Instructional News
News and Celebrations

May 1, 2015

ACT Enrichment Day

ACT Enrichment Day was a fabulous success due to the hard work of many of you. As the juniors tested, the rest of the school learned and served. With teacher lead interest groups like hand lettering, French cooking and sign language (to name a few), students found new talents. The community was served by students and teachers including locations like Madison Village, Manna House and Inside Out Ministries and many more. Below is a flipagram of pictures from that day. I apologize if I did not include pictures from your class or community event. I only used those pictures I took or were sent directly to me. There were just too many to include them all. If you'd like to see more pictures, click the link below to #mcsenrich.

Arguments on Ethanol

Chemistry II are using the concept of claim, data, commentary to argue for or against the use of ethanol. Using an article from The Science Teacher by Julia Winter entitled, The Ethanol Project: Exploring alternative energy with role-play and writing. Students will create a character who is lobbying in front of the Senate Committee on Energy and Resources. Testimonies created by students include corn farmers, automobile executives, economists, Brazilian ethanol producers, fuel cell developers and so on. Students testify in the mock hearing after completing a preliminary research assignment and creating a biography and position paper of their character. Then students will take notes on the testimonies to create a personal position paper. During the debrief of the testimonies, one student brought up that a great deal of each character's testimonies contained contradictory information. Ms. Steele reminded students that a lot of the research does contradict each other, and many testifiers twist or exaggerate research to support their argument. She reminded them that the testimonies they heard would have been just what senate lobbyists would have heard. Who do they believe? Students discussed how regardless of scientific research, not all energy and resource decisions are made with that in mind. Politics plays a huge role in these decisions. Students must use the claim, data, commentary approach to compose their personal position papers citing at least three of the testimonies made by students.

Celebrating in Art

Mrs. Vaughan's Visual Arts II class were partaking in a Celebration Day last week. Celebration Day is used instead of  the 'Deadline,' to provide students with the opportunity to self-reflect on their completed assignment and critique someone else's work. This allows students to be the leaders of their own learning and not dread a deadline or due date, but instead look forward to celebrating each other. To examine the idea of celebration days, watch the link below from the Teaching Channel.

Jets Programming

Software Development students in Ms. Grantham's class are creating  programs with real life applications that contain functions. Many students' programs were designed for businesses allowing them to create purchases from a selected menu. One student added a more complex function of making change and including tax. One partnership even created a game similar to the old school Choose Your Own Adventure series or Oregon Trail. They were so proud of their creations. What talent!

Water Works Field Trip

APES (Advanced Placement Environmental Science) students went on a field trip last week with Mrs. Lilavois to study the effects of water conservation. Click the link below to view a flipagram of their awesome field trip.


Jet Pac, the student advisory committee, meet this week to discuss ways to improve the advisory committee for next year and to review the possibility of a lunch hour. Dr. Clayton introduced the idea of the lunch hour to students. They were very excited about the possibilities and made many suggestions for the future. The committee for the lunch hour will meet again soon to debrief the student suggestions. More to come.

Exam Review

Have a cool idea for reviewing for exams? Need a cool idea for exam reviewing? Tired of the same old study guide?

Please share your ideas or questions on the padlet link below. I'm sure many of your co-workers would love some ideas. As you review in innovative, interesting ways, be sure to post pictures to instagram and twitter using #jchsfaculty and/or #mcslearn.