Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Making informed decisions based on solid data

One thing I know for sure -- teachers search high and low to find ways to meet the needs of their students.  The teachers I have the pleasure of serving at Benton Community are passionate, compassionate and committed to making sure students learn.

Students collecting data
But, if I ask you to remember your most favorite teacher growing up, I'm not quite sure you would  have a clue as to how much time they spent trying to find ways to make sure you understood the learning objectives.  You might describe how they made you feel as you learned the subject matter.

Students learning how to filet a fish
You might remember the sense of discovery or excitement you felt from the experiences with that teacher.  You might be able to describe the culture of their classroom and whether the classroom was a safe place to take chances and make mistakes and the sense of confidence you gained from them as they guided you in your learning journey.



Students sharing how they raised money for Veterans


As they create those learning spaces each school year, they also create instructional lessons to ensure that each and every student has their needs met.  As teachers are taking time this summer to reflect on their past school year and refine their instructional practices to meet the needs of the students who will be crossing the threshold of their classrooms within the next school year, I hope one place they check out is the Iowa Reading Research Center.

Teachers know it is imperative to find ways to impact the learning of their students and the @IAReading shares with us how to select instructional practices based on solid data/evidence in their most recent blog post.




Wednesday, May 24, 2017

BC Learning Update May 24, 2017

As we think about finishing strong...I found the below graphic and it reminded me of how we started the school year by Hitting it out of park


It's important to start strong -- but we also need to finish.  As we plan for the end of our school year we are still focusing on Hitting it out of park. Here is our plan for end of the year learning and some resources for summer learning.



We are also inviting all educators to the BCTLT Teacher Leadership EdCamp
June 15, 2017.  Dr. Ryan Wise, Director of the Iowa Department of Education, will be participating in our 3rd Annual Teacher Leadership EdCamp on June 15, 2017. This is a unparalleled day you are invited to hone in on your own learning needs and build the schedule for the day based on your questions or ideas to share. Sign up here.






Choosing which college experience is right

I have vivid memories of watching and hearing my dad cut my two older brothers hair in the youth chair in the kitchen as we were growing up.  Some of those sounds were coming from the hair clipper and some were coming from the person in the chair.

http://frugalfun4boys.com/2011/07/03/how-to-do-a-boys-haircut-with-clippers/


When I got into junior high, I thought I had learned so much from watching my dad cut hair I started cutting my brothers hair in the upstairs bathroom.  I have 4 younger brothers and they were very willing customers at that time, especially if I promised to bake them some type of cookie.

I think this behavior led my parents to believe that I was going to be a cosmetologist.  But, as I started to think about life after high school, a career in cosmetology was not in my mind.  I liked cutting hair, but I didn't think it fit with my dream of being a PE teacher.   I chose to attend the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) because I wanted to be a teacher and I had heard from my teachers UNI was the best college in Iowa for learning how to become a teacher.

Times have changed since I graduated high school and so has the opportunity to learn about colleges and career options after high school.  The Iowa College Access Network (ICAN) along with it's partners, has an event planned for Sept. 24, 2017 where families and students can learn about colleges and careers to help make decisions that fit.  The Golden Circle College and Career Fair encourages students of any age to come and explore the career and college options to help make informed decisions about future possibilities.  Please find some time to take advantage of this opportunity to learn more from ICAN.





Monday, May 15, 2017

Summer Camp Opportunities

As our 6th grade students are headed to Camp Wapsie with some of our staff, it's got me thinking about how parents may be looking for a powerful learning experience for their own students this summer.  Here are some options I found (not necessarily endorsing one over another) that may be helpful in making those decisions:  











Also, Jim Flansburg who works with the Iowa Department of Education as a Interagency Liaison share this resource with us:

Our friends at Ask Resource Centers have assembled a summer camp list that has something for everyone.
Please pass this along to your students' parents to ensure the kids have a fun-filled and educational summer.
Here's the link: http://askresource.org/resources/camp-list/

Jim Flansburg
Interagency Liaison
Iowa Department of Education
515-281-5795
jim.flansburg@iowa.gov

Mr. Pfiffner cooking with students

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Each and Every Child May 2017

The Iowa Department of Education is a fantastic supporter of all things education within our great state of Iowa.

One way they support is by sharing stories of success that are happening within our Iowa schools.  The Each and Every Child Newsletter is an example of the way the Iowa Department of Education supports and spreads the work of educators from across the state. It is written by our good friend, Jim Flansburg and the photography is from a talent know as Deborah Darge, a former student of East High when my Uncle Earl Bridgwater was the Principal.  (Life is full of connections:)

The May 2017 edition of Each and Every Child is timely in giving us tips to help make sure our students are continuing to progress, even when during the summer.  There are numerous ways we can ensure our students have ample opportunities to read during the summer.

Our local libraries have summer reading programs.  Here are the links I could find for each of our local libraries -- check out their summer reading programs and read the May 2017 edition of Each and Every Child for more ideas for ways to infuse reading into the lives of our children during the summer:




https://www.educateiowa.gov/documents/special-education/2017/05/may-2017-each-and-every-child-newsletter

Monday, May 1, 2017

#bcmakers

#BCmakers were showcased in a video for the @DLGWAEA Think, Make, Innovate YouTube channel.  Check out the link provided by Amber Bridge below.  The students in the video describe how this process make them think, make and innovate.

Thanks to all who helped to make this work for our students and staff!




Friday, April 28, 2017

BC Learning Update, Robotics & FFA Plant Sale

Click here for the BC Learning Update to to access the links within this newsletter


Our Robotics Team is competing at the The FIRST World Championships in St. Louis and meeting people from across the world as they represent Benton Community  .
Gary Zittergruen Twitter post pictures

Our Benton FFA is hosting the 1st weekend of their plant sale.

Saturday, April 29th 9:00 to Noon
Friday, May 5th 3:00 - 6:00 PM
Saturday, May 6th 8:00 to Noon
Friday, May 12th 3:00 - 6:00 PM
Saturday, May 13th 8:00 to Noon

Kystal Wright photo


If you know someone that may be interested in plants for this growing season, send them our way!  The greenhouse is located on the south side of the high school.