Week of March 5th

This is Time Sensitive

On March 15th the GHS Chorus will be conducting a tour of the District’s schools presenting about 30 minute concerts. My first question is how many teams would like to take advantage of enjoying a 30 minute interlude in your day (probably at the end of the day)? And. secondly, would you please email me ASAP as to whether your team would like to attend. This way we can let Matt Murray, GHS Chorus master, know whether we need one concert or two.

  • Mar 5 – 15 – 8th Grade Celebration Pizza Fund Raiser for the benefit of the Celebration Events for the 8th Grade. Please see Kristen or Laurie for details.
  • Mar 7– This is a very busy day! The annual celebration of Theodore Geisel’s birthday with Read Across America Day,
  • Mar 7 Team Leaders meeting in Melanie’s room beginning at 2:30 pm.
  • Mar 7 – Ban the “R” word day. This is our third celebration of trying to end the use of this very painful and hurtful word in our vocabularies.
  • Mar 8 – 8th Grade teachers will be meeting with their High School counterparts beginning at 10:37 until Noon. A Pizza lunch will be provided, so you can plan accordingly. The 8th Grade student will asseble in the Auditorium with Bob and Susie (poor kids!), for an activity.
  • Mar 8 – The Odyssey of the Mind team will be holding an evening event at the PineCrest Inn on South Street in Gorham to benefit the Odyssey of the Mind Team. The admission to the event is $5.00 and there will be an Auction Raffle for lots of great prizes. For more information see Diane Knott.
  • Mar 9 – School Dance sponsored by the Civil Rights Team, Odyssey of the Mind and Lego Robotics. The dance begins at 6:00 and runs til 8:00. As always, these groups would welcome any and all volunteers who would like (OK maybe not Like, but willing) to chaperone the dance. Please contact Sarah Rubin or Diane Knott to let them know.
  • Mar 14 – We will be having a group of students going on a field trip to the Westbrook Regional Vocational Center and Portland Arts and Technology High School. They will be leaving school in the morning and returning before dismissal. You should have received a list of these students from Kim Bennett earlier this week.
  • Mar 14 – For all of our math teachers, this is the day set aside for all things math Pi Day, enjoy. Let us know if your holding any special Pi Day activities.
  • Mar 14 – Faculty meeting in the GMS Library beginning at 2:30. This will be a whole group meeting and we’ll get the exact agenda out next week. You can probably count on part of the meeting working on formative assessment practices, as well as other important items.
  • Mar 15 –For social studies and ELA teachers, the Ides of March is day celebrated to commemorated our Roman roots and our love of Shakespeare, if you plan any activities to mark this day, let us know!
  • Mar 15 -Our monthly PIE meeting in the GMS Library beginning at 6:30 pm, all are invited to attend.
  • Mar 22 & 24 – Our annual presentation of the School Musical, this year our students are presenting Into the Woods, a funny and musical look at some of our favorite fairy tales. The presentation will begin at 7:00 pm each evening in the GMS Auditorium, please save the date.
  • Mar 26 – Chris Record and many of the First Year staff will meet with the 8th graders to discuss the process of registering for classes at the High School. We do not have the time right now, but as soon as I get the time, I will send it off to you.
  • Mar 26 -There will be a district-wide Team Leaders meeting, the location has not been determined, probably Great Falls School beginning at 3:30. As soon as we get the agenda, we’ll forward it on to you. Please mark the date on your calendar.
  • Mar 29 & 30 – Early release day and teacher workshop day, respectively. These days are Parent/Teacher Conference Days for the entire district.Conferences will be from 2:00pm to 8:00 on Thursday evening and on Friday from 8:00 am until 2:00 pm. We have confirmed this information with all schools in the district!
  • Mar 30 – 3rd Quarter ends, please have your grades into your grade book by Tuesday so that we can have report cards ready to go home on Friday April 6.

Other Stuff

Thank you for a job well done!

If I could somehow demonstrate here a standing ovation with many, many curtain calls, I would, but I will simply say that the Career Day we recently had was, by far, the best we have ever had! It was incredibly well planned and organized and all of the faculty were great in helping out guests with classroom management and movement of the students. Another standing ovation for Lona Tassey, Kelly Winslow and Susie who planned this wonderful event.

GMS Night at the Portland Sea Dogs

A reminder to circle your calendar for April 27th, a Friday night, for GMS Night at The Sea Dogs. Our Chorus will be singing the National Anthem, several of our fellow teachers will be honored for their work in our school and we get to see the future of the Boston Red Sox play. It should be a fun night and we will have tickets on sale in the office by April 1st. Tickets should go fast, so reserve them early, cost of the tickets is $5.00.

NECAP Scores

NECAP scores are available to all teams in the Measured Progress web site. The User Name is your team name and the password id the same as last year. If you’ve forgot your password from last year send me an email and I’ll get it out to you. I can’t broadcast the passwords because we’d be violating FERPA rules. If I have assigned a student incorrectly to your team, please let me know so i can correctly assign the student.

Portland Sea Dogs and NextGen College Investing Most Improved Students

Speaking of the Portland Sea Dogs, they, along with NextGen College Investing Program, are sponsoring the NextGen Most Improved Student Program to honor students who demonstrate improvement in your classes. The award is not just for academic improvement but also social and behavioral improvements. Your nominated student will receive a free ticket to a Sea Dog game and be honored on the field prior to the game. They will also receive a certificate, suitable for framing, from the Sea Dogs. Please send me your nominations by Thursday, March 8th.

Teaching Resources

I was first thinking this selection would be for our social studies teachers, but after more thought, I think this could be used by all of our content areas. What is this great news? Well, it is news, that by law must wait 72 years before being released. It is also the most anticipated release of information in several generations because it will reveal some important story lines of the decade of the Great Depression. What is it, you ask? (Have I built up the anticipation??) Well, it is the release of the 1940 census data to the public. Think about it: in the 10 years since the 1930 census was made public (on paper & microfilm), online genealogical research has mushroomed. What can we learn today about America on the eve of WWII, simply by connecting with a laptop or smartphone? For some ideas on how to use the release of the 1940 census try some of these links:

The National Archives
Online Genealogical Sites
Scholastic Books
Census Bureau
Understanding Redistricting

Writing 25 Word Stories

Bill Ferriter is a 6th Grade Language Arts teacher in North Carolina and he is a regular contributor to the ASCD Ed Leadership with his columns on educational technology. His Blog, The Tempered Radical, is featured on the Teacher Leaders Network. He has introduced a radical idea, at least to me, of the 25 word story. If you’d like to read more about the idea, or about Bill, check out this link: Bill Ferriter

Writing in the Science Class

Marsha Ratzel is a 6th grade science teacher in Kansas and she is offering some ideas that will stretch the writing of her students in her science class. Rather than have her students simply record data, she guides them through the writing process from Pre-writing activities to final draft so her students can see the relationship between her science class and what the student are learning in their Language Arts Class. Check out this link: Marsha Ratzel

Grant Opportunities

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) Foundation will develop an award competition in partnership with nationally recognized education and academic organizations to advance the use of computer and video games and innovation in the classroom and, in doing so, recognize and reward educators who incorporate creativity and technology in their lessons. This is a challenge grant and does require that participants submit their proposals before April 6th. For more information go to: ESA Foundation

I guess this enough for now…

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