Monday, February 29, 2016

March 1, 2016

Always wanted to parody Garrison Keillor and start with: It's been a quiet week in Bentonville, Arkansas, my adopted hometown. . .
Maybe next week. (If you're not sure who Garrison Keillor is, Google him.)

Head's Up

Tomorrow is Read Across America Day in honor of Dr. Seuss' birthday. It also kicks off Read Aloud Month.

March 7th - 11th is National School Breakfast Week and School Social Work Week.

Daylight Savings Time begins on Sunday, March 13th.

Extra Cup o' Joe day is Monday, March 14th.

March  9th - 15th is National Sleep Awareness Week. Don't know about you all, but I'm all for sleep!


Wow, pretty sure I missed about 90% of what was happening during National Engineering Week. Thanks for sharing just a few of the activities that did occur.

@OLDHIGHMS Tobie Taylor Jones' class is leveraging social media to get the community involved in a math challenge. Check #mathphotoaday for daily problems.

Ardis Ann's Kathy Hancock was awarded the Making IT Happen Award by ARKSTE for her podcasts on science.

Students at Old High took on some engineering challenges last week. Great to see them applying design thinking and iteration to finding solutions to the problems.
 Over at Washington Junior High, students are prototyping an arm to assist people with disabilities. 
Mary Mae Jones Lighthouse team accepts a check from $2,000 from Russ Daniel to fund items for a school store. Proceeds from the store will sustain on-going projects. Good luck to these young entrepreneurs.

Over at Apple Glen, students are tutoring students in literacy. These students had such empathy for each other and trusted each other during their time together.

Literally across the hall, Washington Junior High students are teaching  a class on sustainability, global warming, and collaborating on ideas to protect the planet we all share. 
Remember all that food collected in Superintendent Poore's office? Well, Lincoln Junior High students loaded it up on a bus, and BHS students added the items to what they collected. Then BHS students in  civics classes packed over 1,100 SnackPacks for kids last Friday.
Also at BHS, Gov. Hutchison's videographer interviewed students on how his coding initiative is changing their computer science experience. When asked about females in computer fields, one student responded: "We need to come understanding that we're all equal, no matter what your gender is, and that anyone can do [computer science] if you have the passion for it and you put your mind to it."
Good advice for us all. No matter what field we're in.

The BHS Choir placed a record 36 students in the All-State Choir.Terry Hicks was named Distinguished Choir Director of the year.Maybe it wasn't such a quiet week after all.

FFA BREAKFAST was amazing! Walking through the South Building reminded me of Saturday mornings on Grandma's farm in the Old Country. Thanks for the invite.

Do you have a student or students who have "tinkered up" or "makered" an article of clothing or a fashion accessory? The Scott Family Amazeum is looking for re-purposed fashions created by students to display in April. Contact Dana Engelbert 479.657.2525.

Want your story told? Contact or and we'll do our best to share it with the world.

Remember that discounted tickets to Razorback sports are available to BPS educators. Remember the promo code EducateB15.

Grants & PD

A few offerings from

Video of the Week

With 3 weeks until Spring Break, Standardized April, and The 90 Days of May to go, thought it was time for a pep talk. 

Enjoy your week.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

February 23, 2016

Snow day, or not. That is the question. Unfortunately, of the five forecasts I monitor, none of them say the same thing. Stay tuned.

Head's Up

It's engineering week. Have fun building, designing, developing, creating, making, tinkering . . .

Hard to believe next week is March with National Nutrition Month, American Red Cross Month, and Learning Disabilities Month.

It's also Music in our schools month.

March 2nd is Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss's Birthday. Coincidence? I think not!

Seriously, love that day of the year.

Oh, oh, say can you see, that Thursday, March 3,
Is day that the National Anthem was adopted in 1931.

Crystal Bridges is again hosting the culminating event for One District, One Book on March 6th from 1 to 4 pm. There's still a couple of spots left for volunteers.

March 7th - 11th is National School Breakfast Week, and School Social Work Week. A great week to take a social worker to breakfast and thank them for all they do to support students.

Bentonville 1/2 Marathon is April 2, 2016.


Crystal Bridges is taking applications for Teen Council next school year. High School students (except seniors) are invited to apply. It's a great way to get service hours, and have a voice in arts programming for teens. On a personal note, my daughter Hannah has been a CB Teen for the past two years and she loves it.

Dr. Jones and I had some exceptional tour guides at Mary Mae Jones last Friday. We learned all about leadership from these kids. 

One of the best parts of visiting schools is that you truly get to see how excellent they all are at meeting the needs of students.

Talk about exceptional. These Army Airborne Rangers took time from recruiting at BHS to have lunch with Megan McCleary and make her wish come true. Talk about service.

Arkansas 3rd District Congressman Steve Womack visited to award BHS students the top prize in the Congressional App contest to Marc Aranibar, Tyler Gay, and Austin Shanley for their Virtual Reality Math App. The competition was so close that the judges awarded an honorable mention to Rebekah Arrington and Sarah Criss for their Retirement Planning Game App. 

Remember to tag @Bentonville_PS in your tweets.

Grants and PD

Economics Arkansas is always sharing a separate blog's worth of opportunities for PD and opportunities to engage students in project-based learning. Here are some valuable links for you to check out.

Economics Art contest

Econ Challenge for students in 9 - 12 grades

Art and Economics at Crystal Bridges

Here's an article from NEWSELA an excellent free resource for relevant reading content.

Ardis Ann's Nikki Kalcevic is giving a webinar today! She's presenting Socratic Circles: Building Student Inquiry with two other members of her PLN. Follow this link to learning.

Video of the Week

Found this interesting, hope you will as well.

Have a great week.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

February 16, 2016

I hope all who attended enjoyed EdCampBHSLJHSOHMS Friday. Still, dollar for dollar, your best professional development option.

Head's Up

George Washington's actual birthday is February 22nd.

Next week is Engineer's Week - Whoot! Whoot! What could be cooler than trains all week long! Thomas the Tank Engine Videos, Youtube narrow escape and train vs. (fill in the blank) videos. It's a whole week of fun for engineers. If you want to engage kids in some STEAM activities (other than pulling the cord that releases steam through the whistle) here's a few resources:

Discover Engineers Week
National Society of Professional Engineers
National Society of Black Engineers

If you've got some unique activities planned, or just plain o' interesting activities planned, let us know at

It's a leap year, find a novel way to celebrate leap year day, February 29th.

February 23rd - March 1st is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.

March is also Music in our Schools Month and Youth Art Month.


Know students who might need some help getting ready for Prom? This could be a good option.
We collected quite a few items for Samaritan Community Center SanckPacks in Mr. Poore's office. 

One group in deep discussion during Friday's Edcamp.

Walmart's Mark Easton talks to WJHS about sustainability practices.

One of Jerri Foster's Eduprekids presents their Bentonville G.P.S. (Great Places to See) to Bentonville Rotary.

All the Eduprekids ready to sell advertising on their maps.

Some of the Bentonville Tigers basketball team's most loyal supporters.

The BHS Electric Vehicle Team is preparing to convert this gasoline-powered vehicle to electric power. Follow their progress @BvilleEVT on Twitter.

It was sciencefairapalooza at WJHS last week. Great exhibits and some really thought provoking experiments.

Grants and PD

This is kind of a cool opportunity.

Here's some resources from

Video of the Week

You might have heard about design thinking. Here's a quick overview of the process.

I'll get back on schedule next week. Enjoy yours.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

February 9, 2016

I enjoyed EdCamp St. Louis last Saturday. It's always fun to interact with passionate educators.

Head's Up

We're collecting SnackPack items until Friday, February 12th. Let's fill Mr. Poore's office!

This Saturday is Polar Plunge for Special Olympics, many school sites have teams - brave souls. Support them however you can.

If you can't participate in Polar Plunge, think about starting a team to participate in the Best Buddies Fun Walk on Saturday, April 23. Keep checking here for information. Online sign up is now live, just click the link.

The next Diversabilities planning meeting is Thursday, February 11, from 4:15 to 5:15 pm. at the BPS Student Services building. There is an exceptional group of kids taking leadership of this, but there's always room for more. Saturday, April 23, 2016 we'll be at Lawrence Plaza raising awareness and having fun.

Y'all know what February 14 is - get your loved on a nice gift. And don't let them talk to Doug Overstreet, big mistake, let me tell you.

No school for you - Monday, February 15.

February 16 - 22 is National Acts of Kindness Week. Again, shouldn't this be year round?

Monday, February 22, is World Thinking Day. Might have to give that a shot.

Make an impact on the runners in the Bentonville Half-marathon on April 2 by showing your school spirit. Great place to cheer on runners is at Tennie Russell, Sugar Creek, and Thomas Jefferson. Get your students to create a banner, or develop an interactive art or making project as runners pass by.


Last call for people who want to help create new social media guidelines for the district. Interested people should send me an email, and be prepared to meet after school for a couple of days. They will also be tasked with researching two examples of guidelines from other districts.

Shout out to Apple Glen for posting to #bpsodob! Doing something interesting with The One and Only Ivan? Send photos, etc. to

Send a Valentine wish to a child at Arkansas Children's Hospital this week. Guaranteed to put a smile on two faces. Thanks Holly Elsea at Bright Field for sending this in.

Discounted tickets for Razorback athletics can be found here.


It seems kind of early in the year to be thinking about Lemonade, but it's never too early to be thinking about entrepreneurship in NWA; it's in our DNA. A great, fun way to learn about entrepreneurship is through participation in Lemonade Day. The curriculum teaches the skills and habits of mind of entrepreneurs, as well as financial literacy and citizenship. Lemonade Day 2016 is scheduled for Saturday, May 7.

Grants and PD

There's always something happening at Economics Arkansas.

Ninth through 12th graders should participate in the EconChallenge. It's a free online competition.

Here's a link to the Economics Arkansas Livebinder; there's a wealth of resources here.

Thinking of continuing your education? Arkansas has two programs to help you out. The State Teacher Education Program (STEP) will pay $4,000 for teachers specializing in certain content areas and disciplines and geographic locations.
The Teacher Opportunity Program (TOP) provides reimbursement grants to teachers and administrators.

Video of the Week

My guess is with 2 million plus views, many of you have seen this already. Yesterday's flurries made it seem appropriate to share.

Have a great week.