May 31, 2010
Dear BCS community,
I have recently read an article on connecting with our digital learners and what it takes to educate students in a digital world. I read the article through the lens of the instructional leader and found myself asking…
Are we doing enough at BCS to adapt to today’s learner?
Here is an excerpt from the article; the whole article can be read at http://www.edutopia.org/ikid-digital-learner
Teachers in every strata of education are increasingly dealing with a student population that is not only more wired than they are but also grew up in a techno-drenched atmosphere that has trained them to absorb and process information in fundamentally different ways. This generation of students is more likely to be armed with cell phones, laptops, and iPods than with spiral notebooks and No. 2 pencils.
Teachers who once struggled for students' attention mainly against daydreams, passed notes, class clowns, and cross-aisle flirting now also face a formidable array of gadgets and digitized content. Smart schools -- and smart educators -- are scrambling to figure out how to use these same tools and information-distribution techniques to reach and excite young minds. "You have to work with the kind of brains we've got now," says Susan Blackmore, who holds a PhD in psychology from Oxford University and frequently writes and lectures on new technology's effects on consciousness..
As the principal of BCS I see movement and energy surrounding this very subject. I observe lessons, participate in discussions, and see firsthand how our students are empowered and engaged on a daily basis. Technology, whether it is provided by the district or brought in by the students themselves, is used in many effective ways to enhance learning. A big part of meeting the needs of our students is allowing our teachers and students to take risks and to possess something that continues to be missing in many schools, autonomy
If we are to build an environment where today’s’ learners can experiment with the tools they are accustomed to, we must allow for autonomy. We cannot expect growth among our students unless they themselves have a say in how they learn, or what they learn with. Instead of giving our students all of the answers, we need to guide the students to search for responses to their own questions by helping them research, identify, and sort through information.
The BCS staff continues to strive for a climate of collaboration to support our changed role as educators for today’s learner. Daily conferences with team partners allow our teachers to encourage each other to make changes and try new things. Because our teachers stay with our students for two years, they do not use the same ideas with the class and are always coming up with new projects. Autonomy is not an option. Our students, and our teachers, need to have the freedom to learn with new tools, utilize the best technology that is out there, and learn from each other.
Are we doing enough? I believe that as long as we are allowing for students and teachers to have the autonomy to use new tools, utilize the technology in a variety of ways, and to learn from one another, we are certainly moving forward. We will never reach a point to where we can say we have done enough, but if we can say that we are working vigorously to keep up with our students’ interest…that is half the battle!
WEEK AT A GLANCE – MAY 31 – JUNE 4, 2010
(Disclaimer: Please check all your calendars and bcsonline.info in case we missed something)
To submit an item for next week’s “WAG”, email firstname.lastname@example.org by FRIDAY 7AM
Monday, May 31
• No School – Memorial Day
Tuesday, June 1
• ALL BOOKS DUE BACK TO THE BCS MEDIA CENTER
• Forensics Team audition sign-up outside Room 407
• 8th grade students who have not picked up their T-shirt – please stop at the bagel sale to pick it up. Also, please drop off any remaining loose change baggies.
• 8-8:20AM – Bagel sale in front of the media center by the 8th grade celebration committee
• 3:15-4:00PM – School store is open in the main hallway during choice hour
• 4:10 – 5:00PM – Track Practice for student attending the Oakland County Meet
• 7:00PM - BPS Board of Education meeting at the BPS Administration building, 550 West Merrill Street, Birmingham. Watch it live on Comcast channel 17.
Wednesday, June 2
• DEADLINE: RSVP due to Joe Neal (email@example.com) for BCS golf outing on June 9
• Forensics Team audition sign-up outside Room 407
• Popcorn Day – freshly popped popcorn is sold during choice hour for $1 in the main hallway.
• 3-4PM-Market Day pick-up in the entrance hall
• 3: 20 – 4:05PM – Track Practice during choice hour – BRING UNIFORMS
• 5:30-6:30PM – Proud Dads Golf for 3rd – 8th grade- Royal Oak Driving Range at 13 Mile Rd & Coolidge
• 7:00PM – 5th & 6th grade SPRING BAND CONCERT – BCS Cafeteria - band members arrive no later than 6:30 in concert attire (no blue jeans, athletic shoes or tee shirts)
Thursday, June 3
• Forensics Team audition sign-up outside Room 407
• All ART ALIVE canvases and pieces of art should be picked up by students today and tomorrow
• 8:15 – 9:30AM – 8th Grade Farewell Celebration Planning Meeting-media center
• 1:30 PM – Students leave for Oakland County Track meet at Clarkston High School
• 7:30PM – BCS ORCHESTRA SPRING CONCERT – BCS Cafeteria – guest appearance by the 8th grade band at 7:50PM.
• 7 PM – Friends of Different Learners Meeting – “Wrap Up – Planning Meeting, Board Elections for 2010-2011” in the BCS Media Center
Friday, June 4
• All ART ALIVE canvases and pieces of art should be picked up by students today
• DUE: Permission slip and payment for the 8th grade field trip to Thunderbird Lanes on June 10. Permission slips can be downloaded from www.bcsonline.info
• 3:30 - ?? Forensic Team Auditions – please be prompt for your appointment time
Hot Entrée menu for the week: (subject to change, if necessary)
- Available everyday: Salad Bar, Hamburgers, Chicken Patties, Pizza & Cheese Breadsticks
Monday – No School
Tuesday – Beef Hot Dog or Chili Dog, carrots w/ dip
Wednesday – Spaghetti – w/ or w/o meat sauce, garlic bread
Thursday – Pasta primavera w/chicken, steamed broccoli
Friday – Breakfast for Lunch OR Chicken sliders, fresh fruit
MOVE-UP INFORMATION NIGHT
Move-Up Night for parents is June 8, 2010 in the Media Center. Parents of students in 4th grade going to 5th grade will be from 6:30pm-7:15pm and parents of students in 6th grade going to 7th grade will be from 8:00pm-8:45pm. Please plan to attend and learn more about these transitions.
The parent portal of POWERSCHOOL will be available until July 5, 2010. On July 6, 2010, the portal will be closed until parents receive notification that it has re-opened.
BCS BAND SPRING BAND CONCERTS REMINDER
The 5th & 6th grade bands will perform their spring concert on Wednesday evening, June 2nd in the BCS cafeteria. The performance will begin at 7:00pm. The 7th & 8th grade bands will perform their spring concert on Wednesday, June 9 in the BCS cafeteria. The starting time for the 7th & 8th grade band performance is 7:00pm. The 8th grade band members will also be making a guest appearance with the BCS orchestra on Thursday, June 3 at 7:30 pm. Specific details for the 8th grade performance with the orchestra have been sent home with the 8th grade band members.
8TH GRADE FAMILIES…….PERMISSION SLIP AND FEE ARE DUE FOR 8TH GRADE BOWLING TRIP
During Move-Up Day on June 10, the eighth graders will go bowling tot Thunderbird Lanes with Mr. Johansson and Mrs. Kelmigian. For your convenience, the flyer was emailed on May 28. You may also download the flyer from www.bcsonline.info . Please return permission slip and $12.50 (payable to BCS) to Mrs. Reepmeyer in the main office by Friday, June 4. We would also welcome a few parent volunteers for this fun outing! Please indicate your interest on the permission slip.
WACKY RECESS – JUNE 11, 2010
Please remember to RSVP for the BBQ lunch on Wacky Recess Day, Friday, June 11. The cafeteria will not be open on this day as the staff will be helping the Proud Dads serve food at the BBQ. Download the flyer at www.bcsnline.info and send it, with payment, into the office just as soon as you can. Also, if you are able to volunteer to help at the BBQ, please contact Dawn Walton at firstname.lastname@example.org .
MOVE UP DAY VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
Can you believe it's already time to be thinking about Move Up Day? On June 10th, the incoming 3rd graders will be visiting BCS and meeting their new teachers and classmates. In order to make this a great experience, the BCS Community Connections Committee is looking for your help. We need eight volunteers to assist with check-in, the scavenger hunt, and dismissal from 8:00 to 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 10th. To volunteer, please contact Becky Bachand at email@example.com or 248.593.8234. Thanks!
PULSE NEWSPAPER WINS AWARDS AT THE STATE LEVEL
The Pulse newspaper staff at BCS has once again received awards in the statewide Michigan Interscholastic Press Association newspaper contest. Congratulations to the students and staff advisor, Michelle Snyder!
Here are the honorees:
• 7th grader Adam Dabaldo = third place in the Alternative Story Form category for “BCS Students and Their Music Players”
• 8th grader Alena Farooq = honorable mention in the Alternative Story Form category for “Ask Alvin” advice column AND honorable mention in the In-Depth Feature category for “Seeing in Believing”
• 8th grader Alexander Breeden = honorable mention in the Sports Feature Story category for “Instant Replay in Baseball”
• 8th grader Melissa Shiner = honorable mention in the Bylined Opinion Article for “Sparkle’s Tips for a Fun and Safe Summer!”
• 8th grader Claire Erwin = 2nd place in the Advertising Layout category for her popcorn sale advertisement
• The entire staff = 2nd place in the Front Page/Newspaper Style category for the front page of the December issue
AUDITIONS FOR NEXT YEAR’S FORENSICS TEAM
The 2010-2011 Forensics Team auditions will be Friday, June 4th. Students must have taken at least one marking period of the Forensics I choice hour to audition.
Students auditioning may choose to audition in either of the following categories: Prose, Poetry, Storytelling, D.I., Sales, Oratory, and Informative. Sales, Informative, and Oratory must be original pieces written by the students, all other categories may NOT be written by the student. Those auditioning with Sales or Informative may use visual aids.
ALL PIECES MUST BE BETWEEN 3-5 MINUTES AND MUST BE MEMORIZED. Individual preparation and memorization are big components of being on the team and will be a factor in deciding who makes the team.
Students will sign up the week of June 4th outside Mrs. Schultz’s room (Room 407) for an audition time. Audition times will begin at 3:30 (however, times from 3:30-4:00 are reserved for those students who are currently in the Forensics I Choice Hour). Please arrive on time for your audition. Students will wait in Room 407 and be able to practice in there until it is their time to audition, in which case they will then be ushered into the Media Center by a helper. Auditions will be closed, meaning that only the team coach (Liz Schultz) and a guest judge will be watching. The guest judge has no affiliation with BCS, thereby being totally neutral and judging on performance criteria. The guest judge has toured nationally in shows, went to college in New York for performance, and has Forensic experience…he is very qualified. Once students are done with their audition they are to leave BCS…they are done for the evening.
The new members of the team will be posted outside classroom 407 on Mon, June 7th before school begins.
Students may be nervous, but please try to calm their fears as much as possible. There are a limited number of spots on the team, however everyone has a fair chance and I am excited to see all auditions! If you have any questions, please email me (Liz Schultz) at firstname.lastname@example.org . Thank you.
BACK TO SCHOOL REGISTRATION – AUGUST 18 & 25, 9-12AM & 5-7
As this school year winds down, we are looking ahead to the next school year!!! Please mark your calendars for the Back-To-School registration dates….and remember, every student should be registered before school starts next year! We need lots of volunteers to ensure our registration is successful and the office starts the next school year well prepared for your children. Would you please look at the dates below and sign-up to help as often as your schedule allows? We really do need you. BCS 7th and 8th graders or high school students that are BCS alums are welcome to volunteer for community service hours credit, IF they are scheduled in advance.
If you can help during any of these times, please contact Linda Weitzel (248-865-7279, email@example.com). Please put BCS Registration on the subject line.
August 3rd (Tuesday) - 10 am to 2 pm
August 16th (Monday) - 10 am to 2 pm
August 18th (Wednesday) - 9 am to noon or 5 pm to 7 pm
August 19th (Thursday) - 9 am to noon
August 25th (Wednesday) - 9 am to noon or 5 pm to 7 pm
August 26th (Thursday) - 9 am to noon
For BCS 8th graders: SEAHOLM CHEERLEADING TRY-OUTS – MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
Tryouts for next year’s football cheer team will be held on Tuesday, June 8th from 6-7 PM at Seaholm High School. If you’ve never cheered before or want to sharpen your skills before tryouts, please attend one or both of the pre-tryout instructional days listed below:
Tuesday, June 1st – 5:00-6:30 PM OR Wednesday, June 2nd – 6:00-7:30 PM
For more information about the cheer team and tryouts, please contact Coach Szura at firstname.lastname@example.org . Go Maples!