Friday, January 15, 2016

All Stars in Action!

Good afternoon,

This week I had the pleasure of spending some time with the learners at Avery Elementary.  With each space and learning opportunity, the faculty demonstrated a genuine care for the children. Evidence of this care included joyful laughter, intentional creation of spaces, and students interacting with one another to solve challenging problems.

Thank you to the community of learners at Avery for making my day!

Each child, Each day...John

Spaces dedicated to photos of children's families.

A special section of space designed to invite children to read.

Children physically constructing letters.

Tyra, an amazing 3rd grader, creating a Google Slides presentation regarding being a wonderful sibling.  Hearing her speak of her siblings, I can state with confidence they are blessed to have her as a big sister!

Collaborating on a challenging problem and generating multiple paths to the same solution.  

Some very creative art work that demonstrates both creativity and a deep understanding with a variety of math concepts.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

January 4, 2016: Adult Learning in the WGSD

Good afternoon,

This past Monday, as district families were enjoying their last precious day with one another and 7-12th grade staff were putting the final touches on report cards, preschool through 6th grade staff had a day of professional development.  While the afternoon was dedicated to building level learning, during the morning all staff came together at Hixson in order to learn in community with one another.  There were a range of topics shared and discussed including use of Google tools, democratic learning, and methods for collecting and utilizing student data.  With the exception of two, each of the presenters was either a teacher or principal working in the WGSD!  "Thank you" to our presenters!

One of the many topics which generated quite a bit of buzz that morning and in the days that followed was Novel Engineering, a session led by Kristy Daniels-Jackson (district gifted coordinator), Santana Barns (Street Geeks Consulting), and Jared Arms (CEO of Klyar.IO, an Android App Development Company).  Inspired by children, Novel Engineering is a new approach to integrating literacy and engineering.  Children use stories and novels to create design questions and then engineer solutions. While the hands-on session was designed to help educators support learning for all students, the facilitators placed a particular influence on providing strategies for engaging male students of color in STEM-related activities.  See the pictures that follow:

Each child, Each day...John