Maker FaireI attended the Kansas City Maker Fair on June 24 and 25 of this year. There was so much to see play with. There was a wide variety of artists selling goods that they had made, demonstrations showing how an art form can be done, and stations where guests could use their imagination to create their own products.
Explore Like a PirateExplore Like a Pirate by Michael Matera is a book that shows teachers how to ENGAGE, ENRICH, and ELEVATE their students. While reading this book we each found many "aha moments" that helped us better understand the process of gamification and how to better incorporate it into our class.
This year for our informational 4 days together with the new teachers we focused on our vision. By creating a goal for each day it helped to narrow our focus and create a learning environment that was inspiring, empowering and challenging.
Focus: District/Inspire: How will you inspire your students?
Goal: Understand the “why” of ESSD
Focus: School/Empower: How will you empower your students?
Goal: Understand the “why” of ESSD: Standards Based Learning and Grading
Focus: Support Network/Empower: How will you empower your students?
Goal: Create positive interdependency between new staff and their support network
Focus: Community/Challenge: How will you challenge your students?
Goal: Challenge new staff to be part of something bigger.
We started the school year off with motivation and high energy. Dr. Joe Sanfelippo brought inspiration to our district through his entertaining and yet powerful speech. His message find your audience, build your brand, and celebrate kids resonated with many of us. Whether we agree or disagree with using social media as an outlet for communication we learned it's about what is real and if we don’t tell our story someone else will. Another important message he shared was to remember that we may have 22 kids but to parents their child is “the one.” It’s important we make everyone feel special from the moment they walk through the doors until the moment they leave. The beginning of the year is always busy but let us not forget his underlying message of not taking ourselves too seriously and live in the moment.
Teachers in the Excelsior Springs School District have one day of flexible learning--also known as Flex Day. PD representatives frequently get asked the question, “What is Flex Day?”
Flex Day is a minimum of six hours of individualized learning and one hour of reflection and making the learning visible; the learning itself and the making it visible must be completed outside of regular contract time. Through the offering of Flex Day, teachers get the opportunity to focus on learning something that will benefit them directly. Conferences outside of contract time, virtual conferences, ongoing collaborative book study, Summer Academy (without pay), online classes, and webinars are just some of the ways that teachers can complete their Flex Day.
Teachers must make their learning visible and this can be done by creating a digital product to be shared on the district website. Blog posts, photo essays, videos, and digital resource collections are just some of the ways in which learning can be made visible. Just submit your digital product to your PDC representative in a Google Doc and he/or she will upload it to the blog so that others can learn learn from your experience.
The last step in completing your Flex Day is to complete the required form, which can be accessed by:
Flex Day learning, visibility, and the submission of form must be completed by February , 2018. If you have additional questions, please see your PD representative.
1st Grade Teacher
By: Mark Faubion, High School Physical Education
I attended a conference at Northwest Missouri State University with Their Strength and conditioning program.
I learned about the New System The Cube Method of Lifting. It is a system that utilizes a System of Dynamic Lifting to Increase Functional Athletic Strengthening. We have completely changed our Performance Weights over to this system. We utilize the system and track the gains over a 4 year period to show a growth of PQR. Or Power Quotient Ratio.
The Cube Method is a fairly new routine gaining popularity. This method was created, and has been used by Brandon Lilly of Muscle Fitness. The Cube Method can be found on at most high level college weight rooms. The Cube Method utilizes specific weight percentages and set and reps that should be performed during the cycle. His method is modeled over a three week period where you will work with heavy work, explosive work, and repetition work. The cube Method is utilized over a 10-12 week cycle
With this system of lifting, we have seen increases of 86% of our lifters over a 7 month period. Setting 18 different Male and Female strength records.
Book Study on Conscious Discipline: Building Resilient Classrooms by Dr. Becky Bailey
This is a resource build by the ESSD40 staff for to aid in transforming teaching and learning.
Inspire. Empower. Challenge.
Learning Out loud