Archive | January, 2012

Academic Service-Learning update for January, 2012

This is a time of year when many people are feeling thankful for what they have and looking for ways to share their time, talents and material belongings with others. So many great deeds go unseen at Honey Creek, but I want to bring attention to the fact that, though many in our community are quiet helpers, we have an inordinate amount of generous souls. Many thanks to all who made donations this month! Between Food Gatherers, a drive to help a school in Tanzania and the time and effort that went into both the winter performance and craft sale, the collaborative effort of our community is astounding. Especially at this time, it is beyond impressive that our small community is able to do so much!

Honey Creek hosted a blood drive on January 10th, 2012. The hours were 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and the WISD is kindly allowing us to use their seminar rooms 1 & 2 for a comfortable location! Honey Creek students greeted donors and helped with recovery, food and juice. We went way past our goal last year so they upped our target this year (to 60 participants!). It would be great to see them need to increase the target again next year. I would like to send out a BIG thank you to all family, friends, and community members who were able to come by the blood drive! Thank you, as well, to all students who volunteered their time.

Also, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is coming up January 16. We are having a school-wide assembly on Friday, January 13 to honor the work done by Martin Luther King Jr. and the many others who have worked toward creating a better world.

We have Monday off of school in honor of King’s legacy. One way we encourage our community to celebrate this day and give back is by committing themselves to some act of service on this day. This day of service is quickly approaching. Start thinking about what your family can do and how you’ll reflect on that activity. There are always many free community events at Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti libraries as well as throughout our county.

Monday, January 16, 2012 at 10:00 AM the University of Michigan Detroit Center will be hosting events in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Thank you sincerely for all you do to foster our culture of service at Honey Creek.

Technology update for January, 2012

The 2/3 technology classes have been working on a project called “The Engineer’s Notebook”, combining design and building with using the iPads. In this project, students have been working on designing a simple idea using DoodleBuddy (an iPad app), then gathering the pieces for their project (either Lego or K’Nex), and documenting their building process using the iPad’s camera. Once the building process is complete, they are creating a notebook documenting their experience using Pages on the iPad. This has been a great project and I’m excited to show this work during January’s Curriculum Celebration.

After finishing work on their Scratch projects, the 4/5 technology classes were introduced to our newest technology asset, the iPad cart! We’ve had several sessions for students to learn how to use various apps, including iMovie on the iPad (which is a great tool for quickly putting together a video with multiple clips, music, and easy
transitions between segments).

The Middle School technology classes are currently wrapping up a project called “Analyzing Technology”. In this unit, students are given the hypothetical situation that the school must replace all the computer mice in use, and are given 3 options. Students are required to research the 3 choices, and write a convincing argument for one of the 3 choices, based on 4 points of data (including cost, student preferences gathered from classmates, and other data of their choosing).

The Middle School technology elective, Programming with Processing, is wrapping up, as the semester winds to a close. Their final work for this class is to choose their 3 favorite pieces of work to assemble into a digital portfolio, which will be shown during January’s Curriculum Celebration.

Media Center update for January, 2012

We’ve been busy here, keeping up with Middle School students’ research projects, voracious readers, and cataloging new books! The collection continues to grow with items needed to support our curriculum, and with pleasure reading for students across the grade levels.

We now have six computers available for research, and they are very well used. Students are finding the Media Center’s home page helpful as they do projects; books, databases of articles and eBooks, and web site advice get them started in a one-stop-shop fashion. We continue to add web sites both to our home page and in our catalog, where they can be looked up by subject, just like books.

Since we have more students eager to work on research projects and homework during recess, we have slightly changed our procedure for that time. Students who intend to read or do work are asked to get a pass in the morning from their base class teacher. Passes are given to Marion when they come in. Our talkers and hangers-out now have their space in the cafeteria, where noise and distraction don’t matter.

Please remember that the Media Center is grateful for donations of books. We keep a wish-list on Amazon.com for those items we could especially use for curriculum support. To make finding this list easy, we’ve included a link on the Media Center’s home page to it, found near the bottom of the page.

Thanks to everyone who supports the Honey Creek Media Center! We appreciate you! Here’s to a happy New Year! -Marion

Music update for January, 2012

Thank you to everyone who came to our Winter Performance. The students did a fantastic job and had a lot of fun performing for everyone. In the music classes we will now move on from our concert music and begin new units. The K-1 students will be learning how to read music and recognize simple rhythms. 2-3 and 4-5 classes will be learning to play recorders. Band students are going to be studying our lesson books and learning new notes so we can play more challenging music. Choir has many new songs, so they will be working on how to sing as a group.

Art update for January, 2012

K/1 classes are beginning the New Year by learning about the work of Keith Haring and focusing on his dogs. They are learning how with simple shapes and lines, we can “build” a picture.

2/3 classes are learning more about abstract and organic designs and focusing on the design concept of rhythm.

4/5 classes are beginning a project which combines art and music together. Students are learning about drawing musical instruments and will make a collage with their drawings.

Middle School students are working on their printmaking project and will be printing designs on fabric in the next couple of weeks.

Thank you again to all of the parents, friends, and family members who have visited the artsonia website over break and left comments and made gift purchases. I know everyone is as proud of our students’ artwork in the first half of this school year as I am!

Physical Education update for January, 2012

I hope everyone had a wonderful break! 2012 is a new year and now is the time to get motivated to live healthy! We will continue to work with that in mind during PE/Swim, where we are learning how to stay healthy for a lifetime.

Honey Creek swimmers have been doing a phenomenal job in the pool, working very hard and becoming very strong! Upcoming, in January, swimmers will be focusing on the side stroke in addition to all other strokes they have been working on this year.

PE has been fun this month, with the older classes learning a new game called Rookie Rugby, and the younger classes focusing on movement concepts. In January, younger grades will focus on manipulative skills while older grades focus on creating their own movement sequences in small groups.

Please come check out a fabulous slide show at the Curriculum Celebration on January 13th. There are many pictures of what your child has been up to in PE and Swim classes.

MS Math update for January, 2012

We return to school with most of the projects completed and ready for Curriculum Celebration on Friday, January 13! Good work, kids. A new semester begins this month with an even more productive pace anticipated.

In Course 1 we will continue our work with fractions, this time reviewing, learning, and mastering the four operations (adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing) with fractions and mixed numbers.

Course 2 will be getting an introduction into functions, as well as exploring patterns as they relate to functions.

In Course 3 we are trying out a new project… and math video. The kids will be asked to choose a problem and film a creative video of it’s solution. Which reminds me… I may be asking for a volunteer judge or two.

In Algebra we are really getting deep into linear functions; learning all the “forms,” you remember Ax + By = C; y = mx + b; y – y₁ = m(x – x₁); etc.

Isn’t math great!?

MS Language Arts update for January, 2012

Through the month of December, we held our first literature circle groups both online and in person. Students were able to choose between one of two books about Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge. While many students chose to read Alive in the Killing Fields by Nawuth Keat, quite a few read The Clay Marble by Minfong Ho. Great discussions took place about overcoming adversity as well as survival and loyalty. It was a great round of discussion! Also, thanks to the generous donations from parents, we were able to reduce the cost of the books from over $1000 to just under $200. Thanks, as well, goes to Nicola’s Bookstore for providing her educator discount to the parents purchasing books for the school.

As we move into January, we are finishing up our written memoirs, and will be starting on our biography project. Each student will choose a biography to read, and students will be doing multi-genre projects based on the person they have studied. The multi-genre projects we did last year were fascinating, and I am excited to see these as well!

MS Science update for January, 2012

Weather or not, here it comes!

The middle school science classrooms are investigating the weather we are experiencing in Michigan now, as well as what happens when different fronts move by our region. In understanding the science behind it, students will become proficient weather forecasters. Soon you might see these students on a weather report for HCCS Channel 2 news!

MS Social Studies update for January, 2012

In Social Studies we have finished up our very thorough unit on Cambodia and will be putting on a simulation at the upcoming Curriculum Celebration. All are welcome to join us.

Our next project is a bit of a transitional project, which requires students to build either a rural or urban Cambodian dwelling. This fits with our theme this year, Homes and Habitats, but it also connects two units: Cambodia and Homelessness. The latter will begin in the middle of January and will involve another simulation sometime in February.

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