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Chalk Talk

Students of varying grade levels at Helen Haller Elementary School engage in an all-school share session in second-grade teacher Amy Boyer’s classroom during the Cougar Writing Conference last week. Each student had an opportunity to share their writings and offer feedback. - Photo by Patsene Dashiell
Students of varying grade levels at Helen Haller Elementary School engage in an all-school share session in second-grade teacher Amy Boyer’s classroom during the Cougar Writing Conference last week. Each student had an opportunity to share their writings and offer feedback.
— image credit: Photo by Patsene Dashiell

HELEN HALLER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

 

Teacher Lisa Schermer shares that her third-grade students engage in activities that model their understanding and allow them to explain their thinking. In science class, students learn important vocabulary and content that is later reinforced through classroom and real-world experiences. Students use flashlights and pattern blocks to explain their understanding of science concepts related to the orientation of light and shadow. This allows students to use their science learning in another context.

During math class, students defend their ideas about fractions using pattern blocks to build designs that are “exactly half yellow.” Both activities engage students in the Common Core Mathematical Practice Standards that call for mathematically proficient students to use models to analyze problems and describe situations.

These practices also encourage students to “construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.” These Practice Standards are the same throughout high school. When students are giving early opportunities to defend their thinking and prove their claims they are well on their way to mathematical proficiency!

The 30th annual Cougar Writing Conference took place March 3–7, featuring visiting authors Paul Owen Lewis and S’Klallam storyteller Roger Fernandes. The conference wrap-up took place on the morning of the last day with an all-school sharing session.

 

OLYMPIC PENINSULA ACADEMY

 

OPA parents and alumni, staff members and school district administrators attended an all-day visioning retreat on March 8 in the academy’s cafeteria. Superintendent Kelly Shea and school board director Bev Horan participated with the group as well. The conference was facilitated by Steven Humphrey, OPA parent and co-president of the OPA Parent Teacher Organization. He was assisted by members of the academy’s PTO board of directors, including Kyra Humphrey, Rosemarie Halo, John Cambalik and Dana Woodruff. Britt-Nicole Peterson assisted as well and Laurie Campen prepared food for the day-long retreat.

Objectives of the event included improving the shared trust and quality of communication; articulating a shared vision of what OPA is, based on values and purpose; identifying the highest priority shared opportunities for change and improvement and creating a shared action plan to achieve those opportunities.

At the conclusion of the day, attendees were formed into small groups to continue the work on the initiatives that were identified.

The group will be meeting again in early May to continue the visioning process.

 

SEQUIM HIGH SCHOOL

 

HSPE writing testing will take place on March 18-20.

Career Day is planned for March 25. The entire student body will take part. There are more than 85 presenters representing about 40 career areas. Students will be able to select what careers they are interested in hearing about. A keynote inspirational speaker, Hoan Do, has presented to high schools and other organizations all over the country.

Sequim High School seniors dedicated time to service projects during their DEN period on Tuesday, March 11. Here are some of their projects:

Molly McAleer’s students painted inspirational quotes to be seen by future scholars in the study skills classroom. Stephanie Lewis’ students made posters of motivational quotes. Carol Wagner’s and Justine Wagner’s students baked cookies for different groups around school for whom they wanted to show appreciation. Steve Corcoran’s students collected food for the Sequim Food Bank. Joe Sullivan’s students wrote personal thank you notes for staff members. Dave Ditlefsen’s and Erik Wiker’s students cleaned and beautified the Haller Elementary playground. Jake Reichner’s students made cookies and cards for important people in their lives. Greg Glasser’s and Larry Hill’s students were purchasing snacks for staff members they appreciate.

 

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