What an amazing month we have had in our honors tenth grade English classes, as well as in our Public Speaking, Journalism 2, and Yearbook courses. Here are just some of the highlights of this past month:
Dr. Kowal speaks with our Public Speaking class
On February 1st, University of Michigan at Flint professor Dr. Chris Kowal came to speak with our Public Speaking students about the significance of nonverbal communication. Dr. Kowal is an expert on how nonverbal communication, specifically micro-expressions, can influence the emotions of others.
Throughout his presentation, we learned about everything from how to give a proper handshake to the influence of eye contact. It was a highly interactive and highly entertaining presentation!
Reporters come to class
On February 7, our Journalism 2 class learned from MLive and Grand Rapids Press environmental reporter Garret Ellison. He shared with us how he first got into journalism and about his internship and early experiences in the newsroom. His great advice for aspiring journalists is to take whatever job is given you as it is an opportunity to learn more about the craft and connect with those in the business.
Some of our students have taken this to heart and have applied for journalism internships in our area. In fact, one of our Bulldog Beat editors-in-chief, senior Bryce Nummer, will join the Ionia Sentinel Standard staff this week!
And speaking of the Ionia Sentinel Standard, news desk director Darcy Meade joined us in class on February 10th to share her advise and learn more about our journalism program. Darcy is no stranger to IHS. We've had her in to share with our class in the past, and she has written many wonderful articles about our students. We love having her join our journalism courses.
Bringing kindness to IHS
Public Speaking students read to Rather students
Kicking off March Book Madness
During February, we collected over 150 book recommendations from our students and staff. Now, during the month of March, students and staff are invited to vote for their favorite books, helping us narrow down books to the elite eight, and then to the final four. Then, during the last week of March the showdown between the top two books begins.
And the best part, students can win signed copies of books by voting! Each time that you participate in a daily vote, you are entered to win a signed copy of a book. We have signed books from so many different authors to give away!
Each day the challenge will go live at 7:30 am and close at 2:30 pm. We'll email the winning voters each day at 2:30 and tweet out the daily winning book.
The books change each day. So follow along on social media using #IoniaReads or check out our display by room 204!
And there's more...
We've used Twitter to connect with authors and the founder of StoryCorps this week, 10th grade students are working on amazing multi-genre literature projects. There just isn't enough space to share all the awesome things that are happening in room 204 recently.
If you want a closer peek into our classroom, be sure to follow us on Twitter at @wardsworldihs. We'd love to hear from you1
This week we not only welcome a few new students to our 10th grade honors English class at the start of our new semester, but we also welcome Ms. Lohr, our student teacher this semester. Ms. Lohr comes to us from Grand Valley State University, where she is majoring in English, Education, and German with an Applied Linguistics minor. She has worked with students in a variety of settings. She has helped tutor high school students in E2020, a credit recovery program in English, math, and history. She also spent last semester teacher assisting in an eighth-grade classroom in Kentwood, Michigan. Previously, she was a mentor to sixth grade students at the Grand Rapids Museum School in downtown Grand Rapids.
Uh oh! Another snow...ice day. Remember, in addition to your objective reading exam for our English 10 honors course, you also need to turn in a self-assessment of your online writing portfolio. In case you need some help assessing your online writing portfolio, the tutorial video below walks you through how to copy the rubric and grade your writing pieces.
It's research week for us, and we've been getting hands on with our research! On Wednesday, our tenth graders used a Google Hangout to learn from Ms. Ondrea Spychalski, the Water Projects Coordinator at the West Michigan Environmental Action Council. Then on Thursday, we used a Hangout to learn from Ms. Emma Marris (check out the videos below). Students also interviewed staff and volunteers at Ionia's animal shelter on Thursday as they volunteered their time. On Friday, we have a crew of students cleaning the vacant lot in town across from our McDonalds, teaching Rather Elementary students about trees and bees, and we have a group canvasing local businesses about their recycling habits. We are learning hands-on!
In the upcoming week, we are pulling together all of our readings in order to think through how we have impacted our local ecosystem and what we might do to address an environmental issue in our area. Students in our class have already started to research and connect with local experts on conservation, local bat populations, the decline of honey bees, our deer population, recycling, and so much more. During the first full week of December, students in our class will be interviewing experts and planning ways to address these issues.
In fact, on Thursday, December 8th, our tenth grade students will be virtually connecting with Emma Marris (whose recent TED Talk is above) to ask her questions about her experiences researching ecosystems and the environment. We'll be recording our conversation, so be sure to check back next week to see how our conversation went!
An interest in helping young people discover and define their writing voice and reading interests drives Ms. Jennifer Ward to cultivate a student-centered learning environment, one that supports individual learning goals and incorporates purposeful use of technology. In March 2016, she was named a TED-Ed Innovative Educator and is also a Google Certified Innovator, National Writing Project Fellow, and a 2014 PASCD Emerging Leader. She is active in NCTE, the Flipped Learning Network, and an organizer with Edcamp. Jen taught for 13 years in a Philadelphia suburban district and returned to her home state to teach high school English at Ionia High School in 2015.