Education Blackboard

In giving to others, you get back

March 5, 2010 // 0 Comments

by KATY VANCUREN, Assistant Principal Rockford High School During the holiday season, I always am in the mood to give. I give to local charities, donate to my church, even answer the telemarketers’ calls and donate to an organization from time to time. But after watching the movie “The Blindside” recently, I started to wonder, “Why not make a bigger effort to give year ‘round?” Believe me, I am just like you! I don’t have extra money or time, but I do have other things that are valuable to others in need. I have a smile, a kind heart and words to share. I have nice stationary to jot a friend a note of appreciation. I have time to pick up the phone and catch up with an old friend. Despite all the things I don’t have, I still have a lot to give. “The Blindside” really touched me and, if you haven’t seen the movie, I highly recommend it. It speaks about companionate hearts, a giving spirit, and perhaps most of all, making a difference in the life of another. We all have this ability to give, but sometimes our lives get so busy that time goes by and our intentions get lost. Giving is certainly something I hope to instill in my children as well. Once a year I have the kids go through their closets and drawers so that we can donate clothing. A few other ideas are: •            sporting equipment—Encourage children to pass last season’s athletic gear to Sports Gift (, which will distribute it to kids in need. •            school supplies—If your child has extra books, markers, or other items, you can find teachers who need them at, a nonprofit that connects donors with teachers in U.S. classrooms. •            DVDs—Send movies that haven’t been watched in a while to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan through AMVETS Task Force DVDE ( Children’s titles go to families of soldiers. •            cell phones—When your kids or you upgrade, check out to locate programs that recycle or refurbish old phones, then donate proceeds to various charities. There are many local and national organizations that are looking for volunteers, goods and money. Reach out to them—make it a family event so that everyone […]

Education Blackboard

February 18, 2010 // 0 Comments

Lyons on Deans List at Ferris State University  Former Rockford High School graduate Nicholas Lyons has earned a place on the College of Engineering Technology Dean’s List for the 2009 fall semester at Ferris State University, College of Technology. The minimum requirement for the Dean’s List is a 3.50 honor point average for a 12 credit load. Lyons has been on the Kent Skills HVACR Advisory committee for the past three years and an active member of the Michigan Service Contractors Association (MSCA).

Education Blackboard

February 15, 2010 // 0 Comments

School Beat Learning with style by BILL AMITAGE, Principal Belmont Elementary School Perhaps this has happened to you. You are sitting around the dinner table with your family. Or, if you’re like my children who are now grown and parents of children themselves, you are taking your children to an after school function. The conversation usually turns to their day. You ask the time honored question, “So, what did you learn in school today”? This is usually followed by the time honored response, “Nothing”. Aside from the dynamics of parent-child relationships, in order to get a response that is more than a single word phrase, perhaps the question needs to be modified. Instead of asking what they learned in school, ask them what they enjoyed the most about school, and why.  This question encourages responses that may give you some insight about how they learn best. There are three broad categories of learners that I see often in school. First, there are students who are auditory learners. They learn best by listening and responding during instruction. They have a great auditory memory, remembering what the teacher has said and the conversations in class. They have a good control of vocabulary and language. However, they can also be easily distracted by noise in the learning environment. Second, there are students who learn best through instruction that focuses on visual cues. They learn best by seeing what is being presented. Maps, graphs, movies and pictures help them retain the information presented in class. These students may struggle if they are in a class that relies heavily on lecture. Finally, there are the kinesthetic learners. They learn by doing. They are often good at athletics. They learn best through activities that allow them to get out of their seats, move about, and interact during their learning.  t may be difficult for kinesthetic learners to sit still during lessons, and they may often appear fidgety or distracted.  All three of these learning styles are evident in the average classroom. Students are generally not exclusively one learning style over another. The task is to plan lessons that address all three of these styles. Teachers differentiate instruction so that a single concept will be presented in ways that connect with the […]

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