Monday, January 25, 2016

Newsletter-January 2016

Dear Parents-

       It is hard for me to believe that this school year is already half way over and we have been very busy with several activities. Again, this December we participated with eight million other students from around the world in the Hour of Code. This is a global movement in over 180 countries. The organizers feel that-Every student should have the opportunity to learn computer science. It helps nurture problem-solving and creativity.
            During this quarter some of our older students continued their work on  Genius Hour, which is  based on a business practice that Google uses with their developers.  They are allowed to use 20% of their time, provided that work has the potential to advance the company.

Our guidelines/rules for Genius Hour are as follows:
-You must start with a real-world question or problem.
-You answer/solution must require research. It must require more than a Google Search.
-Your final project must be sharable.
I am really looking forward to seeing where these students take these projects.

Students have each crafted an Action Plan that clearly states what they hope to accomplish. This includes:  the goal, the procedures, a definition of what their completed  project looks like, and how it will be evaluated. We are really looking forward to sharing our work sometime after spring testing.
            Other groups are working on research projects and with all of these projects the process is our focus. There will be mini lesson on strategies such as: choosing an appropriate topic, note taking, developing a quality product and other items that may appear throughout. Our younger students are each working on Animal Projects and have been exploring an animal of their choice.
            Finally, Virtual Literacy Circles where we are using Edmodo and Google Hangout free technology programs to communicate with one another and other classes from around the world. In December we had two Virtual Literacy Circles up and running with several more this spring. These Virtual Literacy Circles do a wonderful job of honing literacy and technology skills and are a big hit with the students.
            As a reminder, I have an open door policy and if you have any questions and/or concerns please contact me through email


                                                                                    Miss Snyder