We are Heritage

Mr. Peyton's Newsletter - January 11, 2016

2nd Quarter Breakfast Club Members

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These students were recognized for their character, attitude, and/or effort. These positive traits are essential to being a productive, positive citizen, which is the focus of the Breakfast Club and Heritage High School.

“Periodically” History and Science Meet by Mrs. Hopper and Ms. White

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Ms. White and I were interested in developing a project for our sophomores that would bring History and Science together. My Chemistry students are all taking her World History class. I was beginning to introduce the discovery of the atom, periodic table and its elements and she was introducing the Scientific Revolution. We felt this was the perfect time. We both had objectives we needed to meet in our curriculum but this gave us the opportunity to not only meet those individual class objectives but to meet some of our Heritage Power Standards in a fun and meaningful way. The following are our project objectives:

· Students will create a demonstration or exhibit which will replicate the various universal models debated throughout history, focusing primarily on the Scientific Revolution

· Students will research and synthesize information located online, in various texts, and encyclopedias in order to understand the contributions made by scientists during the Scientific Revolution

·Students will create a model of an element of their choice, demonstrating their knowledge of the organization of the subatomic particles in an atom

· Students will display their knowledge of the characteristics of the elements through research, reporting, and assembling the Periodic Table.

The Heritage Power Standards we focused on were:

· Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence

· Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience

·Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience

Implementing this project was a challenge in itself. We made sure there were clear expectations as well as common descriptive rubrics. Each rubric outlined the designated information necessary to complete the project, from who discovered the element to how many valence electrons there are in an atom of that element. The students were randomly assigned 4 elements from the periodic table. In doing this, every element was researched. They conducted their research primarily online. Because of this, we had lengthy discussions of the validity of various sources and re-educated them on proper online etiquette. Students cited and reported their findings on an information sheet. That information was later used to create a poster displaying the content in an artistic way. These posters were then organized into a giant periodic table in the hallway near the multipurpose room. The highest form of learning is creating. It was important to us that the students demonstrated their knowledge gained from researching. Students taking Chemistry, chose one element and created an atomic model. The students in World History but not in Chemistry, researched the various planetary systems throughout history and modeled one in a display. Students’ models were then displayed in our classrooms.

We were extremely impressed with the students throughout the entire project. Every student participated on a regular basis inside the classroom and put in time at home as well. They seemed engaged and excited about the topic. The students were on task online, were respectful of others while working, and used their time wisely. We had very few late projects. Student showed an understanding of the objectives through exemplary grades. Our overall goal was to create a group of highly motivated students who had a sincere approach to learning new information. We feel we achieved this goal and had a lot of fun while doing it. In the future we hope to bridge the gap between History and Science in future cross curricular projects. Hopefully we have inspired others to do the same.

2016 College Entrance Exam

First semester, Heritage offered an ACT test prep course for Juniors. This course provided students with test taking strategies and familiarized them with the ACT format. Just before break, the state board of education announced that the College Board (SAT) won the bid as Illinois' state college entrance exam. As a result, Heritage will look at shifting our ACT test prep to a college entrance exam test prep.

Regarding the SAT, the College Board stated, the new SAT test focuses on the classroom skills and knowledge that colleges want most. It covers only the vocabulary and math that are widely used in college and career. The College Board has also removed the guessing penalty, encouraging students who have worked hard to try their best on every question.

In addition, the College Board has teamed up with Khan Academy® to provide personalized, online practice tools to all students for free. It’s a great way for students to sharpen what they need to know for the new SAT and for college — at their own pace, anytime, anywhere. This tool will be a implemented in our new college entrance exam test prep course.

Finally, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), would like to give all districts in Illinois the ability to provide a state-funded college entrance exam to all 11th grade students this spring. But given current funding issues in Illinois and the contract still needing to be finalized between the state and SAT, there is no date set for spring administration or guarantee of funding. Because we have no information at this time, parents and high school juniors should register to take either the SAT or ACT test during a National Testing Day this year. These dates can be found on the ACT website, www.actstudent.org, and the SAT website, www.collegeboard.org. **Before registering for either assessment, students who qualify for free and reduced lunch are eligible for a fee waiver - call Mrs. Knott for details.

As the state releases new information regarding spring administration dates and funding, the school will send out information and updates to keep students and parents informed.