Connecting with TED
I am thrilled to share that five of our GHS students were recently invited to the TED Talks headquarters in New York City this November to participate in a special TED Ed Weekend with students from all over the world. Wait! How did that happen?
Let me explain.
First, some background: The TED-ed team (that's TED's education team) started a program three years ago inviting educators from all over the world to participate in a special program in which the TED-ed organizers would connect and support educator's innovative ideas for teaching. Educators were asked to submit an application and complete an interview. Out of over 1,000 applicants, I was selected along with 29 other teachers from the United States, Argentina, South Korea, Kenya, Poland, and the United Arab Emirates to be a part of the TED Innovative Educators program (we call ourselves the TIE fighters ;) ). Over the past couple of years, we have worked with the TED-Ed team to help build a community and a space where students' voices are heard. The TED-ed community is one that firmly believes that some of our best ideas, those that will change our world, come from our youth, and so the TIE program is about going back into our schools (Grandville, in my case) and helping give students a platform for their stories, creations, and discoveries.
Last year when my sophomores were studying revolutionary speeches in American history, we also wrote our own revolutionary speeches. What ideas do we have that will change our world? We used materials and ideas from the TED Ed Clubs to help us further develop our talks. Students had an opportunity to have their talks video recorded and shared with the TED online community, and seven of our students did. After submitting their talks, our group was invited to participate in the upcoming summit with students from all over the world who have done the exact same thing. Together, we will have an opportunity to explore how to further share our ideas and make sure that the voices of our youth are being heard.
So in November, we are headed to New York City. But, we could use your help! We need help covering the cost of our trip. Here's where you can lend a hand - our DonorsChoose project.
We would love your support!
And just like that we're off!
Our 2018-19 school year is off to a great start! We've spent our first two day getting to know one another and learning about the resources available to support your student's learning. I wanted to take a moment to share some of those resources with you.
First, you will find much of the information and handouts for our English class shared on this website - msward.org. We use this site to share out what we are working on in class. You can subscribe to this class newsletter using the link in the menu to the right of this page in order to hear more about what we are doing and what we are looking forward to this semester. You will also find our daily agenda linked to our "class links" page. At the beginning of each week, students have access to a digital and printed copy of our weekly schedule which outlines what we are working on in class that day as well as what students should be working on outside of class. This information is also posted to our Google Classroom space, which is an online portal used by students to access all our assignments, due dates, and handouts.
Parents and students and students can easily keep track of their progress in our class by signing up for email updates through our Infinite Campus portal. Additionally, both students and parents can sign up for our daily homework text message reminder.
Ms. Ward's students and their parents can sign up to receive a daily text message of our homework by clicking on the appropriate class below:
Unfortunately, I am unable to attend our upcoming Back to School Night on Wednesday, August 22nd. However, if you have any questions or would like to set up a time to meet, please do not hesitate to ask!
I'm looking forward to a wonderful semester of learning with your student!
--Ms. Jen Ward
Ms. Jen Ward
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 2017, Ms. Ward was named teacher of the month by Michigan's 86th district state representative, Thomas Albert. In March 2016, she was named a TED-Ed Innovative Educator and is also a Google Certified Innovator, National Writing Project Consultant, and a 2014 PASCD Emerging Leader. Ms. Ward taught for 13 years in a Philadelphia suburban district and returned to her home state in 2015. In 2017, she joined the Grandville High School bulldogs!