Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ride, Sally Ride!

It's been a busy two days of Sally Ride training for our 4th and 5th grade teachers!  We've been receiving some great feedback from participants.  Here are a few 'action shots' from one of the modules.

If you won't have a chance to participate in the training but still would like an overview of what is being discussed, check out the following video!  As always, we're proud to see our very own Ms. Snyder!

Sally Ride Overview:

If She Only Knew Me... (Part Deux)

A few students in Mrs. Kirby's GT class decided to do their own spin on the book, If She Only Knew Me.  Take a look at what they came up with.  They will really make you think!

If They Only Knew Me:
"If they only knew how frustrating it is to have your group let you do most of the work because they know you’re “smart” then I would get more opportunities to work by myself on projects so I could make it mine."

"If they only knew that I can’t be good at everything then they wouldn't fuss so much when I get something wrong the first time I try it.  I know I messed up and I feel bad enough already."


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Check Out This S.E.M. Blog!

Our neighbors at Laurel Mountain Elementary (in Round Rock ISD) are SEM experts!  They have developed a blog entitled, "Developing the Whole Child - SEM at LME."  The blog chronicles their journey towards a school culture of enrichment (sound familiar?).

Check it out here:

Laurel Mountain Elementary is an excellent school for us to "keep an eye on."  They have experienced the challenges and excitement of getting SEM off the ground.  How exciting!  We are thrilled to have the opportunity to take a team (along with some CISD district admin) down to Laurel Mountain next month!  We'll keep you updated.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

We've Got Some Work To Do (in Science)!

Below are some pictures from the first Sally Ride Science Academy training.  All elementary administrators received an overview of the training that 4th/5th grade teachers will receive next week.  Austin Elementary is proud to be hosting the trainings in our new "PD Room."

We "think" this is Town Center AP Shannon Edwards!

Our very own Ms. Snyder (Austin 5th grade teacher).  She made us very proud!

Hard at work identifying traditional AND nontraditional science careers

More than anything, this training helped me realize we have some tough work ahead in promoting a love of science and careers in science.  Studies overwhelmingly show that we are moving towards an economy that will heavily rely on S.T.E.M. careers.  However, are we doing everything we can to equip our future workforce with the skills and knowledge necessary to compete in the global economy? 

I am extremely excited for our teachers to participate in this training.  They will be key in addressing problems such as the disparity of boys and girls choosing science careers, students dwindling interest in math/science as they advance through school, and preparing students for jobs that do not yet exist.  As the blog title suggested, "We've Got Some Work To Do (in Science)!"

A topic that was raised frequently throughout the training was the idea of "Science Literacy" or equipping students to be "literate in Science."  What does this mean to you?  How do we work to ensure that our students are "Science Literate?"  Ideas????

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

If She Only Knew Me...

As a continuation of our Ruby Payne training on students from poverty, Laurie O'Neill shared the book If She Only Knew Me at our Faculty Meeting on September 7.  Check out reviews for the book at:

The book follows "Justin," a child living in poverty, through a typical day at school.  It shines a light on the lack of relationships that Justin has with his teachers.  The reader finds themselves questioning, "How much do I not know about my own students?"

What are some helpful hints you could share to make sure the "Justins" of our classes are being successful?  In other words, what advice would you give his teachers?