Thursday, October 22, 2015

Pumpkins and Play Doh

Next Wednesday, we are doing a pumpkin drop in science class. If you have an extra pumpkin or three, please consider donating them to Harmony Team. The kids have a great experience on pumpkin drop day.

Also, if you have old Lego sets, Play Doh or art supplies, would you consider donating those to our team as well? Recently we wrote a grant to fund a MakerSpace in our classroom but were only partially funded. We decided to order a Raspberry Pi, a Makey Makey and two Arduinos for our team. We were not able to get the Squishy Circuits, Play Doh, Legos and art supplies that we had in our grant. If you have any of these supplies laying around and would be willing to donate them, please send them in. These kids are so eager to make, create and innovate. We are excited about the learning possibilities.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Monday Memo: Pumpkins, Party and Pictures!

Next Wednesday, we are conducting a pumpkin drop in science classes. We are wondering if Harmony Team families could donate a pumpkin for this event. They can be of any size except the really small ones. If you are willing to donate a pumpkin, please send it in with your kiddo in the next few days. We really appreciate all of your support.

Picture re-take day is this Friday. Also, this Friday is the first after-school party of the year. The cost is $5.00 and it must be paid in advance.

Red Ribbon Week is next week. There will be special events each day.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

He Named Me Malala Field Trip

On Tuesday, October 20, the students and staff at Hixson Middle School are going to see the documentary film called "He Named Me Malala" at Ronnies 20 Cine and IMAX. This field trip experience was funded through a grant from The Malala Fund. The field trip is free to all students, including transportation. The concession stand will be open for students to purchase snacks and all students will be given a 13% discount on their purchases. This is a powerful film about one girl's efforts to make education available for girls in Pakistan. In 2014, Malala won the Nobel Peace Prize for her work.

This field trip is free to all students and only requires a signed slip if students are OPTING-OUT of the trip. We understand that permission is given to attend the field trip unless a signed OPT-OUT form (attached here), is turned in. We will be missing our regularly scheduled lunch time but will have lunch on team when we return. Kids can bring their own lunch or get a sack lunch from the cafeteria upon our return.

Below is a trailer for the film so that you can get a flavor for the upcoming experience.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

20% Time Kicks Off!

Every year, at the beginning of October, we kick off our 20% Time program. 20% Time is a chance for kids to pursue their personal, individual learning goals. We spend a lot of time coaching kids to accomplish things they never would have dreamed of accomplishing at school before. The amount of innovation and creativity that kids show during 20% Time is unparalleled. We keep a blog all about our 20% Time program. If you are interested in what your kids are talking about when they mention 20% Time, check out the 20% Time blog, Harmonized Learning, here.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Monday Memo: EdCamp and Conferences

This morning we had our first EdCamp Harmony. An EdCamp is a way of learning that is growing more and more popular in the education community. EdCamps started about six years ago as a way for teachers to share their learning in an immediate, relevant way as opposed to the top-down professional development opportunities that are the norm. A couple of weeks ago, we decided to afford our kids the same opportunity to learn from each other. Last week we planned out the format and sessions to be offered. The kids did the rest. It was an awesome morning of learning. For a full blog post about our EdCamp this morning, click here. Below are some photos from the event.

Conferences happen this week. We conference from 4-8 pm on Tuesday and Thursday and also 1-5 pm on Wednesday. Wednesday is a half day for kiddos. There is no school on Friday; all teachers will be sleeping. We hope that you have your conference scheduled and have received the reminder e-mail. If you don't remember your time, you can e-mail us or have your child ask and we will look it up. We are looking forward to seeing you this week and talking about these awesome kids. Because we have conferences this week, there are no after school activities this week (unless previously arranged).

The Pumpkin Drop Lab is coming up in science. We will be determining the effects of gravity on objects in space by dropping pumpkins out the window. We do need donations of pumpkins (any and all sizes except for the "toy-dog" size). 

The school party is next Friday, 10/23. The cost is $5 and kids must pay during their lunch period. There will be a student council table set up to sell tickets during lunch.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Thank you, "MONTE"!!

Today, as the students left school they each found a little surprise in their lockers.  "Monte" had delivered some personal mail to each student, a list of amazing qualities that every student has that was given by their peers.  Monte (our mascot) hopes that the parents got to see the same smiles we did at the end of the day!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Upcoming Hixson Student Council Events

Fall Party – October 23, 3:30-5:00
·         Cost of student attendance - $5
·         Students can pay to attend during their lunch between October 19-22

Red Ribbon Week – October 26-29
In addition to informational activities at lunch, Student Council has planned the following spirit days to bring awareness to living a drug- and alcohol-free life:
·         Monday, 10/26 – “WGSD is Drug Free” (wear spirit wear)
·         Tuesday, 10/27 – “Drugs are a CRAZY Idea” (crazy hat or hair day)
·         Wednesday, 10/28 – “Stay in the Game – Be Drug Free!” (wear favorite sports jersey/apparel)
·         Thursday, 10/29 – “Scare Away Drugs and Alcohol” (wear your Halloween costume – not masks or fake weapons)

Monday, October 5, 2015

Gear, Conferences, EdCamp and 20% Time

Upcoming Events:

Wednesday 10/8 - Harmony Gear order are due
Wednesday 10/8 - Harmony Team goes to the Hixson Book Fair
Monday 10/12 - Harmony Team Student EdCamp
Tuesday 10/13 - Thursday 10/15 - Parent-Teacher Conferences

If you would like to sign up for a parent-teacher conference, please click here. Here is more information from the main office.

7th grade parents: Please schedule a conference with your child's team. This conference will be with your child's English, Math, Science, and Social Studies teachers. (If your child's math teacher is not one of their team teachers, he/she will make every effort to come to a portion of your scheduled team conference.) Please schedule separate conferences with your child's elective teachers.

On Wednesday, Harmony students will browse the Scholastic Book Fair in the library. Kids can purchase books or just browse the shelves. The book fair will be open during conferences and we encourage parents to take a look as well. All proceeds of the book fair go to the library fund.

Harmony Team gear orders are due Wednesday. Kids are able to order t-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies. The link to the form is here.

On Monday, October 12, we will be conducting our first-ever student EdCamp. The idea of an EdCamp is peers teaching peers. Students will be able to teach mini-classes to their peers on Monday. There will be three 25-minute sessions. Those kids not presenting will attend the sessions of their choice. This is a great opportunity for all of us to teach and learn together.

On Friday, 10/2, we kicked off our 20% Time program. We spent two class periods going over the "whys" and "hows" of an effective 20% Time program. The "letter to parents" below outlines what a 20% Time program is, why we feel it is so important and how it will work this year. Needless to say, the kids are very excited. We are too! They are already in the idea-generating stage of 20% Time and we are excited to see their minds racing with the possibilities. Click here to see the 20% Time letter.