Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Advanced Biology class busy with dissections

Julianne and Michael dissect a turtle.
(Submitted by CHS Junior, Jadyn McCartney)

Throughout the semester, Mr.Bradley's Advanced Biology class has had the opportunity to dissect different animals as students begin to learn about the evolution of the kingdom Animalia. Dissection allows students to compare the evolutionary changes from the earliest developed animals to the latest. Students learn about the differences in bone structure, heart, habitat, diet, and many other things. Dissecting is an easy way to see these differences, and put them into perspective.
The students have dissected a turtle, a frog, and a crayfish, and plan on dissecting a few others. The class dissects different animals about every two weeks, depending on the classes progress.
Michael and Dustin focus on details during dissection.
In the most recent dissection of the turtle, students were able to see how protective the shell of a turtle is, the difference in the lung of the turtle and humans, the sharp claws of this creatures, the beak they use, and many other distinguishing characteristics. It is hard for many people to visualize all of the anatomy that goes into each class of animals, so this is an easy way for the students to see the body structures. Many differences we see among the diversity of animals is their differences in hands or claws, lungs, teeth, and digestive systems. In addition the view of the inside of these animals is awesome.
Mr. Bradley is the one teacher in the high school that uses animals to dissect. The anatomy and physiology class also gets the opportunity to dissect a baby pig. They study the human body, and the pigs allow them to see certain things about the anatomy of the pig.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Chadron FFA Qualifies Three For State!

Chadron FFA members recently competed in the first FFA competition of the year held at Chadron State College. This competition is meant to showcase students abilities in the areas of public speaking, demonstrations and Interviews. The LSE competition had approximately 240 participants from 16 different schools, having 20 students from Chadron FFA participating.  Three of the Chadron High School students qualified for state by placing in the top two of their contests.  

Kane, Murphy and Hunter
In Jr. Public speaking, Katie Lewin earned a red ribbon, and Madison Cogdill earned a blue. Cooperative speaking, Renee Redfern earned a red ribbon. The Agricultural Demonstration teams, Team A composed of Sean O’Brien, Michael Collins,  Clay Madsen, and Dadrianna Serres, demonstrating GPS programing for farming earned a  red ribbon. While the Ag Demo. Team B composed of Beau Jersild,Cody Madsen, and Drew Jersild, demonstrating animal I.D techniques earned a blue ribbon. In Extemporaneous Speaking, Harlie Kennel and MiaKayla Koerber earn a red ribbon each. Murphy Churchill received first place in job interview, and qualified for the State FFA Convention in the spring. Kane Wellnitz received second place in senior public speaking and also qualified for state.  Our third and final state qualifier of this competition, Hunter Hawk received second in junior public speaking. 

The Chadron FFA chapter kicked off the year with a great start, sending three Chadron students to state. Our next FFA competition will be held at WNCC on January 8th. It will include Welding, Ag Sales, Floriculture, and Livestock Management.

Personal Finance Brings Personal Success!

(Submitted by Brenda Budler, Business and FCA Instructor at Chadron High School)

Chadron Personal Finance Teams place 4th and 20th out of 344 teams statewide!

You can't read the news without seeing why a fundamental understanding of economics and finance is so important to the future of our youth and our country. The Nebraska Economic Council puts out a Finance Challenge online each fall semester to support their mission by creating a fun incentive for students to take ownership of their education, their choices and their future.

Congratulations to the Chadron 1 Personal Finance Team of Jadyn McCartney, Greta Welch and Kiya Passero. They placed 4th out of 344 teams in the state of Nebraska.

The Chadron 3 team made up of Andrew Smith, Kyla Parish, Chandler Hageman and Kyle Baumann placed 20th out of 344 teams. Great representation of western Nebraska with these student winners!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Greatest Generation of Educators!

(The following information was shared by CPS Superintendent, Dr. Caroline Winchester with staff this week.)

Dr. Richard DuFour recently published his new book entitled "In Praise of American Educators”.  In recognition of American Education Week I think it is fitting to pass along a few excerpts. 

“No generation of American educators has ever accomplished what our teachers and administrators are achieving today.”  And I want to add this includes all of the support staff from bus drivers to custodians to para educators to office personnel—everyone.  He goes on to say,  consider the evidence:

  • Graduation rates for the high school class of 2012 exceeded 80 percent for the first time in our Nation’s history.  Remember American Education Week was started to garner public support for the need for more education for the World War I veterans.  Twenty-five percent were reported illiterate.
  • The improved graduation rate for Latino students was twice the national average and gains for African American students exceeded the national average.
  • More students are succeeding in a more rigorous curriculum.  More students earned honor grades in 2013 than attempted AP exams in 2003. Since 2004 the number of students participating in AP programs has nearly doubled and the number of low-income students participating has more than quadrupled.
  • Test scores are steadily improving.  NAEP data show test scores in reading and math have improved for almost every group of students over the past two decades.
  • Since 2009 the Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll indicate Americans most familiar with public schools love them.  Three of every four assign their local school a grade of A or B.
  • American teachers receive high marks from their students.  From a 2013 poll of students 83% or more said they get along with their teachers, most teachers are interested in their well-being, most teachers listen to what I have to say, if I need extra help I will receive it and most teachers treat me fairly.

DuFour lists many more examples.  He goes on to say “Never have American’s educators accomplished so much for so many in the face of so many obstacles…..”

Thank you so very much for everything you do for the children of Chadron Public Schools and for the future of our Nation.  You are the “Greatest Generation of American Educators”.
   ~ Dr. Caroline Winchester, Superintendent of Schools

Monday, November 16, 2015

Flipping the College Decision Making Paradigm

This article was written by Dr. Diane Hollmes Blg Series Higher Ed and Post Secondary Learning and shared by our Cardinal Counseling newsletter recently.  As an educator, I see this mistake often!

Ask any adult, regardless of their education level, to recount how they approached the three choices:

  • Major
  • College
  • Career
Ask them to describe, in order, which they chose first, second and finally last!

They will probably tell you that the first thing they chose was the college they wanted to attend. They might have picked a parent's alma mater, a fun school, the one as far away from their parents as possible, or the one by the ociean or in a big city. After choosing a college, most settle next on a major, but usually not until they have attended for a couple of semesters. That choice is too often driven by what they were interested in at that time, the requirement by the college that it was 'time' to choose in order to begin division classes, or maybe even coaxed by a best friend to 'major together.'

Finally, somewhere near or even after graduation, if they made it that far, they picked their career, and embarked onto the job market, expecting to get hired. In today's economy that is a rude awakening for students and parents alike. Today, 8.5% of college graduates are unemployed and 16.8% are underemployed one year after graduation, according to The Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C.

Your final question, particularly if your intervewee has been out of school for many decades: "Do you think graduating high school students today make the same choices in the same order?" The answer is a resounding yes.

Then ask them, as self-aware, mature adults today, what the selection order should have been. The answer is shocking in its simplicity and it only takes moments for the person questioned to come up with the answer. Career first, major second, and college third. The order makes sense. Your career dictates what maojor to pursue, which in turn defines which colleges are appropriate. It is an ah-ha moment for most. Now they get it, but for many it's too late.

The problem isn't that students are not going to college; the problem is that they are not finishing. They are not finishing often because they find out the don't like their major or don't see the point of further educatoin, they lose interst, and then decide to 'figure it out later.' President Obama set a goal of the U.S. having the highest percentage of college graduates in the world by 2020. How do we get there? Start career planning earlier.

Career planning connot start in the junior year of college. The research is clear: Students who enter college with an informed declared major are far more likely to graduate (by double), than those who wander through the maze of educational choices.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Second Grade and Sophomores Work on Children's Stories

Creating Children’s Stories: A Group Effort
 Written by: Mrs. Lanphear & Alexis Olsen

For the past ten days, Mrs. Uhing’s second grade reading group and Mrs. Lanphear’s English 2 class have been working together to write children’s books. Working in both classrooms, one high school student was paired with one, (or two) elementary students. Groups worked together to develop original content on: character, setting, and plot.

Using the website, Storybird, students have worked hard to write beautifully illustrated online books. Storybird encourages “artful storytelling” and invites readers and writers to “discover an endless library of free books.” They also offer “simple tools to create books.” Students used both resources and agree that the website is inspiring.

The first thing groups did when beginning to write their books was to discuss character. They had to develop a protagonist and an antagonist. Characteristics were revealed through actions, interactions, physical traits, and dialogue.

Second, students worked to include all of the essential parts of plot. For elementary students, this meant making sure the storyline had a beginning, middle, and an end. High school students had to be sure the story included exposition, figurative language, conflict, climax, falling action, and a resolution.

Third, and arguably most challenging, was choosing illustrations that made the story come to life. It was hard for the students to find an artist with multiple pictures that fit the story. Not only did students practice their reading and writing skills, they had to learn a lesson on compromise.

Finally, after matching the pictures to the story, they began editing their stories to make them perfect.

In addition to working together, the experience of visiting another building was exciting for everyone.

Some days walking to the other building was cold and windy, but both the high schoolers and the elementary students enjoyed seeing each other and experiencing the other student’s school.

In the end, the high schoolers thought the experience of working with the second graders was great. All of the second graders have vivid imaginations, so it was easy to make up the stories together.

A celebration, including book presentations and author interviews, is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday in Mrs. Uhing’s classroom. Students are looking forward to reading their finished books to children and adults!