Friday Focus

A Week of Awesomeness at EHS 12.11.15

Introduction

Welcome to the last Friday Focus of the semester!! Since next week will be consumed with finals, I won't be putting together a Friday Focus. I know you have all been working extremely hard to create great final exams for your students. Hopefully, they come prepared and rock them! In just one short week, you'll be on your way to enjoy a wonderful winter break. Keep up the awesome work, thank you for all that you do.


I do want to give a quick shout out to everyone who has been working so hard this week to make all of our extra events run smoothly. Let's hear it for Cara, who has been slaving away to make this week run smoothly between the basketball tournaments, wrestling tournament, and not to mention running the middle school activity schedule as well. There are so many tasks for her to get taken care of, you wouldn't believe the work that goes in behind the scenes this week. Teresa Carnagie has also been working like crazy to take care of so many logistics to help everything go according to plan. Bonnie Neis has been working to ensure that all the gate and concession money gets where it needs to go. To our athletic trainers - Eric and Josh - who have been working almost nonstop this week - thanks for your time! Chef Low is working to coordinate food for the basketball tournament, the wrestling tournament, and also the softball biscuits and gravy feed on Saturday. I know I'm probably leaving people out, but just know that the week is almost over, and your hard work is so greatly appreciated! Not only by me, but by our students, family, and community. Thanks again!

Students As Learners

Mr. Magette

I happened to walk into Eric's applied chemistry class again this week. Do you remember those 3D periodic table models that his students were working on a couple of weeks ago? They are the gift that just keeps on giving! Students were learning about bonds, and drawing the Lewis Dot Diagrams (electron diagrams) on a side of each element's cube. After doing this, students could see why some elements bond easily together. It was a great visual for students to have. I did a little research on my own and found the following infographic on wikipedia (don't hate that I used wikipedia..sorry!) about Lewis Dot Diagrams.

Mr. Tharp

Jason's students are learning several things about the Great Depression. This week, students were encouraged to find recipes that were common during that time era, and bring that food to class. I tasted one item while I was in there, that wasn't too bad, but some of the others, I simply just passed on. It was a truly fun way to get students more deeply connected with the content, and to have a better understanding of just how hard times were, and what people ate on a daily basis.
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Mrs. McQueen

In Melanie's Spanish 1 classes, students have been working on expressing things they do and do not like. She had students create a short presentation in Google Slides, focusing on the grammar and vocabulary they've had in class. Students presented to the class in Spanish about their likes and dislikes. It was a good experience for students to work on grammar, speaking, listening, and some technology too!
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Staff As Learners

Mr. Gish

Last week, Jeremy emailed me asking for a new technology tool for student presentations. I suggested that he look into Adobe Slate, and this week, his students are already using it! Students are working in groups to create character presentations. They chose a character from a list, and they are making a two part presentation. First, they are making a big visual representation of their character on a huge sheet of butcher paper. They are then using Adobe Slate to create their character analysis, and the group will present to the class. Just walking by a few times, I could tell the students were into it, and having a fun time! Great assignment!
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Mrs. Pickett

Shannon also used technology in a really neat way this week. Her students are reading House on Mango Street, which is filled with vignettes. In order to get students to see how metaphors, similes, and other figurative language can help strengthen a vignette, Shannon had her students create metaphors/similes for parts of some vignettes she projected on the board. She then had students post their metaphors and similes to Padlet, so they could see each other's work, collaborate, gain more ideas, and see how many different similes and metaphors could be made for the same idea. It was truly a fantastic use of Padlet! When I walked back in later in the week, students were busy writing their own vignettes, applying what they had learned earlier in the week. One student invited me to read his, and it was extremely heart felt. Excellent work, Shannon!
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Instructional Strategy Of The Week

Mrs. Splichal

When I walked into Julie's earth space science class, I was totally impressed with what the students were doing. Students had recently learned about earthquakes, frequency, etc., and they were putting that knowledge to use to solve a real world issue. Students used inquiry based learning to complete a lab to help them determine how buildings should be built in order to best sustain an earthquake. Students were able to design three "buildings" of different heights, and see how different frequencies affected the buildings differently. I was particularly impressed with one group who was so proud of what they had accomplished. They built their buildings, and in order to test the frequencies, they took it out to one of their cars, that had some pretty intense subwoofers to test the different frequencies. When I was asking them questions about their findings, they easily told me how the different frequencies affected each building, and what caused either high or low frequency in the "earthquake." What extremely impressed me, was that this group of students is not your typical "rock star" group of students - yet with hands on, inquiry based learning, they were able to take a concept and really grasp it. Add to that that they were finding a solution to a real-world problem, and you have the relevancy to make this a project that they will remember for a long time. The last thing I'd like to mention about Julie's class is how clear her agenda and objectives are every single day for students. They always know what the learning objective is, and how they are going to go about achieving that objective. This is an excellent practice to get in the habit of doing, and Julie does a great job of it!

Articles Worth Reading/Video Worth Watching

Doodling

You get a two for one this week! The article that I found also contains a video (a TED talk) within the article, so we will combine these two sections this week. The article I found is about a brain-based learning technique - doodling. The article presents some interesting points, and I'd be interested to know if anyone is willing to give this a shot with their students, and what the results are! Programming note!! If you watch the TED talk, please note there is an inappropriate reference around the 1:30 mark, so you'd be well advised not to watch it around students.

Final Thoughts

One more week! One more week! One more week!


And that week is 4 days with students! You can do it!! I hope you enjoy a great weekend, and come ready for finals week! Thanks for everything you do!


Megan