Thursday, November 29, 2007

More on Today's Technology

This post relates to yesterday’s and is more for the teachers who are readers of this blog.

There are many times when, as teachers, we will be looking to put together rubrics for scoring projects or other performance items that students will be producing in order to provide our students with the rationale behind the final grade and to help guide them as they work to complete the project.

Maybe you have already found a website that provides you with technological help to accomplish this task – but, if you have not even realized that this type of site is out there and available, this post on another blog may help you the next time you go to construct a new rubric for the classroom (there are links in this post that will take you to various rubric making sites):

  • LeaderTalk -- Tap into the Network - Ideas about Online Rubric Creators
  • Wednesday, November 28, 2007

    Technology Flashcards

    I guess we are rarely, truly surprised by technology today. We seemingly can do almost anything!

    Nonetheless, I do find myself caught by surprise at times. Here’s a simple example. My oldest son was studying the periodic table for chemistry class and he made himself flashcards to help memorize the symbols. As he got individual elements committed to memory, he would move those cards out of his pile. Simple. We have all done something similar at some point in our schooling experiences.

    Yesterday, I came home from work and two of my younger sons are at the computer. The second grader was obviously playing a game. My eighth grader – the technology kid – appeared to be also playing a game, but he showed me that he was actually studying for social studies.

    He was studying states and capitals – and he found a site where the flashcards were already made for you! You could “flip” through them, discard ones that you knew, hold on to the ones that you still need to work on, etc.

    It wasn’t that I was surprised that the site existed, but it was more that I was surprised that I didn’t think about that possibility when my oldest was making his “old-fashioned” index card flashcards!

    The site that my son used was – he says that they have used it in his school from time to time. Here are two examples of the computer flashcards:

  • States & Capitals

  • Periodic Table -- 40 elements
  • Tuesday, November 27, 2007

    International Literacy Day @ Walnut

    Thanks to Mrs. Toole, library aide at the Walnut Street School for organizing guest readers for the students on International Literacy Day, November 13th.

    Those participated in reading to the classes include – Ms. Cummings, Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction; Officer Meehan, School Resource Officer; Mr. Toole, Board of Education member; Mrs. Long, from the Woodbury Public Library, and me.

    It was a fun way to place some added interest in reading.

    Monday, November 26, 2007

    Strategic Planning

    As noted in this blog earlier, The Woodbury Public Schools will embark on a Strategic Planning initiative during this 2007-08 school year. The early part of the year has focused on determining a planning committee and finalizing the details associated with the first meeting.

    The first meeting of the planning committee will be this weekend – Thursday (evening), Friday (daytime & evening), and Saturday (daytime). The group’s intense work schedule is designed to allow the accomplishment of the necessary tasks toward a completed draft copy of a new strategic plan for the school district.

    There are thirty individuals associated with the school community involved in this first phase of the strategic plan. We will need many more individuals to be involved with the development of various aspects of the draft plan once the early work of this group is completed.

    We have some names of people who have already expressed an interested but were unable to be placed onto the planning committee due to size constraints. These individuals will be invited to be part of Phase II of the planning initiative. Anyone else interested in working on the second phase of the planning process should contact my office by phone or send an e-mail.

    The work of the action teams developing the various strategies associated with the draft plan will begin some time toward the end of January. This will also be intense work – meetings will likely occur weekly for a period of approximately three months.

    The planning committee working this week is comprised of the following individuals:

    Dr. Jeffrey Adams, Elementary Principal/Special Services Supervisor
    Ms. Aquanetta Allen, Support Staff
    Ms. Patricia Bassler, Jr.-Sr. HS Parent
    Dr. Jeffrey Bessey, HS Parent
    Ms. Tonya Breland, Elementary Principal
    Ms. Lynn Dennen, Board Member
    Dr. James DiMarino, Parent
    Mrs. Denise Dunham, High School Principal
    Ms. Janice Esters, Parent
    Ms. Ellen Firth, Junior High School Teacher
    Mr. William Fleming, Community Leader
    Mr. Frank Gwalthney, Board Member
    Ms. Diane Hill, Board Member
    Mr. David Jenkins, Support Staff
    Mr. Joseph Jones, Superintendent
    Ms. Sharron Knauss, District Librarian
    Ms. Gwen Maddox, Community Leader
    Mrs. Katherine Mangeri, Parent
    Officer Morgan Meehan, School Resource Officer
    Ms. Madeline Mills, Elementary Nurse
    Mr. Dustin Moore, Parent
    Mr. Steven Morris, Assistant Principal
    Mr. Edward Murphy, Director of Pupil Personnel Services
    Mr. Richard Philips, Parent
    Ms. Christina Pierce, Elementary Teacher
    Ms. Jacqueline Rosario, High School Teacher
    Miss Raseeda Roundtree, Student
    Ms. Beth Stanek, Elementary Teacher
    Mr. James Torres, Student
    Ms. Liza White, Parent

    Friday, November 16, 2007

    Holiday House Tour Information

    The Woodbury Holiday House Tour – 2007

    Sponsored by the Woodbury Jr.-Sr. High School
    Parent-Teacher-Student Association (PTSA)

    Saturday, December 1
    4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.

    Tickets: $20, -- in advance -- may be purchased at the Woodbury Public Library, Edward’s Hairstyling, or Foxfire Accessories.

    Tickets: $25 – day of event – may be purchased at:

    Woodbury Mews
    122 Green Avenue
    (Refreshments will be served; Woodbury High School Traveling Choir will perform)

    For additional information call: 845-4824

    Turkeys descend on 8th graders

    pictured with turkey: Darrell Bush

    Ms. Firth and Mrs. Corley have let the turkeys out of the pen in 8th grade. Using paper lunch bags and construction paper, each 8th grade literacy student created an original turkey complete with feathers, feet, eyes, and other decorations.

    The turkeys and students are on the move in the hallways and are attending all scheduled classes together including lunch. In addition, turkeys are attending after school activities and traveling home with students each day for the entire week (11/12-11/18).

    Students will also introduce their turkeys to teachers, administrators, family and friends. During their time together, students and their fowl will keep a 5-day journal chronicling their adventures, hopes, fears, and experiences. From these journal notes, students will write a formal essay/story from the turkeys’ points of view and submit both the journal and essay during Thanksgiving week.

    [The students are reading Of Mice and Men and may choose 1 of 2 options:

    1) Show a parallel between the turkey’s experiences, hopes, etc. to self

    2) Show a parallel between the turkey’s experiences, hopes, etc., and one or more of the characters and/or plot points in the story.

    The students are taking good care of the turkeys. George and Lennie do this for one another (mostly George) and this drives home the friendship theme in the book.]

    This entry was submitted by Mrs. Firth -- thank you!

    Thursday, November 15, 2007

    Wagon Ho!

    Woodbury second graders “pan for gold” in the style of pioneers.

    A Pioneer Living program was held at West End School on November 14th from 9-11:00 am.

    The Pioneer Living exhibit is a traveling hands-on museum. Dozens of artifacts and hands on activities turned the West End all purpose room into an 1800s pioneer settlement. But instead of just looking at all of the artifacts and antiques, students were encouraged to touch them and interact.

    Here are some of the pioneer activities that Woodbury Public School second graders learned about in a hands on way:

    Panning for gold
    Grinding corn into flour
    Washing clothes on a washboard
    Carding and hand spinning yarn
    Rolling out bread dough

    Tin Cup Adventures originates out of Portland, Oregon. Their Pioneer Living exhibit has visited over 15,000 schools in 45 different states since 1989. They visited with Woodbury Public School students this year as part of the district’s Enrichment program that provides school wide enrichment experiences to all students over the course of the school year.

    (This entry was provided by Ms. Cummings, Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction)

    A Turkey Question

    What do these turkeys have to do with the book Of Mice and Men?

    Wednesday, November 14, 2007

    Reminder . . . NCAA Workshop

    There will be an NCAA workshop tonight, Wednesday, November 14, at 7:00 p.m. in the Jr.-Sr. High School Auditorium. The counseling department has arranged for a compliance officer from Rutgers University to speak on eligibility issues and college athletics.

    This workshop is open to anyone (students and parents) in the school community. You may be interested in attending if you believe that the possibility of participating in college athletics is in your child's future.

    Tuesday, November 13, 2007

    More Turkey

    Why are Woodbury Jr Sr HS students taking such good care of these birds one week before the Thanksgiving holiday?

    Sports Fans

    Congratulations to the boys soccer team for their play in the NJSIAA playoffs. Both the win at Clayton and the home defeat in the second round against Pt. Pleasant Beach were exciting displays of strong soccer skill. The many fans in attendance were proud of the team performance.

    On the football front, Saturday proved to be an exciting victory in the first round of the NJSIAA South Jersey Group I playoffs. The team now moves to Paulsboro for a rematch. That game will be played away on this upcoming Saturday -- 1:00 p.m. Good luck, Coach Valentine and all our varsity players!

    Jr.-Sr. High Sighting

    Have you seen any turkeys suddenly appearing in the hallways?

    Monday, November 12, 2007

    Welcome Back

    We tried to schedule this November month so that we concentrated the breaks and various activities. November is a buys month in New Jersey schools.

    We placed two full-day professional development days that are part of our calendar into this past week. The school year started with two of these days before the students began and will end with one last professional development day after students finish. So, there will be no other scheduled full-days off this year other than holidays.

    Also, for the elementary schools, we moved the first marking period conferences up a bit. In past years, they were scheduled for the week after Thanksgiving, but that created another week of disrupted instruction (with early dismissal days). You will note that this year, we have two early dismissal days on the Monday and Tuesday right before Thanksgiving for the elementary schools. Conferences will take place that Monday afternoon, Tuesday afternoon and evening, and Wednesday morning.

    Notice that the elementary students do not have school on Wednesday of next week. The Jr.-Sr. High School will run regular school days on Monday and Tuesday next week and an early dismissal day on Wednesday.

    Thanksgiving is right around the corner!

    Monday, November 05, 2007

    High School Playoffs

    Our boys soccer team (6th seed) won their first round game last Friday against Clayton (3rd seed). Now, we play a home game tomorrow. Come out to the soccer field for the 2 p.m. contest against Pt. Pleasant Beach (7th seed). The winner will play in the South Jersey Group I final on Friday.

  • NJSIAA South Jersey Group I Boys Soccer Bracket

  • Our football team (3rd seed) is scheduled for a first round, home game on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. against Gloucester City (6th seed).

  • NJSIAA South Jersey Group I Football Bracket

  • Enjoy some exciting high school sports action. Good luck to all!

    Friday, November 02, 2007

    A High School Musical

    If you do not have Oliver tickets for the Pitman Theater (see below), save yourself the travel time and simply attend our Junior High School production of "A High School Musical." What a fun night! The director, Mrs. Linda Webb, and her student actors put on a very entertaining show.

    The final two performances are Friday (tonight!) and Saturday evening at 7:00 p.m. This is a one-act show that last approximately one and a half hours. The students did a wonderful job last night at the opening performance.

    Congratulations to all!

    Got Tickets? . . . A Donation

    Thanks to one of our teachers, a Woodbury elementary student will be attending tonight’s performance of Oliver at Pitman’s Broadway Theatre. Two tickets were donated to the Got Tickets? effort.

    See more on Got Tickets? at the September 13th post --
  • Week of September 9th

  • .

    (FYI: I will post a Friday Spotlight on a new teacher later today!)

    Thursday, November 01, 2007

    Move Over Sugar

    A quick tour of our elementary schools for the Halloween parties showed how our school community is moving quickly toward the expectations of new national and state guidelines for what types of snacks students are served during the school day.

    Grapes, cheese and crackers, soft pretzels, pumpkin bread, and even caramel coated apples made right in the classroom were all examples of this conscious effort yesterday. Sugar is on the way out, and our parents are helping support the school nutrition policy by making choices for what snacks to bring into the classroom that adhere to the healthier requirements.

    Thank you!