Friday, December 16, 2011

The iPad Creeps In...

John Schoultz came into my office this morning and told me to check out the science room "right now." Usually this is not a good sign, so I took a deep breath, a long swig of coffee and headed out to the science room and, in my mind, a certain downturn in my holiday cheer.

What I found was a section of 7th graders - almost all on their iPads - reading Alice in Wonderland in preparation for their Literature test. We had just finished training the students on the use of the e-reader function in iBooks and many were taking advantage of the resource.

So, I went from preparing to be the Grinch to feeling like Jimmy Stewart running through the streets of Bedford Falls wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. Can you tell I'm excited about the possibilities of the iPad in the classroom?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Student Leadership: ANYDAY

We are excited to announce that Canterbury has partnered with NCCJ of the Piedmont Triad Region to offer a day long seminar called ANYDAY on January 4, 2012. Our mission states we will “develop the whole child by challenging the mind and nourishing the spirit in a diverse community guided by Judeo-Christian values.” We believe the program NCCJ is able to offer a core group of our middle schoolers fits perfectly with our mission. The NCCJ describes their program in this way:

“ANYDAY, a program for middle school students, is designed to teach self-respect and respect for others while celebrating each other’s differences. NCCJ of the Piedmont Triad Region will lead participants through a series of activities designed to build a more inclusive, respectful and safe school environment. Particular attention will be given to how human relations and cultural awareness issues impact students and the faculty in their school.”

We have selected a core group of 35 middle school students to participate in this seminar. Our hope is that this group will bring back to Canterbury a desire to put their new insights into action through their leadership. In this way we not only develop a deeper understanding of each other, but also provide an opportunity for real student leadership.

This should be prove to be a great experience for those involved and through their engagement and leadership a great experience for the middle school as a whole. After the break we will update you about the seminar.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Power of Social Networks and Consumer Feedback

Can I say that I would have jumped on this story prior to my daughter being born? Maybe.

Regardless, this story from NPR is an example of the positive power of social networks. A mother was so annoyed/appalled by a t-shirt being sold at JC Penny that said, "I'm to pretty to do homework, so my brother has to d it for me," that she started an online petition which sent an email to JC Penny's media department and CEO with each signature. It worked. In ten hours the t-shirt was pulled.

Check it out: Moms and Social Network Power

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Lunar Eclipse

Jiyang Chen
On December 10, 2011, we will have a special opportunity to view a lunar eclipse.  During a lunar eclipse, the Earth passes directly between the Sun and the full Moon, casting its shadow on the face of the moon for a period of time.  During the hours of a lunar eclipse, anyone on the right side of Earth can view the spectacle.

At the beginning of a lunar eclipse, the Earth’s shadow creeps across the bright face of the full moon, creating an area of darkness that increases gradually in size. Totality occurs when the Earth’s shadow covers the Moon’s face completely.  This lasts at least a few minutes, although every eclipse is different.  During totality, the Moon’s face appears to be a deep red.  This is due to light rays from the outermost layers of the Sun that are bent and separated by the Earth’s atmosphere.  Only the red wavelengths are bent in such a way that they reflect off the Moon’s surface.  The rest of the wavelengths pass by the Moon and shine out into space.
The upcoming lunar eclipse will be visible from Greensboro as long as the weather is clear.   From our point of view, the eclipse will not be a total one.  The Moon will enter the Earth’s shadow around 6:32 am. The Moon sets at 7:17 am. During this time, a partial lunar eclipse will be visible.

As you are getting ready for the day, take a few minutes to step outside and take a look!  If you have a Canterbury 8th grader, ask him or her to explain how a lunar eclipse is different from a solar eclipse.   (In a solar eclipse, the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun and casts its shadow on a tiny portion of the Earth’s surface.  This occurs during the day when the Moon is new, and lasts only a few minutes.)

Erin Ringrose
7th and 8th Grade Science Teacher
Science Olympiad Coach