Friday, April 4, 2014

April 4, 2014 Shirley Sovereign

PK-1 Principal/Director of Teaching & Learning
Shirley Sovereign
Twitter:  ssovprincipal
SKYPE:  shirley.sovereign

Visit from Aplington-Parkersburg School
Teachers on the A-P Technology Team visited our district to gain insight into the use of 1:1 devices in classrooms.  They met with H-W administrators, toured classrooms and talked with teachers during collaborative time.  Their questions included such topics as:  What transitions occurred for integrating technology into the classrooms?  What type of professional development and training was available for teachers?  What policies and procedures were in place?  What advice does HW have for schools going 1:1?  

THANK YOU to staff who welcomed the visitors to the classrooms.  The A-P teachers commented about how open HW teachers were about discussing technology enhanced instruction in their classrooms.       

Pittsfield, New Hampshire School District

The Howard Winn Competency-Based Education (CBE) Team traveled to Pittsfield, New Hampshire this week to study the implementation of CBE in that school.  The group included two CHS students, teachers, administrators, technology integrationist from Keystone AEA and the Dean of Academic Affairs at NICC.  The HW Team is pictured here with Dr. John Freeman, Supt., Susan Graham, Director of Teaching and Learning and Dr. Fred Bramante, leader of school re-design and CBE at the state level in New Hampshire.

Since 2008, the Pittsfield NH School District has been engaged in a community-wide effort to significantly remodel their schools for the needs and demands of 21st Century life.  The key factor in the redesign was their "Logic Model Areas of Focus."

     1.  Ensuring student ownership for learning
     2.  Raising student achievement
     3.  Development of 21st Century, civic, social emotional skills
     4.  Redefining adult roles and expectations
     5.  Engaging with the community

The team participated in two full days of learning how to create and implement student-centered CBE redesign at the Middle High School level.  Some of the topics of discussion included:
  • Community engagement
  • Competencies
  • Grading Policies
  • Competency recovery
  • Assessments
  • Project-based classrooms
  • Common planning time
  • Advisories
  • Site Council
  • Restorative Justice
  • Student-led conferences
  • Extended learning opportunities
  • Online learning programs
  • Learning studios
The consistent message heard over two full days of interacting with students, teachers and administrators at Pittsfield was that the redesign of the educational program resulted in processes that are student-centered with student voice included in every aspect of the school.

All State Speech
Congratulations to Shane Trautsch for an excellent performance!  Speech students and chaperones traveled to UNI for team support. Congratulations to the whole CHS Speech Team and Mrs. Day for an outstanding season! 

Reading Comprehension and Technology

We are excited to welcome Kristin Ziemke to work with elementary teachers on April 9th.  Ms. Ziemke is a first grade teacher in the Chicago Public Schools.  She has worked closely with Stephanie Harvey, an internationally known presenter, in the area of reading comprehension.  Ms. Ziemke is one of the authors of Connecting Comprehension and Technology.  The inservice on April 9th is part of the professional development plan that is required for SINA.  Ms. Ziemke presented at the 2013 International Reading Association Conference.  Teachers who saw Ms. Ziemke's presentation in San Antonio last year recommended that we bring her to How-Winn so the whole staff could have the opportunity to work with her.
Title I
Mrs. Foster's 1st graders showcased their learning this week by reading "All About Sharks." The  students wrote sentences about what they read and created an iMovie.  Students' work in Mrs. Foster's class can be found on her teacher blog at

Farm Bureau Grants

Thank you to Mrs. Denise Shekleton and Mrs. Mary Ellen Vachta for applying for the Farm Bureau Supplement Grant. We received news that they will be awarded grants of $200 each. Mrs. Shekelton will purchase books about agriculture for the elementary library collection. Mrs. Vachta will be purchasing books about farm animals for her Reading Recovery students in first grade.
Second Grade:  

Mrs. Tuchek shared updates on her classroom blog with me last week.  Inquiry projects, STEM bridge building activities and unit tests in math and literacy have kept the 2nd graders busy learning, creating and presenting.  They used the Story Me app on iPads to create unit 5 inquiry projects.  Story Me is a comic book app in which the students searched for things from the past and present.  The students had 5 categories to research and compare differences.  The categories were transportation, clothing, toys and games, housing and technology.  Here are photos of a few of the learning activities:

Cadet Track and Field Running Club
Students in grades 4-6 are invited to join this activity.  The running club will meet on Mondays from 5:30-7:00 p.m.  (April 14, 21, 28 and May 5, 12) at the Crestwood track.  Instructors are Jim Obermann, Karen Steffen and HS track students.  The purpose of this running club is to expose youth to the sport of running and track and field in a positive, safe, and fun environment.  THANK YOU to the volunteers for this program!

NE Iowa Family STEM Festival on April 24th


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