ENSC Weekly Notes
May 2, 2016
Teacher (and Staff) Appreciation Week
Thank you for helping our students feel important, valued, and capable of reaching their dreams. Thank you for treating them as people and not a number or a score on a test. Thank you for the many sacrifices you make to ensure our students receive a quality education every day.
(BTW: Chipotle is offering a buy one, get one free deal on burritos, bowls, salads or order of tacos in honor of Teacher Appreciation Day. Teachers, faculty and staff may bring in a school ID to any Chipotle location on Tuesday, May 3 from 3 p.m. to close. Check out this link for more deals: http://tinyurl.com/TeacherDeals1)
Who Knew...Twitter Can Contribute to Academic Success
Have you ever heard of the Green Eggs and Ham Hypothesis? Apparently Theodore Geisel, more commonly known as Dr. Suess, was given the challenge to write a book using no more than 50 words that young children will love. The rest is history!
Through research, this is considered the Constraint Principle. In a nutshell, children (and adults) are more creative with their writing when forced to work within constraints or rules. Hummm....sounds a little like Twitter. When working within the contraints of 140 characters, you certainly become creative when crafting a message!
Learn more at this link: http://tinyurl.com/ConstraintPrinciple
My New Word of the Day
If you search Grit in the dictionary, you will find several definitions. Here is one definition: courage and resolve; strength of character.
If you use an equally easy search method, Wikipedia, you will find this definition:
Grit in psychology is a positive, non-cognitive trait based on an individual's passion for a particular long-term goal or end state, coupled with a powerful motivation to achieve their respective objective. This perseverance of effort promotes the overcoming of obstacles or challenges that lie within a gritty individual’s path to accomplishment, and serves as a driving force in achievement realization.
Call it what you want, but in my world, grit describes the action of "doing what it takes" to successfully (and legally) accomplish a goal or move toward a vision and not letting excuses or obstacles get in your way.
If you check out Google Images, you will find many graphics that succinctly depict "grit." Below are a few.
Time is running out! For those of you participating in Knight In Training Professional Development, you have until May 27 to complete as many modules as possible to be entered into a drawing for cool tech gadgets! Also, individuals who complete 15 or more PGP points by the end of the year will earn a shirt to wear to show off their efforts to the world! The following individuals have completed over TEN modules this year: Jo Smith, Amy Dewitt, Kelsey Mapes, Nick Maksimchuk, Samantha Jarrett, Anne Smith, Jen Roberts, Sara Stein, and Tami Householder. Way to go!! Who will join them?
Unsung Hero of the Week
Hayden Vogely joined our staff at the ALC this school year. He came to us from Lafayette where he worked in an alternative school setting at McCutcheon High School. He rises to every challenge he is faced with each day in the Homebound Program. The students keep him busy and on his toes. It has been a learning experience for him, working with all grade levels of students, but he has adjusted well. He has made himself an important part of the team. He helps out in any area where he is needed. Haydon is on the football coaching staff at ENHS and spends countless hours training with the players.
We are happy to have him on our team and appreciate all his he does for our students.
And the Cookies Go To.....
Avilla Elementary - 97.9 percent
South Side Elementary - 97.4 percent
East Noble High School - 96.3 percent
Rome City Elementary - 95.6 percent
Wayne Center Elementary - 97.3 percent
Technology, and Building Notes
Back in March, the peer coaches and a few members of the technology staff went to the MACUL Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Following that visit, I asked the attendees to share their biggest “takeaways” from the conference so that other people could learn from their experiences. The following ideas were shared by Ann Ventura, Technology Integration Specialist for Avilla and Rome City Schools. As you can see, she left that conference with a lot of valuable information she wanted to share!
BreakoutEDU (Grades K-12)
My favorite takeaway from the MACUL Conference is Breakout EDU! http://www.breakoutedu.com/ A new fad called Escape Rooms are happening all over the US where you and your friends pay to be locked into a room for about an hour and have to use hidden clues to escape. Now you can bring the premise behind Escape Rooms to your classroom with BreakoutEDU! BreakoutEDU is a game that will have your students thinking critically, problem-solving, troubleshooting, working collaboratively and having so much fun they won't even realize how much they are using their brains! The corporation was able to supply each school building with two BreakoutEDU kits. There is also a Knights in Training module created if you’d like to learn more about BreakoutEDU at http://bit.ly/1WvDXi6.
Watch the following video for an introduction to BreakoutEDU: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWSoR-0DH8Q&feature=youtu.be
Starting a Coding Club (Grades K-6)
One of my big goals for next school year is to get a coding club started at my two buildings. I went to a session all about this topic at MACUL and found some valuable resources. Since then, I’ve decided that I will start with https://studio.code.org/ for the majority because it already has a designed curriculum according to grade level, and it allows the students to work at their pace. Then I will use other coding apps and hands on tools to make it fun! If you’re passionate about this topic and want to be a part of starting a coding club at your building, let me know; I’d love for us to work together and share resources.
This link takes you to a list of coding apps, broken down by grade level: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gC5HXdmomF-XVjc2S2JC-j0cqavnPOZpV7UTQCI7Fmw/pub?embedded=true
This link takes you to a list of hands on tools, broken down by grade level:
Lensmob to Share Pictures (Grades 7-12)Something new that I heard about at MACUL is Lensmob. Lensmob is the simplest way to create a group photo album. Each album has a unique lensmob.com email address and groups can add photos to an album by simply sending an email. This removes the hassle of having to create an account or install an app, something that often prevents people from participating. Lensmob photo albums can only be
East Noble High School
East Noble HS is always looking for opportunities to connect students with their future. This past Thursday, we participated in a school wide Pathway Project day. Students were given several choices as to how they spent their time. All students had the opportunity to job shadow with a parent/guardian. If they didn’t want to do that they could have stayed at the high school. There were guest speakers from the community to address the 10-12 grade students, while the freshmen were exposed to presentations from the Impact Institute. Several students elected to go on field trips to places such as Trine, IPFW, Parkview, and Sweetwater. Guest speakers from the Red Cross talked about volunteer opportunities that serve the needs of the community. Hopefully, students are beginning to have some meaningful experiences that will drive their decisions for the rest of their high school careers and beyond. Thanks to Mark Cockroft and building pathway leaders for all of their hard work in making this day such a success!
Many community representatives have stressed the need for a solid foundation of mathematics. Noble County offers many STEM career opportunities for our students. STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Whether our students are competing in various science competitions, engaging with other students at TechFest Fort Wayne, or they work collaboratively to solve projects in Project Lead the Way, our students have meaningful opportunities to build upon the solid foundation our math teachers provide.
Our math department has been preparing students for their ISTEP assessment that wrapped up this week. Geometry is moving into polygons, their angle measures, and finding their areas. Algebra is wrapping up the unit on quadratics and discussing solving using factoring and quadratic formula. Algebra 2 students were working on Dividing Polynomials. ECA Remediation students are gearing up for the ECA beginning on May 10th.
History and mathematics are merging together in Finite Math, where they have been busy exploring the hidden secrets of Pascal’s Triangle, and Euler’s insights into paths and circuits. AP Calculus will be taking the AP exam next week on May 6th. Students have been working in class in preparation for this test. The AP exam is scored out of 5 and students who receive a 3 or higher may be eligible for college credit depending on their college’s requirements. Good luck to all of them!
East Noble Middle School
It has been a busy week at ENMS, as students finished their final ISTEP tests for the year. They are relieved and ready to enjoy the last 20 days of the school year J
Students have been working hard in the classroom and out as our spring sports are in full swing. Boys and girls soccer has had success thus far in the season as well as the boys and girls track team.
In seventh grade health, students are working on a Tobacco Webquest to learn the dangers of using tobacco products. They are in groups of 4 and have been given a different role/perspective to study and present on using google slides. The groups will also be creating a video/skit to explain the dangers of tobacco in their own way.
Seventh graders are currently embarking on their inspirational person research project. This is a project well-liked by many students. Students identify someone historical or famous that inspires them and then create a number of things: an acrostic poem, a thinglink, a bottle buddy, a trading card, and a presentation. Students are also participating in Genius Hour on Fridays. Genius Hour is one class period a week that allows students to learn about something that interests them. It could be learning a new trick on their skateboard, learning sign language, or learning how to do hair. They must create some sort of presentation to submit the last week of school identifying what they learned and the steps they took to learn it.
The yellow team would like to congratulate Heidi Hazekamp on the birth of her daughter, Hannah Eliza on Tuesday, April 26. Mr. Jacob Wallbaum will be replacing Mrs. Hazekamp for the rest of the school year.
OUR fifth graders visited OUR kindergarten students Friday morning and met their Reading Buddies for the first time. When the fifth graders arrived, they found their kindergarten buddies waiting for them with books in hand ready to read. Students then paired up in a comfortable spot around the room and settled in and read books together for about 20 minutes. The kindergartners shared some of their favorite books, as well as books from their iPads on Kids A-Z. The groups plan on meeting each week for the rest of the year, and hopefully we will continue with new kindergarten and fifth grade classes next year. As part of the Ecosystem science curriculum, students researched a biome to learn about its climate, plant and animal life and locations around the globe. Students worked together to create a diorama depicting their biome. They also created a Power Point presentation to teach their peers about their biome. Students also learned how to add audio and visual enhancements to their presentations by adding background music, voice-overs, and graphics.
Last Thursday Concord School Corporation visited Avilla Elementary School to gain knowledge about going 1:1 with technology. They visited almost every grade level and had time to sit and chat one-on-one with students. They were extremely impressed by the knowledge of our students, especially with what our K-1 students knew! Many apps and tech tools were shared from creation tools such as Story Kit, My Story, and Pic Wall, to collaboration projects on Google Slides and MovieMaker, even to LMS tools such as Canvas, SeeSaw, Showbie, and Google Drive. Thank you students and staff for representing OUR school so wellJ
Cookie Dough sales money was due last week. If you have not turned in your money please do so as soon as possible. If you have questions please contact the school at 897-2301.
This Tuesday will be Muffins with Moms at 7:15. Please plan on attending with your child/children. We would love to see everyone! Thank you, PTO, for putting this together for OUR students! May 19th will be “Maker Day” throughout EN schools. Each grade level will be participating in this event. Several items that could be donated will be needed for this to be a success for OUR kids. Please look for news about this coming home with your child in the very near future. Friday, May 27th is the last student day this year. We will be having a convocation at 9:30 in the gym for all students. Many students will be earning attendance awards and honor roll awards during this convocation. Parents, you are more than welcome to attend and celebrate with OUR students and staff.
North Side Elementary
Another excited week at North Side has passed. This week included the wrapping up of ISTEP+, the continuation of the Penny Wars, and ended with the PTO carnival. The carnival at the end of the week was a HUGE success. Many thanks go out to the hoards of volunteers who donated their time, talent, and money to make it a fun night for the kids. There were bounce houses, whack-a-mole games, circuits connected to computers connected to games, pie in the face, picture taking, cupcake walks and much much more. The two hours flew by as everyone enjoyed games, pizza, and of course some cookies. The PTO put weeks and months of planning into the event and their hard work is very much appreciated.
Rome City Elementary
Rome City School had a wonderful and busy week! Third grade wrote an excellent persuasive letter that persuaded their teachers to have a bubble gum experiment day. They compared different types and flavors of bubble gum to see which flavor would last longer, as well as compared textures, sizes and colors. Below, is a sample of the paper one of the third graders wrote summarizing the experiment. It was an awesome “bubblegum” day!
In celebration of Secretary’s week, Mrs. Robbins and Mrs. Young were pampered with gift cards, lunches, flowers, candy, cards, dances and massages from staff, parents and students! They had a wonderful week being spoiled by wonderful people!
Mrs. Huelsenbeck’s fifth and sixth grade technology classes finished up their digital footprint project by choosing a TV show host, based on the potential candidates on-line profiles. Students compared and contrasted to decide which candidate would be the best role model for the teen TV show. Criteria consisted of which candidate worked best with others and which one was most honest.
South Side Elementary
This week, our third Grade students participated in a Breakout EDU session about simple machines. Students used clues about simple machines to solve puzzles (also about simple machines). The team who solved the clues first “broke out of the classroom.” Students loved this way of reviewing information about simple machines.
Third Grade teachers have recently started an afterschool math club called Crazy 8s. Twenty students participate in hands-on, mathematical activities about various standards. At the end of each session, students are given the manipulatives that we used during the lesson to explore at home.
In Reading and Language Arts, all third graders read the book Harriet Tubman: Conductor of the Underground Railroad. Students were then given the opportunity to show understanding of the text through the app Lego Movie Stop Motion. Students choose one scene from the book to recreate. Here’s an example of a student created video: https://youtu.be/mGqgsWVu-AY.
Wayne Center Elementary
The first graders have started a thematic unit study of insects/animals and their habitats in preparation for the upcoming field trip to the Fort Wayne Zoo. This study will incorporate the subjects of science, reading, writing, and math. We have been reading both fiction and nonfiction texts on our topic. Students have been learning and practicing comprehension strategies and skills for reading both fiction and nonfiction texts. For example, we will study characters, setting, plot, and sequence of events in our fiction text and learn how to go back in our nonfiction text to locate and support our answers. The first graders are learning that good readers make predictions before, during, and after reading as well as skimming the questions before reading so they know what they are looking for while reading. They also will be writing about their reading and sharing what they have learned. It is amazing to see how excited the first graders are about this unit study and the tremendous growth they have made as readers, writers, and thinkers. It has been a true celebration of growing and learning this year!
WC Tigers wrapped up the week with a fun-filled carnival organized by our awesome PAC members. Families had fun playing games, bidding on items in the silent auction, making crazy hats to wear, and dunking their favorite staff member in the dunk tank. Many thanks to our PAC members for organizing the event for our school and to the many volunteers who also helped make the carnival such a success!