Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Closing the "Attitude Gap": How to Fire Up Your Students to Strive for Success

Attitude Matters! Young people are not realizing the power of education. 

What is the "Attitude Gap"? It is the gap between those students who have the will to strive for academic excellence and those who do not. 

The classroom climate and culture matter when it comes to closing the attitude gap. Teachers need to create an environment and mood where students feel that they belong. 

Teachers must believe in their students in order to build that positive relationship. It is essential to show students compassion.

Teachers need to create instructional lessons that our relevant to the lives of their students. For more information, please visit Principal Baruti Kafele's website by clicking here

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Michigan Kids Can

Going to the doctor's office and taking medicine when needed is part of life. Our informational literacy class had a discussion on their favorite ways to get moving in order to have an active and healthy lifestyle.  

Students need 60 minutes of exercise per day. This can include swimming, riding bikes, jumping on a trampoline, walking around the block, and other outdoor activities.  

Students stay active and healthy by playing sports such as volleyball, football, hockey, soccer, baseball, and basketball. Many students play on school, recreational or travel teams. 

Students enjoy sharing their experiences and often make connections with their classmates. Many students dance at a studio, participate in karate, or do gymnastics after school. 

Students seem to understand the importance of "watching what they eat".  They are aware of the importance of eating healthy and following the food pyramid. 

Students need three meals every day to keep them strong and energized. These meals must include fruits and vegetables. 

Students agreed that eating at home more often is a good way to stay healthier. People tend to eat unhealthier when eating at a restaurant. 

Calling All Michigan Kids: Enter this year's #MIKidsCan Contest. Click the link here

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

We Are Lamphere

The math, reading, and writing skills I developed as a student in The Lamphere Schools has allowed me to become a successful teacher. Playing sports and being involved in student government taught me valuable life lessons on teamwork, time management, and responsibility. Lamphere helped me get to where I am today by providing me with an exceptional education. 

As a student in The Lamphere Schools, I learned the benefits of getting along with people from different cultures, which continues to assist me in my career, especially when I traveled to New Zealand for a Teacher Exchange Program. My passions for public speaking, fitness, and volunteering have provided inspiration for my future. 

I know Teacher Appreciation Week has past, but I still wanted to take a moment to recognize one of the many educators who had a positive influence on my life. Before retirement, Tom Davis was an exceptional health and physical education teacher at Lamphere High School in Madison Heights.

In addition to teaching full-time, he also coached the cross country and track teams. He taught his athletes techniques for cross-training and weightlifting in addition to proper nutrition.

He encouraged me to explore my curiosities, supported me with my struggles, and celebrated my successes. He cared about me, my learning, my life, and he wanted me to find happiness within myself in order for me to be capable of helping others.

Tom Davis inspired me and pushed me to be my best in the classroom and on the athletic fields. I am now trying to pay this positive influence forward to my students. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Future of Public Education: A snapshot of modern day teaching in the 21st century

Being a teacher is one of the hardest jobs one could ever love. Teachers make a difference in the lives of students, parents, colleagues, and the community. The field of education is changing for the better. 

Currently, there is a focus on Depths of Knowledge Levels 3 and 4 in order to get students to critically think and apply what they are learning. Teachers are trying to make learning rigorous and relevant. They facilitate instruction rather than always being the deliverer. The students know the learning objectives.  

Digital technology makes learning personalized, engaging, and fun for students. Emerging trends with digital technology includes Web 3.0 and Anticipatory/Artificial Intelligence. Teachers need to have the trust, passion, and drive to use digital technology in their classrooms. They must be adaptable to learn new teaching techniques in order to meet student needs.

Teachers’ focusing on career readiness is essential. New jobs today require high Lexile levels. The English-Language Arts (ELA) teachers cannot do it alone. There is a laser-like focus on literacy because high Lexile scores equates to higher scores in other subjects such as math.   

Data analyses, such as growth models, are being used in teacher evaluations. The future is common core with smarter balanced testing. Our school uses the NWEA Map assessment to test for learning and literacy. Teachers are also giving their own assessments to monitor student growth.

Teachers are also responsible for a student’s personal development. Students are taught how to behave rather than just being punished. The student/teacher relationship is critical, and the focus is on student needs.  Teachers cannot let students fail.

Issues such as poverty, student apathy, and lack of parent involvement should be considered when thinking about the future of public education. Other countries choose which kids go to school. In the United States, we allow all kids to go to a school with high expectations. This has an affect when comparing our test scores to those of other countries. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Career Exploration: Elementary Education in the 21st Century (K-8)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 (6-7:30 P.M.) 
Oakland University Macomb County

Macomb University Center
Lecture Hall B
44575 Garfield Road
Clinton Township, MI 48038

Refreshments will be served. 

Wondering what a career as an elementary school teacher would be like? Think you have what it takes? 

Whether you're seeking to complete a bachelor's degree program, or if you already have a bachelor's degree and are interested in making a career change to education, hear from an experienced panel of K-12 educators on the following: 

  • What It Means to Be an Elementary Education Teacher in the 21st Century
  • How to Become a Kindergarten or Elementary Education Teacher 
  • The Teacher Work Environment
  • Job Outlook
Guest panelists represent Oakland University's School of Education and Human Services, Van Dyke Public Schools, Chippewa Valley Public Schools, and Utica Community Schools. 

To register or learn more, including which degree best suits your needs, visit oakland.edu/pd/pathwaystoteaching.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Focus on Smart Teaching

Focus on Smart Teaching is coming up on September 20th. A modest price gets you a full day with an inspiring keynoter, engaging expert presenters, relevant presentations, and lunch, too. Laptops, flat panel, gift cards, free MACUL registration, and more will be given away.

Our keynote speaker, Brad Waid is an energetic and passionate educator who inspires educational change through technology and Augmented Reality. He is a highly sought after speaker who engages his audience with his passion, humor, mind-blowing demonstrations all while sharing the power of technology and how it can transform the way we learn, teach and lead.

SMARTTech's James Griffin will be presenting what’s new in SMART Notebook 2014 and showing some great new features available soon. Microsoft Innovative Educator Grant Zimmerman will present on Microsoft Office Online and OneDrive. 

This conference takes place on Saturday, September 20th  from 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM at Chippewa Valley High School. 

Location: 18300 19 Mile Road, Clinton Township, MI 48038 

L'Anse Creuse Public Schools and Chippewa Valley Schools. 

“Shaking Up Learning” and “Southeast Michigan Smart User Conference” 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Iroquois Middle School Improvement Plan for Science

There are 1,100 students at Iroquois Middle School. Every parent wants to have an effective and selfless teacher for their child. We are an excellent school based on our test scores and parent involvement. However, our school could improve with our work now. 

Our staff collaborated with the North Central Accreditation (NCA) Committee and Data Teams in order to share effective instructional strategies such as experimental investigations involving making tables and graphing. Project-based learning and writing are other successful methods.

Science investigations and projects are an excellent way to learn. "Oh Deer" is an activity that allows students to monitor the changing population of deer. "Mystery Powders and Solids" allows students to discover the properties of matter. Students also enjoy participating in "Earthquake Mapping". 

We made many suggestions for improving these effective instructional strategies in order to enhance student achievement. Students need more depth of knowledge levels 3 and 4 questions for critical thinking. They need science inquiry experiments comparing independent and dependent variables.