Teacher feature

Posted December 20, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Jennifer Ring, president of CTA (Community Teachers Association) presented the following information at the Dec. 13 El Dorado Springs School Board meeting as her Teacher Feature which she had received from the teachers.

Suzan Durnell

I received a Limeades for Learning Grant to buy kid-friendly headphones for the computer lab. They’ve arrived and are being used and are already a timesaver for these little guys. I have pictures I can try to send you. I’ve received a local grant from The Community Foundation, which I’m using to purchase Nook e-readers for the elementary library (not for checkout; just to get students used to using this kind of technology.

I’ve been allowed to receive my 2nd Master’s Degree in Library Science and Information Services as part of the Laura M. Bush 21st Century Librarians Grant from the Institute of Museum and Libraries. I’m getting my master’s degree through UCM (Warrensburg,) and it is completely paid for through this grant (along with lots of perks–a MacBook Pro, textbooks, etc. paid for via the grant.) To get this, I had great administrative support, and am one of 43 librarians in the state to be chosen to do this.

Mrs. Stephanie Steward

While reading the drama, “Anne Frank,” my students had to analyze the text for underlying themes. After reading it, we watched the film, and students had to find evidence of the theme in the film. In a poster format, they presented the theme, three examples from the film, a symbol of the theme that they created by combining at least images, and a connection to the theme.

Debbie Vickers

The 35 students in Career and Family Leadership have been studying career readiness. They have used a website called Missouri Connections to take self-assessments which help them identify interests and work values, focus on the skills they already possess and learn about the skills they need to develop for specific careers. Each student learned about career clusters and jobs associated with those cluster areas (Business Management & Technology; Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources; Human Services; Industrial & Engineering Technology; Health Services; Arts & Communication) and learned which career cluster areas they were best suited for and most interested in. They wrote a report about their top four most appealing jobs and the results of these assessments developed a portfolio showing all their assessments, and created a resume, cover letter, confirmation letter and thank you letter. They filled out sample job applications, and a guest speaker from the Career Center in Nevada came to speak to them about interviewing, job skills and looking for a job. Students who were not targeted were allowed to go to a business to job shadow during the school day — students who were grade ineligible to shadow during the day were also encouraged to interview someone in the career field of their choice outside of the school day. Around 20 students are expected to complete the job shadowing portion of the project. Responses from the community and the students have been very, very positive.

Jennifer, another project that is going on in Child Development classes is the Empathy Belly Pregnancy simulation project. Students wear an Empathy Belly for a day at school and write a report on the experience. My department has one belly that we purchased with grant money; the Cedar County Health Department has one, which we have borrowed. This allows the students to pair up so it’s not quite so embarrassing for them to look pregnant for a day — teachers have to sign off that the student actually wore the belly to class, and students must complete a list of tasks (going up and down stairs, carrying bulky objects, picking things up off the floor, lying down/getting up and hugging another person). The kids start out thinking this will be all kinds of fun and asking if they can keep it overnight — by the end of the day, they’re tired, sore, grumpy and ready to “get this thing off!” They have all told me they are “no way ready to have a baby”, and a couple have told me that this experience has resulted in some pretty important conversations with parents and boyfriends about waiting until they’re older, married, financially and mentally ready to have a baby.

Mrs. Dawes’ 4th Grade Science

In this unit, students explore concepts related to the physics of motion and apply those concepts to technological design. Students learn that a force is any push or pull on an object, and that an unbalanced force is needed to make and object start to move, stop moving or change direction. They explore forces that oppose motion, such as friction and air resistance. They investigate energy using the simplest of devices-a rubber band. They discover that the energy stored in a twisted rubber band can turn and axle or spin a propeller to make a vehicle move. The students’ design challenges become more complex as the unit progresses.

Among the skills the students gain as they carry out these investigations are the ability to develop design requirements, build vehicles that conform to those requirements, test their vehicles and modify their design plans. This experience gives students opportunities to record designs through drawing and to measure how long it takes their vehicles to move a given distance. Students make and test predictions about the effect of an applied force on how a vehicle moves. Throughout the unit, they communicate their results in a variety of ways. The unit helps students understand the role that technological designs play in solving practical problems.