West Teachers present at national conference
This past October, West Middle School teachers Julie Rains and Erika Lusky presented at the Project Zero Perspectives: Making, Thinking, Understanding national conference in San Francisco, CA. Julie and Erika’s session, Empowering Disenfranchised Learners: Making Thinking Verbal, included sharing Enbrighten®, their thought-provoking scaffolding toolkit. Enbrighten® is an approach designed to increase student collaborative discourse and enhance positive interactions.
Julie and Erika mentioned that it was invigorating to have discussions with passionate educators with growth mindsets from all over the world, and inspiring to be among creative thinkers, visionaries, and artistic minds.
It is with pleasure that RCS employees look forward to reading more about Enbrighten® in Ron Ritchhart’s upcoming book, Creating Cultures of Thinking: The 8 Forces We Must Master to Truly Transform Our Schools due out March 2015.
Visible Thinking Gallery Walk at Barnes & Noble
Just before Winter break, West Middle School students from Mr. Dalton’s ELA classes gave speeches and presentations modeling Learning Visible techniques at the Rochester Hills Barnes and Noble. Each of these presentations (nearly 20 different topics) all were in relation to autism. As family and friends walked around listening to the students, they filled out a Gallery Walk template, indicating what they’ve learned, enjoyed, etc. One of the greatest observations to see was that the students ran the show from creating the work, giving the speeches, promoting books and movies about autism, and giving the presentations. A percentage of the night’s proceeds were sent to Girl Power 2 Cure. Girl Power 2 Cure, Inc. is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness and funds for treatments and a cure for Rett Syndrome, a devastating neurological disorder that almost exclusively affects girls. This money will go towards Mr. D’s goal of raising $7,000 before he goes and races in the New Hampshire Ironman, in honor of these beautiful little girls. In just an hour and a half, the students raised $600 to be sent to the foundation! If you’d like to donate to this cause, please visit Mr. Dalton’s donation page found here. As always, Mr. D’s students are learning the importance of helping others in need; one of the best lessons, which can be taught. To see more pictures of the routines showcased at Barnes and Nobles, please visit Mr. Dalton's blog.