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Calimari? - Friday, February 06, 2015 - Friday, February 06, 2015
If you thought you smelled Calimari Friday, you were close.  It was Mr. Sarnac's Science classes dissecting squid.  The aroma was wonderful and the kids learned a lot.
And if you were wondering, Squidward was not harmed.


This Year's First Impression Winners - Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Congratulations to this year's First Impression winners.  Peck had more students place than any other school in the county! Great Job!

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Announcements - Thursday, March 5, 2015
There will be an NHS meeting in Mrs. Prouse’s room during seminar today.

The boys will make up their basketball game at Brown City on Friday at 6:00.

Girls Basketball Districts continue tomorrow with Kingston vs. Deckerville at 7:00. Admission is $5.00 and no passes are accepted.

Herff Jones will be here on Monday, March 9th during lunch to distribute announcement orders to any seniors who placed an order.

Lifetouch will be taking spring pictures of Kindergarten through 8th Grade students on Tuesday, March 10th

Danielle Reed has detention with Mrs. Prill after school today.

Learning About Salt and Ice Minimize

Mr. Sarnac's class learns how salt affects the freezing temperature of ice as they make freezer bag ice cream.  Just like we use salt on icy roads in the winter, salt mixed with ice in this case also causes the ice to melt. When salt comes into contact with ice, the freezing point of the ice is lowered. The lowering of the freezing point depends on the amount of salt added. The more salt added, the lower the temperature will be before the salt-water solution freezes. For example, water will normally freeze at 32 degrees F. A 10% salt solution freezes at 20 degrees F, and a 20% solution freezes at 2 degrees F. When salt is added to the ice (or snow), some of the ice melts because the freezing point is lowered. Always remember that heat must be absorbed by the ice for it to melt. The heat that causes the melting comes from the surroundings (the warmer cream mixture). By lowering the temperature at which ice is frozen, you were able to create an environment in which the cream mixture could freeze at a temperature below 32 degrees F into ice cream. - See more at: http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/lab/experiments/homemade-ice-cream-sick-science#sthash.pjAAEvOA.dpuf

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New PD focuses on dyslexia
Literacy publisher MindPlay has introduced a new professional development program about dyslexia for K-12 teachers and parents. Understanding Dyslexia is an online program that helps teachers identify students who have dyslexia, a learning disability that affects as much as 10 percent of the population. The program also explains how to help these students learn to read. Dyslexia is a significant obstacle to student achievement in school. Therefore, nearly 20 states now require that teachers receive specific professional development on the topic. MindPlay’s Understanding Dyslexia was co-authored by Dr. Nancy Mather, Ph.D., and Barbara J. Wendling, M.A. The program includes modules on definition and description of dyslexia, components of assessment, and effective instruction. Participants may earn three hours of continuing education credit for successfully completing the course. “Most students who have dyslexia are highly intelligent, but hit a roadblock that is caused by a physical difference in how their brains are wired that prevents them from learning to read and spell the way others do. As awareness of dyslexia grows in the education field, MindPlay Exhibits at RTM there has been a trend for states to require deeper education on the subject for their staff in order to better help students who have dyslexia succeed in reading,” said Judith Bliss, MindPlay President. “MindPlay’s new Understanding Dyslexia course provides educators and parents with helpful guidance and ideas from experts in the field toward the goal of enabling dyslexic students to get the specialized instruction they need sooner.”
5 helpful grant opportunities for STEM teachers
Each month we feature a grant roundup for teachers. This month focuses in on STEM.
District rolls out ‘neuroplasticity’ language development programs
Alachua County Public Schools, a district serving 27,000 students in North Central Florida, has partnered with Scientific Learning Corp. to help students improve their language, literacy and reading skills by addressing the underlying foundational difficulties that keep students from making progress in school. Initially, the district will deploy Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant online programs in 10 schools. “Students’ development and mastery of language is critical to their success in school. One of the major factors contributing to underachievement is not having a mastery of language, which not only affects students’ reading and writing performance but their performance in other areas as well,” said Superintendent of Schools Owen A. Roberts, Ph.D. “What makes the Fast ForWord program different from other language and literacy interventions is that it focuses on cognitive capacity development, rather than content, to address one of the root causes of learning difficulties. These unique learning innovations help students develop their memory, attention, processing and sequencing skills so they can be better users of the language of instruction, allowing them to accelerate their learning.” Alachua County Public Schools plans to roll out the Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant programs over the next five years to all of its schools. Each school will determine which students will participate in the programs, based on their needs. Fast ForWord uses the principles of neuroplasticity — the ability of the brain to rewire and improve — to target the root cause of slow academic progress in struggling students and English language learners. Students who use the program make fast progress, increasing their reading skill level up to two years in as little as three months. They continue to make fast progress long after finishing the program.
How Twitter influences the Common Core debate
Researchers tracked thousands of tweets on Common Core. What they found was a fascinating look inside the minds of supporters and detractors. University researchers Jonathan Supovitz (University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education), Alan J. Daly (University of California, San Diego), and Miguel del Fresno (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia in Madrid, Spain) tracked Twitter from September 2013 to March 2014, following the #commoncore hashtag to determine how public debate on social media can influence education policy. Nearly 190,000 #commoncore tweets from almost 53,000 Twitter users were sent during the six month analysis. Tweet topics included testing (7.1 percent of tracked #commoncore tweets), parents (4.6 percent), curriculum (3 percent), math (3.8 percent), and ELA (2.9 percent). Some of the major findings include: The Common Core has paved the way for social media debate about broader educational issues, such as the direction of U.S. education, including opposition to a fedearl role in education, worries about access to student data, and discussion about testing measures. Common Core supporters and opponents tracked in the study use different language to make their points and appeal to their audience. Researchers identified two strains of language in the #commoncore tweets: policyspeak, which evokes logical and rational arguments that tend to appeal to a policy audience, and politicalspeak, which employs more emotional and visceral semantics intended to rouse peoples’ passions. Researchers found that proponents of the Common Core used significantly more policyspeak while opponents of the Standards more frequently adopted politicalspeak in their tweets. Politics makes strange bedfellows.
3 ways teachers can make learning more interactive
Today’s students are a uniquely interactive group. Most of the 80 million Americans who are part of the millennial generation—a group that comprises the lion’s share of today’s student population—can’t remember a time when they didn’t have instant access to the internet. Most of them grew up playing video games, and ever since they can remember, they’ve been in constant contact with friends via social media platforms and text messages. A growing number of today’s instructors also fall into this group. Educators who want to reach students who favor interactive communication know that integrating digital tools into their lesson plans can be an effective strategy, and many have incorporated technology tools into the classroom in one way or another. But to make a real difference, educators have to integrate technology in a meaningful way. It’s not sufficient to just use social media platforms as an alternate communication venue or post schedules on a class Facebook page. So how can educators use technology in a more meaningful way? Here are three methods educators are successfully using to connect with a new generation of students in the classroom. 1. Gamify lessons. Friendly competition can improve focus and drive better results, which is why “gamification” is a hot trend in corporate training and educational circles. Teachers can “gamify” lessons by integrating competition into classroom presentations in a number of ways. For example, a gamification feature in presentation software can enable educators to set up teams or allow individual students to respond to embedded questions and display aggregate results on a screen; some software solutions also feature a leaderboard so everyone can monitor progress. The types of games educators can incorporate in their classrooms varies widely, from quiz show-type games that allocate points based on correct responses and speed in answering questions to wagering-style competitions, in which teams can bet amassed points on their ability to provide a correct answer to questions. Students can provide answers using a keypad that comes with the software or an app on their mobile phones. A gamification approach is highly effective in getting all students involved in classroom activities and providing educators with data they can use to assess student progress.
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