BHST Students “Survived”!

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At the end of the year, I asked the Bridge to Health Science Students (BHST) to tell me what they would like to see on their t-shirts.  They wanted the front of the shirt to say, ” We Are the BHST!”  The back was to read, “We Survived!”

Hands On Learning

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Taking a closer look at the eye.

The Business of Educating Kids!

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This morning I opened the Standard Examiner and read an article penned by Brad Larsen.

During the summer before my second year at Weber HS, Brad came for his first day as an administrtive intern. He noticed that I was painting the teachers’ lounge and immediately went home, put on some overalls, and started helping me paint. What a first impression he made!

This same work ethic/self discipline was the the topic of the article in the paper this morning. Brad wrote:

Professionally, self-dicipline is a matter of breaking habits that break your business and building habits that build your business. In time, your ability to accomplish your goals will run on automatic pilot without the need to resort to excuses for inaction.

Here are some facts that will help you zero in on the power of self discipline:

  • Discipline is the process of geting organized and managing your time.
  • Discipline is the ability to stay focused on your chosen action path without detour, distraction or interruption.
  • Discipline is the ability to keep all agreements with yourself and with others, without blame, excuses or caving in to obstacles.
  • Discipline is the ability to show up on time, every time.
  • Discipline is the ability to complete important personal or business projects on schedule, even on budget.
  • Discipline is character driven, no emotion driven.
  • Discipline is the power to keep going forward when everything around you seems to be pulling you back.

If you would like to read Brad’s full article, it can be found at

It was easy for me to connect with what he was saying. After all, we are in the business of educating kids!

This Time It’s Personal

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Is this your child or grandchild?

In January when I saw this picture in The Journal, I knew I had to share this concept with others. The young girl with all her skills and interests was so typical of my own grandchildren. 

As I read the article, I was not convinced that this was something our teachers could do.  I did feel that the thoughts in the article were important concepts for us to think about.  Personalized Learning is a concept of the Technology Age and we are definitely there!

  • As Mark Edwards, superintendent of the Mooresville Graded School District (NC), explains, “Personalized learning can look different from hour to hour and from class to class, but there are some common threads. There are always high levels of engagement, high levels of differentiation, lots of opportunities for students to expand their personal interests through school projects, and a lot of collaboration.”

  • “The student, using technology, is better able to personalize their learning than a teacher is,” Thomas Greaves says. “Teachers don’t have time to sit down and study each student, each day, in each course to figure out what they’re going to do differently with them. Teacher-driven personalization ends up being very weak, with very few factors, whereas if the students are leading their personalization via technology, then their instruction can be personalized based on a hundred variables instead of one or two.”  This quote is from Thomas Greaves, CEO of The Greaves Group, an educational consulting firm.

Much of the Personalized Edcuation concept depends on a 1-laptop per 1 student ratio.  This is not often a something that can be managed in a public school setting. If I have caused you to wonder about this concept, the entire article may be read at

It’s funny how a picture can capture one’s attention and open their eyes to new educational concepts.




Thank You, Quincey!

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Quincey shows the visitors artifacts from her "boneyard".

Yesterday, Quincey Pearce, Medical Forensics instructor at Weber HS, hosted a visit from Canyons District admistrators. Canyons District came to learn because they are planning to open a Medical Forensics Program at their Tech Center. Quincey spent the morning:

  • Explaining the Standards and Objective for the course that she and Tara Bell, USOE Helath Science Specialist, had developed.
  • Showing the textbooks available for student use, the on-line materials and the powerpoints that she had developed for the students.
  • Discussing the student labs and quipment necessary to run them. 
  • Relating experience that showed how the students responded to the curriculum and lab units.

It was a great learning experience for the Canyons District admistrators and myself.

Dave Green and his staff, Tonya and Lisa, prepared a folder with essential materials and information for each guest. They also treated us to a great lunch.

Later in the day we had the opportunity to visit with some of the students who were a part of the Medical Forensics classes.

Students hard at work on their on-line Medical Forensics materials.



Thank you, Tara

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Last spring I was so moved by the blog that Dave Brooks wrote about Superintendent Jacobsen’s retirement.  I made myself a promise that I would remember to do the same thing for those who are close to me.  Little did I realize that I would need to blog so soon………….

Not too many years ago, a very special WSD Health Science teacher applied for a CTE coordinator’s position. I was fortunate to be a member of the interview team and could instantly see that she was a “lady who knew her stuff”!  I was impressed and ever so happy when the rest of the interview team agreed that Tara Bell would be the next CTE Coordinator.

Reid Newey rearranged all of the coordinators’ program assignments that summer and I “lost” the Health Science programs to Tara.  This was an adjustment for me and, for a while, I think I was in mourning.  Now as I look back at all the great things Tara has done with the Health Science Program, I am in awe! Tara is a Visionary. Under her guidance, the CNA programs have expanded to all four high schools, the new Medical Forensics curriculum is in place, the Health Science Advisory Committee grew and is very active, the Bridge to Health Science Track was born and all the high schools’ health science programs have grown.  Not only has she been a Visionary…..But she is also a “Mover and a Shaker”!

Tara was assigned the Law Enforcement program. It was so much fun to watch her work with the officers and their curriculums at the early morning PLCs.  Tara enjoyed going to the Point of the Mountain on field trips with the students, coordinating the Medical Forensics and Criminal Justice magnets, leading the Public Service Advisory Committee, and planning for a Law Enforcement magnet that, when the USOE curriculum is written, may someday become a reality in the district.

It was great to have Tara show interest in learning how to do the USOE data reports, help with the district Concurrent Enrollment reports, master the USOE CACTUS and PATI programs, and use the AS400/MyStudent programs and reports.  It was so good to have someone to help answer questions and solve problems. It was easy to turn to Tara for new insights into these reports and programs.

Tara was so visible and WSD programs were so successful that the Utah State Office of Education (USOE) could not help but see how much Tara had to offer as they continuously tapped her to write curriculum, participate on state committees, and then do some contracted work for them. Last month we all learned that the USOE tapped Tara to fill the state Health Science Specialist position.  I guess the USOE really does know what it is doing!

Tara, I will miss your skills, your insight, your intelligence, your kindness and your friendship.  I have loved working with you and watching you grow.  Reach for the stars. They are within your reach!

Thank You WSU Concurrent Enrollment Office!

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Today I watched approximately 80 Weber School District Concurrent Enrollment students from four (4) high schools have a great time participating in an activity sponsored by the Health and Human Performance Department at Weber State University. Students from three (3) concurrent classes, Exercise Science, Intro to EMS, and Nutrition were invited to spend the day at WSU participating in five (5) breakout sessions related to degree pathways offered by this department.  Each breakout session focused on having the students totally involved in an activity that was essential to that area.  I was able to attend the Stress Session and relax on a yoga mat while learning several positions and the importance of breathing correctly.  I moved on to a relaxing massage chair and a Chi machine while having the importance of releasing stress explained.  My time in the Human Performance Lab saw me attempting three (3) minutes of “stepping” followed by a bone density test and a skin-fold test with someone explaining the norms for each test.  Other breakouts saw the students on the running track sprinting on the straight-a-ways and walking on the curves, playing street soccer and handball, and tasting some very nutritious foods.  Students also were treated to a great lunch and gifted with WSU back packs, t-shirts and informational material about the department and its programs/degrees.  Thank you, WSU Concurrent Enrollment for offering WSD students such a wonderful experience. The day was a tremendous success!



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Grant Harkness, TRHS Business Instructor, is always reading and forwarding articles of educational interest.  Today, he sent this e-mail to the faculty and staff:

How many of us have heard of this?  From this paragraph, what do you think of this?

 The concept of “Flipping the Classroom,” which involves having students learn independently from video-based lessons and do their “homework” in school with the teacher’s help, is gaining popularity — and a successful track record. It looks different in different classrooms and is also known as inverted learning. The practice has a wide variety of uses that are transforming student learning.

Needless to say he peaked my curiosity.  Googling, I found a Teacher’ Monthly articile titled, Flipping The Classroom,

I hope that each of you will read the article.  Personally, I see this as another teaching tool/strategy for us to use.  I cannot imagine this working in all classroom situations every day.  Needless to say, the teacher would have to be well versed in the use of technology. The technology would have to be available for students to use on a regular basis.  And, the teacher would have to find the time to rework his lesson plans and student materials.

OOPS! As I reread the paragraph above, my mind kept thinking, “Am I writing about an On-line High School with the teacher being on the other end of a computer/website/e-mail/phone line?” I know it is a bit of a stretch, but…..

The last paragraph of the article seemed to really say it all:

 The Flipped Classroom is in tune with the Information Age, and requires a technical sea to swim in. It requires different skills from teachers, and over time teachers with these skills will thrive, and those without will fall by the wayside. Many commentators say the that Flipped Classroom will encourage a shift from The Sage of the Stage style of teaching to the Guide on The Side. I disagree. To my mind the teaching style best suited to the Flipped Classroom is the Meddler in The Middle. Teachers cannot sit on the sidelines, merely steering children in the right direction. Teachers need to roll up their sleeves, they need to mentor, to lead, to model, to understand each child’s problems and get their hands dirty sorting it all out! Teaching in the Information Age will never be achieved by standing on the side-lines. So, with teachers authoring digital instaructional content, and getting their hands dirty helping children process the information, will teachers be needed in the Information Age? YES!     

Dorian Love, Teacher’s Monthly, August 2011



Finding Something NEW!

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When we start a new school year, we often want “new” things – new clothes, new shoes, new hairdos, and of course, new lesson ideas. I opened my Google Search box and had some fun a few minutes ago. I found some great videos and images. They definitely will “spice” up lessons.

I clicked on Google Images and in the box typed “CTE”.  I discovered 1,500,000 (approx) images.  Did not have time to look at them all but felt I saw things that would make great posters, clipart, and powerpoint images. 

I then clicked  on Google Videos, in the box typed “CTE Pathways”  and took a look at what came on the screen.  The first several pages were all uploads to YouTube of Utah CTE Pathway videos. Then I began to see other states and their videos.  You might want to check them out.  There seemed to be several very good ones about the Culinary Arts Pathway.  Next I input “Career and Technical Education” and was surprised at the many extensions of this phrase that were offered.  I looked at about 10 different videos and realized that I had excellent material for our Advisory Lessons and our Career Day Experience here at Two Rivers. 

I would encourage each of you to explore Google Images and Videos for some “new” additions to your lessons and your classroom.  I look forward to seeing what you have found.


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When I get a new copy of The Journal, I usually try to thumb through it quickly and see if something catches my eye.  Today as I thumbed quickly through the magazine, in the Here & Now section, one title caught my eye – Students Need to Know Learning Goals.

The following comment by Andrew Pass to an earlier article caught my attention

The part of this article (“Talkin’ About a Revolution, “ …….)that most resonated with me was when Karen Cator explained that by 2020 students should be able to get up in the morning with a clear sense of purpose.  They should know what they are going to do in the classroom before they get to the classroom. (Actually, they should not even have to go to the classroom to fulfill their learning objectives.) I think one of the major problems with much learning today is that students do not understand the goals they are trying to fulfill during the learning process. Students do not know what they need to learn, nor do they know why they need to learn it. Clearly without this knowledge they cannot feel pride for fulfilling specific learning objectives. One of the reasons that video games are so popular is that players know what they are trying to do, and they work to fulfill those objectives. Learning need to borrow this video-game trait  – Andrew Pass

His comment caused me to google the article and read the article.

I was sorry that I had not spent some time reading the on-line article when it came out. I realized I could have used some of the insight as I visited with the TRHS CTE teachers about learning goals (objectives). Below I have copied a small portion of one question and the answer that precipitated the comment from Andrew Pass.

Projecting ahead to 2020, what will students’ experiences look like?

Cator: We’re talking about the opportunity for students to wake up in the morning with a strong sense of purpose that they’re going to school because they are in the business of learning. They are empowered with their own device, their own learning record, their own feedback. They know what they’re going to do next without having to wait for someone to tell them. And they have access to the people around them—not just physically around them, but people who might be online, the experts, anyone who can help them get where they need to go. They will still go to a place and still have these people called teachers who are working with them and are connected with their work.

Roberts: In 2020, students will be able to learn no matter where they are. The whole playing field has to be leveled; the key to the future is that students will have the opportunities and resources to go as far as they possibly can as learners.

Bailey: There are going to be a lot of different ways that students get just-in-time access to the content, the instruction, and the extra assistance they need. Schools will continue to be hubs; they’ll just change in their roles. They will become more like communities where students get help from teachers. It will be a richer, more adaptive experience as the learning adjusts to the needs and styles of those particular students. I see some exciting innovations over the next couple of years.

I have now read the entire article.  The questions and answers are causing me to think about where our district, CTE, teachers, and students will be in the future.

Too often, when I use the word FUTURE, I tend to think it is so far past me that I do not need to worry about it just yet. However, a quick reality check for me is that I have two granddaughters in the 7th grade this year.  They will graduate in 2016. I plan on being with them to celebrate that special event.  It at times like these that I realize that I NEED TO SIT UP AND TAKE NOTICE OF THINGS RELATED TO “THE FUTURE!”



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