Monday, December 5, 2016

Next Generation Science Standard

Des Moines Public Schools has a five year plan for implementing the Next Generation Science Standards. Hanawalt Elementary is jumping in feet first this year. After many teachers went to training over the summer and grade levels started unpacking the standards last spring we felt these new standards were the vehicle we needed to move us forward with integration, STEM goals and 21st Century Learning. Knowing that students need to understand science topics and how they relate to the world and interrelate with each other.
It is important for us to develop problem solvers that are ready to take on future problems from pandemics to energy shortages. Being literate in science and mathematics will provide advantages for our students. Opening doors that would other wise be closed. Although the integration of engineering and technology is not new to elementary school, the new Science Standards support teachers by cross cutting with other content areas and supports intentional integration with engineering and technology.

Click on the following link to get information about the Next Generation Science Standards and ways you can support this learning at home.
Next Generation Science Standards


                                                      Forces In Motion
                                                         Plant Structures
                                                          Life Cycles

Monday, November 21, 2016

Celebrating Habit 3

Last Wednesday was our school wide Community Meeting and Celebration. As a community,we celebrate , but we also work to problem solve issues and concerns. Together we talked about goals to make our arrival safer and more effective.  We cleared up misinformation and confusion about Kid Striders. Being able to synergyze helps us become a stronger community.
During our celebration we enjoyed a performance of "Jellicle Cats" by Mrs.Carpenter's Kindergarten. They have been reading and discussing the poem as part of their Jr Great Book time. We enjoyed their dramatization emensly! 

Students were recognized for modeling Habit 3- Put First Things First or Work First Then Play.
This habit is hard for all of us but these students show us that setting goals and working to achieve them is a priority. They also know the balance of mind,body and spirit. We a very proud of these leaders and know they will continue to grow in their citizenship. 

We also recognized students that show kindness . They are kind to their peers, their teachers, their school and environment. Kindness is key, especially now. We applaud these students that show strong character and caring for all those around them. 
The Belma Spirit Award went to 4th grade! The 4th graders have shown Habit 2 in their efforts to get this prize. They have a plan search week to remind others about Blue Tuesday, they have set goals for their hallway behavior and show positivity throughout the day. HIp Hip Hooray for these positive school leaders.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Habit 2 Celebration

Our Habit 2 Celebration was last week. We celebrated and recognized students and classrooms that modeled Habit 2- Begin With The End in Mind. This habit's focus is on goal setting and making choices to help make that goal. Check out these student leaders featured on our entry way bulletin board. Kindergarten was the winner of the Belma Spirit Award. We appreciate how they are striving to reach their full potential, showing their spirit and school pride and wearing blue each Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

We've Got Spirit Yes We Do!

You may have heard students or teachers talk about the Belma Award. We are very proud to introduce this exciting and coveted spirit award for the 2016-2017 school year. The Belma Award is given to the grade level that" bowls us over " with their Hanawalt Spirit. Points are given for wearing blue on Tuesdays, practicing the Habits and school wide expectation throughout the school and showing leadership as they strive to reach their full potential. The Belma Spirit Award is given out at each month's Celebration. This month we will celebrate Habit 2- Begin With The End in Mind.  We will also give out the Belma Spirit Award.
Currently 1st Grade is the recipients of the Belma Award. They have been able to keep it in their rooms, carry it with pride to lunch, recess, library, art, music,  and PE and to  show the school they are the Spirit Leaders. Having and showing our Hanawalt spirit and pride is one of the things that make us a community.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Habit 1 Celebration

We had our first School Wide Habits Recognition last week. The focus was around Habit 1. The time started with a school meeting to discuss our accomplishments in our first month's goal of school wide expectations and procedures. We also discussed areas for improvement. We practiced our assembly procedures and reminded ourselves of the importance of our mission. 
Moving into the celebration part of the assembly, each teacher had the opportunity to recognize a student that models Habit 1- Be Proactive. 
Being proactive involves being in charge or your choices, having a can do attitude and carrying your own weather. It is important to empower students and give them the tools for being successful leaders. Habit 1 is the foundation for this work. 

2nd grade ,led by Ms Ihnen, performed "The More We Get Together" in both word and American Sign Language. 

1st grade was awarded the Belma Spirit Award (more about this in a later post)

We are proud of all the students for working on procedures and school wide expectation. 
Below are our students recognized for modeling Habit 1.
5th Grade
4th Grade
3rd Grade
2nd Grade
1st Grade

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

MAP Testing

Our K-5 Students will be taking an online assessment this year called MAP. Students in K-5 will take a MAP math assessments and 2-5 will take a MAP reading comprehension assessment. The MAP testing takes the place of DistrictAssessments  and SRI/SMI testing and is administered in the fall,winter and spring. 
The Measures of Academic Progress (MAP)are electronically administered achievement tests designed to measure growth in student learning for individual students. The tests provide accurate and immediate scores to help teachers plan instructionally. 
 MAP is a computerized adaptive testing system that tailors tests to a student’s achievement level. Each student takes a test that is developed for him or her as the test is being administered. The program instantly analyzes the student’s response to each test question and, based on how well the student has answered all previous questions, selects a question of appropriate difficulty to display next. The MAP assessments are aligned to the IowaCore Standards.
Each testing setting lasts from 60-75 minutes but students can have has much time as needed to complete the assessment. 
Although Measures of Academic Progress has been around for years and used in districts across the nation, MAP is new for Des Moines Public Schools. Teachers and administrators are learning how to read the data, set goals for student and our school and make instructional decisions based on this data. Scores will be shared with parents during conference season. 

Friday, September 9, 2016

FAST Assessments

Formative Assessment System for Teachers (FAST) - is a series of  assessment tools designed for universal screening, progress monitoring, and program evaluation Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) model of service delivery.  Iowa adopted the FAST literacy assessments to assist districts in the implementation of MTSS practices and in meeting the requirements of the Early Literacy Initiative as part of Iowa Code Section 279.68. 

FAST Assessments that are  currently used include: CBM Reading (Spring 1st - 3rd Oral Reading fluency) and early Reading (K-1 – Concepts of Print, Onset Sounds, Letter Names, Letter Sounds, Word Segmenting, Sight Words, Nonsense Words and Sentence Reading). The assessments are done one on one with students and teachers record data on the Iowa Tier web based system. 

The MTSS process depends on a balanced assessment system of valid and reliable universal screening and progress monitoring measures.  Students at Hanawalt participate in universal screening three times a year (fall,winter,spring). These screeners enables us to identify which students are on track to reach end of year goals  and which students may be at risk.  This practice aides us in identifying potential at-risk students as early as possible so interventions can be put in place. It also gives us data to use when identifying students that need acceleration or enrichment to meet our growth goals, as well as helping us evaluate the effectiveness of our core instruction.  The progress monitoring measures enable teachers to collect data more frequently on at-risk students in order to make decisions regarding the effectiveness of the targeted/intensive instruction.

You are welcome to contact me or your child's teacher if you would like to see examples of Fast Assessments or want to see your child's data. We are currently conducting the Fall universal screening and should have it completed by the end of next week. 

 Additional information regarding Iowa TIER and FAST, as well as Iowa Code Section 279.68 (Early Literacy Initiative), can be found on the Iowa Department of Education website.

Next Blog post: MAP assessment a new frontier! 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Learning Spaces


Many of you have noticed or will notice some changes in our classrooms at Hanawalt. One of the areas teachers are trying out is flexible seating in the classroom. In the educational world this is a hot topic. This effort aligns with our overall focus of student centered classrooms. In a world that runs on constant collaboration, creativity and problem solving our classrooms must reflect the real world decisions and opportunities we want students to navigate in the future. . As the world changes so should our classroom design.  The idea behind the movement is that classrooms design offers choice, spaces for independent, partner and group work. Research shows that students learn better when given choice. We want  students to have a say in how the classroom is designed and  how the learning happens. I've included some posts and articles about classroom design in case you want to learn more about it. The PTA has been generous in donating some items for teacher that are experimenting with their set up. I hope you will support teachers at Hanawalt that are stepping outside the norm and sometimes their comfort zone to make 21st Century Learning come alive for students.


Flexible Seating

Creating a Student Centered Classroom

Flexible Seating is just one of our steps towards Student Centered Classrooms. We are using the following rubric this year as we work to offer students the opportunity to lead in their choices for their learning. Teacher want to move across the rubric going from Teacher Centered Classrooms to Student Centered Classrooms with Rigor.

As we grow and change we are excited about the opportunities to live our Mission this school year. Ask your child about their day, what leadership opportunities did they have, what is the seating plan in their classroom, what choices did they make in their learning, how they feel they learn best? Education is not something we do to our students, it is something we do together with our students.
Kelly L. Schofield

Monday, May 9, 2016

Drake Relays

We had 6 students representing us at the Drake Relays on Friday, April 29th. Thank you Mr. Baker for organizing this amazing opportunity for students. Also thanks to the teachers who volunteered to do time trials and the parents who brought students to the event. It was my first relay but not my last . 

Super Hero Day

What a great day to celebrate putting first things first. We work hard and play hard. Students worked across the school to earn 600 shout outs. That goal was reached in time for Friday's event. 
The teachers and students spent the day having fun around a super hero theme. We all got a chance to reflect on our own super powers and realize we all have the power to make good choices and gifts that make us special. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Importance of The Arts

"A broad education in the arts helps give children a better understanding of their world…
We need students who are culturally literate as well as math and science literate."
–Paul Ostergard, Vice President, Citicorp

Friday's A Day In The Arts was a wonderful example of how important the Arts are in the development of students. I want to thank Ms Inhen, Ms Marek, Mr. and Mrs. Tempero, and the many artists and volunteers that gave their time so that we could celebrate the importance of the Arts in educating our students. It was an amazing day with an amazing message.
 I am a proponent of arts programs in the schools. I cannot imagine a school without the language of the arts, without this avenue provided to students to express themselves and  learn through art, music, dance, and theatre.  For some students art is the access point to other content areas. 
During Friday's event we witnessed students expressing their self worth through poetry, music, painting, engineering, drawing, story telling, designing and song. Our students were learning  with science, math, art, music,literacy, movement, social and emotional sciences and more. I think we can all agree that it was exciting and inspiring.  It is my hope that this excitement and inspiration will continue.  Let's continue to explore ways to bring more opportunities for arts integration.  Arts integration demands creativity, problem-solving, perseverance, collaboration and the ability to work through the rigorous demands of multiple ideas and concepts woven together to create a final product. 

“The arts are an essential element of education, just like reading, writing, and arithmetic…music, dance, painting, and theater are all keys that unlock profound human understanding and accomplishment.”
   –William Bennett, Former US Secretary of Education

A 2005 Rand Corporation report about visual arts argues that the intrinsic pleasure and excitement of the art experience do more than just enhance a student's life. The report states arts "can connect people more deeply to the world and open them to new ways of seeing". Strong arts programs and integration of the arts into the general education classroom helps close a gap that exists in many schools. Equity in the access to the arts students experience can be leveled with arts education. As our nation continues to set our sights on the math and science scores from counties like Japan, Hungary and the Netherlands it is interesting that those countries all mandate arts and music education programs.

"I believe that creativity will be the currency of the 21st century." 
– Gerald Gordon, Ph.D., President/CEO, Fairfax County (Virginia) Economic Development Authority

According to The Bloomberg Job Skills report the skills that are least common but most desired in applicants are: creative thinking, problem solving, leadership and communication.  These aren't skills that can just be added to a child's toolbox in high school or college, we have to start now in building leaders who can think of creative ways to solve problems and also use their voice to advocate and  communicate with multiple people and groups throughout the process. Almost everyone has one art form (visual art, music, dance or drama) with which they connect and use to make sense of the world. The Day In The Arts confirmed this for us as we watched students open up and connect to the art. It also reminded me of the importance of these forms of expression being available to them everyday and in every classroom. Art is a tool, a language, that we can use to communicate with each other about our learning, our feelings and our world. Let's keep the enthusiasm for the Arts going long after A Day In The Arts has ended.  

"The future belongs to young people with an education and the imagination to create."
President Barack Obama

Thank you   Heather Puri for all the great pictures!