Tuesday, September 29, 2015

September 29, 2015

Whoa! October already?

Head's Up

October is Bullying Prevention Month (although it's better to not be a bully all year). If you have any projects on this theme, let us know so we can share them. Or, better yet, share them on social media and tag Bentonville Public Schools.

Thursday, October 1, BHS Civics classes will be volunteering to help Bentonville Parks and Recreation at Orchards Park. Great way to meet new social studies standards for civic engagement.

Thank your custodial workers on Friday, October 2. It's Custodial Worker's Day. October 2nd is also National Diversity Day, take time to appreciate the strength that comes from diverse fibers woven into our social fabric.

Show you want to prevent bullying by wearing a blue shirt on Monday, October 5.

October 5 - 9 is Fire Prevention Week. I suspect the BFD Smokehouse will be coming to an elementary school near you.

Friday, October 9, 2015 is Homecoming at BHS. Tiger Stadium will be rockin' starting at 10:30 am with the Homecoming assembly, The Tigers take on the Har-Ber Wildcats that night.

The BHS Alumni Association invites BPS teacher Alums (or anyone else looking to celebrate) to its Homecoming Dance Saturday night.

You may have heard about our professional studies|workforce development initiative called -
We are officially launching this initiative with a screening of the documentary film Most Likely to Succeed on Tuesday, October 6 at the Scott Family Amazeum. After the movie, there will be a discussion surrounding the driving question: Are we educating future-ready students?


Wow, what a day Friday was.

RE Baker was awarded $2,000 from McLartyDaniel Automotive Group to fund a student-created
project to purchase wheelchair accessible swings for their playground. Each project they submitted was focused on helping the community. Vote for Apple Glen's student projects now on our Facebook page.

Huge pride of jaguars waiting for America's Hometown Hero to arrive. Great day to celebrate Mary Mae Jones.
 Principal Williams gives some last minute instructions to students leading the assembly. They stepped up and did a fantastic job of honoring Mrs. Jones, their school, and each other.
Jaime Gaston nominated Mrs. Mary Mae as Mrs. Field's Hometown Hero. Over 16,000 American's were nominated, but Mary Mae won. 

Grants and PD

Economics Arkansas has some great opportunities available this month. Here's a list of links to economics-oriented grants, professional development, and contests.

State Farm's Celebrate My Drive http://www.celebratemydrive.com/ a chance to win $100,000.
H&R Block's Budget Challenge www.hrbds.org awards over 130 separate $20,000 college scholarships.

Secondary Economics Teachers can receive training at the Federal Reserve Bank in Little rock on October 26 - 27, 2015. Details http://www.economicsarkansas.org/our_supporters/event_calendar.html/event/2015/10/27/economics-it-s-not-dismal-anymore- or jennifer@economicsarkansas.org

Register to receive access to the electronic edition of USA Today for your classroom, sponsored by the USA TODAY Charitable Foundation.  Complete the  2015-2016 application at http://usatodayeducation.com/k12/usa-today-education-grant-request

Newsela: This is a great way to differentiate instruction in your classroom as students read current event articles at their lexile level. https://newsela.com/

ReadWorks: This is also a great resource to bring informational text into your classroom specific to your grade level. www.readworks.org

If Edcampnwa isn't on your calendar, why not? It's dollar for dollar the best professional development you can buy (it's free, fun, and full of relevant information). Join educators from across the region on Saturday, October 17, 2015 from 8:30 am - 1:00 pm at BHS.

Video of the Week

Sneak peek at Most Likely to Succeed.

Have a great week.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

September 22, 2015

Time to put those "it's fall, y'all" decorations up. Tomorrow is the first day of Autumn.

Head's Up

Send in information on the dates and times for fall open house/carnival/parent involvement events. They are some great photo ops, and we need some new photos. Thanks.

Hey, Cooper Elementary, you're up next for proposals to McLarty Daniel school support programs. Get creative, get innovative, get them to me by October 1. Central Park, yours are due on November 1st. The first winning entry will be announced this Friday at RE Baker. Vote for Apple Glen's proposals here.

This Friday at Mary Mae Jones, we will be honoring the building's namesake as Mrs. Field's Hometown Hero. Can't think of a better recipient.

BHS Civics classes will be giving back to the community on Thursday, October 1 at Orchard's Park.Wonder what over 300 kids can accomplish in a day.

Attention junior high school social studies teachers, there is an opportunity on October 20 to visit a travelling museum about the Americans with Disability Act at the Downtown Activity Center. Information is available, if interested.

Are you looking to support students outside of school hours and make a little extra money? ALOHA Mindmath-Reading & Writing is looking for a teacher.

October is bullying prevention month - Be Nice! October 5 is World Teacher's Day and Bullying Prevention Blue Shirt Day.

October is also Substance Abuse Awareness Month.


Did you know that the ESL program at BHS had 30 students complete the rigorous requirements to exit the program. To complete, students needed to score a perfect 5 on assessments of reading, writing, and speaking. Ginger Mayes and Kimberly Burgess have really built this into a program of excellence.

Grants and PD

Remember to fill out the grant request form prior to applying for grants, especially when technology is involved. We LOVE free technology, but we need to make sure it's compatible with the district infrastructure.

Need a couple of PD hours or just want to improve? Attend a free webinar from edweb!

Want the best PD money can't buy? Then make sure to attend edcampNWA on October 17th at BHS. There simply is no better way to connect with professional educators.

Don't forget #bpseduchat on September 29! We're going to discuss grading vs. assessment in the learning environment.

Video of the Week

This one's courtesy of Tim Sparacino.

Enjoy your week.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

September 15, 2015

Finally, fall weather - feels like the right time for school.

Head's Up

Interested in Civil War history? Then Pea Ridge is the place to be on September 25 - 27th when the Arkansas Reenactor Education Association presents the Elkhorn Tavern Battle.
Representatives from Mrs. Fields' Cookies will be here on Friday, September 25 to honor our Hometown Hero Mrs. Mary Mae Jones! What do you think she'll do with her years supply of cookies? I bet she'll share.

This Friday, September 18, Sheila Munn, Kathy Breed and the Bentonville Parks and Recreation Department are hosting a swim night for athletes with special needs the Recreation Center. If you know families with children with special needs who may want to participate have them contact smunn@bentonvillek12.org or breedmack1014@aol.com. This is also a great opportunity for kids who want to volunteer to help.

Did you know that suicide is the #2 cause of death for Americans aged 10 - 24? And that Arkansas has a suicide rate above the national average? Find out more about suicide prevention and support local efforts to raise awareness this Sunday, September 20 by joining the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Out of the Darkness Community walk at Orchards Park in Bentonville. Registration begins at 1:30, walk starts at 3:00 pm.

Attention junior high principals and teachers! To honor the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act 50 years ago, Walmart is bringing a mobile museum to Bentonville. The museum will be at the Downtown Activity Center on Tuesday, October 20th and available for mini-field trips. If you are interested, let me know asap so transportation can be arranged. 

Elementary principals - Please send in fall festival dates and times. Thank you. 


Wow, there was some learning going on at Old High this past week. 

Atera Lowe and Tara Nutt set up a "crime scene" for students to use to make observations.

Larry Merriman is ready for some making and tinkering. 
Students in Sue Pollitt's class conducting experiments to prove if a double-stuff Oreo is really twice as "stuffed" as a regular Oreo.
Here's the driving question that launched in inquiry. 

Also ran into these kids in Nancy Krapf's class who were more than happy to show off their dioramas based on Because of Winn Dixie.

Professional Development and Grants

Want to learn more about Economics Arkansas Stock Market Game? Then attend a training on Tuesday, September 22 from 4:30 - 7:30 pm. Details here.

This one's for building administrator. All building administrators need to attend one of three MAPS sessions (Kalpa sessions 54736, 547437, or 547438).

Don't forget edweb.net for some quick one hour target webinars. Next week there's a great list of webinars available. 

Here's an another opportunity in Little Rock that is worth checking out. Office for Innovation in Education is holding a innovation summit on September 29th

Arkansas Arts Council Mini-Residency Grants are a 1:1 matching grant up to $1,000. Could be a way to leverage that McLartyDaniel donation. Info here.

Hey! Tonight is #bpseduchat! Topic: Social Media: Professional tool or accident waiting to happen? Set your reminders for 8:30 pm CDT and join in the conversation.
Questions here

Don't forget Donor's Choose for classroom extras. 

Video of the week

Bear with me on this one, it's worth it. Could be called "In Praise of Kindergarten."

Have a great week.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

September 8, 2015

I hope you enjoyed the long weekend.

Head's Up

Saturday, September 12 is Centerton Day in Centerton. Activities start at 7:00 am with a pancake breakfast.
The NWA Naturals season is coming to a close, but there are still a few games left. Tomorrow night, September 9, join the Washington Junior High Choirs and 8th grade band for a pregame performance! Tickets are $8.00; the band and choir program gets $4.00.
September 17 is Constitution Day as part of Celebrate Freedom Week. Here's a link to ADE resources for this, Arkansas History and African-American History.


So much going on at Cooper Elementary last week. Plan on getting to RE Baker and Old High tomorrow morning.

Digital and analog physical education at Cooper Elementary gets kids engaged and moving. Microsoft Kinect lab and multi-purpose room both in use. Ms.Lundsford explain shows how to navigate the system to Kindergarten class.

Third graders opening accounts to interact with each other and parents in Ms. Hallwach's class.

In Ms. Hill's 4th grade students start a lesson engineering by first decision what is and isn't technology.
Ms. Snieski facilitates a number talk with her 2nd grade class. "Walmart had 45 video games and sold 15. What operation could you use to solve this?"
"Is there another way?"

Ms. Schonauer's 3rd graders finding their strengths with Ms. Collins. They're building a learning community based on an understanding of each other's unique personality.

Grants and PD

Are you an AP teacher looking for special equipment or materials? Follow this link to apply for an Arkansas Advanced Placement Equipment and Materials Grant Application.

Check out the Beaver Water District website for K-12 lesson plans, videos, and other resources for relevant science curriculum. Contact Dot Neely at BWD for information.
edWeb is a great source for one-hour webinars on current topics in teaching. Webinars are free. Join me next Wednesday, September 16 for Student Voice in Digital Citizenship: A project-based learning approach. Register here.
And don't forget the best professional learning around - EdcampNWA 2.0 on Saturday, October 17, 2015. There's no Razorback game that weekend, so join us at BHS.

Video of the Week

This could be the best kid TED talk ever!

Have a great week. Remember to post news and highlights to

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September 1, 2015

I hope week three started well for all of you. Monday's Labor Day, enjoy a long weekend.

Head's up

Did you know that the Meteor Theater in Downtown Bentonville is open and hosting live music? If you know a student band, have them talk with Les Key at the Meteor.
Mary Mae Jones is being honored as the "Hometown Hero" we know she is by representatives from Mrs. Field's Cookies on September 25th.
September is Substance Abuse Awareness Month.
Drew Osborne's producing The Return of the Glass Slipper at Elm Tree on October 6, 2015 at 6:00 pm. This 4th-grade musical mashup combines Cinderella, Shrek, and the Prince and the Pauper into a night of family fun. You know Drew - it's going to be quite a show.

Tinkerfest 2.0 is happening at the Scott Family Amazeum on Saturday, October 10.
It's time to start seriously thinking about teaching digital citizenship. Digital Citizenship Week is October 19 - 23 check out Common Sense Media for resources.
October is also Connected Educator Month, and Anti-Bullying Month.

Use this form to let us know of special events at your building. When are those fall festivals?


Spent some time at Elm Tree last Wednesday. Great to see so many engaged learners.

Students in Mrs. Wise's 4th grade supporting each other's learning.

Great to see the collaboration happening through the use of some technology.

Students got game!

Vote for Elm Tree, Central Park, Willowbrook, Ruth Barker, and BHS as the "Best of the Best!"
Planning to stop in at Cooper Elementary Wednesday morning to see all the great stuff going on out in Bella Vista.

Grants and PD

Here's a link to a whole bunch of grant opportunities in the APSRC newsletter.
edWeb.net has some great one hour Digital Citizenship webinars, next one is on September 16th.
Make sure to join #bpseduchat tonight at 8:30 CDT. AJ Juliani is going to jump in and check up on how our year has started. Questions here. But wait, there's more! AJ's also giving away a FREE digital copy of his book Learning By Choice to any staff member who joins the chat tonight. Stop lurking, starting chatting.

EdcampNWA 2.0 is on October 17, 2015 at BHS. There's no Razorback game that weekend, so join us for a day chock-full-o learning.

Video of the Week

I really wish I'd made this short film that outlines Dr. Tony Wagner's 7 Survival Skills for the Knowledge Economy.

Have a great week.