Good Things Newsletter

November 2015 Edition


We made it through the 1st Quarter, and it's full steam ahead for the 2nd Quarter. Your Media and Tech team hope you are returning to school well-rested and ready for the last part of the first semester. We are here and ready to help. Over the next nine weeks, we are going to be focused on providing you with strategies to aid in differentiating, reviewing, and remediating during this home stretch.

As the weather outside gets cooler, let's warm things up in the classroom!!!

Instructional Highlight: Student Voice and Choice in the Classroom and Questioning Rigor

Last month, we created a series of "Flipped Lessons" for our Beginning and New Teachers on Student Voice and Choice in the classroom and Questioning Rigor. We want to share those lessons and the virtual field trips into the classrooms of several of our teachers in this month's newsletter. If you would like to schedule a time to meet with Tracey or April to work on these same strategies in your class, please let us know!

Literacy Strategy: Foldables

Technology is a great tool to use in the classroom when appropriate, but sometimes you have to break out the good "old fashioned" paper. Foldables are a great resource to use when differentiating in the classroom and as a review or remediation aid. Check out this link to Pinterest for many great ideas for incorporating foldables into your content area.

Tech Check-Up from the Help Desk

  • Make sure you are keeping up with attendance letters --

  • Frank is working diligently to put Apple TV’s in rooms. Not all classrooms will get them overnight, but they are coming

  • Feel free to email Damien if you need any Help Desk students to assit your students with learning how to use a new piece of software

  • Don’t update your machine to El Capitan

  • Make sure you use the Work Order System

  • We have another round of day users coming up at the end of the month. Please accommodate them

  • If you see Jorge Hernandez, please e-mail Mr. Akelman ASAP. :)

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News from the Media Center

  • We’re no longer printing out notices for students with overdue library books & equipment :) Each student is now receiving a digital overdue notice. In addition, parents/guardians are emailed a copy of this notice. As a result, 1st block teachers will not be receiving paper overdue notices in their mailboxes either. However, we will still send media assistants to classrooms to collect overdue books on occasion. A big thanks to Damien for helping with this project!

  • Please help us update our library collection. We want your suggestions on what types of print and digital resources to purchase for the Media Center. Click here to make recommendations of what library items will best support your curriculum.

  • Shout out to Kelsey Agar for co-presenting with Kristi at the NC School Library Media Association (NCSLMA) conference last month. Their session, entitled “All Hands on Deck: Collaborative Student Research Projects,” showcased Kelsey’s engaging Africa project and featured a special presentation by one of her former students.

  • Want to schedule time in the Media Center or prefer that Erin or Kristi co-teach with you in your classroom? Then, email us or stop by the library. We’d love to collaborate with you!
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Attention!!! There is a New Doctor in the House!!!!

Congratulations to Assistant Principal Tim Hoffman on earning his PhD in Mathematics from UNCC.

You've Been Busted!

Check out some of the amazing things our teachers have been up to over the last month.

  • Nic Allen and Terry Shinn did a midterm review assignment involving infographics in Civics & Economics. Pairs of students selected a topic to be an "expert" on, and had to analyze their learning to determine what was most important to include in their one-page infographic. Students shared their infographics via a physical gallery crawl, and then created a digital version using Google Docs to curate all of their peers' infographics for easier studying. Check out two student examples - 1 from Smore and Piktochart.
  • Kelly Henley used a suggested from the Tech Visit Tuesday Newsletter to create QR problem cubes for her math classes. Students scanned the cubes with a QR Reader and worked together to solve the problems.
  • Mackenzie McCraw's students created Murder Mystery Math Madlibs using Google Slides. They combined multimedia, fiction writing and their math skills to create some incredibly creative presentations to solve math problems. Check them out here.

  • Tiffany Cavicchia put a new spin on an old favorite using Padlet. She asked students to post to the Padlet based on where they were sitting - each seat had a different component to add. Students used words, songs and images to come to a definition of theme. We loved this new use of an old tool that brings in grouping strategies! Check out the "What does Freedom Mean to You" Padlet here.

Did you do a cool lesson recently involved technology? Have you moved "across the line"? Send us a quick note outlining what you did and some student examples. We can't be everywhere all the time and want to showcase all of the great things our teachers are creating and leading our students in!

April Davala

Tracey Waid

Damien Akelman

Erin Stutts

Kristi Kallio

A Little Something Motivational :)

If you are an educator and you are not yet familiar with Erin Gruwell (aka Freedom Writers), check out her Ted Talk on "Becoming a Catalyst for Change". Her story is inspiring, and what she was able to do for her students is even more inspiring.
Becoming a Catalyst for Change: Erin Gruwell at TEDxChapmanU


Enokson. “Overdue Rubber Stamp.” Flickr.

1 May 2013. Web. Oct. 2015.