Friday, May 27, 2016

Time to Reflect

There are many things I love about the end of the calendar year and the end of the school year, but among my very favorite is the time for reflection.  I challenge my students to regularly take time to think about where they’ve been and where they’re going.  Without that time, we’re prone to wander Hansel & Gretel style in the wilderness.

As I ponder this year, I am amazed by just how far we stepped outside of our comfort zones. It was a year of much growing and stretching!  Not just for me, but for my students, and our entire school.

In the end of year faculty meeting yesterday, our principal, Mrs. Bishop, gave us a list of things in which Guion Creek Middle School is the only middle school in our district to accomplish –
  • Host an all-school science fair
  • Qualify a robotics team for state (and it was the 1st year for a robotics team!)
  • Produce a musical (to a sell-out crowd of 500+ people on opening night!!!)
  • Recognized by the state Dept of Education as a Promising Practice through our “Jags with Swag” apartment complex tutoring outreach program
  • Host a Genius Hour Showcase

This is just a portion of the amazing things our GCMS students are doing to make our school and our world a better place.


Happy learning,

Friday, May 13, 2016

What a journey!

WOW!  May 11’s Genius Hour Showcase is now a thing of the past.  It was an amazing 90 minutes of students sharing their knowledge with each other, parents, staff, school board members, and the community at large.  More than 1 adult commented to me about how excited the students were to share what they had learned.

We had projects covering literally every topic under the sun….

• Medical = SIDS, Brown Sequard Syndrome, Depression, Color blindness, Gluten allergies
• School = Our school’s positive behavior system (PAWS), The impact of peppermint on learning, A school club (Girls With Power)
• Technology = Speakers built into cell phone case, Computer hacking, Computer coding, Solar panels
• Community = Homelessness, Presidential election, Learning Japanese 
• History = The Great Depression
• Science = Cloud seeding, Biotechnology

With these projects, students showcased their learning in a wide variety of ways.  A poster, brochures, and PowerPoints were the standards.  However, many took to creative ways to show what they had learned….

• A movie about schizophrenia
• A book with illustrations telling the story of the Great Depression
• A video explaining basic Japanese phrases
• A sample “homeless care kit”
• A video showing how an assembly line works
• A model of an eye to further explain colorblindness
• Homemade breast cancer awareness ribbons
• Cookies  made with gluten and without

Our hashtag for the event was #GCMSGeniusHour if you would like to search social media for other pictures.

If you played any part in this adventure, we thank you!  The students have learned from failures and stretched during successes.  It has been an incredible journey!

Happy learning,