November 17, 2013 — Uncategorized
This is re-posted from the district irock website. The original version can be found here. While the article appears below, you will need to click the link in order to get the sample templates, etc..
Parents: Do You Have a Family Media Agreement?
Did you know?
78% of teens now have a cell phone, and almost half (47%) of them own smartphones. That translates into 37% of all teens who have smartphones, up from just 23% in 2011.
23% of teens have a tablet computer, a level comparable to the general adult population.
95% of teens use the internet.
93% of teens have a computer or have access to one at home. Seven in ten (71%) teens with home computer access say the laptop or desktop they use most often is one they share with other family members.
These are among the new findings from a nationally representative Pew Research Center survey that explored technology use among 802 youth ages 12-17 and their parents.
What Can Parents Do to Manage Digital Media in the Household?
As digital technologies become more and more prevalent in the home, parents must take on the added role of 21st century mentors and guides. Even the most tech savvy amongst us can use help in this regard! Here are a few recommendations, courtesy of CommonSenseMedia.org.
1. Set guidelines for use via a Family Media Agreement
Discuss expectations for media and technology use at home with Common Sense Media’s Family Media Agreements, establish guidelines for responsible device care using their Customizable Device Contract, and discover the best learning products through Learning Ratings.
2. Educate Yourself
Familiarize yourself with age-appropriate issues via Common Sense Media’s actionable Family Tip Sheets, available in both English and Spanish. Follow that up by viewing these Advice Videos. Parents can filter their search by topic to find videos (in English or in Spanish) that best address their family’s needs.
3. Talk with your Children
Now that you can talk the talk, it’s time to walk the walk. Discuss items of importance or concern with your children. As necessary, use the family tip sheets or advice videos provided above to spark the conversation!
Media specialists and teachers in Rock Hill Schools use resources like Common Sense Media and the South Carolina Internet Safety Standards to teach responsible and ethical technology use. We’ll continue to partner with parents to make digital citizenship an expectation for every child.
November 17, 2013 — technology
Did you know the number of high paying, lucrative jobs in the computer science industry far exceed the number of qualified applicants?
Did you know computer science is the highest paying degreed job?
Did you know jobs in the computer programming field are growing at 2 times the national average?
Did you know that only 2.4% of college degrees are in computer programming?
Did you know nationally that 9 out of 10 schools do not teach one course in computer programming?
Did you know that only 18% of college graduates are women in technology?
Did you know that more than 70% of the new jobs in our country will deal with computing?
Did you know that jobs in computing and healthcare are the two most highly demanded jobs in SC?
Did you even realize that if you go in for a “routine” surgery that a robot could more than likely operate on you?
So, why ask all of these questions? Sullivan Middle school has a computer science/coding academy that is preparing our students to engage in their futures.
National Computer Science week is from December 9 – 15th, 2013. Sullivan’s computer science academy will host our very first “Hour of Code”. During this time, every student in the entire building will code for one hour! The hours will be staggered for each grade level, and during the time of code, computer science academy students will be present in the classroom to offer assistance.
Tentative Date : December 9th, 2013
Time : Staggered time period per grade level
Participants: ALL SMS students
How it will work: During the designated hour, each student will code on Hopscotch. Hopscotch is a free app that all students need to have downloaded on their iPads prior to Thanksgiving break. On the day of the event, two Jr. Computer Scientist (academy students) will be in each classroom while you code, to assist students and answer questions.
They will talk briefly about the code and how awesome coding is. Each student will code for an hour on their iPad’s, while the Jr. Computer Scientist will float around your room assisting.
More information will be released at the date approaches!
November 11, 2013 — Literacy
It was a busy October for our media center. Wonder what goes on all month in the media center? Check out our stats below!
October 24, 2013 — Uncategorized
Congratulations to Mrs. Pecarina, Choral Director, and our students who were recently chosen for the York County Honors Choir. This is a great achievement!
Mary Hope Ballou
October 24, 2013 — Uncategorized
Congratulations to the following students who were rewarded by Sullivan, Winthrop and State Farm. These students were selected for a variety of reasons as they demonstrate many of the I.B. Learner Profile Qualities. Congratulations to them for being such great members of the Sullivan Community! These students received a voucher for 2 to any Winthrop home game this year, a Winthrop Athletics poster and got to meet several Winthrop athletes and “Big Stuff”. A big thank you to State Farm and Winthrop!
Lanie Jo Knight
October 23, 2013 — Literacy, News and notes
Sullivan Middle School Celebrates Teen Read Week 2013
Last week, our school library media center participated in the American Library Association’s Teen Read Week by planning a variety of activities for our students. Each day of the week, students had the opportunity to win prizes by correctly answering trivia questions about books, authors, and more related to this year’s theme “Seek the Unknown.”
We also began promoting two fun reading opportunities. The first is our annual Junior Book Award program. Each year, South Carolina’s librarians, teachers, parents, and students gather to put together a list of what they consider the best books published in a three year time frame. This year’s list is particularly dear to Mrs. McManus, our library media specialists, since she is currently a member of the South Carolina Junior Book Award committee and helped choose the 20 titles featured on this year’s list. To participate in the South Carolina Junior Book Award program, students must read at least three of the twenty titles by Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2014. The next week, the library will host a voting party, which usually means pizza, chatting about the books we’ve read, and casting a vote for our favorite title. All the votes are then sent to the South Carolina Association of School Librarians to be tallied. The winning author receives a beautiful medal and the gratitude of South Carolina students for writing such wonderful books.
Our second book promotion is new this year. Mrs. McManus created a list of 10 reading tasks to form the Winter Reading Challenge. Tasks range from reading a Junior Book Award to reading a book from a different perspective, to reading something with a winter theme. With the cool nip in the air, this was a perfect time to get our students snuggled up with their noses in a good a book, or their iPad if they are completing Task 10, reading a book from our digital collection on FolletShelf! Students only need to complete 5 of the tasks by December 6, 2013 to have their name placed in a drawing for a $25 gift certificate to our December book fair, receive Edmodo badges for participation, and receive a special treat Mrs. McManus has planned.
It is not too late for students to sign up to participate in either or both of these great reading promotions. Any student interested in learning more should stop by the library to see Mrs. McManus or log on to our Edmodo groups: FalconsRead (m9itgt) or Winter Reading Challenge (au39xa).
We were also treated to a visit from the York County Public Library during Teen Read Week. Miss Abbie, the teen librarian, met with sixth and seventh grade students to talk about all the fun things the library offers for our teens and tweens. She talked about everything from homework help to fun sleepover activities the library hosts. She also gave each student a string bag courtesy of the public library. The bookmobile stopped by in our parking lot and gave students tours, asked them to guess how many books were on board, and talked to them about bookmobile services. Did you know if check out from the bookmobile, you won’t be charged late fines? I didn’t! We’re already planning to have the bookmobile and Miss Abbie back to talk to our eighth graders.
Any student who would like a York County Public Library card can see Mrs. McManus in Sullivan’s library media center for an application. New privacy laws require that a parent or guardian provide a driver’s license or other identification for students to receive a card, so once the application is complete, an adult will need to accompany the student to the main branch of the public library to actually get the card. This card will open up a whole new world to your child. The library offers online homework help and a great collection of ebooks and audiobooks right from your internet accessible computer, iPad, or other device.
We ended Teen Read Week by hosting the top 25 library patrons during Friday’s Academy. Each student who attended the event received a light breakfast of muffins, grapes, and water. They also selected a book to take home for their personal library courtesy of Mr. Waiksnis! The students were thrilled to have some time to spend with other library lovers and enjoyed eating and talking about books and other hot tween topics. The library plans to host a top 25 celebration each nine weeks.
School Library Media Specialist
Library Web Page: www.tinyurl.com/falconsread
Follow the library on Facebook too! SMSMediaCenter
October 22, 2013 — Uncategorized
What does Miami Heat star Chris Bosh, singer Will.i.am and some of our students have in common?
They are all coding!
Computer coding and computer science are two careers that are in huge demand. There are not enough qualified people to fill the jobs in these areas. With this in mind we started a Computer Science/Computer Coding class this year. It has been very popular and an exciting class for the students. We are very excited to bring this opportunity to our students. Below is an excerpt on the program so far:
“SMS computer science academy class is very excited to embark on a new journey. In collaboration with the STAR’s program at Winthrop University students will begin to learn how to code and create apps for the Ipad. Students are currently working on many different small projects, creating graphics, animations, coding web pages, and coding using Scratch. It is our goal to offer an hour of coding for the entire school during National Computer Science Week, Dec 9-15th. We are currently planning for this school wide event and can’t wait to help every student at Sullivan learn how to code/program.”
For more information on coding and how you and your child can get involved visit:
This website has a wealth of information and FREE coding resources. Happy coding!
October 18, 2013 — Literacy
Check out what some of the faculty/staff members will be reading this weekend. At Sullivan, we are ALL readers!
Friday reading 10-18
October 13, 2013 — Uncategorized
Check out the two videos to learn more about our media center in the month of September as well as a recent field study to the State Museum in Columbia!
Media Center – September 2013
State Museum Field Study
October 4, 2013 — IB
Chinese at Sullivan
Are we preparing our students to be global citizens? What can public schools do to ensure our students learn about and appreciate other cultures that may be distinctly different than theirs? I had always wanted to start a Chinese language program at our school. I knew if our students were exposed to another culture they would be more globally minded. We teach Spanish and French and those languages certainly have their merits. However, adding Chinese would bring a vastly different culture to our students. We felt it would be a perfect complement to our now robust language program.
China is by far the most populated country and it would make sense for our students to begin to learn the most widely spoken language. Our students live in a global economy and will be competing and working with people from all over the world. Do we want to provide our students with a strong foundation to succeed in this kind of world? My answer has always been yes. We can fear the unknown or embrace it and prepare our students for success.
The first challenge was finding a way to make this type of program a reality at our school. After much research and after forging several connections, we were fortunate to find a great organization called the Chinese Cultural Center. This has developed into a strong relationship that has provided many opportunities for our school and school district. They assisted us in securing a teacher from China to teach Chinese. It is tough to find Chinese teachers already here in the U.S. and we wanted a native speaker to start our program. We were also able to secure two additional teachers from China to begin Chinese language programs at two other district schools. We started the language programs at the three schools this past school year!
In addition to starting the language programs, teachers from our district have had the opportunity to teach in China the past two summers. Over the course of two years we have sent approximately 60 teachers to China for one month. While there they either taught Chinese high school students or Chinese teachers. This has created great experiences and memories for our teachers. While they are sharing their expertise in China, I believe they are becoming stronger teachers themselves. It is such a powerful cultural experience and makes you a more well-rounded individual. This leads to even more powerful teaching back in the United States.
We have also had the wonderful opportunity to host students from China in our district. Last year 10 students from China spent a week at our school. This was an amazing experience for our students who were able to learn a little more about Chinese culture. Many families in our district opened their homes and were rewarded with a great cultural experience. I am sure we will continue to host students from China in the future.
I hope our next step in this journey is to send students from our school to live in China for two weeks. Many of our new partner schools in China have been doing this for some time and have extended an open invitation to our students. This can be a once in a life time opportunity for our students. There is nothing like learning a new culture by total immersion! I think it is critical that our students have the opportunity to travel abroad and learn about the world around them. As an International Baccalaureate school, I cannot think of a more powerful experience for our students.
I have been fortunate to meet with Chinese principals and education officials in the U.S. and now in China. They are very interested in our style of teaching and how our education system works. I think one of the great myths in the general public today is how “bad” our schools are performing. However, when you look at International tests, the U.S. is performing higher than ever. While we still have room to improve, we have moved leaps and bounds since international testing began. Did you know in the U.S., we have more students in college than ever before and the highest graduation rate in 40 years? Those are the facts, but they are often ignored and overlooked. I often wonder why this is the perception?
Through all the visits and meetings with Chinese educators, one thing is clear. They want to learn about how we teach, how we educate and how we run schools. They are looking to us to improve their educational systems. We should be proud and celebrate our schools. People are looking to learn from us.