Chess, Valentines and science
Published: Friday, February 21, 2014 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 11:11 a.m.
Check Mate! Country schoolhouse Lincoln Elementary School students are enjoying learning the strategic lessons of chess in school. Principal Sandy Doyle shared how much her students are engaged in mastering the centuries-old game through a program presented by Marc Hayman. As noted on schoolchess.org, chess is a teaching tool that stimulates children’s minds and helps them build those skills while enjoying themselves. As a result, children become critical thinkers, better problem solvers and more independent decision makers.
Petaluma Arts Center has announced an exhibit of work by local K-12 students. The call for art for this show from the center offers students an opportunity to show their art in a professional setting and be recognized in the community for their creative achievements as part of the “Art Shapes the World: 2014 - A Youth Arts Exhibition.” Petaluma Art Center also offers local teachers many opportunities to bring their students to the colorful studio to learn about all types of art forms. For more information on deadlines for entries and show dates visitpetalumaartscenter.org.
Science lessons at Kenilworth Junior High School are getting sweeter all the time. Seventh-graders replicated DNA twisted ladder-like structures in Jessica Dudley’s class last week. The young scientists used some unusual items to build their models. They were created out of Red Vines, toothpicks and marshmallows. The lesson made for a quite the hands-on learning experience.
Penngrove’s Panthers shared the love on Valentine’s Day. Last week, love was in the air at the north-end-of-town elementary school when Adriene Rochelle’s third and fourth graders showed off their handmade Valentine bags for fellow students. Also happening on the Penngrove campus in recent days were students working hard to complete districtwide writing sample submissions, staff members dancing and singing on stage during a festive morning assembly, teachers discussing new ideas such as Class Dojo & Genius Hour, and special “community helpers” making guest appearances to kindergarten students. It was a busy week of smiles, laughs and academics for all the Panthers.
To celebrate the 100th Day of School, the kindergarten class of St. Vincent de Paul Elementary School made 100 Valentines for Petaluma People Services’ Meals on Wheels Program. According to school staff member Kristi Kavanaugh, the students celebrated Valentine’s Day sharing the virtue of friendship through this service project. Their wish was their Valentines would let local senior citizens know how special they are to all the community.
Teachers love to learn. Earlier this month, teachers from all Petaluma City elementary schools gathered at McKinley School to continue work on Common Core math shifts. Josh Deis from the Sonoma County Office of Education shared strategies and explored “Mindset” by Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck. The book presents growth and fixed mindsets, shared attendee Catina Haugen from Grant School. “In a nutshell, a growth mindset sees the possibilities in problems, engages in learning and welcomes a challenge. Whereas a fixed mindset sees abilities as innate, unchangeable and learning presents challenges that are difficult or impossible to overcome,” observed Haugen. The group was challenged to consider how to approach teaching mathematics and how to speak with children about challenges and problem solving. Focusing on how teachers can move students into a frame of mind that gets them excited by a “hard problem” and show the perseverance and flexible thinking required to be a successful mathematical thinker was exciting. The information shared will be applied to preparing Petaluma students for Common Core learning.
Spotted in the recent issue of the The Trojan Tribune, Petaluma High School’s student composed school newspaper, was the news of business and leadership teacher Kerry Lowell being nominated as the school’s representative for consideration as Teacher of the Year for Sonoma County. Congratulations on the honor, Ms. Lowell — you are a winner to us for receiving this nomination from your peers.
There is an important Petaluma City Schools board meeting next Tuesday night at 6 p.m. The school board will be discussing the possiblity of putting a facilities bond measure on the June ballot. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the board room of the district office at 200 Douglas St.
(Maureen Highland is a Petaluma mother and development manager for the Petaluma Educational Foundation.
She can be reached at email@example.com)
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