Friday, July 27, 2012

Meet the Teacher Night at Cashton Elementary School

Meet the Teacher Night at Cashton Elementary School

     Cashton Elementary will be conducting a “Meet the Teacher” night on Thursday, August 30th from 4:30 PM until 6:30 PM for students (5K-Grade 5) and their families.  The purpose of the event is to help families to become more familiar with the school, the curriculum, and teachers with the hopes of supporting a strong connection between home and school.  This partnership is essential to the learning process and helps teachers better meet the unique learning needs of each child. 

     With exception of the time scheduled for grade-level meetings, Cashton Elementary teachers will be available in their classrooms for open house visits with parents and their children.  Parents have a wealth of knowledge about their children’s social, emotional, and academic needs.  In many cases, they will be able to help their child’s teacher better meet their needs by helping them understand their individual strengths, challenges, and interests. 

     Grade-level teaching teams will conduct a 15-minute group meeting to provide an overview of the skills and topics to be addressed, explore curriculum handbooks, explain classroom routines, share topics that are unique to the grade level, and answer any general questions families may have.  This meeting is also an opportunity to meet the additional teachers who will be working with each child.  Sessions are staggered in the interests of families with more than one child in the elementary school.  It is understood that some families may have a conflict with the assigned time and will not be able to attend. 

Scheduled times are as follows:  5K 4:30-4:45, Grade 1 4:50-5:05, Grade 2 5:10-5:25, Grade 3 5:30-5:45, Grade 4 5:50-6:05, Grade 5 6:10-6:25. 
(Note:  4K families will be scheduled for individual meetings with their child’s teacher and should contact the Elementary office if they have not received the orientation letter by late August.)  Families are welcome to bring their children’s school supplies to this event to lighten their backpacks on the first day of school.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The New Summer School

Video Game Design - Gamestar Mechanic

"Summer School" is a concept that for some conjures images of struggling or disengaged students battling through sweltering summer days in a school library who are trying to convince the assigned school teacher that there was just enough remediation work completed to replace a sub par grade.  Granted, that is a likely reality in a minority of circumstances, but summer school has become so much more.  One must remember, during the summer, the vast majority of summer students are choosing to spend their fleeting vacation days intentionally in a classroom.

In contrast to the teaching and learning environment during the traditional school calendar so strongly influenced by outside factors, summer school remains something of a academic laboratory for teachers and students alike.  While the expectation of learning and excellence doesn't rest in the summer, there is an opportunity to try something new, expand or improve past practice, experiment with current technologies, and attempt to connect to and build upon academic interests with less fear of embarrassment if all doesn't go as hoped.  It has become an environment where failure is recognized as an element of learning and an unavoidable side effect of the pursuit of innovation and experimentation.  The result is an increased willingness among students to engage and explore and for teachers to offer newly-created classes and learning opportunities .

Already this summer, through the coordination of our district summer school program, one that has expanded from three weeks to twelve over the last five years based on the ever-increasing student interest and participation, I have witnessed the enthusiasm of our students as they have explored interests ranging from the staples of reading and math to the enrichment opportunities of health and wellness classes, band, agriculture, robotics, graphic design, and video game creation with so much more yet to come.  I am proud of our students and teachers for their enthusiasm for learning, exploring, attempting, designing, and engaging.

Lego Robotics Programming

Lego Design Challenge