Student Learning Proflies

This week in class, we identify the way we learn.  It is a profoundly important lesson to learn, yet one often overlooked.  Identifying our strengths and weaknesses is critical to helping ourselves become a better learner.  With this knowledge, students can become more involved in their learning, deciding the best ways to study based on scientific fact.

As parents and teachers we often teach what we know.  This means, simply, that we use the methods that we were taught by to teach our children.  While it is sometimes good, conflict between students and parents/teachers sometimes exists when this method doesn’t work.  Think about you and your child – does he/she study the way you did?  And if so, is it producing results?  I’m not a neuroscientist, so I don’t know if it’s genetic.  But I do know that each person learns differently.  Children and parents may learn the same way based on chance or science, but it still happens enough.  But when it DOESN’T happen, and a child isn’t learning when we (parents and teachers) have tried everything we know, frustration sets in.

This mini-unit is designed to help students (as well as parents) learn the best way they study.  In this classroom, we use a diverse number of learning styles.  Yes, I’m biased towards some (my own) as it’s what I know, but I make a concerted effort to include all learning styles to draw in all learners.  This why we do individual writing, group presentations, sing songs, build buildings, draw pictures, use maps, and read personal accounts and testimony.  They address all the learning styles that we will learn about this week.

This is the Student Learning Profile that each student will begin Monday, and complete through the week.  I invite parents to take a look at it, but also to help their students use their best methods to study.  Students should keep this in their binder throughout the year so we can check in on our progress and monitor what we’re doing right and wrong.


Favorite New Website

2 years ago in DC, we drove past one of the newest museums on the mall, the “Newseum:” a museum dedicated to newspapers – past and present – and the preservation of our First Amendment.  The building features numerous interactive exhibits of historical events, the media’s role in our culture, and a 71-foot engraving of the First Amendment on it’s exterior.  Additionally – and perhaps my favorite part – they display dozens of newspaper front pages outside the building.   ABC’s “This Week” broadcasts from here every Sunday, so perhaps you’ve seen it there.

Sadly, I’ve never been to the Newseum!  Our DC trip does not include it, and I haven’t been to DC for a personal trip in 5 years.  Instead, I get my fix from a portion of their website, one that allows you to see front pages of newspapers from around the country, both big cities and small.  Others remind me of one of my (many) past residences.  It’s very cool to see what’s going on around the country, especially as our news media is so driven by national political issues.  Or celebrities.  Or children who may or may not be in balloons.


Good luck, Jill! (JV & Sunday Teams)

This weekend, 6th grader Jill K. is participating in the 10th Annual Synchronized Skating Kick-Off Competition in Kalamazoo, Michigan this weekend.  You can find more information here, as well as results.  Jill is an excellent athlete and student, who begins each day at 5:00 am with her morning workouts.  Such dedicated and hard-working students are rare.  Be sure to wish her luck when you see her and check back here for results!

What would YOU get up at 5:00 am for?  What’s YOUR passion?

Spartan Alums Starring in HS

This is the first week of the IHSA basketball season.  Jessie Bejna (class of ’09) plays at Montini and scored 22 points in her first game.  Brittany Dietz, Nicole Leon, and Teadora Markovski (class of ’09) lead their Freshman teams at DGS to 40+ point wins.  Malak Issa and Maura Killian (class of ’08) played big roles off the bench for an excellent sophomore team at DGS.

You can find more about when to see them and who to watch over on the Alumni page.  They’re home this weekend, so check them out!

Spartan Pride!

One of the most reward facets of coaching is seeing former players do well.  Last night, in her first High School basketball game, former Spartan Jessie Bejna scored 22 points.  Jessie has come along way.  We’ll talk about her “story” a bit today at practice as a great testimonial to hard work, persistence, and playing terrifying defense.

I can’t wait to see our DGS girls play tomorrow.  You can see who is playing on the “Alumni” tab of this site.  The schedule is below:

  • Freshman A (Dietz) – 6:00
  • Sophomores (Kilian, Cahill, Issa) – 6:00
  • Freshman B (Markovski, Leon) – 7:30
  • Varsity – 7:30 (though I didn’t coach her, former Spartan Emma Maczco is playing)