Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Using iPads to Research Michigan


Students in Ms. Vanston's class use the iPads to research and write a report on Michigan.

Talking About Writing


Ms. Vanston and her 3rd grade students gather around the Smart Board to review and discuss a piece of writing. What does good writing look like? What are key components?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Changing Times - What's True Now Has Been True Before

Our students face a world far different than the one we grew up in.

That's the conventional wisdom.  On the one hand it's true.  Technology change.  Globalization.  Social media.  Access to information.  Access anytime, anywhere.   

But look at the changes that were faced in the past four decades.  Computers. Cable television. The end of the Cold War. The rise of Japan and then China. The interstate highway system.

There is no doubt that the world we are heading into is different than the world that we are leaving behind.  But that has always been the case.

My father lived in a small town in Oklahoma and rode his horse to school.  His graduating class had 15 students in it. (H.K. Matthews - proud graduate of Fairland High School in Fairland, Oklahoma.)

The world is different now than it was when I was growing up.  My world was different than the world my father grew up in.  His world was different than the world his parents grew up in. (His mother entered the Oklahoma territory in a covered wagon.)

The world will be different next year and the year after that and the year after that.

What we know now is that the world will change.  Back in 1947 there was probably not the same sense that the world was going to change so dramatically.  But it did.  Now we take it for granted.

But those who have been successful learned many of the skills that those who will be successful are going to need to learn.

In some ways the challenges are the same for the students in my school district as they were for the 15 graduating seniors of the class of 1947.

Are they prepared?

How can we (a school) prepare them?

We hear a lot about 21st century skills?  But perhaps, the 21st century skills, are really just the skills that successful people have been developing throughout history.

  • The ability to communicate
  • The ability to adapt
  • The ability to use technology
  • The ability to develop relationships
  • The ability to compute
  • The ability to think
  • The ability to understand
  • The ability to see (vision)
The question I wrestle with is the question that others have wrestled with throughout history - How will the students in 2011 be prepared for the world that is to come?  How can I help them learn the skills that they will need to succeed?

What has been true is still true - those who will be successful learn to manage in changing times.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!


No better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than listening to the Orchard Hills kindergarten students sing holiday songs. Parents and guests were entertained by the great program created by Mrs. Gustafson. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Triangles at Meadows


Mrs. Duthie talks with her students about angles, triangles, and measurement. What is the sum of the angles in a triangle?

Meadows iPads


Students at Meadows use their iPads to create a Thanksgiving song. Using an app called Story Robe students write their song and then connect it with pictures.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

First Lego League Competition


Today at Novi Middle School teams from around the county competed in the FIRST LEGO League competition. Novi's Techno Tadpoles were there in full (frog) force.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday's 2nd Grade Concert


This afternoon 2nd graders at Parkview entertained us with songs celebrating Thanksgiving. Thanks 2nd graders and Mr. Owenby.

Aunt Flossie's Hats Help Writers Write


Students in Mrs. Bain's class read a book - Aunt Flossie's Hats. Today they brought in hats that served as inspiration for their writing.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

High School Chemistry


Mr. Langley works with his students in Chemistry. Lewis dot structures. Once upon a time this made sense.

Using Google Maps for Virtual Tours


In Ms. Espinosa's Spanish class today students narrated virtual fields trips to Spanish speaking countries. Google maps were used to guide us through the country.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Learning the Food Groups


Mrs. Clark helps students learn the food groups, serving size, and the vitamins and nutrients. Part of the "life skills" that students need.

8th Grade Social Studies


Mr. Hoffman leads a discussion on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. How do 8th graders learn to be citizens? Discussions like this help students understand.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Parkview Students Study Text Structure


Mrs. Garbooshian's class talks about various text structures. Good readers know and understand text structure and use it to help them make meaning.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sweet Music Watch on Posterous

4th grade students play their recorders at Deerfield. An amazing display of sight reading by these 4th graders.

Deerfield 4th Grade Recorders


Mrs. Sonntag leads her 4th. Grade students through a recorder music workout.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Novi High School Band-o-Rama Concert Watch on Posterous

The Novi High School Marching Band performs for the final time this year. Wonderful music in our gym this evening!

Novi High Band Concert


The Novi High Band performed tonight at the high school. Here the Jazz Band improvises in the auditorium.

The Leader in Me


Elementary teachers this morning started their day listening to students from Parkview sing. Then Muriel Summers spoke to them about creating positive learning environments where students learn and develop lifelong skills.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Do Pumpkins Float?


Students in Ms. Malczewski's class predict and then confirm if pumpkins sink or float. What do you think?

4th Grade Buddies


At Village Oaks today 4th grade students visited Mrs. Eby's kindergarten class. A great time was had by all.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

8th Grade Trip to DC


Good luck to the 8th grade students and chaperones as they travel to Washington DC. Leave fun and learn about our history.