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Bulletin Board: Incorporating technology into the classroom

By DEANNE LEBLANC 

dleblanc@newsmagazinenetwork.com 

Teacher Kelly Pope works with a student using the Mathtific program.

Teacher Kelly Pope works with a student using the Mathtific program.

Incorporating technology into the classroom 

At Fort Zumwalt’s Twin Chimneys Elementary, the third grade is learning math, writing and other skills on iPads, and the new technology has been extremely well-received by students.

The third graders are learning math on a program called “Mathtific.” When it’s time for math, students simply log in to practice their skills.

“I can pick the standard that I want them to work on and lock or unlock the activity I want them to do on the app,” teacher Kelly Pope explained.

Using Mathtific is just one way Pope is incorporating technology into her classroom using a donated iPad cart, which gives her classroom a technology ratio of one device to one student. Pope recently launched Google Classroom, a digital platform that provides space for work and lessons from the third-grade curriculum.

“What’s been amazing is how the kids have become more accountable for participating,” Pope said.

In addition to math, the class used an app to name their Elf on a Shelf. They also responded to writing prompts on a story they are reading, creating a Google Classroom discussion similar to those used by students in middle and high school classrooms.

Pope admits that they are still learning all the tools of Google Classroom, but as a team they are making quick progress.

“Technology evens things out,” she said with a smile. “I teach them and, with this, sometimes they teach me.”

Fort Zumwalt students lend a helping hand 

Fort Zumwalt students with donated items

Fort Zumwalt students with donated items

Before Thanksgiving, you may have seen students in action gathering supplies and working on projects to help those in need – and they are not done yet.

Students in kindergarten through 12th grade are coming together to ensure a happy holiday for many St. Charles County families. Events include can drives, food pantry fundraisers, food drop-offs, and a creative “Empty Bowls” pottery project.

SCC scholarship applications available now

Scholarship applications for the 2016-17 academic year at St. Charles Community College are now available.

Students who complete the application will be eligible for both St. Charles Community College Foundation and Board of Trustee scholarships, based on specific award criteria. More than $175,000 in Foundation and Board of Trustee scholarships will be awarded for the upcoming academic year.

“SCC scholarships are awarded to students for more than just excellent academic achievement. They are one of the ways SCC helps make college a reality and helps our students succeed,” said Kathy Brockgreitens, SCC dean of enrollment services.

Application packets can be found at www.stchas.edu/scholarships, outside the auditorium of the Daniel J. Conoyer Social Sciences Building or in the Enrollment Services Department in the Administration Building, Room 1113.

Completed applications are due by 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1. For more information, contact Tara Cochran at tcochran@stchas.edu or call (636) 922-8437.

Girl Scouts bring smiles to children through books

Girl Scouts work on a mini-library for the Crider Center for Mental Health.

Girl Scouts work on a mini-library for the Crider Center for Mental Health.

When it came time to complete their Bronze Award, Girl Scouts in Troop 937 knew they wanted to help other children in their community.

The troop, fifth-graders and one sixth-grader from St. Peters, partnered with the St. Charles City-County Library Foundation’s  Ready to Read program to create a mini-library. The troop built a bookshelf and activity table complete with books, puzzles and games with the goal of donating it to the Crider Center for Mental Health.

Troop leader Donna Jones said the troop used money earned through the Girl Scout Cookie and Fall Product programs to pay for the project.

“The girls spent the last year and a half planning the award project. They happily collected books and educational toys to stock the mini library,” Jones said. She noted that the girls will refresh the collection by adding new books and toys a few times a year.

The Girl Scout Bronze Award is the highest national award a Girl Scout Junior may earn. It is a group-earned award and requires each girl to complete a minimum of 20 hours on a Bronze Award Take Action project. Girls focus on something they care about that they would like to improve within their Girl Scout or local community.

To complete their project, the troop coordinated efforts with Karen Englert, extension services specialist at the St. Charles City-County Library Foundation.

“We specifically paired them with the pediatric mental health location, which is a great need in our community,” Englert said. “The idea of kids helping kids is so powerful, especially for Girl Scouts.”

“It feels good to do community service and be recognized for our hard work,” Girl Scout Peyton Jones said.

Zonta Club supports SCC students

A $2,500 grant from The Zonta Club of St. Louis will benefit the St. Charles Community College Foundation’s Zonta-Marlene Fraser Irish Memorial Scholarship fund, providing students additional opportunities for success.

“With this grant, we will be able to provide even more scholarships to help students reach their educational goals,” Director of Development Betsy Schneider said.

The SCC Foundation enhances learning environments for thousands of students each year through scholarship awards, academic enhancements and community outreach programs. More than $75,000 is awarded each year through SCC Foundation scholarships.

Zonta Club of St. Louis is a service organization of professionals dedicated to improving the status of women locally through service, advocacy, scholarships and mentoring.

To learn more or to apply for an SCC Foundation scholarship, visit www.stchas.edu/scholarships.

Francis Howell School District named to honor roll

The Francis Howell School District is one of 425 school districts in the U.S. and Canada, and one of only four in Missouri, being honored by the College Board with placement on the Sixth Annual AP [Advanced Placement] District Honor Roll for increasing access to AP course work while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP Exams.

Reaching these goals indicates that a district is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are ready for the opportunity of AP coursework. To be included on the honor roll, the district had to, since 2013, increase the number of students participating in AP courses, while also increasing or maintaining the number of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher.

National data from 2015 show that among black/African American, Hispanic, and Native American students with a high degree of readiness for AP, only about half of students are participating.

The first step to delivering the opportunity of AP to students is providing access by ensuring courses are available, that gatekeeping stops, and that the doors are equitably opened so these students can participate.

Filing now open for district board positions

The Fort Zumwalt School District encourages qualified persons interested in running for a position on the Board of Education to file for candidacy in the April 5, 2016 election.

Two positions with three-year terms are available.

Candidate qualifications are listed on the district website or can be obtained at the district office. Interested persons may file at the superintendent’s offices, located at 555 E. Terra Lane in O’Fallon now through Jan. 19 during regular district business hours [Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.]. Filing will not be available on Dec. 23-25, Dec. 28-31, Jan. 1 and Jan. 18 due to district holidays.

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