Superintendent Dr. Ric Dressen participated in the reading minute in hours 1, 2 and 3 today. Dr. Dressen read from Daniel Pink's book A Whole New Mindabout the need for creative thinkers in the 21st Century and beyond. In addition to reading an excerpt from Pink's book, Dr. Dressen explained the differences between right and left brain thinking, and pointed out the fact that EPS is fostering an academic culture of creativity to meet the right-brained needs of the 21st Century. Dr. Dressen also spent time asking students about their creative activities at school and about their future career paths, commenting on how those career paths would involve "A Whole New Mind" to be successful. Thanks Dr. Dressen for the great reading minute.
Jenni Norlin-Weaver, EPS's Director of Teaching and Learning, spent the afternoon of election day reading to English 10 students. She read a few excerpts from a book called Disrupting Class that explained the future of education that would encompass a greater emphasis on student-centered instruction and online learning.
Katy Kessler, EHS Coordinator of the Choice is Yours Program and Adviser of the Hip Hop Dance Club, spent Monday, Oct. 27 visiting each English 10 class. Katy read a selection from Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan SafranFoer. Many students were so hooked by Katy's reading that they vowed to purchase the book and read the entire thing.
Katy emailed the following after her day with the sophomores: "I had such a great time reading to your department’s 10th grade classes yesterday. I came across this poem this morning and it seemed beautifully appropriate. Please pass it along for me."
To the Woman (We Think You’re a Teacher) with the Books on the 2 Train
By some anonymous students
On the platform for the 2 train you stand with a book in your hand the pages open Which is how you enter the train Reading
Sometimes you smile, or frown Once you even cried on the train when you were reading Night and a man sitting across the aisle said he cried too, when he read that book and we thought, we want to read that book so we did
And then you were reading all those basketball books by Walter Dean Myers so we read those too speeding along on the 2 train one time you saw us reading Slam and you said I love that book and do you think Slam is going to make it in high school?
We do, we think he’s going to make it Then you were reading some really hard stuff Epistemology of the Closet, Postmodern Narrative Theory and we tried those, but we think you have to have read the books those authors have read, if you want to read their books
Our favorite is when you are reading poetry Picnic, Lightning and you lean back against the seat and smile and keep reading the same page again and again we do that now and it’s really nice
Last week you were reading The Life of Pi and we rushed out to buy it So we could be in the lifeboat adrift in the blue, blue sea with the boy, the Bengal Tiger, and you
If we don’t see you next year on the train Maybe sometime we’ll bump into each other on the platform You’ll know us because we’ll have books in our hands
Mike Walker, the high school technology integration specialist, read a blog post to the students on using Facebook in educational settings. Mike read the blog post from his laptop as if the computer was a book. The opening to the post from the Mankato school's technology specialist stated that websites, like accused criminals, should be innocent until proven guilty. After reading the blog post, Mike solicited feedback from students on whether or not they felt that Facebook had educational value. Student opinions were mixed with reactions ranging from "with proper teacher direction Facebook could be educational" to "Facebook would be distracting at school." After students wrote their reading minute thesis statements, one student shared hers: "Blocking a website without really knowing it is like judging a book by its cover."
Gwen Jackson, EPS's Director of Human Resources and Administrative Services, read on Monday, Oct. 13 from a book on women of influence, including a selection on Susan B. Anthony. The selection also included information on the disparity of pay for women vs. men.
Activities Director Jenny Johnson visited fourth hour classes this week for the reading minute. She entertained the students not only with a description of her reading habits, but also with her reading selections from SeinLanguage by Jerry Seinfeld. Jenny read brief comedic quips about limos, answering machines, and remote controls. One student asked for Jenny to repeat the title of the book since he wanted to go out and try to find it at a bookstore.
This is Ms. Jarrett’s third year in the English department at Edina High School and twelfth year of teaching. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and holds a master’s degree in English Education from the University of Minnesota. This year she is teaching English 10 and Enriched English 10.
This year marks Ms. Roehl’s eleventh year teaching English at EHS. Prior to entering the education field, Ms. Roehl worked in public relations and direct marketing. Also, for Ms. Roehl’s first job out of college, she worked for three years at the Minnesota Literacy Council, a nonprofit dedicated to teaching adults to read. Ms. Roehl completed both her Bachelor’s Degree in English and her Master’s Degree in Teaching at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. Ms. Roehl spends part of her school day working as EHS’s literacy coach, and she has presented at national, state and local conferences on the topic of culturally responsive literacy and thinking strategies. In addition to English 10, Ms. Roehl teaches World Literature.
This is Ms. Tholen's third year in the English department at Edina High School and sixth year of teaching. She is a graduate of St. Olaf College and holds a master's degree in Literacy Education from the University of Minnesota. She has presented at national and local conferences regarding student blog use and Web 2.0 skills in the classroom. This year she is teaching English 10 and Public Speaking.