Many thanks to PHS artists Haley Dewsnap and Lauren Marin for creating the beautiful PHS Giving Tree displayed at PHS. The display is an opportunity for anyone in the PHS community to extend care to PHS students and families experiencing hardship. Parents, students, staff, clubs, alumni and friends are able to participate by selecting a leaf and fulfilling the listed need. Proceeds gathered from the Giving Tree will go to the the Clipper Family Fund and are overseen and dispersed to PHS families in need through a collaboration of the PHS Guidance Department and the nurses.
It’s impossible to capture all of the great things that go on in and out of classrooms here in Portsmouth each day, but below is a sample of just a few of the reasons we can all share in Portsmouth Pride!
Special Education Teacher Karen Dowling has created a math group to better meet the needs of students who require a different approach to grasping concepts as well as a slower pace. In doing so, learners in this group see them- selves as mathematicians and have gained the confidence to explain their thinking and show- case their newly learned skills.
Andrew French's 5th grade students recently had the chance to explore temporary art through building, rebuilding, and destructing plank structures over several weeks. This exploration encouraged team work, problem solving, perseverance, and reflection, along with the ideas of ingenuity, sketching, and creating. Students are now looking forward to the video Mr. French will stitch together that shows the wrecking ball in action!
Students in Mrs. Keil’s, Hennigar’s and Shaw’s kindergarten classes are engaged in daily “Rhyme Time” as they build their early literacy skills. Students are singing, chanting, and speaking in rhyme with adults throughout the building. New Franklin kindergarten teachers have been working closely with Reading, Speech and Special Education staff in creating a fun and targeted approach in preparation for becoming rock star readers.
Erin Bakkom, Tim Hodgdon, Chris Rose, Lyndsey Bouzakine, Kasey Brennan, Michael Dundon, Matt Alan, Khalid Whabi, and Tim Cashman gave up their weekend to help 82 eighth grade students through New York City. The annual 8th Grade trip coincides with the 8th Grade Social Studies units of study on immigration and the growth of cities in the United States.
Chef Perrin Long and his Culinary Arts students prepared complete Thanksgiving dinners for sale through Gourmet-To-Go. In this activity, students learn about kitchen production under pressure. This year they prepared a total of 45 turkeys (with stuffing), 118 quarts of gravy, 2 orders of potatoes, 27 additional orders of stuffing, and 115 pies! All proceeds go to support the program and to support students on the competition team.
Laura LaVallee’s Junior English classes had the unique opportunity on November 30 to do a Skype interview with Dr. Jackson Bryer, Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Maryland and author of The Critical Reputation of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. Ms. LaVallee’s students, who had just finished reading The Great Gatsby, asked Dr. Bryer questions about both the novel and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s life. Students were able to understand the novel on a deeper level thanks to Dr. Bryer’s insight and expertise.
Christine Stilwell has partnered with the Media Wing Production Company to work with students in her computer class. The students are learning about video preproduction, cinematography, and final production and will make a short informational video about their school to be posted on our website.
As a reminder, the Clipper Foundation has again issued an RFP for classroom grants. Over the last three years, they have funded a number of innovative projects and we have seen those projects continue to grow and expand. For those of you unsure about whether your idea is a match for this grant, I encourage you to visit their website and watch their new video embedded on the home page. You will see a few exemplars that some of your colleagues have developed. You can also go to the Grants tab for more information.