Rockford’s Odyssey of the Mind teams were among competitors for state titles on Saturday, April 16, and 10 of the 11 teams sent to state finals placed in sixth and above. Five teams placed third to sixth, receiving honorable mention status at state finals, and five teams will be advancing to world finals, placing first or second. This is another record set for Rockford Odyssey of the Mind, 10 out of 11 teams receiving honors. The Cannonsburg Elementary B team took ninth and was coached by Susan Witte. With this accomplishment, the team did not place but still scored a top 10 win. The Cannonsburg Elementary team A took a sixth-place win under the direction of Coach Karen Dufendach. This earned them an honorable mention. The Valley View Elementary team A had an amazing performance which won them a third-place win. They were coached by Joan Lawton and earned the placement of bronze medalists. North Rockford Middle School’s team C earned a sixth-place win. They are coached by Joni Colovos, Shari Waldvogel and Michele Ferguson. This earned them an honorable mention. Rockford High School took third place and were recognized as bronze medalists. Roguewood Elementary team A earned a fifth-place win under Coach Wendy Goushaw. They also earned an honorable mention. North Rockford Middle School’s (NRMS) A team brought home an amazing second-place win under Coach Catherine Behrendt and will continue on as a world finalist team. North Rockford Middle School’s B team also wowed judges and brought them a second-place win under Coach Deb Playford. They will also go on to compete as a world finalist team. Belmont Elementary earned their place in world competition by taking a first-place win under Coach Terry Younker. Also going on to compete in the world finals was the Roguewood Elementary B team with a stunning first-place win under the guidance of Coach Jen Masternak. Finally, the East Rockford Middle School team, which also has NRMS team members, brought home highest honors with a first-place win under Coach Sue Hagedorn. They will be joining the Rockford “crowd” that will compete against other Odyssey of the Mind teams from around the globe as a world finalist team. The following teams were recognized with special awards: • Roguewood Elementary team […]
by MAGGIE THELEN Principal, Cannonsburg Elementary Gifted & Talented Coordinator “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.”-Henry David Thoreau By nature, every student who crosses the classroom threshold requires a distinct and diverse educational plan. While our state sets the outcomes for our children, it’s the teachers alone who create the plan to help students meet those outcomes. Or, for the student who has already learned the content, the onus rests on the teacher to present new opportunities. This process is termed differentiation, and it’s how every teacher, coach and mentor meets the individual needs of pupils. What is differentiation? It’s a new term for a tried and true educational method. Differentiation is simply meeting the student at their readiness level; in other words, teaching students, not teaching content. “One size fits all” has never been a philosophy to which Rockford teachers have subscribed. Imagine a piano teacher who planned the same lessons for all first-year piano students, neglecting to acknowledge or plan for those students who have natural talents, previous musical training, or difficulties. It’s not hard to see how ineffective those lessons would be for the majority of the students, because readiness was not considered. While anecdotal evidence abounds regarding the effectiveness of differentiation, research is confirming this premise, as well. A noted expert in the area of differentiation, Carol Ann Tomlinson, writes: From a very young age, children understand some of us are good with kicking a ball, some with telling funny stories, some with manipulating numbers, and some with making people feel happy. They understand that some of us struggle with reading words from the page, others with keeping tempers in check, still others with arms or legs that are weak. Children seem to accept a world in which we are not alike. They do not quest for sameness, but they search for the sense of triumph that comes when they are respected, valued, nurtured, and even cajoled into accomplishing things they believed beyond their grasp. The immensity of this task for teachers is considerable. To meet the needs of all Rockford students, teachers meet weekly before school hours in Professional Learning Communities (PLC) to examine teaching practices and […]
Selfless student works hard, helps others Kabe Beach, age 10, is the son of Craig and Laura Beach and brother to Grant, Avri and Thang. At Cannonsburg Elementary, teachers and staff know Kabe for his integrity, empathy and unfailing ability to see others with an open heart. Kabe’s compassion and respect for those around him is apparent in his concern for those who are less fortunate. His daily choices reflect his desire to help others. Kabe is a person who perseveres. School is not always easy, but Kabe shows an optimism and determination that are a true credit to his strength of character. Kabe never loses his willingness to show an interest in the welfare of others. An enthusiastic participant in organizations that help cure the world’s ills, Kabe is involved with Relay for Life, Jump Rope for Heart, and UNICEF. According to his teachers, “Kabe is a genuinely selfless young man with an accepting, compassionate heart.” He is a student with a Biblical outlook, living his faith in a practical manner. He acts on his compassionate desire to help others. He continually overcomes physical, health, academic and speech issues and is an inspiration to peers and staff at Cannonsburg. Kabe enjoys soccer and football as well as other outdoor activities. He loves nature, reads a great deal and is very interested in history. On the computer, Kabe has fun building empires and castles. He also loves his participation in Kids on the Rock church. Although Kabe does not find academics naturally easy, his hard work, perseverance and continuous concern for and the desire to help others make him an Example in Excellence at Cannonsburg Elementary School.