Spring break is just around the corner. I would just like to remind everyone to take special care of the iPads for the week. We have the challenge going by grade level. 6 & 7 graders will get a reward tomorrow. (6th grade will reach day 10 if they do not break an iPad in the next couple of hours). 8th grade will reach day 7 if they make it through this week. Remember that the iPad is not to be thrown, tossed in the air, or spun on its corner. Take care to charge it properly with the charger provided by the school. Please remember that the device needs to be at school every day.
Now on to important matters! We have so much to celebrate for this year! We have won a book fair and will be having an author, Dan Poblocki, visit our school on May 6. We are preparing for another fair and another contest! Feelin' Groovy, Can You Dig It book fair will be held April 25-29. Family event will take place on Tuesday evening. The time will be announced after the schedule is checked to make sure we do not interfere with other events scheduled. We have ordered new books and eBooks for students to read. We have done some many exciting things with the iPads this school year.
I am also optimistic....our MAP tests are going up this spring! Our teachers and students have been working hard to make that happen. I know our attendance has improved by almost 10% over last year and that will lead to better test scores. Our practice MAP tests have opened the eyes of some of our students and they are working hard to correct the areas that are in need. I LOVE WHAT I AM SEEING! From my perspective, I see classroom teachers and student coming into the LC and working on different projects and assignments. I loved watching the Mock Trials that took place recently. Let's have a strong finish to our year and show how much we have learned by rocking the MAP test!
Basically, WEB for this year has ended. The Leaders will occasionally check in on "their kids". First, I am unsure of what WEB will be next year. I am anxious to have a discussion with our Principal to decide this with our changes in schedule next year. However, we are now starting the process for selecting next year's leaders. Applications are due today. Sponsors/Coordinators will be looking at attendance and behavior of all of those that have applied. WEB Leaders need to have good attendance because they will have a partner and "kids" counting on them to be there. Behavior of the Leaders needs to be role model quality, but perfection is not an expectation. Leaders will also be judged on their respect and responsibility towards staff and other students. The sponsors will select students who can be good leaders and role models for our school.
Students will find out next week who the leaders will be for the 2016-17 school year. Being a part of WEB is an honor, for the students and staff alike. I consider it a privilege to be a part of such a highly respected program. It has been about 12 years since we started the program, and every year I feel lucky to be a sponsor! Good luck to all applicants.
We got exciting news at ESMS for next year! We will have teams! I am excited as I remember back when we had teams before. I remember the projects our team did together instead of separate projects. I remember the comrade that not only the staff felt, but the students as well. I remember how our team worked so well together. I am so excited because I know the team concept works! Also, our IC (Mr. Rubey) and Elkhorn's IC (Mr. Travis) went to the METC and came back with this really cool tool that I am hoping to make happen here next year. The students who were trying it out today loved it! Look for more information coming soon!
We have started something new concerning the iPads. The PBS team of students came up with the idea of keeping track of accident free days and rewards for consecutive days without a broken iPads. LOVE THE IDEA so Mrs. Kuebler and I have worked out a plan. If the grade level goes for 10 days without a broken iPad, the grade will get a treat. (If an iPad is broken, the days start back at 0.) If the grade makes it to 20 days, a bigger prize will be awarded. And finally, if the grade makes it to 30 days, an even bigger prize will be awarded. If they have to start over, the prizes start over. The students seem excited about it. An ELT lesson focused on the new system to make students aware! I am keeping my fingers crossed that this cuts down on the amount of broken iPads from our school!
The third quarter is officially over and we are started on the fourth quarter! We have one more book fair for the year and it is a BOGO (buy one get one) fair! It will run April 25-29 with the family event on April 26. More information will be coming so check back later to get the details! Our theme is Feelin' Groovy and we are trying to make our theme music with an emphasis on "Grease" the movie. We have jukeboxes, lava lamps, disco balls and more. I have a group of hardworking students! This is a hard theme to work with but we are feeling good after our first place win in the fall.
I am getting excited about summer school as well. I will be doing the Jumpstart/Transition class where we help incoming sixth graders adapt to ESMS. I have helpers and we work hard to make the three days worthwhile. I am also excited that one of the proposed classes for summer school is turning our makerspace into an innovations lab. If the class makes, we will transforming our space and that always excites me! THANKS to Kaitlin Hartman for that class proposal!
Today is Dr. Seuss Day! It is so hard to believe that it is March already. WEB is coming to an end today with our final meeting today! The kids have loved attending this year due to the enthusiasm of the leaders and the activities. I love this program and hope to make it work next year with all the changes that will be occurring.
Techsperts position will be changing as well. It will no longer be considered an ELA elective, but rather an elective. It will still be a yearlong class, but will replace those electives such as music, facs, and guitar. Students who are in band will not be able to apply. I have had a strong bunch of students apply and I am working on getting that list finalized to give to the counselors as we are preparing for next year.
I have mixed emotions at this time of year. I am going to miss my current Techsperts and WEB Leaders, but next year offers new opportunities to build new leaders. This 8th grade class has been an amazing group with a lot of take charge leaders! They have placed first in the book fair contest for Scholastic. They are currently working hard to make our next book fair awesome as well! They have created social media accounts to share with others what they do and advertise for our book fair and such! Love their enthusiasm and competitiveness! I will definitely MISS them!
I am learning new things all the time. The iPads have definitely been a learning experience for me. Getting every student on the Overdrive system for our eBooks and encouraging students to read has been my biggest focus for the year. I personally want every student and staff member to feel that the Learning Commons is a place that they feel comfortable and to provide a place that encourages learning.
The new DESE NEE evaluation system has been a learning curve for me this year. I believe between Mr. Hubbuch and myself, we figured it out. It was a lot of writing to convey what my position entails and how I manage to meet the criteria for the process. I believe in the long run it will make me even better at my job as a Library Media Specialist and teacher. I appreciate all the support and patience that is given to me by staff and students!