in charge of plans to make this happen, so we are in the planning phase of this yearlong project.

CN Snapshots

The Inclusion Revolution - Unified Sports

The IHSAA made Unified Flag Football an official high school sport in 2018, and Central Noble was one of 28 teams in the state to start a program last year. Coach Moe and I are now in our second year of Unified Flag Football, and our season has started strong with a record of 2-0. We have our one away game against Carroll on Monday, September 30, and then Sectionals on Saturday, October 5.

Unified Flag Football (fall season) and Unified Track (spring season) are just two ways in which Central Noble includes ALL students, regardless of their abilities. I like the term "Inclusion Revolution," because Unified Sports truly takes a team effort. In order to play these sports, students with and without intellectual disabilities need to work together as a team to compete.

If you missed your chance to play on our coed flag football team this year, we will have a callout meeting when school starts next fall. In the meantime, Unified Track is recruiting. Our six track and field events include 100m, 400m, shot put, long jump, boys 4 x 100 relay, and girls 4 x 100 relay. Participants are grouped in heats/flights with other participants with similar times/distances. Practice will start in March. See me (Coach Sirois) for details.

Homecoming Week

Big picture