Monday, October 30, 2006

Mississippi Bend UniServ Visit Leads Us to Louisa-Muscatine Community Schools

On Monday, October 30th the association road took me to Louisa-Muscatine Community Schools. The two buildings (Elementary and Middle/High School) is situated out in the country between the communities of Fruitland, Grandview and Letts. Here over 1,000 students attend Pre-School through 12th grade in this growing district.

Volunteering to be the driver for the day was Lynette Claeys (pictured on the left) Mississippi Bend UniServ Director. Pictured with Lynette is our hostess for the morning, Aimee Wedeking (on the right). Aimee is the Louisa-Muscatine EA President and 1st grade teacher.

One of the first classroom visits we had was in the Computer Lab lead by Technology teacher Andy Crozier. Andy (pictured at left) is a 2nd year teacher and determined to stay in Iowa. He shared how both of his parents are school administrators here in Iowa. How we hope we keep this great educator in the classroom!

Andy shared with us that a year ago educators in the district worked hard in putting together a grant application for the use of I-Pods and they weren't successful in obtaining the $10,000 grant funding. The school district felt so strongly that it was a worthy investment, the district found the funding to fulfill the project. We watched 5th graders take a Math test by using the I-Pod. I put on a set of headsets and listened as the test was read to me, saw the same information on the I-Pod screen, and had the paper test in front of me. Kudos to the Lousia-Muscatine Community Schools leadership for investing in this cutting edge technology!

We were off next to visit the 4th grade classroom of Jill Cochran. I had the chance to read aloud Counting on Frank by Rod Clement (author/illustrator). Mrs. Cochran's homeroom were great listeners and seemed to enjoy the book. Here Jill is pictured (at left) with her homeroom. They especially loved the "mood" pencils!

The last elementary classroom I had a chance to visit was of 1st grade classroom of Mrs. Clevenger. In Mrs. Clevenger's room I read aloud Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens (author/illustrator). Students made predictions and easily caught on to the pattern in the book. Here (on the right) is Mrs. Clevenger and her homeroom of 1st graders.

Before leaving the elementary building I had an appointment to set down with 6th grade student, Lakin Curry. Lakin (pictured here on the left) prepares her laptop computer to conduct an interview with me that will become a "podcast". Wow, is this young woman technologically savy!

You can hear Lakin's podcast with me by downloading the free software (first link) then clicking on the second link to listen.

iTunes Link:

viewPodcast?id=93321551Web link:

We were then off to the Middle School/High School building. Here local EA president Aimee gave us a tour of the building, stopping along the way to make introductions.

We then headed down the hallways on the 1st day of the new quarter to the Government class. Here I am (pictured on the left) speaking to the students about how state government impacts their lives as a student and what movtivates folks to run for public office.

As we dropped President Aimee Wedeking off at the Elementary building, we gave big hugs to thank her for the great work she's doing as our local EA president! How lucky we are to have her enthusiasm and leadership! Thanks too Aimee for the great morning meeting your colleagues and seeing the magic that goes on here in Louisa-Muscatine Community Schools!

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