On Thursday, May 7, 2015 at Lewis we celebrated our 27th annual Art Night. This tradition involves turning our hallways into galleries of student art work collected from throughout of the year, and also performances by our musical groups. Students act as docents, standing near their work and explaining the processes used to create the work. It is a highlight of our school year and something I always look forward to.
Friday was one of those warm and sunny spring days that brings a smile to just about everyone. From my office I heard voices through my open window and looked out to see Mr. Hansen's students out on the front lawn reading, and enjoying the warmth and sunshine. The front lawn of our school, Lewis Elementary, enjoys the shade and beauty of seven plum trees. Last week Mr. Hansen and I were talking and he asked about the history of those trees. Ms. Heinlein, a retired Lewis teacher who occasionally subs in our building, was in the building working and she gave us a bit of background on the trees. They were planted in 1987 as part of a project by a teacher, Mr. Light, and his students. Planted at the base of each of those trees are daffodils, that were planted by Ms. Heinlein and her students.
It is nice to reflect a bit and think of those that came before us and the work they did to make the school we have today.
Ms. Murphy has a nice display of student writing outside of her room. Her students have been working on making guide books and she has several books on display outside her door. This afternoon I read two books written by two of her students, the topic being "All About Bikes."
Lots of good advice...
Meerkat is a smartphone app that allows anyone to publish live video from their phone to the web via their Twitter account. When a session is initiated in Meerkat, a tweet is sent from your Twitter account to your twitter followers announcing the live stream session, along with a link to the live stream. A stream of tweets associated with your live stream is then superimposed on your broadcast screen, allow the broadcaster to interact with her audience via twitter posts.
On Thursday night we used Meerkat to live stream our Lewis Elementary School Drama Club production. The purpose was two fold. First we wanted to experiment a bit with this technology, and secondly, Mr. Colvin, who helps with our Drama Club, was unable to attend the performance because he was visiting his ailing father. He was able to sit at his mom’s kitchen table and watch his students perform. We also had another 10 Twitter users following along.
We plan to use Meerkat to live stream future school events. Also am thinking it could be used for just in time professional development. For example, one of our teachers, Pamela Kennedy, has a lot of requests from teachers and schools, asking her to come and talk about classroom design. I'm thinking this might be a nice, low friction, method of having her share her room with others, and answer questions about her classroom set up. Maybe we will plan for one of these after we return from spring break.
Our flowering plum trees in bloom at Lewis...
Our school PTA held their monthly meeting this afternoon in our school garden. Turned into a stand up meeting, which helped to keep the agenda moving along...
Yesterday at Lewis, we held one of our monthly Spirit Days. Spirit Days are designated days where we encourage students to demonstrate their creativity and individualism by dressing based on a theme. Yesterday’s theme was “Historical Character Day.” Students were encouraged to dress as a famous character from history. We had many students take part and many cleaver and interesting characters visited our school. Follow the link below some images from Historical Character Day...
Last week I had the great pleasure to spend some time talking with Fraser Speirs for a recording of his Out of School. The podcast is now posted and can be found linked below.
Friday at Lewis Elementary was a teacher workday. This day is set aside for teachers to work on planning and doing other such administrative work needed to prepare for the sending home of student report cards.
Ms. Layman and Mr. Hansen also took some time to head over to Peerless Pattern Works to make ping pong paddles for our PE program.
On Monday at Lewis Elementary School, we celebrated the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a school holiday and our annual day of service. We invited families and students to come out to the school and help clean up our school garden. We had a great turn out and got quite a bit of work accomplished. We would like to thank the many volunteers for their work today and also thank Kathleen Witter for her work leading and organizing the day.