• Progress at Cummings High and Broadview Middle

    Posted by William Benson on 9/4/2019

    I stopped by Cummings High and Broadview Middle yesterday. New ceilings, lights, flooring, paint and modern, flexible seating in the libraries -- a world of difference compared to where we were last year with the much needed roof repairs underway. While there is more to do, we are in a much better place today than at this time last year -- and students notice "I feel like I am in a college library!"

     

    -WBB

     

     

    Cumming and Broadview Renovations

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  • Flexible Furniture

    Posted by William Benson on 9/3/2019

    With the help of our vendors, we were able to provide classroom make-overs for two lucky teachers who participated in MakingMINE19, our first summer teaching learning symposium. The make-overs included flexible seating options and student desks designed to be configured and reconfigured to support collaboration among students. Students in Ms. Hunt's class at E.M. Holt let me know what they think about the new flexible options.

     

    -WBB

     

    Ms. Hunt and her students

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  • Happy New (School) Year!

    Posted by William Benson on 8/26/2019

    Our traditional calendar schools started the new school year today! It is great to have everyone back in session. I visited a number of schools today and it is remarkable how quickly our students pick up where they left off last year – well, not the Class of 2032, our new kindergarteners. As we welcomed students back to school today, I am reminded and thankful for ALL of the staff in ABSS that work together to make positive things happen for our students!

     

    -WBB

     

     Back to school pictures

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  • Session with Percussionists

    Posted by William Benson on 8/23/2019

    I got to hang out with some talented percussionists at Graham Middle School this week in Mr. Castillo’s band class. I brought my first guitar to class – a 1970’s Yamaha classical (A better choice would have been my Epiphone Les Paul.). After a review of note values and some rhythm reading exercises (And yes, math was involved.), Mr. Castillo invited me to pick a song and the class would put together a drum accompaniment. So, a little 1960’s Beach Boys it was! Mr. Castillo had each percussionist come in one at a time until all were playing and then had each, one at a time – try a little improv – the students did a great job! Thanks to Principal Hayes for arranging!

     

    Dr. Benson with Graham Middle Percussionists

     

    P.S. I have a Trio Band Creator that I use for drums at home – this was WAY BETTER!   

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  • Odd or Even?

    Posted by William Benson on 8/16/2019

    I spent part of the morning today helping out in Ms. Morris’ 2nd grade class at Eastlawn Elementary School. I worked with small groups of students at one of 4 math stations.

     

    The Standard: NC.2.OA.3 Determine whether a group of objects, within 20, is an even number or odd number by: pairing objects, then counting by 2s, determining whether objects can be placed into two equal groups, writing an equation to express an even number as a sum of two equal addends.

     

    Our problem: Jamie has 13 oranges, 16 apples, and 8 bananas. She also has 2 paper bags. Which fruit will not fit evenly into the two bags? Why? Show your work. Write a number sentence to prove your conclusion.

     

    We used visible thinking strategies to discuss the numbers 13, 16, and 8 as even or odd. We divided cubes representing the fruits into two paper bags, drawing the conclusion that even numbers can be divided into 2 groups of the same size, with no leftover. Finally, students drew representations of the concrete experience on paper and wrote number sentences to show even or odd.

     

    Thank you, Ms. Morris. Great lesson – and strategy to uncover student thinking!

     

    -WBB

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  • Welcome Beginning Teachers!

    Posted by William Benson on 8/14/2019

    We welcomed 45 beginning teachers to ABSS this week! Our newest teachers gathered yesterday to formally begin their professional journey as first-time teachers. Teaching assignments include middle school math, first grade, dance, social studies, second grade, high school math, history, ESL, kindergarten, high school English, health and physical education, science, fifth grade math, EC, biology, business education, and third grade.  Thank you for choosing to start your teaching career with ABSS!

     

    -WBB

     

    Dr. Benson with Beginning Teachers

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  • Teens at North Graham Elementary School

    Posted by William Benson on 8/9/2019

    I spent part of the morning today with Mrs. Rebekah Porter and her first graders at North Graham Elementary School. The focus of the lesson was helping students understand that the two digits of a two-digit number represent the amounts of tens and ones (NC. 1. NBT. 2). Students were required to unitize (group in the unpacked standard) from a collection of ten ones and model (represent using tens frames, illustrations, and number sentences) the numbers from 11 to 19. Mrs. Porter engaged students through number talk, ensuring all students were thinking and ready to respond before any answers were shared with a partner and then the whole class through an agree/disagree and why discussion. A round of quiz-quiz-trade of recognizing teen numbers had students moving around the room as they named the teen number on cards they then traded. Students then moved on to representing teen numbers on dry erase tens frames, allowing Mrs. Porter to see student thinking. Students selected the number to represent from a bucket of numbers on each table, so no two students at a table were working on the same number at the same time. Students then selected two numbers to visually represent using tens frames, objects, and a number sentence using watercolors. It was a very well designed lesson, expertly executed with clear evidence of student thinking from all students. Mrs. Porter is an incredible teacher – passionate about kids and learning!

     

    -WBB

     

    Mrs. Porter's class

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  • Learning from Honda: The Power of Dreams

    Posted by William Benson on 8/6/2019

    I attended the 35th anniversary celebration of Honda Power Equipment in Swepsonville this morning. During the program, I was reminded of the important connection between schools, businesses, and our economy.

     

    Being able to go to work in our community is important. All of our students should have the knowledge and skills to be able to go to work, support themselves (and families if they choose), and participate fully in civic life – right here in Alamance County. Honda, and many other local businesses, make that possible.

     

    As a community, we are fortunate to have strong support for our schools from our business community. During the program Honda, made a $2,500 donation to ABSS (as well as donating emergency generators to local fire and rescue agencies).

     

    As a school system, we need to ensure we do our part in preparing our students so that they can leverage the power of dreams to shape their goals, work, and future successes.

     

    -WBB

     

    Dr. Benson's Event Badge

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  • They're Back!!

    Posted by William Benson on 7/22/2019

    Students (in our year-round schools) are back! I had the pleasure of visiting all of our year-round schools today. Students, teachers, and administrators were excited to be back in school. The schools and classrooms looked great! New lights throughout, shiny floors, and new paint – and some classrooms had new flexible seating. Teachers at Graham Middle were engaging students in our behavioral core. Mr. Underwood (South Graham Elementary) was teaching his students their class song, accompanying them on his guitar:

     

    Mr. Underwood: What is our job, our job today?
    Students: Get a little bit better in every way!
    *four times each

    Mr. Underwood: Going to be respectful, responsible,
    Students: and safe! 

    (The 3 B's of SGE)  
    *four times each
     
    Mr. Underwood: What is our job, our job today?
    Students: Get a little bit better in every way!
    *four times each 
     

    Ms. Griffis’ (Eastlawn Elementary) students were getting to try out some new flexible seating in their classroom. Ms. Barger, behavior interventionist at South Graham Elementary, was putting the final touches on their new sensory room and preparing fidget boxes for classrooms. Kudos to all for a great first day back!

     

    -WBB

     

    Dr. Benson's visitor badge

     

    P.S. The updated visitor management system is working quite well!

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  • Look Out, Nashville!

    Posted by William Benson on 6/1/2019

    We had an early celebration today for some of our 2019 graduates. I had the pleasure of meeting Damon Huskey, a member of the 2019 Class of Southern Alamance High School. Damon shared with me his passion for country music and his desire to go to Nashville. Damon closed out the celebration with an a capella performance of Trace Adkin's You're Gonna Miss This. Outstanding performance! Watch out, Nashville!!

     

     Dr. Benson and student

     

    -WBB

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