Tuesday, October 27, 2015

October 27, 2015

It's the last week of October, and this year there is a mental health day after school Halloween parties!

Head's Up

It's Red Ribbon Week. Did you know it's the largest and most visible prevention awareness campaign observed annually in the United States.

Attention P.E. Teachers! Could you let me know when you have the bikes out? I need to put together a video for the Walton Family Foundation to show how they are being used in the district. Send me a quick email on where and when to get some footage.

Are you looking to build that classroom library? Teachers are invited to Once Upon a Time Books Open House on November 10 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. There's food and prizes (but no jean's passes). RSVP via their Facebook page.

November is Native American Heritage Month, Military Family Appreciation Month, National Family Literacy Month, and Aviation History Month. A great topic for investigation this month -Louise Thaden. Great tie to Bentonville and aviation history - Google her.

Remember to set your clock back Sunday! Daylight Savings Time ends.

Here's a unique contest for students. The Arkansas Future Jewelry Designer Contest is open to students in to categories: Category 1 for kids in 9 - 12 grade, and Category 2 for kids in 3 - 8 grade. Get details here http://www.arkansasjewelers.com/ or contact ashley@lindensjewelry.com.


Thanks to all who completed the Employee Social Media Survey. Your opinions will guide the update to social media guidelines in the district. The results will be shared with the board and a link published here next week.

Word cloud from responses to concerns about social media use. 

#bpseduchat appears to have run its course. Thanks to all who participated regularly. Here's a list of alternatives to get your chat on. https://sites.google.com/site/twittereducationchats/education-chat-calendar

We're heading into prime events season in the District. If you have a news worthy item to share use this link https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/16dK0Qxt4pAK8WCeD7ggnk276QiMZuZygKMjLydvoWDc/edit?usp=sharing

Grants and PD

Computer science education week is December 7th - 13th. Sign up for Hour of Code and expose your kids to computer coding. The University of Arkansas is holding a code.org professional development workshop on November 14, 2015. It's FREE - register here

Lexus is looking for entrants for the 2015-16 Lexus Eco Challenge for students in grades 6 - 12. Student teams are asked to solve air and climate issues in their community. Sixteen $10,000 awards will be given. Details here

Video of the Week

No costume for me this Halloween. I don't need to add anymore ink to my digital tattoo.
Have a great week.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

October 20, 2015

Head's Up

Bentonville School District is updating it's social media guidelines and policy. We realize that due to the exponential growth in social media use as an educational tool and a way to connect students, parents, teachers and experts in various fields, it's time for a review and revision of existing guidelines. Your input is valuable in the process of developing a policy that supports you in leveraging the power of social media to educate and engage students, as well as sharing the story of our District with various stakeholders. Take this short anonymous survey to add your voice to help guide the development of new guidelines and policy.

I will also be looking for faculty, staff, and administrators to serve on a committee to create and review new guidelines. Contact me if you're interested.

Yes, this is a real tattoo

It's Digital Citizenship Week. Here's some resources from Common Sense Media to support talking with kids about the importance of being a good citizen online as well as off, and avoiding a really hideous digital tattoo.

October 18th to 24th is National Save for Retirement Week. Great excuse to do some lessons on the power of compound interest, and start an IRA or make sure and contribute to the 403b Plan. Did you know that $200 a month turns in to over $116,000 over 30 years at 3% interest?

Red Ribbon Week starts Friday, October 23rd and continues through Saturday, October 31st. This year's theme is: Respect Yourself. Be Drug Free. Did you know that 42% of teens are less likely to try drugs if their parents talk to them regularly about drug use?

There is an opportunity today to visit America's Disability Rights Museum on Wheels at the Downtown Community Center, 215 SW A St. This traveling exhibit is free and open to the public from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.


Last week we found out that 5 of our schools were voted "Very Best" by Celebrate Magazine readers. Elm Tree, Mary Mae Jones, Ruth Barker, Fulbright, and Bentonville High School all made the list in 2015. 

Last Thursday, Team Champions at Old High held Genius Day and gave kids the whole day to explore their passions and just learn for the sheer joy of it. 

If you're interested in adding genius hour to your learning environment here's some great resources. Joy Kirr's livebinder and A.J. Juliani's online starter manual. http://ajjuliani.com/20time-part1 | http://ajjuliani.com/20time-part2 | http://ajjuliani.com/20time-part3 | http://ajjuliani.com/20time-part4 Angela Meier's latest blog post has a link to starting genius hour and helps plan out the first 20 days http://linkis.com/www.angelamaiers.com/jejHT.

Video of the Week

This video is as professional as you will find anywhere. Scott Fusselman and his talented team at BHSTV turn out some amazing work.

Enjoy your week. Please fill out the anonymous social media survey. Thank you.

Monday, October 12, 2015

October 13, 2015

Just couldn't get it all done last week.

Heads Up

There is an opportunity on Saturday, October 17 to attend the best day of professional development you're likely to see all year - EdcampNWA 2015! There's no Razorback game to distract you from gathering with peers to share innovative practices in classrooms. The best day of professional development around.

It's school lunch week. A great time to add in some discussion about food and nutrition to those lesson plans.

Wednesday is NATIONAL FOSSIL DAY. What's better than fossils? Not much if you're a rock hound like me. Take a break and dig into these resources from the National Park Service. https://nature.nps.gov/geology/nationalfossilday/

Ok, somebody planned this. Friday is Alternative Fuels Day. Fossils on Wednesday, alternative fuels on Friday - great week to make connections if you ask me. Friday is also Dictionary Day.

Next week, October 19 - 23, is chock full 'o observances! It's Earth Science Week (shouldn't every week be), School Bus Safety Week, and Character Counts Week. So, demonstrate good character to the bus driver when you bring your rock collection to school.

Join the Solution wants the opinion of educators throughout NWA to help find solutions to mental, physical, and basic needs of students. Take a few minutes to complete their survey at www.jointhesolution.org.


Missi Pitman's 2nd graders joined a group of students from all over NWA as the first group to participate in "unfield" trips at the Amazeum.

The Amazeum: One place where even grown-ups say: "Have you seen this?"

Wonder what it's like in Andy Mayes' Internet Technology Solutions class at TATA Consultancy Services? Here's a sneak peek. It's a very professional atmosphere.

Apple Glen was rockin' last Friday morning. You ever see the leadership video on how a movement begins. Here's the Apple Glen version.

 Followed the sound of engagement to Ms. Dewey's and Ms. Sanders' classrooms and found these students making and tinkering on their Rube Goldberg machines that illustrate the story line from a book they read. Talk about a fusion of literacy skills and creative problem-solving.

Russ Daniel from McLarty/Daniel stopped by Apple Glen to present a check to be donated to a NWA food bank thanks to a project by these students.

Grants and PD

Thank you for using the grant request form before applying for funding from outside sources.
Here's a cool contest for those aspiring film makers in your classroom. Scotties Facial Tissues is accepting entries in their 5th Annual TREES ROCK! video contest. Students in grades 3 - 6 are eligible. Details? http://scottiestreesrock.com/?

It's on! KNWA's brightest classroom is back and brighter than ever.

This is less contest and more project. Stumbled on this website over the weekend and found the basis of a great project. The Superschool Project asks: What if we team up to create the new American High School? Could be a cool project (hint, hint). http://xqsuperschool.org/

Attend Edcampnwa at BHS Saturday from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm.

Video of the week

It's going to be a great week.