ENSC Parent Notes

September 30, 2013

Hello All

Last Friday was an excellent day of professional development for our teachers. From the 6+1 training in several buildings to the active shooter simulation at the middle school. It was certainly a valuable day for all.


Each of the buildings planned their in-service training and designed topics based on the needs of their buildings. The 6+1 Writing Traits is a writing assessment process that teachers use to help students develop their writing skills. The middle school, in partnership with the Kendallville Police, Noble County Police, Indiana State Police, and the Impact Institute Criminal Justice students conducted an active shooter simulation in the middle school building. This simulation allowed teachers to reflect upon the event to help them better plan for an emergency event like this.


While this simulation is very helpful, it is hoped the skills learned are never needed! At the same time, this simulation helps adults think through decisions that need to be made, but there is no simulation that can fully prepare someone for the magnitude of something like this.


I encourage all of you to use Twitter. Each of the buildings have a Twitter account and they regular send message of upcoming events and reminders of due dates. You can follow me at @ENobleSchCorp. I will usually retweet anything that the buildings send out.

Connected Educators Month

October is Connected Educators Month and you will find many posts, websites, blogs, ect. dedicated to this topic. Check out this website for additional information: http://connectededucators.org/ You can sign up to receive updates and information. When you look at the website, you will see a link to a calendar of events and resources. This includes webinars, Pinterest Boards, Twitter Chats, and many other resources. It is an excellent site with many resources available to you for free.


Other websites worth a look:

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/liberty-bell-history-students-should-know-pbl-maurice-elias

https://www.edsurge.com/n/2013-09-26-you-know-you-re-a-connected-educator-when

http://www.edudemic.com/share-that-picture/

Critical Thinking and the Common Core

As I listen and talk with leaders in business and industry, they often share their frustration with youth and adults who lack critical thinking/problem solving skills. They often ask why we don't teach them to make decisions, reflect, and solve a problem. Employers want to know that when faced with an obstacle in their job, the employee is able to analyze the issue, consider multiple solutions, and then choose the best solution to a problem. Instead, the employers share, employees often are not able to see the bigger picture and arrive at a solution on their own. They wait for someone to tell them what to do.


The common core doesn't deviate dramatically from the Indiana standards, but what it does is cause lessons to be taught in a manner that students will be thinking more critically, and arriving at multiple solutions from different perspectives. The days of memorizing facts and steps will become irrelevant.


While the state continues to discuss the value and direction of the Common Core in Indiana, ENSC will continue to implement the common core in the curriculum that has been already been developed by our teachers.

This week's Super Hero is South Side's

This month’s super-hero nominee is South Side’s Julie Becker! Julie works every day to not only meet the needs of each student in her second grade classroom, but this year as our building’s technology coach, she spends half of her school day and countless after-school hours working with teachers and students helping them to get the most from technology integration in their classrooms. Each week, Julie hosts “Website Wednesday” after school in the media center, giving teachers support in building and maintaining an interactive classroom website. She hosts monthly trainings, rolling out new resources, applications, and software programs for staff; and as our building’s BURST coordinator, she plays an important role in data and assessment. Un-officially, Julie is one of the buildings “go-to” people for technology. She is always open and patient if anyone needs assistance or advice whether it is for technology, instruction, classroom management, community outreach, or any other area where she is involved. She is most definitely a super-hero for our building, our district, and our community. Thanks, Julie!


Have a great week. It is hard to believe Tuesday is the first day of October! Fall is here and before we know it, so will winter.



Ann

Building and Curriculum News

Avilla Elementary

Thursday we had OUR monthly Character Counts Convocation. OUR convocation is a time to celebrate with the students many of the acts of Character that occur during the past month. Each grade level has three tickets with student names drawn from a container. Those students win a small prize. We then have six students win a Character Counts T-shirt. A new twist to the celebration has been added by Mr. Ogle. Each class draws a name prior to the convocation and each of those students receive a certificate for showing good character at school.


This past Thursday evening was Panther University. Students and parents were treated to a great learning opportunities. Parents were treated to an explanation of how Daily 5 works in classrooms throughout all of EN schools. While the parents were busy learning, the students were kept entertained with a puppet show. We would like to thank all parents and students for attending. We would also like to thank the staff members for putting together a great evening for all.

East Noble High School

The marching band is in the midst of a very competitive season. With ISSMA Regional quickly approaching the students are working harder than ever. Something new the marching band has introduced as part of their “pursuit of excellence” is their focus on academic excellence. They have set up homework tables that the entire band attends where they can get help with their homework or other struggling subjects from other students that are excelling in those areas; yet another example of our incredible students and how they are invested in the success of everyone.


The French classes have been working on writing letters back and forth with their “epals” from Le Mans, France. The students got to pick a High School student that goes to school in France and is communicating with them through an email exchange. Along with the letters, they have been conducting research on Le Mans, France in order to learn more about the city their “epals” live in. This email exchange will be an ongoing project throughout the year where students will develop an appreciation for the differences in the culture with their own through celebrating different holidays with their epals, exchanging traditional food recipes, and creating journals that outline daily practices.


The art department has started off the year strong with several exciting projects. Both the 3-D and 2-D display cases have great examples of work on display in the high school. However, the art department is also encouraging the students to share their work with a larger audience. They have been using Twitter to share pictures of their finished projects. Follow @ENHSart to see some of this wonderful artwork.


AP Spanish class is currently working on a community project. The Chamber of Commerce sends out a packet of helpful information to newcomers to the area, but doesn’t include information in any other languages. So we are creating and compiling helpful information in Spanish, which the Chamber has excitedly agreed to include in that welcome to Kendallville packet.

Spanish 1 students just completed their first project of the year. They worked in groups of 3 to create instructional Spanish videos. They embraced being the teachers not only by teaching the viewers but by teaching each other. After the videos were submitted, we voted on the best ones and sent them out to teachers and community members who were interested in learning some basic Spanish. The responses were great. Here is a link to just one of the videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZYdJbKESF0


Show choir started their season last week with their annual dessert concert and the Bluffton Street Fair competition. They placed in the top 3 for the 6th year in a row. The singers gave beautiful performances at both events.


East Noble Middle School

This week students learned about the goals and rewards program for this school year. Students will be setting goals for their quarterly grades and their growth between Acuity tests. Students will have the opportunity to receive rewards that include East Noble t-shirts, bags, and bracelets. Students can also earn outside time during lunch, free time in the gym during Academic Lab, and also the opportunity for a lock in movie night at the middle school.


The middle school wrapped up the week with a very intense and informative training held by the Indiana State Police. This included a presentation that included information on school safety and active shooters. The state police held a live simulation in the building to show what law enforcement does during an active shooter situation. If you haven’t seen the news report you can find video clips on news 15, 21, and 55. Sate troopers were extremely helpful and visited individual classrooms where teachers could ask questions regarding school safety.

North Side Elementary

This week North Side launched its school-wide cookie dough fundraiser. The students gathered to hear about safety tips to selling and the prizes they could earn. The presenter challenged our student body to surpass last year’s grand total with a goal of $20,000 worth of sales. Students have until October 9th to turn in order forms.


Our intermediate classes have completed language arts and math Acuity assessments. Now students and teachers are focusing on creating goals based on their individual results in order to show growth on the next assessment. Acuity lessons have been assigned and students will practice specific skills in school and at home.


Our fifth grade students were excited to launch Success this week in order to help them reach their goals. They participated in a mock Success week to practice procedures and reinforce the importance of our school motto “Don’t Mess with Success.”


North Side students had a lot of fun this week celebrating College Go Week! Teachers took some time to share their college experience with students; including why they decided to become a teacher and how they determined which college they would attend. In addition, all staff members posted a picture of their college mascot next to their hallway resume. Each morning three questions were read over the morning announcements; one for grades K-2, 3-4, and 5-6. Each classroom determined which staff member and corresponding college the question referred to. Teachers sent off their classroom’s answer in hopes that they would be the first to get it right. Cheers could be heard as winners were announced at the end of the day and small prizes were handed out. It was a lot of fun and a great way to increase college awareness!

Rome City Elementary

It was another exciting week to be a ROMAN as fall has officially arrived! The leaves are beginning to change colors and so is our cafeteria! Head custodian, Joby Morr, put forth some extra time and effort to continue our facility improvements with a much needed coat of paint to our cafeteria. Kids, staff, and visitors were all amazed at the new look of the cafeteria as the final strokes were made to cover the old handprint murals that decorated the old cafeteria walls.


Other exciting events in our building included a visit to Rome City School by Ronald McDonald to celebrate another million pop-tabs that have been collected to support the Ronald McDonald House. The pop tabs were recycled and a check for $420.60 was presented to Ronald by our Roman students Thursday afternoon. While he was visiting, Ronald McDonald also helped educate our Roman students on the importance of bully prevention. Students were attentive and excited about the message that he had to share regarding this serious issue facing our students today.


Finally, our National Elementary Honor Society students, along with their sponsors and parents were also busy again on Saturday morning running the concession stand at Kelly Park for the East Noble Youth Football League games that took place in Rome City. The honor society members and their parents have been using this opportunity to support our students and school every Saturday this month and have raised close to $900 to be used for building-wide incentive programs and student activities. Way to go ROMANS!


Wayne Center Elementary

The Wayne Center first graders have been diving into reading. Mrs. Dean’s and Mrs. McDonald’s class have been talking about goal setting and tracking their data in data notebooks. One of our goals as a first grade team is to move up 250 reading levels. In order to keep track of the student’s progress the first grade teachers have created a giant gumball machine in the hallway. Every time the students move up a reading level they get to put a gumball on the gumball machine. The students also have mini gumball machines in their data folder so they can keep track of their own reading progress. The students are eager to practice reading so they can see the gumball machine full at the end of the year!


Our National Elementary Honor Society members showed citizenship and caring for others by participating in the annual Light the Night walk Tuesday evening. The members raised a total of $1,935.14 for cancer research. Way to go, students!


Alternative Learning Center

It was another fantastic week at the ALC. We welcomed a new high school student this week and have a new middle school student on the way. In addition to our new students we also issued 7 more credits this week, bringing our grand total for the year to 41!!! The winners of our weekly attendance drawing were Christina Wilcox and Austin Campbell. Congratulations Christina and Austin for demonstrating commitment to their education through good attendance.


Curriculum News

Modeling

When you ask students to do something within in your classroom are you ever shocked when they don’t seem to know what to do? When you ask kids to take notes, are they able to accurately write down key ideas and information?


If you find yourself disappointed in your student’s work, are you modeling what you want accomplished as part of each lesson?


A quality lesson in every classroom should employ a gradual release model that includes an I Do, We Do, You Do method. As part of the I Do and We Do cycles, modeling what you expect is essential to student success. When we assume that students know what we want, we are often disappointed in the level of effort and the work turned in. However, when we show students what we expect, the level of effort and the product produced quickly rises.

Don’t assume that students know what you expect. Consider these tips when providing instruction:


1. Share models of work from former students, or if this is your first year of teaching, model some work of your own.

2. Instead of “telling” students what to do, allow them to discover possible ways of thinking, and then share with their classmates. Student models are so powerful.

3. Have students share copies of their work. When students know that they will have a purpose and an audience, the level of effort often rises.