Monday, October 24, 2011

What students are saying

Last week was a busy week here at East.  I had the opportunity to, see a home football game, a middle school dance, parent/grandparent visitation day, a 7th grade boys/girls trip, and a whole lot of other interesting activities planned for spirit week.  For this weeks Blog I decided (with the help of Mrs. Folmar's students to publish "What the students are saying".

Visitation helpers on school spirit day

Hat day
 FACS Class
Something I did interesting in school this week was made pancakes in FACS.  We added blueberries and strawberries.  We also had powdered sugar.  Mrs. Hannigan told us how to get an egg shell out of a pan.  Without sticking your hand in the pan you take the egg shell and try to get it out.-Kayla Sparks

English Class
My favorite English class so far this year was when we did History of Language stations.  I like to do art-related projects, so I like when we do that kind of stuff in my classes. The cave art drawings were my favorite, but I also liked making jewelry.  That was a really fun class period for me.  I wish we could have classes like that more often.-Summer Douglas

  English Class
My favorite English class so far this year was when we did the History of Language stations.  I liked this because we got to do hands on activities.  I liked making the bracelets because it was very creative.  I also liked doing the cave art because I like to draw.  I wish more English classes were this fun.-Aaron Gilberto

Art Class
In art we made these posters.  Mrs. Kauffman took pictures of us doing an action that we could cut out and glue to a poster board.  Mine was a picture of me doing a karate kick.  When I was adding things from magazines I added a horse statue to make it look like I was kicking that.  In the background there is a dinosaur on a bicycle.  There were some kids who were upside down and ones who were sitting on swings.  It was really fun and it was my favorite project we have done yet.
York  Stadium Trip
-Olivia Stauffer

After reading and research the new technology available to study the past, students were asked how scientists were using technology to study the mummies of ancient Egypt.

I think that scientists are studying the mummies to see what or how the ancient Egyptians lived and worked.  They also look at them to see what their religious beliefs were.  For instance they mummified the body to preserve them so the ba and ka could come back to the body after the Hall of Two Truths.  Furthermore, I think they also study the mummies bodies in order to see how they died by taking x-rays of the bodies and CAT scans.  Clearly, they have discovered a lot, like when the poor couldn’t afford to be mummified the priest would bury them in the sand.  In conclusion, scientists study mummies in order to learn more about the past which has shaped our present and defines our future. 
– Ivy Little

I think scientists are using the mummies of ancient Egypt to learn more about life today.  For instance, people have found the first person to get heart disease.  Furthermore, this has helped us learn more about heart disease in modern times.  Clearly, history shapes our future and teaches us new things every day.  Without knowing about the past the present day would never be the same.  History is more important than we could ever realize and without it who knows what the world would be like today.
-Megan Gereny

I think that scientists are using mummies to discover how healthy people were back then.  For instance, they are discovering how the people who got mummified died.  Furthermore, the scientists are trying to determine what diseases they had and how bad the diseases were.  Clearly today’s technology plays a big role in how scientists are studying mummies.  In conclusion, scientists rely a lot on technology for studying artifacts and mummies 
– Chloe Stewart

I think that scientists are studying mummies from the past to gather information to help in the present and future.  For instance, we are learning how to cure illnesses and diseases today that originated from thousands of years ago.  Furthermore, people in our society today are living longer and recovering from what used to be deadly diseases.  Clearly, the information gathered has had a positive impact in the world we live in.  In conclusion, it’s important to continue research of past cultures. 
–Alec Anderson

Monday, October 17, 2011

The students of SEMS East celebrated National Fire Prevention Week during the week of October 9th through the 15th.

  As part of the celebration, students collected nine volt batteries that will be distributed to our three local fire departments.  The hope is that the fire departments will be able to pass out the batteries to local families as a reminder to change out their smoke detector batteries.  Students donated a total of 271 nine volt batteries and 15 D batteries.

Mr. Rupperts home room won a free Chick Fil’ A meal for bringing in the most batteries. The faculty, staff, and students want to thank Saubels of Shrewsbury for donating the bags used to collect the batteries and also Chick Fil’ A for generously donating the wonderful meal for the winning home room.

We would also like to thank Citizens Volunteer Fire Department fo bringing a fire truck to the school on Friday the 14th.  Students were given the opportunity to see the fire truck and talk with some of our local emergency responders at the end of their lunch period.
by: D. Boyer






Observation Season Open (Team Approach)

It's that time of year again when most Principals begin the open season of formal observations.  I have heard from others that it is somewhat of a static process.
The principal says they want to come observe a teacher, the teacher tells the principal what they want to hear in a pre-observation conference, The principal observes the teacher and then  tells the teacher what they want to hear in the post-conference.  Each party tries to use an educational buzz word and include things on the district goal sheet.
I believe in the power of questioning and reflection.  When observing a classroom I like to give the teacher a student perspective and some questions to think about.  The power of the observation is not in the time spent in the classroom but the time spent in reflection or more importantly in conversation during the post-conference.  At a recent Embedding Formative Assessment training, the presenters talked about feedback for students.  They discussed classrooms that did not give grades but gave comments and other classrooms in which teachers told students that they had two wrong but did not tell them which two.  I felt reassured that I was modeling some of that in my evaluations of teachers.  But, teachers need to know that they are "proficient" or "meet expectations" before they can truly listen to your discussion.  In the current economic and political time, it is extremely important to tell teachers upfront that this lesson was "good" and only then can you focus on making improvements toward "greatness".

This year I wanted to try something new.  As a building, we are attempting to increase our professional dialogue through a PLC approach to team meetings.  Our district goals also include a shift toward PLC's.  At a team meeting where we were discussing a student's behavior changes between classrooms and another student's academic advances and struggles throughout the day, I suggested that I would like to follow a group of students throughout the day.  I said that next week I will observe each teacher on the same day.  I wanted to see a Math, English, Science, Social Studies and Reading class and would formally observe each.  Students enjoyed seeing me in multiple classes throughout the day.

The experience was amazing as an observer.  I was able to give specific feedback to the whole team of teachers about what it is like to be a student on their team.  I asked students what they were doing and why.  I asked them what they did in other classes and they made some connections between classes.  For the first time as a principal I could help out parents with an answer to that age old question, "What did you do at school today?"

The best part of the day was that in each classroom I observed solid research-based teaching strategies and more importantly, I observed students learning.  Each classroom gave students an opportunity to read, to move, to be social with class materials, and to receive feedback from the professional about their learning.

It was a great day for me and for each student on the team!  Great job teachers!

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