Thursday, October 17, 2013

Eagle Bluff Day 1

Good Morning,

I just wanted to give you a little recap of day 1 here at Eagle Bluff.  We arrived here about 10:30, unloaded our bus and met with our liasion, Kevin.  He shared with us some of the expectations that Eagle Bluff has for it's visitors.  We learned the 4 R's. Respect others, yourself, nature and the equipment here as some of it could be pretty expensive.  He also went over the different areas that we would be in: the Dorm, the Dinning Hall and the DC (this is our meeting area).

Being that Eagle Bluff is an environmental facility we also discussed other programs that they run with the students.  The Eagle Eye is an award that the students can earn by conserving resources.  This includes making sure all the lights are off in their rooms when they aren't in there, turning the water off, making sure windows are closed and recycling.  We are right across the hall from the recycling containers so this shouldn't be too hard to remember.  We can earn points and lose points if Kevin sees that something is not being done.  Our goal by the end of our visit is to have at least one point.  We are up to 5 so far.  Let's see how high we can get!

The Food Wise Program is always fun to watch the students participate in.  The idea is to have as little waste as possible.  In order to get the Clean Plate Award we can't have more than 1lb. 12oz. of food waste when we leave.  Waste after two meals=0.  Yeah, let's keep it going.  The students are learning that peer pressure isn't always a bad thing.  Students remind each other not to take more food than they will eat.  Ranch dressing, pineapple juice and hot sauce have proven to be tricky when it comes to cleaning our plates.

Yesterday afternoon we spent working with our groups doing team building activities.  This is always amazing to watch.  It is interesting to see the different personalities and ideas come to life.  Students end up learning so much about themselves and each other during this time.

After supper we had a naturalist program that discussed caves.  It was very interesting to see slides of different caves and what all can be found in them.  Some had beautiful crystals, lakes, and formations while others had bats, salamanders, and other little creatures that I don't care to come across.  The students had good questions for the speaker and were great participants and listeners.

We ended our evening around a campfire singing songs, doing skits and making and eating Smores.  What better way to end a beautiful day then that.  Students thought the 10:00 pm lights out was too early last night we will see how they enjoy their 6:30 wake up call.  Well, I'm off to start knocking on doors.  Today looks to be just as exciting as yesterday.  Happy Thursday!

I hope to get a couple of pictures up later today.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Eagle Bluff Schedule

I know that Mrs. Schwamman will be sending out information on this but I thought I would also send it out.  Here is how the schedule looks.

Wednesday, October 16th
10:30am Arrival/Welcome
Noon: Lunch
1:15-4:15 Group Challenges
4:30 Move into Dorm
4:45 Food/Wise Program
5:00 Dinner
6:30-7:30 Naturalist Program
7:30-9:00 Campfire
9:00-9:30 Group Meeting Time
9:30-10 Quiet Time in Dorm Rooms
10:00 pm Lights Out

Thursday, October 17th
7:30 Breakfast
8:30-11:30 Group A-Karst Geology
                             B-Forest Ecology
Noon: Lunch
1:15-4:15   Group A-East Treetops (Boys)
                             B-Karst Geology
5:00            Dinner
6:30-7:30 Naturalist Program
7:30-9:00  Volleyball
9:00-9:30 Group Meeting Time
9:30-10:00 Quiet Time in Dorm Rooms
10pm  Lights Out

Friday, October 18
Move out of dorm BEFORE breakfast
7:30 Breakfast
8:30-11:30 Group A-Forest Ecology
                              B- East Treetops (Girls)
Noon Lunch
1:00 Departure

It appears that the boys will be doing the high ropes on Thursday afternoon and the girls will be doing the ropes on Friday morning.  For those students that will be leaving for the cross country meet they will be able to do the ropes course on Friday.

We will be working on rooming assignments the next couple of days.

Message from Pat Downs on Washington D.C. Trip

Below is an email from Pat Downs about the Washington D.C. trip.

South Winn, Ossian DeSales, and CFS Parents and Students,

I just checked on numbers for the June 1 - 7, 2014, Washington D.C. trip.  We are already at 56 students and parents.  Fantastic!

To get to that second bus for our trip, we need 70 travelers (not counting teachers).  So, if anyone is "on the fence," start encouraging them to go with us to see our country.

I also want to urge parents and students to avoid room assignment difficulties.  We are on the go so much on this trip, that we really spend very little time in our rooms.
I am so proud of our students when we travel;   I hope the teachers and administration at all three schools  continue to want to offer this trip, and your cooperation is a huge part of this continued support.  

Already looking forward to spring and our trip to D.C.!

Patricia Downs
Hawkeye Stages/ Legacy Tour & Travel
703 Dudley Street
Decorah, IA 52101
cell:  563-380-2889  FAX: 563-382-9345

Friday, September 27, 2013

Book Talks

Just wanted to send out a reminder that both 7th and 8th grade students have 8 points in booktalks this quarter.  The quarter ends on October 18.  The 8th graders really need to keep this in mind being that they will be at Eagle Bluff from the 16-18 of October.  I may also be attending with the students so 7th graders should plan on having their booktalks done before the 16th also.

Book talks can be done face-to-face with me, students can create a poster for the book, they can write a review of the book, dress up like a character and tell us about the book from their point of view or they can come up with other options. I am open to almost anything as long as they talk to me about it first.

Many students have done a wonderful job of completing booktalks but some have yet to complete any.  I will be working on adding these points to students grades this next week.  This can really help or hurt scores.  Please remind your student to stay on top of this.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Week in Review

We have had a very busy week not only in the classroom but also out of the classroom.  We had many people come and share their knowledge and experiences with us.  Here are some of the high lights and a couple things to keep in mind.

We were lucky to have a picture presentation on Africa.  The pictures were amazing and the information shared was superb.  I think that everyone in the room felt sometime through the presentation that they would like to go visit Africa themselves.

The Homecoming Court came and shared their activities and talents with us.  We got to hear how busy and well rounded they are.  We wish them all the best as well as our football team next Friday.  Our elementary and middle school will be taking part in the homecoming activities.  We will be dressing up next week to show our Warrior Spirit.

Monday- Neon Day
Tuesday- Favorite Team Day
Wednesday- Hat and Crazy Sock Day
Thursday- Wear Pink to show support for Breast Cancer.  The high school volleyball team will also have their "Think Pink" Night.
Friday-  Warrior Spirit Day (wear South Winneshiek clothing or colors)

Legacy Tour and Travel visited 8th graders on Friday to introduce the educational travel opportunity of heading to Washington D.C.  The trip will be June 1-7, 2014.  Students should have received 3 color brochures of attractions and a white paper with the dates, price and itinerary.  There will be a parent/student meeting for more information on this trip Wednesday, September 25, at 5:30.

Students continue to work hard in the classroom and out.  7th grade is working hard to create a poem on nature and 8th grade is moving from analyzing poetry to a review of genres.  From there we will move into strategies of becoming an active reader.

Outside of class the football team will be taking on Oelwein, cross country will be traveling to Waukon on Tuesday and Independence on Saturday, and volleyball has a home game Monday against Turkey Valley.  Students aren't just busy with school sponsored activities, many are also involved in their communities.  This makes for wonderful Warriors.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Eagle Bluff

Eagle Bluff Trip is just around the corner for the 8th Graders.  The dates of their stay will be Wednesday, October 16- Friday, October 18.  The students will bring their bags to school and leave from here.  Here is the link to Eagle Bluff.  This is a wonderful learning experience for the students.

I have heard some students talking about appointments that may have already been scheduled.  Please check your calendar to make sure there aren't conflicts.  

Monday, September 9, 2013

How Good Readers Become Great Readers

I thought this was worthy of sharing.  I don't think that it ever hurts to be reminded about how we can become better at something.  This year all 7th and 8th grade students should be reading about 20 minutes a day.  I understand that we all have busy schedules and this is just a goal.  I have tried to mention different ways that the students can meet this such as, reading 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at night,  reading while waiting to be picked up after practice or reading right before bed.  Some of my classes need to turn in their reading minutes each cycle so it is really important that they are keeping track of their minutes.  Also, students should be planning on getting 8 book talk points this quarter.  There are posters of the points and how they get those points in my classroom.

How Good Readers Become Great Readers
Look at the pictures.
Practice Reading. (just like everything else we need to practice)
Read "just right" books.
Read in your spot. (try to find a spot that is quiet and comfortable)
Read the whole time.
Share and talk about your books.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

New Chapter

The new chapter of our book has gotten off to a hot start.  It seems that Mother Nature always knows when the school doors open to welcome back students.  She seems to bless us with unusually hot, humid weather.  This week, it appears, she may be relaxing a little as our temperatures seem to be a little more tolerable.  I give the students a lot of credit as the conditions were not the most suitable for quality learning.   Students did a wonderful job!

The Iowa Core will be something that both parents and students will be hearing and learning about this year and into the future.  These K-12 standards will help to ensure that our students are college and career ready.  The standards are grade specific and progress with your child.  Our focus this year is on the English Language Arts and Literacy standards.  These are standards that cross the curriculum so they should be seeing and hearing about them in other subject areas.  

I look forward to working with your student as we journey through literature.