As we begin a new school year, I am reposting an article I wrote last school year, Are you Ready for the New School Year?
Best of luck on a wonderful school year to everyone!
Sunday, August 7, 2016
As the 2016-17 school year is about to resume, I reflect on the summer I have had. I had a chance to take two wonderful vacations with family, first to Disney World, then later to Chicago while also taking many miniature day trips. It was a great time to rejuvenate and reconnect, while making memories that will last a life time.
On the educational side, I had the opportunity to be a Kansas Fellow. I was one of nine teachers who were trained by the Kansas Department of Education and Kansas Commissioner Randy Watson on the new Kansas Board of Education outcomes that will go into effect the 2016-17 school year. Although I knew this would be a meaningful experience, I never realized how much it would impact me both professionally and personally.
As we traveled the state of Kansas, we visited areas I never knew existed, small rural communities, while other times visiting places in the Kansas City and Wichita area. No matter where my team visited, we saw passionate educators who cared deeply about their students. We heard of amazing things communities were doing to ensure all students received a quality education. We saw school district officials thinking outside the box, seeking solutions to problems brought on my budget issues. We heard of weekly eligibility checks for all students to make sure they were succeeding, redesigning high school classrooms, creating opportunities for elementary students to explore careers at an early age and participate in STEM, educators finding creating ways to make sure their special needs students left them with essential life skills, a school district who created a job for a student to earn money in exchange for the student staying in school instead of dropping out. The list of amazing things occurring in Kansas Schools could go on and on. The goal was to help the school districts learn about the outcomes, but I have definitely learned more and have no doubt Kansas is the best to receive an education because of all the astonishing students, educators and families that pour their heart to reach for success each and every day.
Posted by Brandi Leggett at 3:49 PM
Saturday, March 5, 2016
I am co-teaching with another teacher on project-based learning. A recent project has been with in 1st grade, where students are learning about how to produce more chocolate. This project has been interesting because this was the first time where students guided their own learning. We read a book together, then students learned about teamwork, note-taking and the differences between primary and secondary resources. Students are now at the point where they have gained all the information and are working on presentations. Here is one of the groups final project.
Posted by Brandi Leggett at 7:36 AM
Congratulations to this group of fifth graders. They were named Honorable Mention in Exploravision. This is a national science competition. Receiving this honor put their entry in the top 10%. The team developed a design L.T.3D. This is a three dimensional printer, aligned with a CAD software that will allow them to print working livers. They wanted to end the problem of people dying while waiting for a liver transplant.
Posted by Brandi Leggett at 7:27 AM
After Kindergarten students in Mrs. Davis's class learned about weather, she put them in different weather groups. I pulled the students, went over facts, showed them weather tools, then helped them create weather forecasts. Every student participated and was so excited to act like a meteorologist. Our local meteorologist, Gary Lezak is taking the time to judge them and provide feedback. It was a lot of fun seeing the students so excited.
Posted by Brandi Leggett at 7:03 AM
In a diverse school, one of the best things to do is find ways for students to celebrate their culture. In third grade, students need to understand traditions, immigration, holidays and geography. Instead of only limiting it to finding out why people came to Kansas City, students began studying their culture, understanding more about their ancestry. Students researched, created presentations, brought in artifacts, came in their clothing and brought food. Students were very proud to share their culture. It was a great way to make the learning very relevant.
Posted by Brandi Leggett at 6:58 AM
Saturday, February 20, 2016
If you guide the kids, they can achieve the expectations. In a recent project, this group of 1st graders read a book and discussed it. We talked about the main idea, theme and what a moral means. Students then had to rewrite the story identifying things they would like to be. They chose five to eight things, then followed the short five line format that Katalina Page used in I'd Like to Be. Students then learned about Copyright, using the Google Advanced Search to select images. They made iMovies, then they memorized one of their writings and chose an image to use when they recited it on the green screen. Next, students had to think of things they would need in place to help them achieve their goals. Finally, they presented their project to the Kansas Commissioner of Education, Dr. Randy Watson, the entire 1st grade, district admin, teachers, principal and their parents. The students did a wonderful job. Here is a website of their final project.
I'd Like to Be
I'd Like to Be
Posted by Brandi Leggett at 9:31 AM