Friday, February 28, 2014

An Assignment Checklist

We have a new program to give students a hand. Students will receive a checklist to help them identify things they need to accomplish during Brave Period. Then, student and parent volunteers will help them complete tasks on the “To Do” list. Each week students will fill out and staple an Assignment Checklist in their agenda books, so you can follow up at home to see if there are assignments your child needs complete.

The volunteers will help check Jupiter Grades with the students and then work on missing assignments. They will also help with Study Island lessons, ongoing writing assignments like blog essays and answering the Question of the Week. They will give a hand with social studies or science projects, and assist with homework. 

Hopefully this will help all students as they work to be successful.

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Role of Social Media

University of Kentucky men's basketball coach, John Calipari talks about the role of social media. Do you agree or disagree? How does social media affect your life? How are you "building your brand?"

Please respond on the Question of the Week Board.

Here is some information and  text from his comments:

Since a few of John Calipari’s teams at Kentucky, Memphis and UMass have started the year on extended undefeated streaks, Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic had Coach Cal come on their show, “Mike and Mike in the Morning,” on Thursday to discuss the difficulty of going undefeated and the pressure that comes with it. Of course, Syracuse suffered its first loss of the season Wednesday night and Wichita State is still undefeated, so the topic was relevant.
Lately, the topic of conversation nationally has been how student-athletes handle and respond to some of the criticism they get by having social media accounts and being connected to fans. A lot of coaches and people are suggesting they get off things like Twitter and Facebook, but Coach Cal doesn’t agree.
“This is no disrespect — the coaches you mentioned (Tom Izzo and Rick Pitino), I respect them all — they know nothing about social media. Nothing,” Calipari said. “They don’t do it. They feel it’s another job.”
Now, first things first, Pitino’s comments earlier in the week about social media were taken a bit out of context. When Pitino called social media a “waste of time,” he wasn’t necessarily saying he was against social media; rather, he just doesn’t think his players should be on there all the time and reading what people are saying to them. He feels they could be doing something more valuable with their time.
Calipari agrees with that notion to a point, but instead of banning social media, Coach Cal believes it’s better to educate them on how to use it properly.
“We’re trying to tell those kids, hey, you build your brand or you break your brand down,” Calipari said.
To do that, Calipari said UK teaches the players how to manage their accounts, the school monitors what the kids say, and the university brings in professionals to talk with the students and teach them how to best utilize the tool.
“I’m not going to hold my team back from the Twitter or Facebook, but I’m going to teach them how to use it for a positive,” said Coach Cal, who has 1.25 million Twitter followers, 417,000-plus Facebook fans and 44,000-plus Instagram followers.
Coach Cal reiterated what he said Saturday when College GameDay was in town that he doesn’t read his mentions on social media (that’s part of my job) and recommends to his players that they don’t read theirs either. If they’re going to be on it — which all 16 players are this year — he wants them to lift people up.
“Twitter is an opportunity — Facebook is an opportunity — to say what you feel, to try to pick people up, to try to be positive, to try to add something to society, to try to let people see you transparently,” Calipari said. “You cannot be defined, if you are on social media, by somebody else. You will define yourself. And if it’s negative, that’s your fault.”

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Connecting With Your Audience

The goal of every writer is to touch your reader. We all want to connect in a way that makes our words mean something. Last night on American Idol, M.K. Nobilette sings a song in a way that makes her one with the audience.

The comments by Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. are just as relevant to writers as they are to singers. Fancy writing and fancy words don't matter. Writing a message that is meaningful to your reader is what matters most.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Did You "Get" Your Book?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

No More Snow Days Please

I am ready for some school, and so are some parents. Want some evidence. Here it is.