Friday, May 20, 2016

Google Expeditions Pioneer Program

Today, the Google Expeditions Pioneer Program brought virtual field trips to the students and staff of Gary D. Wright Elementary School.  Expeditions is a new product that allows teachers to take their classes on virtual field trips, immersing students in experiences that bring abstract concepts to life and giving students a deeper understanding of the world beyond the classroom.  Thanks to the Google Expeditions Pioneer Program, GDW Student and staff were able to virtually visit and explore destinations aligned to our curriculum, including desert habitats and national monuments.  The Wildlife Conservation Society, PBS, the American Museum of Natural History, the Planetary Society, and the Palace of Versailles contributed to developing these virtual field trips for our students.  The trips are collections of virtual reality panoramas — 360° photo spheres, 3D images and video, ambient sounds — annotated with details, points of interest, and questions. We had a blast visiting places we have learned about throughout our studies this year!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Bill Buczinsky Visits GDW

Mr. Bill Buczinsky, poet, performer, and teacher inspired the poet in each of us this week as he completed a two day residency at Gary D. Wright Elementary School.  Bill kicked off his visit with an assembly, where he introduced the game of poetry to us.  He continued by conducting poetry writing workshops for our 2nd-5th grade students.  Bill wrapped up his visit by hosting Poetry Open Mic Night, where students and staff joined him in sharing poems and coming together in the name of poetry.  A huge thank you to our PTO for providing the funding to support this educational opportunity for our students and their families!

Bill's visit inspired students to write and share poems, such as the following poem written by GDW fourth grade student, Andrew Belshan.

The Poet Tree 
By: Andrew Belshan
The Poet Tree
Is to explain to you or me
What is poetry

The trunk of the tree
Is the dictionary
Poetry is all about words
But it isn’t just for nerds!
The Poet Tree,
The Poet Tree

But what grows up from the trunk
Is complete fun.
Poetry without fun
Will make you feel glum
The Poet Tree,
The Poet Tree

What comes next you will not gripe
Every branch is a different type
From a haiku to a sonnet
You will definitely want it
The Poet Tree,
The Poet Tree

Instead of a leaf
There is a poet
Now you know it
They’re usually on
The branch they like best
But they can always
Visit the rest
The Poet Tree,
The Poet Tree

But when writing a poem
The most important part
Is you.
You are the leaf
You are the leaf
You can be big
You can be small
You can stay on one branch
You can visit them all.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Exercise Kids' Minds During Summer

Each month, the National Association of Elementary School Principals publishes its Report to Parents.  This month's Report to Parents, "Exercise Kids' Minds During Summer", offers families fun, brain-friendly activities to keep children engaged over the summer.

Friday, May 13, 2016

GDW's 9th Annual Kindergarten Picnic

Today, GDW Kindergarten students celebrated their learning by inviting their families to Gary D. Wright Elementary School's 9th Annual Kindergarten Picnic.  Our families enjoyed a picnic lunch on the lawn followed by a musical performance where Dr. Unruh accompanied our kindergarteners during our school song!  Congratulations, Class of 2028!  You are ready for first grade and we are so proud of you!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Staff Appreciation Week

From May 2-6, in honor of Staff Appreciation Week, we thanked our staff for all that they do to make GDW a great place to learn!  Our thoughtful, dedicated, generous, and supportive PTO coordinated a super-sized, super-hero themed, week-long celebration honoring our staff.  A huge thanks to everyone involved for making this a special week for our GDW Staff, who truly are superheroes dedicated to our students' success!