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Fun With Science For HC Science Olympiads

Honey Creek elementary students, from grades 2 – 5, have taken part in The Washtenaw Elementary Science Olympiad (WESO) since 2011. WESO is the largest Science Olympiad in the country with over 30 schools competing. Our Honey Creek team philosophy is to have fun with the science. This experience not only teachers our students to learn more about their event’s focus, but they also learn the essentials of teamwork and the value of working together to find a solution. In 2014, Honey Creek’s school team was made up of 15 students comprising 11 teams. Of those teams, 2 medaled and 9 received ribbons. We are very proud of our Honey Creek Science Olympians. To learn more about WESO please visit: http://www.aaps.k12.mi.us/wesowizards.home/about.

Detroit Free Press Recognizes Honey Creek

The Detroit Free Press recognized Honey Creek as an innovative charter school with excellent academic outcomes. In June 2014, the Free Press published the results of an exhaustive investigation of charter schools in Michigan. The Free Press found many things to criticize about other charter schools, but singled out Honey Creek Community School as an example of how to do things right saying in part, “Honey Creek, the first charter school in Washtenaw County and among the first to open in Michigan, fits what some early visionaries wanted: a place where teachers would develop different approaches to education. …The students perform well academically. The school is ranked at the 85th percentile on the Michigan Department of Education’s top-to-bottom listing of all schools in the state, and students score well above their peers statewide in every subject on the Michigan Educational Assessment Program exam.”

Read the Free Press article.

School Board update for December, 2011

The Honey Creek Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, Wednesday November 16, 2011

Tammy Hall, the School Board teacher liaison, provided an abridged version of the information that she, Mary Bassett and Salli Kropp presented at the MASB conference in October. The presentation, which focused on the thematic based learning curriculum at Honey Creek, was very well received.

The Board unanimously approved the Governance Committee’s recommendation of Will Hathaway to the Board. His term will run thru the 2011-2012 school year. Thank you, Will, for your continued dedication to the school.

The Outreach Committee reported that the work on the schools new website is progressing well with the goal of launching the site in January.

The Fund Development Committee is actively working on obtaining a separate 501(c) status with the goal to have the new organizations mission, articles of incorporation and bylaws ready to present to the Board and PTO in December.

The Board also unanimously supported the administration with regards to the opposition to Senate Bill 137 School Bullying Policy. The bill contained language which did NOT prohibit conduct based on “a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction of a school employee, school volunteer, pupil or a pupil’s parent or guardian”. As written, the bill can be construed as permitting bullying if the student falls under this exception. Al will send a letter to the appropriate governmental parties regarding Honey Creek’s opposition.

The Board will meet next on December 14, 2011 at 5:30 pm in the Pit. Respectfully,

Kelly Krawcke, Secretary

Academic Service-Learning update for December, 2011

Winter Greetings! Our Food Gatherers drive is well underway. Thank you to all those who have helped fill our bins already. We will continue collecting until December 16 so keep it coming! Our first AS-L assembly was a success. Students were excited to talk about AS-L projects and some began planning how to do more right away! Remind students to fill out their logs to keep track of time spent on service or AS-L projects. I am still gathering class goals and will have the school goal by the next newsletter. Look for a tracking poster on the AS-L bulletin board as soon as I have everyone’s numbers.

I am always amazed and impressed by the generosity and willingness to serve in this community! It is a huge tribute to parents and families that our students are continuing this trend. One example is a group of 4/5 students who have demonstrated a desire to help other children. Anya Helzer and Adeline Griffith identified a school in Africa and gathered information to see how they can help students who have limited resources. Below is a letter composed by them asking for your help. Unfortunately, there is a time crunch with the school in Africa that necessitates holding this drive at the same time as Food Gatherers. Regardless, their enthusiasm continues and they are hopeful they will still receive enough materials to send a substantial package to this school. Read their letter below to see how you can help.

Thank you for all you do, and, as always, let me know if I can assist you in any way!



Dear Honey Creek Community, Our names are Anya and Adeline. We are doing an AS-L project. This project is helping Anya’s aunt’s school in Tanzania. We are doing a drive to collect books, puzzles, plastic animals, dry tempra paint (we can’t mail liquids) and water colors. Used or “like new” items are acceptable. They would prefer board books but not cartoon characters or Disney books. We are also in need of financial donations for shipping if you would like to contribute that way.

These children are four years old and speak Swahili. They haven’t learned to speak English yet, so the simpler the book, the better. The only materials the school has currently are small and big rocks, sticks, a blackboard, chalk, paper, pencils, bottle caps and ten books. They have one large room, half the room is carpeted and the other half is not. Maybe you can help! The goal is to make this a pre-school, ready to open in January. This will get students ready to go to the primary school that is planned to join the already established Ruaha Secondary School. These schools are located near the city of Iringa. Because the pre- school is planning to open in January we are in a hurry! We will have collection boxes out until December 16 so that we can mail the materials before winter break. Thank you for anything you can offer!

Anya and Adeline

Technology update for December, 2011

The 2/3 students were extremely excited to be the first class to use the iPad cart! All students had a chance to use the iPads and explore this exciting new piece of technology. We then continued working on a few new computer applications. Students used the Graph Club program to create a graph of something that interested them, then used Pages to write about what was in their graph. Using Google Images, they were able to add images to their informational text.

The 4/5 technology classes are finishing their Scratch projects. Scratch is used to design and create their own interactive stories, games and animations. This week is our final week to work on Scratch projects, and students will show their projects at the Curriculum Celebration.

The Middle School technology classes have now finished the revised versions of their “What is Technology?” videos. These videos examined the 3 aspects of technology (process, knowledge, artifact) and described them in the students’ own words. Most students have finished uploading their videos and are submitting them for review via the school’s file server. They will be receiving feedback using the Moodle online class management system. The Middle School classes were also introduced to the iPad cart! Students have been alternately using the iPads and laptops, learning about the strengths of each one and gaining a better understanding of when to choose one over the other as a learning tool. I also did instruction on moving files between home and school as related to the Middle School Independent Project.

The Middle School technology elective, Programming with Processing, is coming along nicely, as students are continuing to work on their own programs that generate visual images. Students have been working with color, using control structures such as loops, and learning advanced functions in the Processing environment. Each assignment is posted to the class Moodle site, which allows students to work at their own pace while receiving feedback and comments about their work.

Art update for December, 2011

Art classes have been working on some wonderful projects since last month, and we have been able to get some wonderful new supplies to use thanks in part to our Artsonia website, and all of the friends and family who have helped us out! Please visit our website to see all of the wonderful projects that our students have been busy creating, at www.artsonia.com/HoneyCreekCommunity1.

K/1 classes learned how to draw people’s faces in a prior project using simple lines and shapes, and now they are learning how to draw an animal face (a lion, specifically), using the same basic principles of lines and shapes in different ways.

2/3 classes are learning about the painting ‘Beech Forest I’ by Gustav Klimt, and are creating a forest of their own using texture and warm and cool colors.

4/5 classes are learning about the work of Hungarian artist Victor Vaserely and his optical illusions, and creating one of their own. This is a project which incorporates a lot of math into art and produces amazing results!

Middle School is continuing with their Japanese art unit and they are currently working on making printing plates to print on fabric with, and using aluminum to learn how to tool a mask, similar to the masks used in Japanese Noh theatre.

Middle School Elective students are currently working on a large project, which includes researching an artist, and creating a piece of work based on the artist’s work. This includes learning about brushstrokes, color theory, and gridding and enlarging a painting.

Music update for December, 2011

Please join us on Thursday, December 15th as Honey Creek Community School Presents, “Flakes! A Musical Celebration of Snow, Slush and Snirt! Get ready to shiver, shimmy and shake! The North wind is starting to blow and temperatures are dropping to ten below..zero, that is! A big blizzard is on the way as a cool bunch of jazzy, finger-snappin’ snowflakes take center stage. What a glistening sight. Uh Oh! Here comes the snowplow! Join the fun as the Flakes and the Snirts help the Littlest Snowflake see how no two flakes are alike and we are all special in our own way. Show time begins at 3:30 in the gymnasium. Band 1 and 2 and choir will perform first followed by the K-5 program. If your student is in band or choir please remember to have them wear white shirts and black pants. If your student is in K-5 have them dress nicely for the concert. Some parents choose to send good clothes with their student to change into for the concert. I look forward to seeing you all at the Winter Performance.

Physical Education update for December, 2011

We just finished a pickleball unit with the upper grades and locomotor skills unit with the lower grades. In December, the upper grades will be learning a game called “rookie rugby”. This game allows students to learn and participate in the game of rugby without player to player contact. You can look up more info at www.rookierugby.com. The lower grade levels will be playing games that focus on movement concepts (space awareness, effort and relationships).

In swimming the upper grades learned a new game called Steal the Bacon and have been focusing on their breast stroke. They will continue to do so throughout December, in addition to their front and back stroke and elementary back stroke. The younger grade levels worked on surface diving and added in the frog kick. They are also continuing to show improvement in all strokes and are becoming stronger swimmers throughout the course of the year.

If you have any swimsuits to donate (specifically female suits) or towels, we are in need. Please drop them by my office at any time. Thanks!

MS Math update for December, 2011

I just love this time of year… Algebra is kicking into full gear and they have become such motivated, independent learners. Not that I don’t hear the moans about homework, but I can tell they love the challenge. We are currently finishing work on solving and graphing inequalities and compound inequalities. Next, we will explore Functions.

Course 3 is finishing up a project with scale factors where they chose an object or living being to dilate; either enlarging it or reducing it. Next, we will be working with graphing, interpreting graphs and tables, and taking a look at sequences, especially arithmetic sequences.

In Course 2 we are completing a unit covering rational numbers… you know decimals and fractions (but not positive and negative numbers yet). We have covered all four operations involving decimals and fractions.

Course 1 is laying the foundation for working with fractions, understanding divisibility rules, prime factors, and greatest common factors, so that we can move into understanding fractions and eventually operations with fractions.

MS Language Arts update for December, 2011

After weeks of revising and refining, everyone was able to post their final copies of their poems to their electronic portfolio sites, hosted by google sites, through their school google accounts. Now that we have finished our genre study on poetry, we will start writing memoir and reading books written about Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge. Once again, the support of the community has made it possible for us to purchase new books to read, saving us hundreds of dollars, as well as supporting Nicola’s Bookstore.

Thanks to all of the parents who offered to buy their children a copy of the book to read, and a special thanks to parents who purchased extra copies to donate to the school! The topics that we study and literature that we read are limitless thanks to your support.

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