Learning in Action

I had the opportunity to visit each of the schools this week to meet with my Student Advisory students and to tour classes. Seeing authentic learning in action always inspires me. I am incredibly thankful to the teachers and students who allowed me to pop in for a visit. I am heading to Stagg this afternoon and look forward to seeing students and staff in action. Here's a look at my Andrew and Sandburg visits from earlier in the week.

At Andrew High School I stopped by:
  • Brandon Marren's US History class was studying the Progressive Movement.  Students were assigned the task of becoming modern day Muckrakers as they investigate one major issue that affects the United States today and to plan a strategy to influence Congress to provide funds toward a possible solution.  The partner groups will eventually present their ideas to the rest of the class in the hopes of convincing them of its merit.
  • Steve Moss' AP Studio art class was busy painting collages of facial features made from cut up magazines.  For some students, painting is not their preferred art medium and these exercises push them to expand their skills level.  Students will have the opportunity to add these pieces as part of their studio art portfolio.
  • Erika Lupacchino's German 1 students were acting out scenes from a German novel they were reading in class.  Later they were describing a variety of pictures and scenes while using only the target language.  These types of Comprehensible Input exercises help students learn and retain German through a variety of input and output techniques.   
At Sandburg I was able to stop by:
  • Meagan Fridrych and Michelle Hoven's Academic Biology where they began the period with a Mindfulness Activity before taking a quiz on DNA. The teachers report that by starting each period with an activity that focuses students they are seeing more engagement in class.
  • Honors Biology with Jennifer Snyder has students studying Genetics and DNA through the Storylining Pilot using Albinism in Africa as the hook. Students were decoding DNA into proteins and finding mutations.
  • Consumer Economics students with Julie Heinlen and Bailey Foster were working on their Career Project. Students have been brainstorming their values, interests, activities and future goals. And then help each other come up with possible courses, clubs/activities, jobs and volunteer work to match interests and career goals to assist in resume building.
  • Engineering Concepts students with Chris Komer were building models they will then learn to create in Inventor, the 3D printing software. The students had to replicate a model by communicating with teammates and then drawing plans so others can build the same model.
Rick Nogal honored at Illinois State Board of Education meeting for outstanding service
The Illinois State Board of Education and State Superintendent Dr. Tony Smith  formally honored School Board President Rick Nogal for his service as our School Board President. As you will recall, Rick earned the 2018 Thomas Lay Burroughs Award for the State's Outstanding School Board President back in November. This week we traveled to Springfield where he was recognized by the State Board. 
Lucky for us, Andrew High School Senior Corlin Leonard was also at that meeting making a presentation as part of the statewide Student Advisory Council to the Illinois State Board of Education. 
ConEx event at Stagg draws 1,000 attendees thanks to student Peter Gordan's organization
I stopped by the ConEx conservation expo at Stagg last Saturday and was thoroughly impressed with the educational and fun event. More than 1,000 people attended the event organized by Stagg junior Peter Gordan and his nonprofit Homes4Monarchs. He and 50 student volunteers presented an amazing event that rivals professionally organized events!