Thanksgiving wishes | Give your education views in national Speak Up survey | Clorox "Power A Bright Future" contest includes district schools, charters
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November 16, 2012
Friday Notes
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From the District
Thanksgiving wishes
All San Diego Unified schools and offices will be closed to the public Nov. 19-23 for Thanksgiving break and will reopen on Monday, Nov. 26. During this time, I hope everyone has the opportunity to reflect upon the many things for which they are thankful. May the holiday bring opportunities for you to spend time with special people and partake in activities and interests in your life. Thank you for all you do for the children of San Diego.

Best wishes,

Bill Kowba
Give your education views in national Speak Up survey
Parents and students along with teachers and staff have been invited to participate in a survey on educational issues. The 2012 National Speak Up Survey is a series of multiple choice questions, plus an open-ended questionnaire where you can write in responses. The survey takes about 20 minutes to complete. Findings are summarized and shared with national and state policymakers. Read more.
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Clorox "Power A Bright Future" contest includes district schools, charters
Clorox is holding a competition through Dec. 19 to award as much as $50,000 to a local school, and three San Diego Unified schools are looking for your support. Silver Gate Elementary, Gompers Prep Charter and New Dawn Alternative schools are all participating. Supporters can go online to vote. Read more.
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School News
Angier Elementary receives Target library makeover
The Angier Elementary community, along with Target, The Heart of America Foundation, Mission Continues and more than 200 volunteers, unveiled the school's newly renovated library. On hand at the Serra Mesa school were Principal Andrew Gergurich, Supt. Bill Kowba and Assemblymember Toni Atkins, along with Angier students, parents and staff. It's Target's third library makeover in San Diego Unified. Read more.
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Encanto Elementary students walk, ride and roll their way to $500
Students at Encanto Elementary School have earned $500 for placing third in the Walk, Ride and Roll to School Week competition sponsored by the San Diego Association of Governments and Rady Children's Hospital. During the first week in October, teachers and students tracked over 700 miles, placing third among all participating schools in San Diego County.
Read more.
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Holmes Elementary Girl Scouts raise money for Rady Children's Hospital
Girl Scouts from Holmes Elementary School recently joined more than 1,600 volunteers by participating in Kids' News Day. The scouts organized the annual fundraising event in front of their Clairemont neighborhood school and got up early to sell a special edition of the U-T San Diego before school. The girls' efforts raised $200 for Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego.
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Hoover High wood shop, Strategic Sourcing Department show excellence
A trophy case built by students at Hoover High School's new Green Construction Technology facility is now helping to improve morale and show off the excellence of San Diego Unified's Strategic Sourcing and Contracts Department. The case contains some of the annual awards won by the department, which handles purchasing and contract duties for the district. Read more.
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Madison High students help preserve Balboa Park
Students from Madison High School's AVID, Key Club, and the Latino Hispanic Society recently spent the day in Balboa Park learning about the benefits of urban forests and cleaning up our communities as part of the Australian Garden cleanup in Gold Gulch. Read more.
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For Parents
College application and scholarship workshop Nov. 19-21
Cal-SOAP is hosting three workshops during the Thanksgiving break to help students and parents with college applications and scholarships. Get assistance with personal statements, UC/CSU applications, scholarship searchers and more. Workshops will be held from
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Elementary Institute of Science. Registration is suggested.
Read more.
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For Students
Share how Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream lives on in your life, community
Students in grades K-12 are invited to participate in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Youth Poetry and Art Contest. Participants may submit entries of art, poetry, essays and spoken word, reflecting on the theme: How does Dr. King's dream live on in your life and community?
Read more.
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Student Voices
In the News
Educational News
Math teachers find variety of uses for blended learning
Math teachers in a few California schools are using online programs to supplement instruction and meet all students' needs. One teacher uses Khan Academy videos to free up time for targeted instruction, while another uses ALEKS math on a weekly basis to deepen students' math understanding. A third teacher relies on online math support for remediation. blog (11/14)
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Should teachers stop assigning homework?
Middle-school teacher Mark Barnes gave up on assigning homework. The results, Barnes writes in this blog post, were positive, with many students still choosing to complete academic work -- of their own choosing -- after school. Assigning homework, as he did for years, could be a tradition that needs to be re-evaluated, Barnes suggests, adding that the nightly assignments actually could lead more students to dislike school and learning. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (11/13)
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How teachers can use Learnist in the classroom
English teacher Hauna Zaich writes in this blog post how she uses Learnist -- a website similar to Pinterest and is designed for educators -- in her eighth- and 10th-grade classes. Zaich uses "Learnboards," which are collections of Web resources, for her flipped-classroom lessons such as instruction on grammar where she uses reading, examples, videos and online activities. "I see so many possibilities for Learnist in my classroom and am excited to apply this innovation to my teaching practice," she writes. Zaich's blog (11/12)
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Other News
Editor's Note
Friday Notes will not publish Friday, Nov. 23
In observance of Thanksgiving in the U.S., Friday Notes will not be published Friday, Nov. 23.
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Keep your fears to yourself but share your courage with others."
-- Robert Louis Stevenson,
Scottish novelist, poet and essayist
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