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The Ann Arbor PTO Thrift Shop is located at 2280 S. Industrial Highway. The shop sells furniture, clothing, books, home goods, electronics, craft supplies and more.
By Tara Cavanaugh
The Ann Arbor PTO Thrift Shop’s mission is to support the schools. And three times each year, its support comes in the form of a small but valuable slip of paper: a check.
On Jan. 29 the shop distributed $50,020 total between all 33 of the Ann Arbor Public Schools (see comprehensive list below). The money supports enrichment opportunities for students in the form of field trips, sports clubs, academic supplies, camps and plenty more.
“It’s exciting to celebrate a great year in 2012 and immediately start another with this kind of vigorous funding,” said Ann Farnham, the shop’s executive director. ”What a couple of high notes for our shop and for our AAPS community.” Continue reading →
At his first live performance on March 22 at Abbot Elementary School, Mubarak reaches out to his fans like a seasoned professional. His brother Saif, who Mubarak calls his inspiration, records the performance. Students also watch his video, "Fresh and Cool," playing in the background. The video is available below.
By Tara Cavanaugh
Listen up, music moguls: MubbiMan is in the house.
MubbiMan is the stage name of Abbot Elementary fifth grader Mubarak. Just ten years old, and having worked on his craft for less than a year, his clever lyrics and positive messages have already gotten thousands of YouTube views.
The young rapper is confident, even boisterous in his videos, wearing an oversized coat and sunglasses as he raps through the urban landscape of downtown Ann Arbor. But away from the camera, he’s a thoughtful writer, often scribbling rhymes in the notebook he always carries.
“I know people have taken rap the bad way these days, thinking it’s a gangster thing,” he said one day after school this week. ”I want to show that rap is not just a form of music, but it is a form of giving a message out there. And I want to tell all the people and kids that there’s more to it than just rhyming.” Continue reading →
The Board of Education voted to open 170 seats for Schools of Choice at its March 7 meeting. This means that more students have the option to request to attend a new district school. In the previous two years of Schools of Choice, the district opened up 150 seats. Continue reading →
Volunteer Kurt Krogsrud from Comerica plays a math strategizing game with two Abbot Elementary students Feb 2.
By Tara Cavanaugh
Sometimes, a little extra attention can go a long way.
In a 6-week pilot program, volunteers from Comerica Bank and Google have been playing math games with fourth and fifth grade students at Abbot Elementary for one hour every Thursday during lunch. The program, which was coordinated by AAPS Partners for Excellence, provides extra help for students who participate in Title 1 programming.
Fifth-graders iat Abbot Elementary School dissect deer plucks under the direction of Dr. Manek Sood, a cardiothoracic surgeon with the St. Joseph Mercy Health System. The training supplements the students’ study of the human circulatory and respiratory systems.
From Abbot Elementary School
Fifth-graders in Tracy Barrett’s and Rebecca Waits’ classrooms at Abbot Elementary School learned from a pro on May 17, dissecting deer plucks under the direction of Dr. Manek Sood, a cardiothoracic surgeon with the Saint Joseph Mercy Health System.
Barrett coordinated the deer heart and lungs dissection to supplement the students’ study of the human circulatory and respiratory systems. This is the second year that she has overseen this project.
To participate, students signed a ‘Lab Rules’ sheet that outlined proper lab dress code and protocols. Groups of three to four students were paired with a parent volunteer who wielded the scalpel for the dissection incisions.
Throughout the year, Environmental Education teacher Dave Szczygiel harvests the deer hearts and immediately freezes them to prepare for this project. Abbot is the only AAPS elementary school that performs deer heart dissections.
The hearts were about the size of a large coffee mug, making it easy for students to see and touch all of the key parts of the heart. Dr. Sood performed the dissection while he projected it on the screen using the classroom digital document camera so everyone could easily see everything he was doing.
The goal of the dissection was for the students to learn the basic parts of the heart and the path the blood takes through the heart and lungs. Each was encouraged to touch and probe the heart and lungs as soon as incisions were made and they were given the all-clear sign.
“It was amazing to see that the left side of the heart was thicker than the right side,” said fifth-grader Megan. Classmate Ben added, “The lung was so squishy and bloody. The valves in the heart were so small and thin. I’m surprised that they last that long.”
Duncan noted: “The esophagus had ridges of cartilage. It felt all scaly.” Student Kory concluded by saying, “It was an amazing experience to really know what is inside of me. It was totally gross, yet totally cool.”
When the dissections were complete, Szczygiel recycled the dissected plucks at the Green Adventure’s Camp farm. A heat-and-motion sensitive camera was able to monitor the pile of plucks, as they became part of the woodland’s food chain.
The school offered special thanks to Barrett for coordinating this effort, to Szczygiel for harvesting the deer hearts and to parent Alicia Nalepa for coordinating the time and talents of Dr. Sook. Scalpels for the dissection were purchased through an Abbot PTO grant this spring. Every classroom at Abbot has a digital document camera purchased by the Abbot PTO and Barrett used hers to project the dissection.
A short video of the Abbot Elementary School assembly, celebrating the School Habitat designation from the National Wildlife Federation.
From AAPSNews Service
Take a stroll through the Abbot Elementary School courtyard and you are transported into a world of nature.
Students parade through their Abbot Schoolyard Habitat, recently certified by the National Wildlife Federation.
Once an overgrown space, it has been transformed into an area of beauty that attracts birds, wildlife and has native plants and flowers.
The Abbot community’s work on the space was so effective, the National Wildlife Federation recently certified the courtyard as a Schoolyard Habitat. Abbot will be included in the NWF National Registry of Certified Habitats, which recognizes sites that protect and nurture wildlife.
“One year ago, that space was overgrown trees and weeds and garbage and cracked asphalt. It was a mess,” said Angie Ceely, fourth-grade parent who co-chaired the habitat effort with fellow parent Tamara Schirmer. “We had all of the students and all the parents and all the teachers work together to change all of that to make something really special.
“You all should be so proud of all of the projects that you do to make it a special place that we all can enjoy,” she told students during a celebratory assembly.
The Abbot Schoolyard Habitat is a place that is welcoming to wildlife, sustainable, low maintenance and useful to the entire Abbot community. It features a sound system to bring bird sounds into the school; a bird feeding system including a fresh fruit feeder, two suet feeders, a thistle feeder and three squirrel corn cob bungee cords; 650 native Michigan plants; a water pond; and two rain gardens.
Students can expect to see birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and even owls and butterflies in the habitat.
As a Schoolyard Habitat project, classrooms decorated 12 hand-made cedar birdhouses depicting various places in Ann Arbor and specially made to attract chickadees, wrens and Prothonotary warblers. At the assembly, the birdhouses were unveiled by representatives of the businesses and organizations depicted. Teachers, their class birdhouse themes and special guests included:
Amelia Barrons (multi-age class), Police Department theme.Special Guest: Officer John Elkins, Ann Arbor Police Department. Sarah Bradley (morning Young Fives), Gingerbread House theme. Alison Corey (afternoon Young Fives) Dairy Queen theme. Carol DeKeyzer (morning and afternoon Kindergarten) Humane Society & Doggy Hotel themes.Special Guest: Deb Kern, Humane Society of Huron Valley. Cynthia Heusel (fourth-grade) Blimpy Burger theme.Special Guest: Rich and Christine Magner, Owners of Blimpy Burger. Andy Meyer (first-grade), Night Sky and Neighborhood House themes.Special Guest: Ann Neuenschwander, Director of Development for the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum. Christine North (third-grade), Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum theme.Special Guest: Mel Drumm, Executive Director of the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum. Laura Publiski (third-grade) M-Den theme.Special Guest: Daniel Tyrell, M Den. Dawn Snow (multi-age class), Abbot Elementary School theme.Special Guest: Morgan Solomon, head custodian at Abbot Elementary. Annette Stojcevich (fourth-grade), Plum Market theme.Special Guest: Jennifer Bolanos, Store Assistant Team Leader of Plum Market.
Following the assembly, students, staff, parents and guests paraded through the habitat with guests visiting individual classrooms. Students then received a special packet of seeds to take home and plant to create their own outdoor habitat.
Abbot parent Tamara Schirmer gives out a bird house prize during a celebratory assembly for the school's Schoolyard Habitat certification by the National Wildlife Federation.
The Schoolyard Habitat Steeting Committee began working on the project about two years ago. Adding natural features, the school aimed for things that would encourage wildlife, including: water, food, shelter and places to raise their young – the four things needed to be certified as a National Wildlife Federation, according to John Stahly, a local naturalist and habitat consultant for the project.
Students have learned a lot about their habitat, including growing native Michigan plants from seed and transplanting them to the habitat, placing colored yarn in the habitat for birds to use in their nests and creating wildlife identification books based on sighting logs. Many other classroom projects were done relating to the habitat theme.
In addition to committee co-chairs Schirmer and Ceely, other members of the steering committee included first-grade teacher Andy Meyer, fifth-grade teacher Becky Waits, Principal Pam Sica; AAPS Environmental Education Specialist Dave Szczygiel; and consultant and naturalist John Stahly.
The school sends out special thanks to Pictures Plus, owned by the Godwins, an Abbot family, for donating the framing for the School Habitat certificate. Also thanked was Abbot parent Rob Norris and his family who built all of the birdhouses that students decorated.
For more information about the National Wildlife Federation Schoolyard Habitat program, visit www.nwf.org.
Abbot Elementary fourth-graders are making a difference in the lives of children suffering from cancer and other catastrophic diseases.
Teachers Annette Stojcevich and Cynthia Heusel offered students the opportunity to participate in the annual Math-a-Thon fundraiser for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Twenty three students participated and raised $720 total for St. Jude’s.
To kick off the fundraiser, Stojcevich’s read the students a story about a small hummingbird that was going to hold up the falling sky with its tiny feet. The moral of the story was that no matter how small you are, you can contribute to the solution. And then the fourth-graders did just that.
“Our class gets the chance to do our part to help others,” she said. “I have worked with St. Jude’s in the past, and it is an organization that I try to support every year. I am so proud of our fourth graders for working so hard to make a difference.”
Each participating student was challenged to complete 200 math problems in a St. Jude’s Math-a-Thon Funbook over winter break. Students asked family and friends for sponsorships (a flat dollar amount donation) and pledges (a donation per math problem completed.)
All fourth-graders had the opportunity to participate in the Math-a-Thon, even if they were unable to obtain sponsorships and pledges. An anonymous parent pledged $.05 per completed math problem ($10 if all 200 math problems were completed) for students wanting to participate but who did not receive pledges.
The Math-A-Thon Funbook supplemented the existing fourth-grade curriculum, so participation helped students improve their math and comprehension skills while learning the importance of helping others.
Fourth-graders really felt the significance of participating in this fundraiser. “I feel that this is a good time for the fourth graders to do something good for a hospital, and help save lives. This is just a huge responsibility and I think it is great to be doing it,” said Drew, a student participant. Classmate Henry added, “I really liked the Math-a-Thon. I got to do some math and help kids feel better.”
Funds raised by the Math-A-Thon program help make it possible for St. Jude to treat patients regardless of a family’s inability to pay. For more than 30 years, Math-A-Thon has been America’s largest education-based fundraiser. Funds raised by Abbot’s fourth-grade students and other participants benefit St. Jude, where doctors and scientists work to eradicate childhood cancer and other catastrophic childhood diseases.
For more information on St. Jude and the Math-a-Thon program, visit www.stjude.org.
Schools celebrate the life, birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.
From AAPSNews Service
Buildings around the Ann Arbor Public Schools celebrated the Martin Luther King Jr. Day national holiday of Jan. 17 with activities in classrooms and assemblies for students. Some have already taken place and others are scheduled for the coming week.
Schools and public buildings throughout the country are closed today, Jan 17, in honor of the slain civil rights leader.
Following are some of the events around the district shared with the AAPSNews:
Clague students take multi-week journey
Students and staff at Clague Middle School have celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a multi-week celebration. Starting with a contest in December, it culminates with a display wall the week after their MLK Program. Some of the activities at Clague include:
• Contest: Students depict a theme in an essay, poem, poster, mixed media, or original creation. The school had 53 entries this year. The theme: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is what are you doing for others?”
Students at Dicken Elementary hear music from Vincent York & Jazzistry, teaching them about the culture and history of jazz music.
• Mini-lesson on character: During Jan. 14 advisory, students received a character trait button to wear and brainstormed ideas of service in “an action plan.” They will have a week to perform the service – details of each student’s plan will be put on a common wall near the school office.
• MLK program: The school’s annual program on Jan. 14 was a collaborative effort of the staff and students. Music students performed, did choral readings and Powerpoints, and awarded the winners of the contest that began in December. Top winners receive a pizza lunch and a trip to the Sphinx concert in Ann Arbor.
Carpenter hosted all-school event honoring Dr. King
The Carpenter Elementary School community honored Martin Luther King Jr. during a Community Meeting on Jan. 10. Students sang “What Can One Little Person Do?” and “He had a Dream” and “He Wanted to Have the Same Freedom” under the direction of Laura Machida. Rebecca Archer’s third-graders read about Dr. King and performed “We Thank You Dr. Martin Luther King, Today and Everyday” and fourth-graders from Kelsey Cook’s, Marilyn Freeman’s and Ramona Sankovich’s classes performed “We Shall Overcome” on their recorders. Principal Ron Collins, reflected on Dr. King’s message and encouraged students to practice the messages of peace and getting along.
Expanding the MLK experience at Lawton and Northside
Julia Gold’s third-grade class at Lawton Elementary School did an all-class project passing on gifts of kindness during the week leading up to MLK Day. The class kept track of these acts by passing a “kindness card” to the student who received the act of kindness. The card was passed along to another student with each new kindness act. At week’s end the class counted how many acts were accumulated and hearts were hung for each.
Also at Lawton Fourth-graders at Lawton Elementary did an MLK musical performance for their school on Friday and first-grade teacher Kerry Krause planned to read “Martin’s Big Words” to her students, have students read a book about MLK from Enchanted Learning together and write about a dream that they have for the world.
Teachers at Northside Elementary School did a variety of classroom activities including A schoolwide assembly on Jan. 12 which included Janice Smith’s kindergarteners singing “Different Means Special,” fourth-graders singing “Something for You” and Susan Ulrey’s and Rebecca Coleman’s first-graders performing at the assembly, among others. Here are some other Northside activities:
• Rose Ann McGarty’s kindergarteners heard “A Picture Book of Martin Luther King Jr. and followed up with worksheets and writing assignments about respect. Fifth-grade reading buddies interviewed the young children and were comparing their lives to MLK’s.
• Evengeline Burgers’ kindergarteners also read aloud to her class and did an interdisciplinary activity reading “The Shape Story,” with the theme “that they can make beautiful things if they all work together.”
• In Sandra Chang’s kindergarten class, students read “Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King”, saw a video clip and did a time line paper looking at the events in his life.
• Second-graders in Jennifer Wade’s class had daily discussions of civil rights, equal rights and watched a video about King and created books about his life.
• Fourth-graders in Dianne Baker’s class read and wrote about King’s life, heard the “I Have a Dream” speech, posted bullet points of King accomplishments in the classroom entry and did other activities.
• Media Specialst Jeri Schneider has read King biographies and historical fiction relating to his work and civil rights. Fifth-graders created slides of King quotes that she edited together to use in the all-school assembly.
• ESL teacher Ana Taylor had special stations for students to rotate through including books on tape, writing activities, vocabulary to reinforce what they have learned about King and how his ideas shape and connect with life today.
Friday programs lead up to today’s MLK national holiday
Vincent York & Jazzistry performed at Dicken Elementary to help the school celebrate MLK Day. The school’s Recess Singers (group of first- through fifth-graders who practice at lunch) performed a song about equality to open the event. York also spent time with small groups of students by grade level on Jan. 11 and Jan. 12, offering a closer look into the instruments and their history that he uses during the all-school assembly.
Allen Elementary students hosted an all-school assembly with narration by Principal Joan Fitzgibbon and fifth-graders doing a presentation of “I have a Dream” with narration and songs.
Ann Arbor Open @ Mack hosted a MLK Day assembly celebrating the life of Martin Luther King and tying in the theme of bullying. The program pointed out how King was treated as he tried to bring a peaceful change in civil rights and stressed that every student should feel safe, welcome and valued. A theme: “We celebrate Dr. King today and we think about how all of us can become peacemakers. Everyone at Ann Arbor Open is a member of our community.”
All grades at Bryant Elementary School participated in an assembly with poems, songs, skits, choral readings and student artwork highlighting the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
At Eberwhite Elementary, the school celebrated MLK Day with an all-school assembly. The school sand three songs grouped by grade level (K-1, 2-3 and 4-5) and a few classes read poems, did a MLK life timeline and shared facts about King and the Civil Rights Movement.
Special invitation from EMU
Several students from Dawn Richberg’s class at Skyline High School were among area students performing at Eastern Michigan University’s Student Center Auditorium on Sunday, Jan. 16. The afternoon program featured the EMU Gospel Choir, Harambe Youth Drummers, PURe Dance Ensemble, Tiana Marquez, Primal 1 Ensemble and Inspirational readings by area teens. The event was one of several scheduled by EMU from Jan. 13-18 as part of this year’s “Their Footprints … Our Legacy.”
Thursday, Jan. 20
10:30 a.m. – Abbot Elementary School will host the Bright Star Touring Theatre production of “Struggle for Freedom,” a 45-minute production that honors the Civil Rights movement by celebrating moments of the struggle. The life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. provides the backdrop to recreated scenes of events such as the Montgomery bus boycott, the March on Washington and the Woolworth sit-ins. Visit www.brightstartheatre.com
Friday, Jan. 21
Stone High School’s Intergroup, led by Shaenu Micou, plans an all-school assembly today in honor of Martin Luther King Jr..
1:30 p.m. – “Sadie’s Spectacular Saturday,” Burns Park Elementary Auditorium. A character-ed production with imaginative costumes that make this play a favorite among young audiences while teaching good judgment, kindness, friendship and respect. Visit www.brightstartheatre.com
2:30 p.m. – “Struggle for Freedom,” Burns Park Elementary Auditorium. Bright Star Touring Theatre, a professional touring theatre company performed this production that celebrates the life and work and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the context of the American Civil Rights movement. The theme: One person can change the world. Visit www.brightstartheatre.com
Friday, Jan. 28
2:30 p.m. – Each Bach Elementary School student will have a chance to recite a poem and sing songs that honor Dr. King’s memory in this culminating assembly. The focus will be on peace, getting along with one another, positive conflict resolution and building friendships.
NAAPID (National African American Parent Involvement Day)
This Washtenaw County NAAPID program is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 14 at Saline High School Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Campus Parkway, Saline. Students from throughout Washtenaw County, including Ann Arbor, participate in this event, which is scheduled each year for the second Monday in February. A poster contest is under way with the deadline scheduled for 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 21. Information about the contest can be found by downloading a PDF here. This year’s event theme: “Parent Involvement 365 = Student Success.”
A $10 denomination of "Barrett Bucks" used at Abbot Elementary. Students are learning ways to spend their "money" wisely.
By Angie Ceely AAPSNews Service
Monthly rent of $500 for your desk? Being paid $100 for receiving 100 percent on a math test? Being fined $50 for a messy desk or locker? Jobs, money and real estate are now a part of everyday life in Tracy Barrett’s fifth-grade classroom mini-society at Abbot Elementary School.
Students worked together to determine potential names for their mini-society, and voted on the final name. The “District Five” mini-society will be in place for the entire school year.
All students are employees with specific jobs to perform. The main job of each employee is to be a student. Students are expected to complete all assignments and follow the school and classroom rules. Each student is also responsible for a classroom job which could include: bankers, janitors, accountants, graders, homework distributors, couriers, librarians, clerks, police officers and absence coordinators.
In early September, students completed job applications with their top three choices for jobs as well as why they would be the best person for each of those jobs. Barrett announced job assignments after reviewing all of the applications, and then trained everyone on their specific tasks and responsibilities.
Students will have the same job for the entire school year. Each job has a set salary; an employee can receive a raise for a job well done, or can be fired for not fulfilling responsibilities.
“Barrett Bucks,” designed by students in a variety of denominations, are used as money. Students are paid set amounts when they complete assignments, perform their jobs and follow school rules.
All students pay $500 monthly rent for their desks, and may use any remaining money they have at the monthly classroom store. Items for purchase include modeling clay, recorders, pencils sharpeners, puzzles and more. Students can also decide to save their money to purchase their desk for three times the amount of rent. If a desk is owned, property taxes of 20 percent are paid in January and April.
So far, District Five is off to a great start. Students are enjoying their jobs and the salary that comes with a job well done. They are learning valuable life skills on a day-to-day basis with this yearlong project.
This article was submitted by Abbot Elementary School parent Angie Ceely.
On Thursday, Nov. 18 Logan Elementary School hosted its annual “Taste of Asia” dinner. The school’s PTSO put on the event, which featured food made and donated; an estimated 200 were served dinner during the event. The evening also included a book fair, which was also a fundraiser for the school’s PTSO. See a short slide show of the evening above.
Members of Community High School ran through Hell, Mich. this fall.
Fit & Fun: Community High students run through Hell
Thirty eight Community High School students participated in the annual Halloween Run Thru Hell 5k and 10K races in Hell, Mich.
According to physical education and health teacher Robbie Stapleton, all of the students participating were from the Personal Fitness classes at Community. Most ran the 5K, but about 10 did the 10K, she said.
“Every semester, the Personal Fitness students run a race together, after training hard for the first nine weeks of the semester. There’s nothing quite like crossing a finish line!”
Early College Alliance information meeting is Dec. 2
Eastern Michigan University is hosting an information meeting about the Early College Alliance program for interested students (current ninth- and 10th-graders) and their parents. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 2, from 7-8:30pm in the Little Theater at Pioneer High School. For full details, visit http://www.emich.edu/eca.
49 represent Ann Arbor at MSVMA Regional honors event
On Saturday, Oct. 23, 49 seventh-, eighth- and ninth-grade singers from the Ann Arbor Public Schools traveled to Monroe to participate in the Michigan School Vocal Music Association Regional JH/MS Honors Choir.
The students rehearsed and performed in a large choir with other select singers from the southern half of the state, and also auditioned for the State level Honors Choir by singing in small ensembles, one on a part, a required audition piece
Huron students earn national music honors
Huron High School seniors Danny Clegg and Kris Shin were selected from applicants across the country for the 2011 American High School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall where they will be a part of the honors orchestra as violinists. Participation is limited to the highest-rated high school performers from across North America.
The two were nominated and auditioned individually and were accepted after a review by the Selection Board committee. They will join other performers from the United States and Canada for a special performance at Carnegie Hall.
Clegg studies violin with Kimberly Kaloyanides Kennedy. Shin has studied violin since early elementary school. Both are members of the Huron High School Symphony Orchestra and several chamber ensembles. They both volunteer their time in mentoring string students at Clague Middle School.
Finalists will spend five days in February in New York City learning from conductor Charles Peltz, working with other finalists, and getting a taste of the Big Apple. The Saturday, Feb. 19 performance is available to the public and specially invited representatives from collegiate music programs.
Community High publication earns top Pacemaker award
The National Scholastic Press Association has named Community High School’s “The Communicator” one of five award winners in its Pacemaker 2010 in the newsmagazine category. In scholastic journalism, this award is referred to as the Pulitzer Prize for student newspapers. In addition, “The Communicator” and “The Communicator Online” placed in the Best of Show competition.
The publication’s editors are Kyle Aaronson, Julia Kortberg and Katie O’Brien.
The following student journalists received awards in the Write-Off competitions: Kyle Aaronson for Newswriting; Oriol Burgos-Tsoffar for Editorial; Acer Xu for Copy Editing; and Shadi Ahmadmehrabi for Podcasting. Teacher Tracy Rosewarne is the staff adviser.
Abbot works to set shared reading record
Abbot Elementary School students joined others from across the U.S. in Octobert to participate in “Read for the Record,” an attempt to set the record for the largest shared reading experience in one day.
Students in Annette Stojcevich’s fourth grade class read “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats and then drew a picture describing the words in the book. Last year, more than 2 million students participated in the event which is sponsored by JumpStart, a literacy advocacy group that promotes reading to young people.
New Zealand visitors come to Mitchell
Mitchell Elementary School hosted special visitors from New Zealand in October. Professor Deborah Fraser of the University of Waikato and primary teacher Whakarongo Tauranga observed Mitchell teachers in the area of arts integration.
Visitors shared their own experiences with Mitchell teachers during a book study group on the teaching of ELL students, and a luncheon at the school, sponsored by the University of Michigan. A collaborative effort between the University Musical Society and the U-M School of Education, these visitors also presented a workshop for teachers entitled “Mantle of Experts” at the Washtenaw Intermediate School District, sharing a unique model for integrating the arts. Cathy Reischl of the U-M School of Education arranged for the visit.
Dec. 6 workshop for teachers builds on UMS season
The University Musical Society hosts a Monday, Dec. 6 discussion for teachers on “Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art” by Stephen Nachmanovitch and will be led by the author The event takes place from 4:30-7:30 p.m. at the downtown Branch of the Ann Arbor District Library in the multi-purpose room, 343 S. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor.
The series encourages educators to expand and build upon ideas within the UMS season of events using relevant works of literature. In these facilitated sessions, teachers learn strategies for leading classroom book discussions. Registration is required. Call the University Musical Society at 734-615-0122 or e-mail email@example.com. Details: 734-327-4555.
Michigan author to teach writing seminar nonprofit
826michigan, a local writing and tutoring nonprofit, hosts author Adam Schuitema in a writing seminar for adults. Proceeds from the series benefit the nonprofit’s free literacy programming for students ages 6-18, which serve Ann Arbor students and those from the surrounding areas.
The workshiop “Beyond ‘Show, Don’t Tell’: The Visual Aspects of Good Fiction” is part of 826michigan’s “How To Write Like I Do” program, a series of workshops for adults taught by professional writers. Schuitema and workshop attendees will discuss what writers can learn from visual arts such as photography and film in order to enhance everything from a story’s settings to its characters to its development of scenes.
The event is Saturday, Dec. 4, from 1-4 p.m. at 826michigan’s downtown Ann Arbor location, Liberty Street Robot Supply and Repair. Tickets are $25. Details: (734) 761-3463 or visit www.826michigan.org/
Logan plans storytime marathon
A free storytime marathon is being planned for Logan Elementary School on Wednesday, Dec 15 at 5 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 3235 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor. Teachers and special guests will provide a storytelling experience for children of all ages. Details 734-973-1618
Staff in the Spotlight:
• Forsythe English/Language Arts teacher and Curriculum Leader Jennifer Walsh, has been appointed to the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award committee given out by the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents with the National Council of Teachers of English (ALAN). Her appointment is for two years.
• Pioneer social studies teacher and U.S. Department of Education Fellow, Tracey Van Dusen had her blog posted on the front page of the ed.gov website about the day she spent in Columbus. Entitled, “Columbus, Creativity, and Cunningham,” it can be found at: http://www.ed.gov/
• Logan Elementary School teachers Katy LaCroix, Amy Patrosh and Heather Gray were selected to have Environmental Educators from the Ecology Center teach lessons to their students regarding the importance of preserving the environment. Last year Logan earned Emerald status as a ‘Michigan Green School’ and continues to seek environmental learning opportunities for students.
Members of the Skyline High School Women’s Swimming Team have been busy this fall, volunteering time for two good causes.
Swimmers from Skyline High School read to Young 5s and kindergarten classes at Abbot Elementary School.
Team members spent their day off reading to the Young 5s and kindergarten classes at Abbot Elementary School where they were welcomed by teachers Sarah Bradley and Carol DeKeyzer and their students. The event went swimmingly: The student athletes have been invited back after the Young 5s have completed the stories they are now writing.
The second annual Skyline-Pioneer Swim-for-the Cure also took place in recent weeks. Each year the athletes spend the week prior to the swim meet learning about breast cancer and sharing their experiences with the disease.
Pioneer and Skyline swimmers mingle during a recent fundraiser. (Photo by Eva Leissou)
This year the team honored Pioneer senior Hannah Maxbauer’s mother, Jan Maxbauer, who is being treated for breast cancer.
This was submitted by Maureen Isaac, Women’s Swimming Team coach at Skyline High School.