Tag Archives: Region 15

Wauwatosa teacher to speak at international conference on music software Now he’ll be speaking about it internationally

Wauwatosa teacher

Journal Sentinel: Wauwatosa East High School orchestra teacher Mike Hayden is heading to Germany in November to speak on integrating modern music technology in the classroom, a passion he’s developed in his 11 years of teaching.

Hayden will speak at the Ableton Loop Festival to attendees who are either teaching music production formally, in an after-school program or looking to start a music program.

Although he’s a regular presenter at state music education conferences, this is the first time he will travel to speak internationally.

Hayden has been using the Ableton Live software throughout his teaching career, which has included teaching a variety of music courses, including orchestra ensemble, a rock band class and digital music.

Although another teacher is in charge of the digital music classes at Wauwatosa East, Hayden helped create some of the curriculum for that class, and he still finds ways to integrate the software into his orchestra classes.

“I’m still able to do a lot more composition and improvisation activities in orchestra,” Hayden said. “We record and listen, we’ll use trap beats sometimes instead of our traditional metronome … I show kids that it’s OK to have fun and incorporate the stuff you like to listen to with what you play.”

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Shorewood High School senior’s creative writing program has global reach

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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “I am juicy, gooey, hot, cheesy and heaven in your mouth. What am I?” the teacher asked.

Hands shot in the air and 10 children bounced up and down in their seats. “Pizza! Pizza! Pizza!” they squealed.

The children, ages 8 to 12, were practicing giving their teacher descriptive words about their favorite food item without saying its name. 

It’s just one small piece of a curriculum created by 17-year-old Katie Eder.

Four years ago, Eder’s sister started tutoring kids in math, and she wanted to follow in her big sister’s footsteps. There was one problem — Katie is bad at math.

But the thing she is good at is writing, and Eder couldn’t find anywhere that offered tutoring for children, so she approached Milwaukee’s COA Youth and Family Center to allow her to teach creative writing.

They took a chance on the 13-year-old and agreed — and the result was Kids Tales, a program to empower children, often in low-income areas or in juvenile detention centers, to use creative writing to discover their voice and share their story.

Teenagers, and only teenagers, volunteer to teach children for a week and guide them as they write their own short story, working on brainstorming and plot and character development. Once the stories are completed, they are put into a book, making each child a published author.

Tom Schneider, COA’s executive director, said there was plenty of skepticism during Eder’s first summer, but the results spoke for themselves.

“We’ve (COA) got nothing but admiration and applause for the work that she’s (Eder) done and the impact of the kids that she’s worked with,” Schneider said.

The Shorewood High School senior said it isn’t uncommon for participants to tell her it felt like the first time their stories could be heard and that their voices mattered.

 “I didn’t have an understanding exactly about the impacts that it would have,” Eder said. “I thought, OK this is something I could just keep for myself …  but it’s also something that has a real impact and can make a difference.”

Wisconsin’s History Teacher of the Year has Strayed from Using Textbooks

history teacherNorthwest Now: Rhonda Watton has progressively gone away from relying on textbooks to teach her social studies students at Templeton Middle School, relying most on primary accounts of history to teach, a method that has earned her the accolade of Wisconsin’s History Teacher of the Year.

Watton has been a teacher for 25 years, beginning in the Milwaukee Public Schools in 1992 and spending the past 20 years in the Hamilton School District.

Her love of history was sparked by college professors at Carthage College in Kenosha.

“They made history come alive for me; it really was interactive classes and they had different ways of presenting the material,” Watton said. “Some of it was through literature, some was through film and plenty of discussion.”

This teaching style struck Watton so much as a student that she made it her own as a teacher.

“The use of primary source documents in the classroom and not just teaching out of a history book, which is someone’s secondary source interpretation of what went on, is important,” Watton said.

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Elmbrook School District again named best in state by Niche website

Brookfield Elm Grove Now: For the second-straight year, the Elmbrook School District has come out on top after Niche.com crunched numbers and data across the state.

Niche is a national consumer ranking website. The website’s rankings take a number of factors into account, such as academic data, school resources, student and parent reviews and more.

Academics were weighed heavily, accounting for 50 percent of Niche’s rankings. Culture & Diversity, Health & Safety, Parent/Student Surveys on Overall Experience and Teachers Grade each accounted for 10 percent. Resources & Facilities accounted for 5 percent and Clubs & Activities and Sports accounted for 2.5 percent each.

In total, Niche analyzed 10,364 public school districts across the country. Academic grades were based on data obtained from the U.S. Department of Education.

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Milwaukee Public Schools reps visit Northwoods fab labs

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News Watch 12: Sparks flew in front of Valencia Carthen’s eyes, sparking inspiration to take back home.

“The first thing you learn as a brand new teacher is steal, steal, steal the best ideas,” Carthen said.

The Milwaukee Washington High School principal was getting ready to unpack her school district’s first fab lab equipment Friday. Thursday, she and 12 other Milwaukee Public Schools members checked out several Northwoods labs with 3D printers, laser engravers, and routers.

“I had a small idea, which I thought was a big idea, but just going on this tour… The sky’s the limit for these kids,” Carthen said.

The tour through Northland Pines, Three Lakes, and Florence happened after a conversation between State Representative Mary Felzkowski (R-Irma) and MPS Superintendent Dr. Darienne Driver. The two agreed small and big districts need to work together.

“A lot of times people think the rural schools just won’t have access to different resources, but they’ve shown us what they can do with what they have,” Dr. Driver said. “So, now my folks are going back and we’re all thinking like, OK, we can do this.”

State Representatives Rob Swearingen (R-Rhinelander), Jeff Mursau (R-Crivitz), and Felzkowski made a point of visiting Three Lakes. In 2014, it became the first K-12 district in the state to get a fab lab.

“This is where future education is heading,” Three Lakes senior Jack Connelly said.

Connelly and his team showed off their creation to lawmakers and school representatives. They also explained their goal of forming a business.

“I have no doubt in my mind that any student is capable of replicating what we’ve done here,” Connelly said. “The reason I know that is because I didn’t think I could do this six months ago.”

Since Three Lakes’ successful launch two and a half years ago, about 150 school districts statewide have built or signed on to build fab labs.

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MPS students gear up for Galapagos Islands adventure

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MilwaukeeNNS.org: At the beginning of the school year, Molly Schuld, a science teacher at Reagan College Preparatory High School, dreamed of taking students on a trip to the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador. Now it appears that her dream will come true.

“I care about three things: my students, science and traveling,” Schuld said. “I never really thought before about how I could put those three things together. But when this idea came across to me via a flier in my mailbox, I just thought to myself, ‘How could I say no to this?’”

Schuld received approval from Milwaukee Public Schools for the trip, and students have raised more than $22,000, including nearly $3,000 through GoFundMe. In addition, participating students have been making monthly payments toward the trip, using money from work, savings and donations from their families.

“We are all so incredibly appreciative of the support we have received from everyone in the community,” Schuld said. “This trip is going to broaden the cultural knowledge of these students and I couldn’t be more thrilled with the amount of effort they have put into making this happen.”

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Collaborative Effort Leads to $2 Million Grant to Support Wisconsin Regional Career Pathways Project

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Waukesha Patch: The State of Wisconsin has been awarded a $2 million Phase 2 New Skills for Youth grant to strengthen and expand career-education opportunities for Wisconsin students. Wisconsin was one of 10 grant recipients announced by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and JPMorgan Chase yesterday.

The School District of New Berlin was one of three Wisconsin districts included on the planning team to provide insight into how the grant objectives would support and build capacity for the work already going on in Wisconsin districts to ensure students graduate college and career ready.

“It is our collective work to ensure all students graduate as informed consumers of post-secondary education/training, expedite time to degree, provide opportunities that can fuel innovation and job creation, and support projected workforce needs,” School District of New Berlin Superintendent Joe Garza said. “We have been honored to have been part of such a collaborative effort to ensure all key stakeholders play an active role in these efforts.”

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Oasis Project growing at Kettle Moraine schools

Lake Country Now: At the age of 66 (going on 40 as she says) Jan Frans is pumped. The retired Kettle Moraine Middle School teacher’s Oasis Project took off faster than she could have imagined and now the project is reaching under-resourced students in two additional Kettle Moraine elementary schools this year.

Starting the tutoring project in September 2015 at Cushing Elementary School, about 30 Oasis Project tutors, all retired or working teachers, now work with under-resourced students at Dousman Elementary and Wales Elementary schools as well.

Some may think the Lake Country area doesn’t need services for under-resourced children, but Frans said the most shocking thing is that about 13 percent of children in the Cushing Elementary area are living at or below the poverty level and about 18 percent in Dousman and Wales.

Under-resourced children may also come from single parent homes where a child doesn’t have someone at home to support their work, Frans added.

The idea of the project was “like something I couldn’t shake,” said Frans.

“I couldn’t not do it,” Frans said. “I couldn’t get to the end of my life and wonder what it would have been like if I had tried.”

Frans spent a year visiting non profit organizations thinking “I would see I can’t do this,” and discovered “no one knew what they were doing when they started.”

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Wauwatosa East Orchestra Teacher Honored with Award for Creativity and Innovation

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Michael Hayden

Wauwatosa School District: Wauwatosa East Orchestra Teacher Michael Hayden has been awarded the Melvin F. Pontious Creative Sparks in Music Education Award from the Wisconsin Music Educators Association (WMEA).

Hayden, who is in his first year at Tosa East, was honored at the WMEA state conference in Madison on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016.

The award recognizes “imaginative, creative, and innovative teaching practices in a music education setting”. Hayden was nominated in 2015 by another music teacher in the state for his efforts in the area of music technology and popular music education, specifically the development of a commercial music program at his previous high school.

“This program grew from an idea of mine to two different courses in music industry, two in rock music, and establishing the school music technology lab,” explained Hayden. “East and West High School have also started offering digital music courses (new this year) and are great examples of ways that schools, district, and communities are supportive in finding ways to encourage all students to be creative and help them make music.”

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“It has helped me:” Menomonee Falls high schoolers take big leap forward in their future careers

Fox6Now.com: High schoolers in Menomonee Falls on Wednesday, October 26th took a big leap forward in their future careers. They’re studying healthcare, and for the first time, got to practice on real patients.

The students are doctors in training. Right now, they’re Menomonee Falls sophomores in the Healthcare Academy program — and on Wednesday, they performed vision and hearing screenings on the district’s elementary school students.

Dani Rabai always thought she wanted to be a doctor, but the Healthcare Academy program solidified it for her.

“It has helped me really focus on what I like,” said Rabai.

About 150 high schoolers are taking part in the Healthcare Academy program — a curriculum designed to allow students with an interest in medicine to explore the field and get college credit at the same time.

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