Mrs. Moore

Walking by Mrs. Moore’s class, you notice a smell of sawdust in the air. It reminds me of my dad’s garage in the summer time: the buzzing of the saw, wood chips flying, and sawdust blowing in the breeze. This time, however, it isn’t my dad, but our eagles busy constructing!

Our eagles are amazing. They designed, planned, and engineered 125 wooden board games that were distributed through the Goochland Family Services in the Holiday Meal distributions.  What a way to tackle 21st century skills!

If you see Mrs. Moore, please thank her for affording our eagles the opportunity to help our community.

Want to find out more about Mrs. Moore’s classes? Click here.

Mrs. Barnes

If you ever venture into Mrs. Barnes’ class, you would experience a multitude of teaching strategies targeted to engage her students. I have witnessed her students play verb games in big circles, participate in vocabulary stations using manipulatives, create mini-skits and converse in Spanish, use technology to help create their own situational contexts to personalize the language, and throw a Cinco de Mayo celebration complete with an authentic Spanish restaurant where her students play various roles (e.g. server, hostess, etc.) and invite us in as patrons!

Mrs. Barnes does it ALL to keep it interesting!

On this particular day, I was invited in to be student in a Spanish class! Allow me to clarify. Mrs. Barnes, a few weeks prior, decided that her students were to be teachers. She gave them instructions to create their own lesson plans that they would implement within their own “classrooms!” Their lesson plans had to be engaging and had to effectively use technology to teach Spanish.  She then invited their parents into her classes to participate as students!

This was an incredibly empowering approach to help students increase their confidence in Spanish class! Way to go, Mrs. Barnes!

Want to learn more about Mrs. Barnes class? Please see La Clase de Señora Barnes.

Mr. Neufer

Upon entering Mr. Neufer’s class, I was pleasantly surprised to see math students up and out of their desks! He had set up groups of three to four students around the perimeter of his room and posted a big sheet of paper on the wall next to each group. On the paper was a graph; different for each group. He then instructed his students to create a story dependent upon their interpretation of the graph. He constantly roamed the room checking for understanding and giving encouragement as well as redirecting when a group was having trouble. The stories took about twenty minutes to complete then Mr. Neufer asked his students to take their original seats. Once seated, Mr. Neufer began to relate the activity they’d completed to their homework and to the objective of the day!

Not only was the collaboration refreshing, but the students were completely engaged and could easily explain what the objective was to me! Well done, Mr. Neufer! You have courageously stepped out of the box!
Want to know more about Mr. Neufer’s classes? Check out Mr. Neufer’s blog.

Excellent Teacher!

Please allow me to introduce to you one of four State Finalists for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching, Mrs. Anne Moore, GMS teacher (extraordinaire)! One of the finalists will win, not only the honor, but $10,000.00! Please keep your fingers crossed for Mrs. Moore!

Last week, Mr. Newman, GHS principal, and I attended the Virginia Association of Science Teachers (VAST) banquet dinner in honor of Mrs. Moore and I was able to snap a few pictures!

Mrs. Moore receiving her award!


Mrs. Moore and the three other finalists


GMS Mentor Program

The Goochland Middle School mentor program was kicked off today! Mr. Lockhart and Mr. Carchman led the meeting with pizzas and sodas as each mentor got to know our students. Ms. Smith and I thank you for dedicating bunches of your time to support our eagles.

Thank you, GMS Mentors!

I’m Done. Now what?

Ever find yourself in a classroom full of students who have a wide range of abilities? I can remember how hard it was to keep all students engaged throughout the block. Some students zoom so fast through the lesson and find themselves with nothing to do but FINDING things to do. And we all know that these things usually aren’t the most conducive to a safe, structured learning environment. The link below will give you one idea of what to do to keep all of your students engaged: Anchor Activities

How do you keep all of your students engaged throughout the block? Please comment below.

Mrs. Ray

I received an invitation to attend Mrs. Ray’s Share Faire in the LMC last week. It was great! Here’s the low down straight from Mrs. Ray when I asked her to send me a blurb about her students’ Share Faire projects:

“The project was multi-faceted and inspired by GMS’s  focus on study skills and organization.  Using a rubric and an outline, students produced a five-paragraph persuasive essay based on study and organization tips they devised for their peers.  They researched online handbooks and incorporated three study tips and three goals they set for themselves.  Additionally, they developed a “product” such as a PowerPoint, a poster, game, or activity to help “teach” their readers how to use the tips they touted.  They also produced incentive charts so readers could practice the tips for 21 days.  The project included a student-created pre-test and post-test.  The Share Faire was simply that, a way to give an overall look at students’ projects.  The LMC was a great setting for the Share Faire.  We are exploring ways to develop the presentations  into a G21 project.  Key to the process was sharing encouraging comments with each other.  Each participant also received a certificate of appreciation.  One of the things we never seem to have enough of is time.  The Share Faire also allowed us to share with another class, so it was a cooperative lesson.  We are also working on ways to share the lessons over a period of time.

Funny moments in today’s Share Faire:

–One student used her little sister (who consented) as the example of “what not” to do when studying and herself as the “good” example

–One student made up names for students showing “bad behavior”–such as throwing paper airplanes made from important handouts

–One student made “true confessions” about not knowing when MP tests were happening in the past….then set out a plan to turn over a new leaf

–One student designed a smart Eagle logo who’s cute as can be

–One student took an existing board game and totally revamped it into a study skills game”

And on to a few pictures!

Please see Mrs. Ray’s blog here: Mrs. Ray’s English