Tuesday, March 29, 2016

March Madness-Team JXN Style

I use to complain about how long and drawn out the month of March was. No holidays or vacations to look forward to, and spring break teasing us at the end of the month. You may get lucky with one last snow day (which we did this year) and if I was fortunate my birthday would fall on a weekend at the end of the month.

As we roll through this final week of March and into spring break I caught myself saying "Holy crap, it's almost April!". I have felt blessed for this "easy week” with not many appointments so I can get caught up on all the things I have let slide over the past month.

However, March 2016 was pretty amazing for Team JXN!  Kellie DeLosSantos joined our team in late February and jumped right in.

We spent 3 days in Grand Rapids at MACUL presenting, volunteering, making, networking and enjoying time with educators we only get to see a few times a year.

On St. Patrick's Day we had some fun with the New Teacher Academy and held Shamrocks and Scavengers a massive scavenger hunt through Jackson County. Teachers were divided into teams of 4. Given a list of coordinates and hints. Then given 30 minutes to plan their routes. Once they were on the road their task was to get to one of the points, take a team picture at the location, and use a QR code to post the picture to a Padlet to let us know they had made it to the location. If they were one of the first 2 team to the location they were given some pretty great St. Patty swag by one of the JCISD employees that was hanging out there. Teams were given points at each location (they did not know the point values) and extra bonus points were given to teams that could find Alaina or I at specific locations we tweeted out. At the end of the afternoon they all met back at the ISD for cool prizes! Check out pictures from the event HERE.

The following week we hosted a PD for local teachers called “I STEAM, You SCREAM”. This PD was developed to give teachers time to play and plan for STEAM and Maker activities in their classrooms. Time is something that many teachers don’t have and as great as STEAM and Maker are, planning can be very time consuming.

Teachers playing with Spheros 

We topped off March with Keicher 3rd Grade Tech Day. This was a conference inspired by some awesome Mattawan teachers that have paved the way for technology exploration in a fun and engaging way. Stacy Arnold was the brainchild for this specific event and we were fortunate enough to help her in the planning process. Students selected sessions they wanted to attend throughout the day. Volunteer teachers and Michigan Center High School students helped run each session. It was an amazing and inspirational day for everyone. I think the VIDEO will say it all.
Students playing with MakeyMakey

I am proud of ALL our TeamJxn members! Alaina and Kellie are two amazing gals to work with and Shannon who lets us follow our crazy ideas. Along with some pretty amazing admin and staff in Jackson County with innovative minds along with passion and pride to do what is best for their kids! 

I can't wait to see what the rest of 2016 holds.


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