Thursday, January 21, 2016

Dear Families in the Middle,

THANK YOU! Taking time to post a comment, send an e-mail, or make a phone call really helps us know what is helpful and additional steps we might take to continue to improve our "learning in the middle". It's also a wonderful way to affirm students for their learning and work!

Monday was a day of professional learning for our teachers.  Part of the learning included messages from students in response to the question, "What do teachers do that ENGAGES you and makes learning MEANINGFUL?" While we learn something EVERY day from our students, time to learn from each other, reflect on our learning, and apply it to our practice is limited and highly valued. For a sense of that value, here are a few messages from teachers' feedback after a day of learning:
* Making changes in our classroom arrangement, routines, and approach keeps students motivated
* I want to allow students to have more ownership in their learning by allowing them to create a plan.
* I'm excited to move forward with ideas!
* I want to give students something to DO to learn rather than something to learn. 
* I liked hearing about what motivates students: success, curiosity, originality and relationships
* I am pushed to ponder how to foster, develop and model curiosity.
* I have room to grow when applying a variety of learning strategies. There are so many good ones being used by others. 
* Appreciated student perspective of helpful strategies.
* I'm just like my students: engagement and attitude matter.

This morning (Thursday) we welcomed a team from GOOGLE to our learning community. They shared a powerful message "You are What You Share" with students and FIVE Tips to be responsible with our online communication:
1) Think Before you Share
2) Know and Use Your Settings
3) Protect Your Stuff
4) Avoid Scams
5) Be POSITIVE! (My personal favorite!)
For more information, your family might check out:

During our 7th grade Google message, US Representative Sean Duffy introduced himself and reinforced the message of responsible online safety. Google is a powerful educational tool. With great power comes great responsibility. Thank you for partnering with us to help our students be empowered AND responsible learners!

Mrs. Ann Mitchell

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