Friday, March 21, 2014

March 21, 2014 Shirley Sovereign

PK-1 Principal/Director of Teaching & Learning
Shirley Sovereign

ssovereign@howard-winn.k12.ia.us
Twitter:  ssovprincipal
SKYPE:  shirley.sovereign 




STEM Activities
Several 5th grade students attended STEM workshops in Elkader this year. Their supervising teachers at these workshops are Mrs. Kelly Sorenson and Mr. Todd Knobloch. On March 14th, these students brought the skills they learned back to their classrooms. They planned and led the STEM learning for groups of 5th graders in several classrooms. It was a powerful learning experience to have students teaching their peers. The student-led STEM day included classes on several technology and higher-order thinking activities. They had excellent support from Cathy Haye of Keystone AEA, who brought the equipment and assisted the students throughout the day. The sessions included TinkerCad/3D printer, BeeBot/ProBot, Rover/EV3's, Sphero and Pixlr.


Teaching peers to use the Pixlr app


Learning to use Sphero was a challenge!



Teaching about BeeBot
Using Rover/EV3's

State Speech Contest
Congratulations to Crestwood High School students in the State Speech Contest! They achieved 13 division one's  and 8 division two's. A great accomplishment for Mrs. Deb Day and students. Very PROUD! A great way to end the season!

Reading Comprehension and Technology
Reading skills are becoming more complex for our first graders at this time of the year. Once the basic decoding skills are learned, it is time to emphasize reading for comprehension. Technology tools help students practice comprehension skills in various ways with reading, writing, listening and speaking skills coming into play. Here are some highlights that were shared with me this week from the first grade classrooms.       
    


Mrs. Voves:  Finding the main idea of a story passage during Cadet Time.

Mrs. Kuhn:  Using Padlet to learn features of non-fiction text.


Mrs. Mahr:  Answering questions for Unit 4 inquiry projects.
School in Need of Assistance (SINA) Meeting
The team met this week with Marcia Kruse, AEA Consultant. The meeting served as a check point for progress on the Crestwood Elementary SINA Plan. The after-school tutoring program is going well with only 10 sessions remaining. More students are participating in the program than last year. Planning was done on the agenda for the March 26th inservice meeting. Teachers will work on "I Can" statements matched with standards and the Iowa Core. They will continue adding to the collection of intervention strategies to be used during RTI/MTSS intervention time. Teachers will continue to plan grade level reading events to increase parent involvement. Future changes in reading assessments were also discussed in the SINA meeting.


Competency Based Education
The Howard-Winn CBE Team participates in on-going work with the State Collaborative. Last week, the Personalized Learning work team completed writing its definition of personalized learning, which is necessary before moving on with the framework for CBE.


CBE Personalized Learning Work Team
Definition of Personalized Learning
(finalized 3/12/2014)



Personalized Learning:  
Learning is tailored to each student’s strengths, needs and interests in order to provide flexibility and supports to ensure all students reach proficiency of the highest standards/competencies possible. Personalized learning enables student voice and choice in what, how, when, and where they learn.                                                                                                                                          
In a personalized learning environment:
  • students advance to higher-level work upon demonstrating proficiency of competencies rather than according to age or seat time.  


  • students’ learning is guided by explicit and measurable learning objectives, which occur at the student’s own pace in school, in the community, in workplaces, or through online experiences.


  • students’ skills, concepts, and dispositions are assessed in multiple contexts and through various means with attention on student learning, not grades.


  • students receive rapid, differentiated support based on their individual learning needs.


  • students and teachers work as co-designers where students have a voice and choice in developing their learning pathways.
     


Upcoming Events:
Family STEM Festival




STEM Entrepreneur Camp
June 10-14, 2014
For current 4th and 5th graders




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