Dear BCS Community,
It is often said that if you want something done right, do it yourself! At least that is what my grandfather always told me! Well, this year, some of our BCS teachers did just that. Instead of relying solely on other people’s research about teaching and learning, they themselves became researchers within the classroom to improve their own practice and to motivate our students.
The last three BCS staff meetings have started with teachers reporting what action research they conducted, why they chose the topic of research, and what their results showed. It has been exciting to hear about the authentic research conducted by our own BCS staff.
Action research is a process in which participants examine their own educational practice systematically and carefully, using the techniques of research.
It is based on the following assumptions:
Teachers and principals work best on problems they have identified for themselves
Teachers and principals become more effective when encouraged to examine and assess their own work and then consider ways of working differently
Teachers and principals help each other by working collaboratively
Working with colleagues helps teachers and principals in their professional development
One particular action research project I would like to share was conducted by Nicole Toth and Michelle Snyder, our two 7-8 Spanish teachers.
Last year the BCS teaching staff read and discussed Marzano’s Classroom Instruction Strategies. http://www.middleweb.com/MWLresources/marzchat1.html.
Michelle and Nicole took Marzano’s research and put it into acton. One strategy Marzano researched was the topic of homework.
Marzano points out:
Homework should be structured to ensure high completion. If it's too long or difficult for students to finish, what's the point?
While there's no magic amount, there is a law of diminishing returns with the amount of homework. Adding more will not result in more achievement. It should be limited.
It needs to have a well-articulated legitimate purpose. As he states, "homework assigned for punishment or to demonstrate to the public that a school is a serious place of study is not very defensible".
It should relate directly to learning goals.
It should be designed so students can do it on their own.
I asked Michelle Snyder to summarize their action research:
Is daily homework necessary? This weighty question seemed to be a good topic for my action research. Within my professional learning community, I chose to research the effect of homework on student achievement in my Spanish II classes. Mrs. Toth carried out the same research with her Spanish I classes. We gathered data of student achievement on homework, quizzes and tests from first quarter (when we assigned normal amounts of written homework) and compared those to data from the second quarter (when we assigned little to no written homework). Students were less stressed and achieved at comparable levels during the second quarter. We appreciate the time we received to conduct meaningful research within our individual teaching contexts. It was the most meaningful professional development I’ve engaged in in quite some time!
The BCS team is interested in what motivates your children, what makes learning relevant and rigorous, and what changes we must make to improve both our practice and the quality of instruction each year. We will continue to find these answers by conducting action research at BCS. If you are interested in action research within education here are a few links:
Have a great week!
G.E.E.K.ed about action research at BCS,
WEEK AT A GLANCE –June 6-10, 2011
(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 MIDNIGHT THURSDAY
Monday, June 6
ALL BOOKS DUE BACK TO THE BCS MEDIA CENTER TODAY
Flip Your Lid-Help Build the Mural Today with the BCS GREEN TEAM
(Volunteers and drills needed)
Tuesday, June 7
8-8:20AM –last Bagel sale in front of the media center by the 8th grade celebration committee
Hat Day! Cost = $1 Proceeds will go to the Kiva Kobras, a 7/8 choice hour micro-lending team
Track Celebration Permission slip and Jerseys due to Coach Stone -see email sent 6/2
8th grade graduation rehearsal
Wednesday, June 8
12:40 PM Groves Soccer Team in McCloud during 7/8 lunch for 8th graders interested in Fall soccer
NO popcorn sold today. POPCORN will return on September 14, 2011
2:15-3:15-Groves Big Brother/Big Sister presentation
3:15 PM-Track Choice Hour practice-We will have a casual RUN over to Stroh's Ice Cream Parlor at Maple & Lasher. We will not be running back to BCS-students must be picked up at Stroh’s at 4:30 -backpacks and belongings will be transported there.
7:00PM – 7th & 8th 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 9
9 -10:30 AM- MOVE UP DAY!!
9:30-11:30 AM-8th Grade Bowling at Thunderbird Lanes-pizza included-Wear socks Please!
8th Grade Farewell Celebration
6:30-7:30 -8th Grade Farewell Celebration in the gymnasium- 8th graders arrive no later than 6:15
7:30-8 PM – 8th Grade Sweet Endings Reception
8-10:00 PM – 8th Grade Student Dance- please pick up students promptly by 10:00PM
Friday, June 10
Wacky Recess-Flyer and Permission slip on bcsonline.info-We still need Proud Dads
Trash Free Friday
Hot Entrée menu for the week: (subject to change, if necessary)
Available everyday: Pizza, Hamburger & Cheeseburger, Chicken Sandwiches, Nachos, Beef Soft Shell Tacos, Freshly Made Salads & Sandwiches, Garden Fresh Salad Bar
Monday – Sloppy Joe Sandwich,Baked Potatoe Rounds,Broccoli,Mexican, Pizza
Tuesday – Grilled Turkey orCorned Beef Rueben,Sweet Potatoe Fries,Mixed Veg,Cheese Quesadilla
Wednesday – Make Your Taco Bar!!,Supreme Pizza
Thursday – Baked Mac and Cheese,Cauliflower,Fresh Fruit cup,Zesty Beef Burrito
Friday –Wacky Recess!
Warm weather is here and so are the summer clothes! Please remember that we have guidelines for our students when it comes to dress code and we will be reminding them of our expectations of dressing appropriately. If a student is in violation of the dress code, a staff member may ask them to contact a parent to bring up a change of clothing. Thank you for helping us maintain the integrity and respect that BCS has always known!
PARKING LOT REMINDERS
We would like to take a moment to thank Jennifer Thompson and Chef Shawn Thompson for all of their hard work with helping the traffic flow in the parking lots! A reminder for all parents that the area next to the EAST Parking lot between the Covington Road entrance and Quarton is a NO PARKING zone . Please use the parking lots and do not park here for drop off/pick up.
IMPORTANT REMINDER Please ensure that your student has and USES a lock on their GYM locker and that all valuables are secured there or in their SCHOOL locker. Some students have lost valuable items. Locking them is the best protection for everyone
8th Grade Families…….Permission Slip and Fee Are Due for 8th Grade Bowling Trip
During Move-Up Day on June 9, the eighth graders will go bowling to Thunderbird Lanes with Mr. Johansson and Mr. Manchester For your convenience, the flyer was emailed on May 31. Please return permission slip and $12.50 (payable to BCS) to Mrs. Reepmeyer in the main office by Monday, June 6. We would also welcome a few parent volunteers for this fun outing! Please indicate your interest on the permission slip.
Congratulations to the 5/6 Band and our BCS Strings musicians on 2 great concerts this past week! Be sure to come listen to the 7/8 band on Wednesday!
Congratulations to our Girls Soccer and Track teams for having fantastic seasons!! Cobra athletics are officially done for the year, but remember to check the website in the fall for information on Cross Country, Boys Soccer, and Girls Basketball!
The parent portal of POWERSCHOOL will be available until July 7, 2011. On July 8, 2011, the portal will be closed until parents receive notification that it has re-opened sometime in August.
WACKY RECESS – JUNE 10, 2011
Please remember to RSVP for the BBQ lunch on Wacky Recess Day, Friday, June 10. 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
Questions or to volunteer… email lori Shannon @ email@example.com
Proud Dads-Wacky Recess Help Needed We are still looking for volunteers for Wacky Recess, which is Friday, June 10. We could use at least 15 more Dads, or Moms. Of course, there's always room for more. It's a great time for all the kids, and parents. Dads/Moms can come for just a grade session or the entire day, whatever works for them. Some of the best memories my daughters have had at BCS have happened at these Wacky Recesses, so I'd hate for other Dads to miss this opportunity. It really is a fun day to see your kids having a great time, meet their friends and make some memories.
3/4 9:35- 10:55--5/6 12:55-2:15--7/8 11:20-12:40 If you're interested please contact Mike Shiner (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Debby Homic Hoge email@example.com)
FALL SOCCER AT GROVES
Attention 8th grade boys interested in playing soccer at Groves…Members of the Groves High School Boys Soccer team will be here next Wednesday, 6/8 during your lunch period in Mr. McCloud’s “green screen” room. Be sure to stop by if you are interested in playing boys soccer at Groves next year!!
BCS BAND SPRING BAND CONCERTS
The 7th & 8th grade bands will perform their spring concert on Wednesday, June 8th in the BCS cafeteria. The starting time for the 7th & 8th grade band performance is 7:00pm.
MOVE-UP INFORMATION NIGHT
Move-Up Night for parents is June 14,2011 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.
Tuesday is Hat Day! Cost = $1 Proceeds will go to the Kiva Kobras, a 7/8 choice hour micro-lending team working to alleviate poverty in the world. Check out the team website for more information: http://snyder10.wikis.birmingham.k12.mi.us/Kiva
important Message FOR STUDENTS INTERESTED IN Fall Forensics
Auditions for Forensics II (the competitive team) will take place on Thursday June 9th during and after choice hour. Students may sign up for an audition starting June 7th on a sign-up sheet posted outside Mrs.Stone’s room, near the choice hour board. Students must have taken the Forensics I choice hour class at some point to be eligible for auditions. Students already on the team do not need to re-audition
Students must have a 3-5 minute memorized audition piece. It may be from the categories of prose, dramatic interpretation, poetry, storytelling, sales, info, or oratory. Sales, info, and oratory must all be original pieces written by the auditionee. Sales and info may use visual aids, if they choose. Students are allowed to use the team’s stools, cubes, and chairs. When the student is finished with their piece, they are done! The new team members for 2011-2012 will be posted outside Mrs. Stone’s room on Friday June 10th.
THINKING Green Team News-FLIP YOUR LID (WE NEED VOLUNTEERS AND DRILLS!)
The Green Committee is hoping to complete our mural before the year is out and we need help!! (Remember collecting all those plastic lids from bottles, cans ,etc.??) On June 6th we are inviting all the students to come and screw the lids onto the mural. Students will be coming down one class at a time. It is a big job and we really need adult volunteers to supervise so if you can join us for all day or part of the day, please email Mrs. Roberts firstname.lastname@example.org . Please let her know what time and for how long you are able to help.We also need battery powered drills. If you would like to loan us your drill for the day please label it with your name and homeroom teacher so we can return it to you ASAP! Please let Mrs Roberts know that you will be sending it in so that she can get an idea of how many drills we will have available.
Jeans Gone Green is a Michigan Company that upcycles jeans to create sandals and bags .Any material they don’t use gets donated to Habitats for Humanity to be shredded and used for insulation. Jeans Gone Green have agreed to give a donation to school for any jeans we can collect so as we move into the season for shorts please consider donating your outgrown, ripped or torn jeans to our collection-the bin is outside the main office.
Thanks again for your support of all our Green efforts and for helping us to achieve Evergreen Status for the second year running as part of the Michigan Green Schools Initiative!!
7/8 SPIRIT COMMITTEE NEWS
For the rest of the year, the 7/8 Spirit Committee will be making fleece tie blankets to donate to Project Linus. Please help our effort by donating FLEECE, FLEECE BLANKET KITS or a NEW HANDMADE BLANKET made by a student, parent or someone you know to the blue bins by the office.
Scholastic Half-Off Book Sale
Stock up for summer reading. Location: Bingham Farms Elementary.
June 1-8 9AM-7PM NO WEEKENDS
GROVES BASKETBALL CAMP at Groves- FOR BOYS Entering Grades 6-9
Dates: June 20-24
June 27-July 1
Cost: $99-includes T-shirt
Presented by Groves Basketball and directed by Birmingham Groves Varsity Head Coach and Quarton Elementary School 5th Grade teacher Scott Sheckell. Coach Sheckell will be assisted by coaches in the program and current Varsity Basketball players.
Register today at:
COURSE # 530032 2450 (June 20-June 24)
COURSE # 530032 2451 (June 27- July 1)
News from the Birmingham Bloomfield Community Coalition (BBCC) · The YAB's Annual Battle of the Bands… Saturday, June 17, 7:00 – 10:30 p.m. -- Shain Park, Downtown Birmingham. Come celebrate the end of school and check out the hottest high school bands as they battle for the top prize: a professionally produced recording session furnished by The Academy of Music Performance and noted Birmingham musician and producer, Michael King. For more information contact email@example.com
· Birmingham Movie Nights. June 24, July 29 and August 12 at Booth Park co-sponsored by the Coalition and PSD. Bring your lawnchairs and blankets to enjoy movies under the moonlight. 7:30 p.m. pre-movie activities begin including merchant raffle, live music and park amenities. Movies begin at dusk. Admission is FREE. June 24 -- “Despicable Me,” July 29 -- “MegaMinds” and August 12 – “How to Train Your Dragon.” More info visit www.bbcoalition.org
Living Life Online is a 16-page student supplement designed to reinforce citizenship skills that keep student safe online and off. As the introduction to students states, "Parents and teachers often talk about helping you stay safe, online and off. They try to teach you to think critically about what you see and hear, and make sure you have the skills you need to succeed in the 21st century. But the truth is that being a good citizen these days requires the same skills it always has: being honest and respectful of others, and treating other people the way you want to be treated. So whether you are texting or talking, posting photos or playing games, this guide has information to reinforce those citizenship skills that work online and off." Click here to download the Living Life Online (PDF).
Here are other technology safety supplements:
Cyberbullying Prevention (PDF) (IWB) Created in partnership with the National Crime Prevention Council, this supplement provides tips for students, parents, and teachers on how to prevent and deal with Cyberbulling online, in school, and in the community.
Get Wise About Wireless: Be Safe, Be Courteous (PDF) (IWB) Created in partnership with the national Crime Prevention Council and The Wireless Foundation, This supplement educates kids and their families about the importance of cell phone safety and responsible use and how to deal with issues like cell-bullying
Berkshire Community Garden
Interested in helping those in need? Berkshire’s Community Garden grows vegetables that are donated to local soup kitchens and homeless shelters. We need community volunteers throughout the growing season to help water, weed and harvest. Come at your convenience the week you sign up! All garden tools provided.
Call or email: Mrs. Lachowicz, 248-203-4706 firstname.lastname@example.org