Week 31 marked the first awesome week of the final six weeks of the 2015-2016 school year. Teachers and students continued to learn and do awesome things during this final stretch of our school year.
On Sunday, I watched a UT dance department performance, Bodies and Soul. I watched one of Manor New Tech’s alumni take the stage for the final time before he graduates from the University of Texas at Austin. I feel so lucky that I was able to watch him dance before he leaves Austin to dance all over the country and the world.
On Monday, a guest literacy coach, UT’s Sharon Laidlaw-Almaguer facilitated our PLC sessions. She taught our staff a peer feedback strategy for revising writing called Group Sharing. When students use this strategy, they take turns reading out loud their early drafts twice. During the first time, their teammates listen. During the second time, their teammates give them specific feedback on two different colored post-its that give them specific revision feedback related to a focal point.
Several classes implemented the strategy this week to good effect. The students in Mr. Adeboyejo’s Biology class used this strategy to give each other revision feedback on biology essays. On the yellow Post-Its, they wrote their teammates’ main ideas. On the purple Post-its, they wrote one thing they wanted to learn more about or one thing that didn’t go with the main idea.
In Mr. Ray’s Science Research & Design class, they used this strategy to critique different sections of their lab reports. In their procedure Group Sharing session, they wrote summaries of how their readers manipulated their independent variables on one sticky and on the other sticky, they wrote how their readers measured the dependent variables in their research studies. Providing this feedback helped students realize when they needed to improve their procedures to explain how they were manipulating and measuring their research variables.
On Tuesday, juniors in Ms. Tillson’s and Ms. Thompson’s Humanities class presented their proposals that dealt with a modern encounter, exchange or exploration. The students presenting below discussed how American sports have affected the world economy and world politics.
On Wednesday, students in Ms. Thompson’s Creative Writing class had a very engaging logistics meeting to problem solve through the challenges of planning an internationally-themed fashion show. They will put on this fashion show next Tuesday.
On Wednesday, students in Mrs. Garner’s art class completed a really cool stations activity on art concepts such as symmetry, representational art, abstract art, kinetic art, interactive art, etc. The panels below show them exploring the art concept stations and they also show samples of products on their last project on pop-up books.
On Thursday, I observed students in Mr. Chambers and Mrs. Fain-Jackson’s class analyzing the rubrics for their new project and generating Knows and Need-to-Knows. The teachers checked in with the teams in small groups to facilitate debrief discussions on their Knows and Need-to-Knows and to check-in on their early efforts to gather primary source materials for their projects. The panel below show the students discussing their Knows and Need-to-Knows and shows sample products from their last project. In that project, the students created graphic novels about the impacts of Imperialism on different regions and countries.
On Thursday, students in Mr. Rodriguez’s book finished their digital books in Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. Each book has 100+ page turns! They will present their finished books on Friday.
On Thursday, students in Ms. Castanon’s class gathered data using their pinhole cameras. They are measuring how varying the object distances between the object they are looking at and their pinholes cameras affects the heights of the images of the object inside their cameras. They are measuring, analyzing and relating these distances and heights to learn more about irrational functions. I tried one of their cameras and was able to see images focus inside of it. It was really neat!
On Friday, seniors working on their Senior Projects delivered their large book donation to Decker Elementary School. The seniors collected enough books to donate 3 books per students at DES. Here is one of the seniors celebrating the generosity of the community with DES students at a Book Party.
On Friday, students in Mr. Beckett’s and Mr. Foster’s Integrated Physics Engineering class presented popular science and engineering articles. One student presented an interesting physics sculpture that looked at sound, potential and kinetic energy, pendulums, and harmonic motion.
On Friday, students from Mr. Fishman’s electronics class and Mrs. Garner’s Art class met to plan out their Beautiful Circuits projects. They used a strategy called Creative Matrix Brainstorming to generate new ideas and delegate tasks related to the project’s design constraints.
Finally, here are a couple celebrations! We found out this week, that our school was again awarded the US New Best High Schools Bronze award. Hooray for high academic expectations at Manor New Tech!
Also Congratulations to Sarah for winning the Women’s 17A Regional Golf Championship!