Friday, November 22, 2013

Thanksgiving Feast at Gibbs Pre K Center

As is our tradition here in the District, campuses celebrated Thanksgiving dinner for lunch in anticipation of next week's holiday.  Gibbs Pre Kindergarten Center invited any available family of their children to attend their feast.  Parents, cousins, siblings and grandparents came to enjoy a feast with their little ones.

It puts us in mind of all things we are grateful for this Thanksgiving.  Have a safe and happy one!

Mom Constance was able to "do lunch" with daughter Alaya
Augusta Russell and Rita Roberts check in all the visitors.

The Thanksgiving Scene at Gibbs

Grandma Carol & Dad Blake with Ryah.

James takes a moment for the camera before digging in. 

Smell those sweet potatoes!
Isaac waits patiently in line with mom Sabrina (not pictured)

JoAnn with son Peyton
Anna with daughter Amy

Matthew Lahey  Huntsville ISD Huntsville Independent School District

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Happy FORMSgiving from Curriculum and Technology!

Happy Formsgiving!

OK, the wordplay might be a stretch, but please indulge us as we bring you Google Form training during this holiday season.  We are coming to a campus, and a computer, near you!

Each campus will have members of our team come and introduce you to Forms, a powerful Google tool available in your Google account.  Can't make a session?  Take it online by going logging into Eduphoria here and enrolling in the virtual course.

"Why forms?" you ask. Among other things, you can:
  • Give quizzes in a fraction of the time that it normally takes, and then automate the grading. 
  • Send a survey, or an order form, and cut out the confusion on specifics.  (T-shirt order form can include accurate size information, color, style, etc.)
  • Organize potlucks, volunteer opportunities and donations in and out of school
Pull up a chair and let Ruth let tell ya about a thing called Forms- it could change your life (a little bit).
As you can see here, the questions can be quite difficult.

Linda Webb is feeling the power of Forms.

Amy Allen is feeling the joy of Forms.

Below we've embedded the online workshop for your viewing pleasure.  However, if you would like to get one CPE credit, make sure to log in to the Eduphoria link and enroll in the online course.

Matthew Lahey  Huntsville ISD Huntsville Independent School District

Monday, November 18, 2013

Howdy Bagram! Huntsville Students Call U.S Army Specialist in Afghanistan for Veterans Day

Ms. Autumn Pulling, a first grade teacher at Huntsville Elementary School, had an idea last week- Why don't her students video call her nephew?  

Coming in (Mostly) Loud and Clear. (Click image to enlarge, Click enlarged image to begin slideshow.)

As her nephew is Rick Moseley, a U.S. Army Specialist currently serving in Bagram, Afghanistan, and her students were studying Veteran's Day in her social studies unit, she thought a video call would be a great way to go a little deeper in the learning (and make it a bit more exciting) for her students.

First order of business:  Where is Afghanistan?

Before the day of the video call (via Google Hangouts), the class prepared by discussing where in the world Mr. Moseley was stationed, what he was doing there and what kind of questions they wanted to ask him.
Coming Up with Questions.

Students came up with questions including, "Do you have to clean up?" "Do you have a gun?" & "What do you miss most?"
Students Take Turns Asking Questions
"Hi Over There"
Good Listening Going on Here.
After the Google Hangout, Ms. Pulling's students then drew and wrote the answer to their favorite question in their journal.
Drawing the Army Base (or "Compound")
Success! Student teacher Ms. Makinzie Nicks and teacher Ms. Autumn Pulling with the class after the call.
Google Hangouts is available to all teachers in the district.   The service is free, and (while not perfect) the quality was surprisingly good for an internet call to an Army base half way around the world.  Teachers, if you would like to incorporate a video call into your students' learning, contact us and we'd love to help you get it started.  Just email us- iTechs (at sign)

Matthew Lahey  Huntsville ISD Huntsville Independent School District

Mrs. Godby's Criminal Justice Students Take Learning into Their Own Hands

We were down in the CTE Wing @ Huntsville High School and ran into these students with their head down staring intently at multiple monitors.

These students add titles to their video on Infant Neglect and Abuse
They were creating a video and Prezi for Stacy Godby's Introduction to Criminal Justice class, and they invited us to attend their presentations later in the week.

Building a Prezi on the dangers of drunk driving.
Mrs. Godby, a graduate of the WOW! Academy for Project Based Learning, implements Project Based Learning (PBL) to engage students, and make the knowledge 'stickier.'  Put simply, PBL proponents believe that people learn by doing.

An essential component to PBL is that students will be held accountable and will undertake their learning with the knowledge that they will need to report and present to members of the community.

Director of CTE, David Rosser (in foreground) was able to attend several presentations.

Mrs. Godby's students presented topics including the tragedies (and crimes) of drunk driving and infant abuse. At the end of his team's presentation on the dangers of texting while driving, team member Jose shared how his work on this subject forever changed how he viewed this issue.  Through working on the project, he realized that his own texting while driving had to stop.

Inclusion of the TEKS means that students know what they are expected to learn.
 Also required by Mrs. Godby are that all groups must include the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge & Skills) that their project covered. Mrs. Godby says that at the beginning, implementing Project Based Learning definitely took her out of her comfort zone.
Criminal Justice teacher Stacy Godby
After the initial discomfort, she discovered she loves it and that the kids get more out of it when they seize on a subject and "own" their learning.  And, since she's opened up her class to PBL, the students have brought their own ideas to class, teaching her a thing or two about new technology.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Grenadier Guard featured on Houston's KPRC NBC 2- Inside High School Sports

It was great to see this feature on Huntsville High's Grenadier Guard featured on KPRC Channel 2.  Over the course of 45 years, it's become a Huntsville institution for which we are very proud.  We're happy for the coverage, and it's always satisfying to see that they get how special our program is.   Thank you!

Matthew Lahey  Huntsville ISD Huntsville Independent School District

Say Cheese! Seniors Take Annual Panoramic Picture

Earlier today, all of the Huntsville High School Class of 2014 gathered together in the band parking lot to participate in a Huntsville tradition- the taking of the senior class photo!

Smile pretty, y'all (Click Image to enlarge, Click enlarged image to begin slideshow)
We were on that side of the building, and couldn't resist capturing the behind the scenes of this annual event.  The photographer shot three scenes- the classic pose, a crazy one and one in which all of the seniors formed the number 14.  For all of you Huntsville High underclassmen, Mance Parkers, Intermediate Students and all you elementary students---- Keep Going- This is is in your future !!!

One, two, three, Go Crazy!
 Tomorrow, the photos will be for sale during megalunch.  Prices are $25 for the classic, $35 for the classic and crazy one, and $45 for all three (classic, funny & the "14" one).

Senior Zitlalic looks on as Carlos quickly snaps a few of photos of fellow seniors (left to right) Laura, Maria, Lilian and Yadira before heading back to class.
Read 'em and Weep- All Seniors Listed Here

Seniors Allison, Jessica and Travis  pause for a photo in the line up before the photos.
Class of 2014, Represent!

Matthew Lahey  Huntsville ISD Huntsville Independent School District

Monday, November 4, 2013

Working on the Work Conference Huntsville ISD and Schlechty Center

Today, many of us from the District are in Houston attending the Working on the Work Conference hosted by The Schlechty Center. Huntsville ISD has over 85 folks participating here, and we represent all campuses, departments and school subject matters.

Christell Marshall, Rosa Valles and Gary Evans.

There is a feeling of purpose, and a sense of the significance in the air.  Our district has put forth a huge investment in time and energy to make this happen.  It's an investment in us, and it is an act of belief that we can make this the best school district in the state of Texas.

Dr. Steve Johnson outlines the plan for the debrief.

We all understand that this is our time away to work together to take Huntsville Independent School District to the next level, for our children, for ourselves, and for our community.

HISD Community members from various campuses and various disciplines come together at one table. 

Beverly Kelly (partially obscured by laptop), Angee Andrus, Dr. Steve Johnson and Marjetta Spriggs

Clockwise from: Jennifer Barnes (seated in red), Jennifer Moore,  Scott Bumbaugh (glasses), Amber Rodriquez, Virginia Mathiews
One of the teacher take aways from today, "There is no Superman. If I am waiting for someone to come into my classroom to make it great, I can't wait. It's up to me. I will do it myself."

It's a great time to be a Hornet, now we better get back to the work :-)

Matthew Lahey  Huntsville ISD Huntsville Independent School District

Friday, November 1, 2013

Huntsville High's S.O.A.P Squad Speaks (and Screams, and Sings) Out Against Problems at Scott Johnson Elementary

Wednesday morning, we were lucky enough to catch the Huntsville ISD phenomenon known as The Soap Squad perform for the students of Scott Johnson Elementary School.

Let's get it started!!  (Click image to enlarge, click enlarged image to begin slide show.)

Are you believing this?

Huntsville High School's improv / theater /singing performance team is storming through all of the district's elementary schools for Red Ribbon week.

The troupe is bringing the positive messages of kids staying Drug & Alcohol Free, and also sharing the message that it takes all kids to keep Huntsville ISD a Bully Free Zone.

Now in it's ninth year, HHS counselor and sponsor (aka "Da Bosss!!!") Danielle Williams now has high schoolers that saw the Soap Squad when they were little.  Why does she keep doing it? She knows that it makes a difference...and it doesn't hurt that she loves to act and be silly, too.

Do you think they are listening?

Getting Serious & Looking Ridiculous...yes that is a HHS student with a SpongeBob Toilet seat on his head.

How do you like his plunger?  

Are you ready to do this?

This student wears a red ribbon in her hair to celebrate  Red Ribbon Week.

Afterwards, the Soap Squad always stays for high fives.

First / Top Row- Jared Shirley, David Bohan, Barrett Koerselman, Dawson Smith, Demarcus Hester

Second Row- Chance Hartley, Randy Goodson, Kori Beckman, Sabrina Johnson (squad leader), Trey Williams, High School Counselor Danielle Williams (aka "Da Bosssssss!!!!")

Third Row- Ciera Fowler, Paige Losak, Julian Thorne, Robin Welle, Keona Wynne (squad leader)

Fourth Row- Claudia Guevara, Skylar Smith, Sydney Andrus, Kyndal Ootsy

Fifth /Bottom Row- Eugene Nam

Not Pictured: Serra Bauer

Matthew Lahey  Huntsville ISD Huntsville Independent School District