Every year I am so excited that Leesville has inspired another acceptance into the annual WCPSS Showcase of Talent, Pieces of Gold. Then, as I sit in the audience at the Memorial Auditorium in Downtown Raleigh, I am reminded about how utterly impressed I am by our Leesville Cubs and the courage to stand on the stage before a packed performance hall of almost 2,500 people.
As they performed, I Wanna Be Like You, from The Jungle Book, one would have believed that they were a professional Theater Company touring the area. The confidence, and well, the PRIDE they demonstrated in their efforts only made me that much more excited for our May performance of our school musical. I only hope that you all will be able to join us as well for this very exciting opportunity.
While we are at it, I also wanted to congratulate another of out 5th grade artists, Our own Amelia Griffith, who earned a spot in the lobby of the auditorium for her painting
When Ms. Slock approached me back in the fall to ask for permission to re-start the Chess Club here at Leesville Elementary School, I was really excited. I encouraged her to speak with members of the faculty who may be interested in serving as staff representation. Never, in my wildest imagination, would I have guessed what would come next.
With the help and leadership of our LOGIC Teacher, Ms. Kim Guza, and our 5th Grade Math Teacher, Mr.
Nick Simpson, our club now welcomes as many as 65 students per session. They started with Chess for beginners and have since developed the program to field a small, home-grown tournament just last week. I have h
ad so mus fun watching our Chess Club meet and really discuss the game, the history of the game, and especially the strategy involved.
Well Casey, did you ever think it would be this big so quickly?
Leesville Elementary School was out in full force this past Saturday, as our own LES Cubs, their parents and families, all led by Ms. Annie Reed and Ms. Shannon McEnteer, came out to compete for the first time in Battle of the Books. Our competition on this sunny and warm Saturday morning... York Elementary School and Penny Road Elementary School.
This was my first time at one of these contests and it was super exciting! The students took the stage, two teams at a time. Right from the start, both of our opponents seemed competitive with smart responses and strong retention of the 18 high level reads required by all participating teams. However, from the first time that our students took the stage, I knew that we had it wrapped up. In addition to the outstanding attention to detail demonstrated by our competitve reading Cubs, the students were clearly coached well by Ms. Reed and Ms. McEnteer, as they recognized the importance of strategy, collaboration, and amazing listening skills.
By the end of the contest, it was the Leesville Rd. Elementary School Battle of the Books Team that came out victoriously on top. The students, the coaches, the parents, and most of all, I could not have been more proud of our Cubs. Once again, it has been demonstrated that The PRIDE Starts Here at LES!
To look at these pictures, one might think that this is just another standard day at Leesville... perhaps a morning meeting for a large number of faculty and staff to get together for some professional collabortation. However, this was no ordinary meeting or workshop.
These pictures were just taken this past Saturday, Febrary 4th, when 45 members of the faculty and staff gave up their entire Saturday morning from 8 to noon, to learn how to more effectively teach our students and build math maticians to promote math reasoning skills. This particular process encourages the use of bar models in order to gather line of information that allow for successful processes in math computation and reasoning, similar to a K-12 continuum of reading comprehension skills.
Our presenter, Dr. Valerie Faulkner, a professor at North Carolina State University, help our attention through engaged instruction and meaningful, relevant learning topics. In fact, throughout the morning, as I looked at the clock, I was surprised to note that 45 minutes passed. 3 minutes later, I look back up at the clock and was shocked that 90 minutes had gone by. Then, looking at the crowd of teachers after 2 hours passed, there was no loss of energy... the group actually appeared more alive and charged.
We were so lucky to have such an incredible opportunity to learn from one of the most accomplished and credible Math Educators in the country, and Leesville is so fortunate to have the type of dedicated educators, who are so committed to outstanding teaching and learning. I am certain that we will see the impact of this meaningful opportunity.
In the closing days of January, our 4th Grade Students and Teachers took us on journeys through history through their Wax Museum event. Personally, I started my travels with the Wright Brothers, to King Tut, to Anne Frank, to Alexander Hamilton. My travels taught me of many other times, places, and significant events as well as the students presented their historical figures.
It is a safe assumption that all of our guests to the 4th Grade Wax Museum were equally impressed with the final products that were presented by our young historians. The students really reached the high expectations set by their teachers in their research, in their writing and displays, and most of all, in their very entertaining present
ations. I am already looking forward to our next opportunity for our Leesville Cubs, at any age and level, to show and demonstrate their learning in such a creative manner.