Monday, January 16, 2012

Jan. 16-20 2012 W.A.G.

January 16, 2012
I know what I know, but I need to know what I’m not seeing.  What does this sentence mean in our lives?  Better yet, what does it mean to today’s learners?  In the book, Fierce Conversations, written by Susan Scott, she talks about the Beach Ball Reality.  Picture a beach ball and the different colored stripes.  Some of us live on blue, some red, some yellow or green, no matter the color, it is where we grew up. The stripe, or what the stripe represents, includes the people that influenced us, good or bad, the experiences we lived, and the future we hope for.  It is simply what we know.  
Using this beach ball analogy, how does this affect our learners in today’s world?  
There are many layers of the beach ball reality worth looking at when educating young learners (and adult learners).  Take a class of 27 students for example.  Learning styles, family structures, ethnic and socio economic backgrounds, there are many factors that come into play in defining how we think, how we handle situations, and how we perceive the future.  This beach ball reality must play a part in creating lessons and opportunities within the classroom.  Out of the 27 students, there may be a few living on the yellow, a few on the blue and so on.  Allowing students to work in groups, share responsibilities and collaborate on a number of tasks, provides them the opportunity to gain perspectives from others at an early age.  
Adding one more layer to the analogy, school as a whole must provide opportunities for learners to go outside the lines of their beach ball stripe and see what they can’t see.  The first step is fostering mindsets (including modeling this mindset) that feel the need and desire to look beyond our own world (or stripe).  Communicating with, collaborating and connecting with, and valuing the experiences and opinions of our neighbors from the other side of the beach ball cannot be contrived or forced.  Establishing the need in today’s schools to gain various perspectives must become a way of life.  Take a middle school history class for example.  Learning about the Revolutionary War, students, living on the blue stripe, may read a textbook written by people that grew up and are living on the same blue stripe.  The teacher, from the blue stripe, may assign a project, or a research paper that will include references from resources made available by others on the same blue stripe.  They will learn the history, facts, specific dates or names associated with the war but will they gain a real understanding of what the war meant to people from all sides (or stripes)?
My cousin married a man from England and I often refer to a conversation I had with him years ago regarding the Revolutionary War.  Lessons he learned in high school were different from the lessons I learned.  We agreed that politics and many other factors we have no control over were the reasons that two men the same age, that share the same opinion on many topics, and to this day get along very well, have two very different views of the Revolutionary War.  We also talked about how powerful it is students today can connect and learn collaboratively with others across the globe.  Skype, blogs, wikis, and other tools have made our world smaller, making going outside our beach ball reality a priority in learning so we can see what we couldn't see before.  
Have a great week,
WEEK AT A GLANCE –   Week of January 16-20, 2011
(Disclaimer:  Please check all your calendars and in case we missed something) 
To submit an item for next week’s “WAG”, email  by  THURSDAY 11PM 
Monday, January 16
Tuesday, January 17
  • VISION SCREENINfor 3rd,5th,7th grade students
  • 8 AM BAGELS for Sale- for $1.25 (cream cheese .25 cents)in front of the Media Center
  • 4;00 PM BOYS BASKETBALL –AWAY @ ANDERSON MIDDLE SCHOOL-visit for map to the school
  • 6:30 PM –Technology Committee Meeting-Media Center
Wednesday, January 18
  • VISION SCREENIN for 3rd,5th,7th grade students
  • 6:30 PM-Girls Swim MEET away @CRANBROOK  mIDDLE sCHOOLvisit for map to the school
  • 7-9:30PM-BCS LOTTERY-Staff Development Rooms
Thursday, January 19
  • VISION SCREENINfor 3rd,5th,7th grade students
  • 7:45-8:20-COSMIC  BATTLE BREAKFAST with PROUD DADS/MOMSPRE-REGISTRATION-Anticipated breakfast cost is -$6 (includes parent and child) Contact Mr. Hartley for Nan’s Kids assistance=no one is ever excluded from participating
  • 4:15-6 PM-Girls Swim Team practice
Friday, January 20
  • 9 AM-1:30 PM -3 /4 Field Trip-Detroit Historical Museum-(Seley/Davis,Harvath/Maliszewski)
 Sunday, January 22
  • Deadline for YEARBOOK ADS
Hot Entrée menu for the week:  (subject to change, if necessary)
-          Available everyday: Salad Bar, Hamburgers, Chicken Patties, Pizza & Cheese Breadsticks
Monday – No School-MLK Day
Tuesday –Hot Ham and Cheese on Whole Grain Bread, Potato Salad, Steamed Vegetables, Deluxe 
Wednesday -Meatballs and Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Small Garden Salad, Supreme Pizza 
Thursday – Home-style Cheese Lasgna, Steamed Corn, Ialian Sub Sandwich on Whole Wheat Bun
Friday – Fish Sandwich on Whole Wheat Bun, Steamed Green Vegetables, Chicken Fajita Pizza
YEARBOOK ORDERING INFORMATION --Deadline for Proud Parent ads is January 22, 2012
Yearbooks AND Proud Parent ads can be ordered online this year. For more information go to
Important   infoRMATION  for 8TH grade families
If you have not turned in your High School Selection Forms to the counseling Department we must know the school your child is planning on attending before they can have their scheduling appointment.
Attention 8th graders attending Seaholm
If you are interested in visiting the FLEX program at Seaholm please email Kyle Hall at to reserve a space. Available dates are January 17, 19, 24, and 26.
Winter 2 athletics season registration is open!  Please visit the BCS athletics page to register your athlete for either Girls Volleyball (7th/8th grade) or Boys Swim (6th/7th/8th grade).-please remember your student can not participate in tryouts until all paper work is submitted.
The BCS school-wide geography bee was held Tuesday, January 10th.  The school champion is Evan G.l, an 8th grader in Mr. McCloud's homeroom.  Runner up is David L., a 4th grader in Mrs. Harvath's homeroom.  Evan will now take a written geography test to try to qualify for the state geography bee which will be held on March 30th.  Good luck to Evan and congratulations to all the geography bee participants.  I would like to extend a special thank you to Mr. Braisted for teaching a geography choice hour to help the students prepare.  I have gotten many compliments about the class from parents whose children have enjoyed the choice hour.
Choice Hour Information--3rd Quarter 2011 - 2012 
The deadline for turning in QIII Choice Hour selections was Monday January 9th.  If we have not heard from you regarding your child’s enrollment in the choice hour program, then you will be receiving a choice hour enrollment email reminder with an attachment that lists classes that still have openings.  Your options will be limited since most students have already been placed in their classes.  Please include proper payment if you are signing your child up for a 4th and/or 5th day of Choice Hour.   Do not include payment for classes with materials fees or pay to play fees.  A separate billing will be made once students have been placed in their Choice Hour classes.
Students who do not turn in a selection sheet will not be placed in any Choice Hour classes.  A signed waiver is required to opt out of the Choice Hour program.  Students who did not turn in a selection sheet with payment by the deadline will not be allowed to make a change in their schedule.  
QIII Choice Hour begins  Monday January 30 – classes will be distributed to homerooms on Wednesday January 25th and posted on the choice hour board after choice hour on Thursday January 26th
Important request for a QIII choice hour class:
Mr. Brown is offering a 7-8 Design Discovery class on Tuesdays.  This hands-on class will allow students to take apart household items like CD players, camcorders, cameras, computer printers, cell phones, small kitchen appliances, clocks, etc. to learn more about how they are designed and manufactured.  If you have small electronic equipment gathering dust please send these items to school attention Mr. Brown!  We will not accept large electronics like microwaves, computer monitors, TVs, vacuum cleaners, etc.  Thanks for your help!!
Choice Hour reminders – please call (248-203-4625), send in a note, or email Linda Stone at  if your child is going to be absent from Choice Hour. for any reason!  Students that do not have Choice Hour on any given day need to be picked up by 3:20 PM.  Students that do not have a Choice Hour class and are not picked up by 3:30 PM will be charged a $5.00 fee.
Thank you for always supporting the Choice Hour program!
If you are interested in making an online donation to help our kids reach their goal of $5600, enabling them to package 20,000 meals for the hungry, please visit and follow the link to the BCS Hunger Fundraiser.  Thank you for your support
This is a survey made by the Brown/Fitz team. We are trying to save the honeybees.  We need as much data as possible if you could please complete the survey.  Thank you in advance!
Parents of 7th & 8th graders: The BCS Mid-Winter Band Concert for will take place on Wednesday, February 8, 2012. The concert will be held from 7:00-8:00pm in the BCS cafeteria. Students should arrive at BCS no later than 6:30pm. 
7th & 8th Grade Band Parents: The registration deadline for the 2012 Spring Solo & Ensemble Festival is Friday, January 27, 2012. This year’s S&E festival will take place on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at Lake Orion Oakview Middle School,. This is a volunteer activity available to all 7th & 8th grade band students. Participation details have been presented to the band students during their class meeting times.
FOR ALLBCS Band Parents: Private lessons for band instruments are now available at Groves High School! Please visit the Groves Band website for more information. This is a fantastic opportunity for our young musicians. 
Birmingham Covington School-2012 Yearbook Proud Parent Ads-Deadline:  22 January 2012
Straight from the heart and into the yearbook! Our staff is now offering the opportunity to “personalize” the yearbook in a very special way with a recognition ad.  Space is available to tell your student how proud you are!  Regardless of the occasion, your ad provides a great way to recognize a student or event in a special and unique way. To reserve your space, follow these guidelines:
Process color ads are available in the following sizes for the prices shown.
• 1/8 page:    $25.00
• 1/4 page:    $40.00
• 1/2 page:    $70.00
• Full page:    $125.00
Step-by-step instructions
1. Select ad size.
2. Go to  Follow directions to purchase a Parent Recognition ad.  Our school is Birmingham Covington School.
3. Complete the Order Form provided.
4. Provide photos by uploading at or drop off a flash drive/CD with photos at the front office (ATTN:  Yearbook).
5. Write text for ad and drop off at front office or email it to

Calling all 8th Grade Parents and Guardians!!! Photos are due January 20th, 2011.
It's time to submit a baby photo (up to age 2) and a current photo of your 8th grader for the Farewell video!
Shortly you will receive the invitation to share your photos on our Grade 8 2012 Google Picasa Web Album. Below you will find directions on how to upload your photos to this album. Please print these directions and have them available for when your invitation arrives.
How to Upload Your Photos:
Click on “Contribute Photos to this Album” in the invitation box 
    • Login as follows:
    • Email: bcs8thgradevideo 
    • Password: Photos4U (password is case sensitive)
  • Click on the box that reads “Select Photos from Your Computer” 
  • Select your photo 
  • If the picture you have added needs to be rotated, scroll your mouse over the photo to rotate the image right or left 
  • Click the box that reads “Okay” 
  • Repeat for your second photo 
  • Once you have uploaded both photos, click on the tab that reads “Birmingham Covington’s Gallery” 
  • Click on the “Grade 8 2012” Album (your pictures should appear in the album) 
  • Click on the first photo you loaded. Underneath the photo you will have the option to add a caption. 
  • Click on “Add a Caption” and type in your child’s name. Click on the “Save Caption” Button. 
  • Click on the left or right arrow to find your child’s second photo and add a caption to that photo as well. 
  • Log out of g-mail – you’re done!
Digital/scanned images are preferred, however, if you are unable to upload your images, you may drop off your photos in the turn-in basket in the BCS office. Please be sure to include your name on the back of the photos so that they can be returned to you. Or, alternately, you may also e-mail your photos to Rob Lawrence, fellow BCS parent and 8th grade celebration committee member, at and he will upload your images for you.
Junior Great Books is returning to BCS! ***Attention Third and Fourth Graders ***
We will meet once a week at lunch time, for lively, fun, and thought-provoking discussions about stories contained in the Junior Great Book readers. If you LOVE to read, and share your thoughts and opinions with others - you will love this program!. Students will read engaging stories and have question driven discussions with the group to search for meaning in the stories and challenge yourself and those around you. 
The program is open to the first 15 students in 3rd and 4th grade who sign up. Students will be provided with a reader, that will be turned back in after the program has ended. They will be expected to read a story weekly, and come prepared to share thoughts and ideas. Also, bringing a lunch from home would help to maximize discussion time on the days the group meets, but is not mandatory. 
To register, please send an email to Chris Graham at Please provide name of student and parents, an email address, and their teacher. The first 15 students will be contacted with further details. 
Hello Friends!We're raising funds for City Mission's laptop carts and need your help to attain our goal.
You can purchase or renew subscriptions to your favorite magazines (like People, All You, TIME and Sports Illustrated) at up to 85% off, or enjoy exclusive offers on cookie dough and eCertificates.
Each time you make a purchase, we'll receive up to 40%. 
You can also support us by sharing this page and spreading the word to friends and family.
Also, we are holding a book drive to help the kids at City Mission as well. Please bring in New or Gently Used Books to the Cubby near the 200 Hallway with the City Mission banner (across from the lunch line) Below is our wiki explaining more about our project You!
Meaghan and Jackie
Join our online fundraising campaign- you can earn great prizes too!
Therese F.
City Mission Laptop Cart
P.S. You can buy something for yourself! This will also help our cause.
Battle News and Dates 
Mark your calendars for the BCS Battle Dates below
 Regarding Battle Team s---Buddy list will start after break for students who have already read six books. Pair of buddies will put on teams together, three if possible .depending on number of students participating and books read.   Teams will be formed the week after January 27, 2012, qualifying day. Battle teams will consist of 4th and 5th graders.
January &  February        Battle Book Clubs during 4th and 5th grade lunch (dates TBD)
January 19, 2012          Cosmic Breakfast 7:45-8:20 with BCS Proud Dads (or Moms) and Battlers; featured Battle Book is Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce in BCS Cafeteria.  Mark your Calendars Anticipated breakfast cost is -$6 (includes parent and child) Pre-registration starts after break. If you want a personal copy of Cosmic, you can order from Amazon, via the BEF Amazon website link and help our Foundation ( 
January 27, 2012               Battle Qualifying day by end of day to make a Battle Team   (Students need to have read 6 books and passed 6 AR Tests) 
Feb 7, 2012                 Battle Rush at BCS Cafeteria (right after choice hour—we will start promptly at 4:30-5:30. Students meet their teammates; choose team name, motto, and design of a Team Crest for Battle Day in March. Will need parent volunteers and donations of drink and ready to eat snack with little clean-up. A Parent volunteer is needed for each team and a photographer to take pictures of team crest. Watch for separate email. 
February 8, 2012-             Battle program at Baldwin 6:30 pm.-Learn to Finger Talk like Goldie and  
                                            Toadspit from the Battle book Museum of Thieves 
Feb 15, 2012                       Gold Medal Qualifying Day (must turn in AR tests for all ten books by end of day to get a gold medal) 
March 2, 2012                    District-Wide Battle Day.
Franklin Baseball, Softball & Tee-ball League Registration      ongoing
Early registration through Jan. 20.  $160 for baseball and softball and $115 for tee ball.  Umpires also wanted.  For information go to
 Girls Lacrosse Information Night       Jan. 31
Attention all 5
th Grade Girls: Birmingham Girls Lacrosse, the feeder program for the Birmingham Unified High School Girls Lacrosse Program, will hold an informational registration meeting on Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. in the Quarton Media Center. All 5th grade girls (and their parents) who are interested in playing spring lacrosse with Birmingham Girls Lacrosse must attend. No experience necessary! Be a part of the fastest growing sport in the country! Come and find out how lacrosse can be right for you!! If you have any questions, please contact: Coach Sara Sevec at 248-540-0903 ( or Jill Hockman at 248-540-7055 (  Directions: Quarton Elementary School is located at 771 Chesterfield Road in Birmingham, at the corner of Oak and Chesterfield
The Michigan Snowsports Industries Association (MSIA) wants to give Michigan kids an opportunity to get out, have fun and get healthy this winter. MSIA has established a state-wide program which provides every fourth grader in Michigan the opportunity to ski for free. Fourth graders can obtain a “Cold is Cool” Ski & Ride Passport that gives them up to three free lift tickets or trail passes at 20 participating ski areas.  In order for fourth graders to use the free lift or trail pass coupons, a paying adult must accompany them.
Although the skiing is free, MSIA charges a $15 printing and shipping fee for each passport ordered.  For more information and a list of participating ski resorts, please visit:

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