Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Education Beyond the Walls of the Classroom!

I am so excited about what is happening here at Curtis Elementary!  At Curtis we are all about creating a positive learning experience for all:  students, parents, teachers, staff, and the community! 

We are embarking upon a new journey after school at Curtis!  Students have the option of joining a variety of clubs after school three days a week.  It is all about impacting students' lives in a safe environment.  

On Tuesdays, students gather in chorus in the Music Club.  Mrs. Johnson, our music teacher, Kristi O'Keefe, our Creation class teacher, and Chastity Puckett, the STAR mentor coordinator have teamed up to provide an opportunity for our students to express them through music.  Students will work to perform vocally and instrumentally.  They will be planning to perform at various events throughout the school year. 

The Bouncing Roos are in the house!  The Curtis nurse, Kayce Camp, Judy Tidwell, the Curtis Secretary, Shanna Garner, the Curtis Attendance clerk, Lindsay Fuller, counselor,  Marie Hernandez the Assistant Principal, and I will be teaming up to help some of our students to enhance their basketball skills.  This is a performance group that will improve fundamentals and ball handling skills.  Students will perform at a couple of Weatherford High School basketball games as well as Weatherford College Coyote games!  

Curtis Elementary is also really trying to encourage positive behaviors with our students.  The Kindness Club will meet on Wednesdays after school.  Students will partner with Lindsay Fuller, the Curtis Counselor, to look for ways to promote positive relationships and eliminate Bullying!

One of the many opportunities our students have 
at Curtis is the Maker's Club on Thursdays.   Students partner with one of our parents, Dr. Keith Emmert, a professor at Tarleton State University.  He is going to work with students in the Maker's Club and help them to create model cars on our new 3D printer.  The students will use math to help predict and increase distance and speed of these cars.  

Creating opportunities for students to pursue their passion is important.  We hope that providing after school programs like these will be the beginning of greater things to come!  Because of all of these after school experiences, Curtis is the World-Class school of choice!  2015-2016 is sure to be the best year ever!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Finest Hour

Wow!  We are off to an awesome start of the school year at Curtis Elementary!  Classrooms are looking better than ever with innovative, collaborative spaces.   This new classroom design allows students and teachers to create, innovate, and collaborate! 

One way that we try to do school differently at Curtis is through Genius Hour.  Teachers encourage creativity and innovation during this time each week.  This simple idea came from Google.  Google allowed employees to spend 20% of their time at work on their passions.  Around 50% of Google's projects originated from  this creative time.  At Curtis, Genius Hour is all about student voice and choice!  Students are encouraged to research, discover, and learn about their passions. Teachers facilitate by devoting a set amount of time each week for students to work on their passions. 

 During the first week of school, many students participated in the cardboard challenge.  During their Genius Hour time, students created useful items with cardboard boxes.  It was thrilling to see the innovative ways ours students could use a cardboard box.  Teaching students to think is an important part education at Curtis Elementary.  Thinking is taught through creativity allowing students to dare to be innovative.  It is all about the journey of learning.  Genius Hour is a great way for teachers to tap into students' passions and to learn beyond the walls of the classroom.