School Starts...

In Portland school started for our students this past Wednesday. At Lewis Elementary we have had a great opening week. We had a few hiccups moving our staff to Drupal, but for the most part things went smoothly. On Monday I will be doing an inservice with the staff to show them how to post their weekly Classroom Notes. These notes are a weekly look into each classroom where teachers share with the larger community classroom news and curriculum information. We will be posting these teacher updates each week to our web site and in addition will publish a compiled paper copy that will sent home each Wednesday. Hopefully by Monday evening every Lewis teacher will have posted their first news items for the year. Lewis LabAlso this school year, I am very excited to have Tony Jamesbarry working full time at Lewis. When I came to Lewis Tony was working half time as our music teacher. Last year we were able to increase his time to 4 days a week, adding technology/literacy work with 4th and 5th grade students to his duties. This year we have him full time and in addition to his music classes, instrumental band, recorder club, marimba group and tech/literacy he will be adding two technology/literacy periods a week for our 3rd grade students, and a piano lab section for our 2nd grade students. Through a grant that he wrote we were able to purchase some M-Audio 49e keyboards and piano keyboarding software. The keyboards came in this week and we will have our first piano lab sessions next week. In addition to the piano lab, the keyboards will be used by other students when Tony teaches Garageband. I'm really looking forward to watching Tony and the students in the lab this year.

We also wrote another grant to our local cable commission and were awarded funds to purchase a mobile lab of MacBooks to help us implement a digital storytelling stand with our students in grades 4 and 5. These machines should be coming in the next week or so and we are looking forward to getting them into the hands of our students and teachers.

Sketch-UpAs you might guess, Tony's schedule is pretty tight, so on Fridays I will get the opportunity to work with the 4th and 5th grade tech/literacy students. Yesterday we had an orientation session with the kids and introduced Google Sketch-Up to them. They were very excited about the program and several of our teachers have asked for an afterschool session so they can also learn about the program too. As this school year begins, I am hoping to be a bit more faithful in updating this weblog with information about what the teachers and students at Lewis are up to.

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