Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Homework vs. No Homework Is the Wrong Question | Edutopia



As educators we all struggle with ...what is the right  type of homework and how much homework should be given each night? Here is a very easy read on this topic:



Homework vs. No Homework Is the Wrong Question | Edutopia

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Northland Adventure Quest 2015



NORTHLAND PINES WELCOMES CHINESE STUDENTS
NORTHLAND ADVENTURE QUEST

For the second year, the Northland Pines School District is welcoming Chinese students for an adventure camp August 3 - 13. Northland Adventure Quest is a two-week long cultural experience which will engage Northland Pines students, ages 10-14, with Chinese students. Classes run Monday through Friday at the high school from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Teaching the students are Robin Indermuehle and Don Anderson, both SOAR Charter School Advisors in the Northland Pines School District.

On Saturday, August 1, the Chinese students arrived in Eagle River along with three chaperones. These students will stay at Trees for Tomorrow for the full two weeks with evening activities planned, enjoying all the Northwoods has to offer.

The students are prepared to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty! The students will be based at the Northland Pines High School each day but also plan to visit sites from the deep woods of Northern Wisconsin to the shores of Lake Superior, visiting the Porcupine Mountains and a fish hatchery, working with a local forester and learning the skill of tree pruning, stepping back in time at the Lac du Flambeau Native American Museum and jumping into the future designing straw rockets and programming Mindstorm Robotics.

Northland Adventure Quest will conclude on Thursday, August 13 by students presenting projects at Northland Pines High School beginning at 2 p.m. and holding a family picnic to follow. This cultural opportunity for students is sure to promote global learning. This unique experience is the only one of its kind and the Northland Pines School District is excited to host this event. 
Contact Dr. Mike Richie at 715.479.6487, ext. 1, opt. 1 or visit npsd.k12.wi.us 

Day 1 
Monday, August 3, 2015

After a full day of team building and project planning, the group kicked off Adventure Quest with a family picnic at Trees for Tomorrow where the Chinese students are staying.
Day 2 
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Northland Adventure Quest students had a fun day of exploring and learning. Students split up in two groups today. Group A went to Conserve School in Land O' Lakes! They enjoyed kayaking, swimming, hiking, picking raspberries and learning about nature and conservation.  Group B did project work and constructed straw rockets; along with learning the famous Chicken Dance.
In the evening, the Chinese students went out on the Pirate Ship exploring the Eagle River chain. New memories and friendships were made! Thank you to Conserve School and Pirates Hideaway for partnering with NPSD to offer these experiences for these students.    

Watch the Chicken Dance Video below:
video

After dinner the Chinese students enjoyed a ride on the Pirate Ship with Captain Steve at Pirate's Hideaway. Watch the Pirate Ship Video below:
video
Day 3
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
The two groups switched today as group B went to Conserve School and group A constructed straw rockets and worked on projects. 
After dinner we had a great time at Trees for Tomorrow enjoying a campfire, making and eating s'mores and playing games and just hanging out! One of our Northland Pines High School students joined us as she has an interest in learning the Chinese language. She has completed Chinese IV through our distance learning lab at Northland Pines High School and was very excited to be able to communicate with our Chinese friends. Check out the video below! 
video

S'mores are always a hit! This was the first time the Chinese students ever made and ate a S'more! Think they had fun?

Hanging out and just having some fun without devices and technology. The way it use to be when we grew up!
video
Day 4
Thursday, August 6, 2015
Day four was a great day as the Northland Adventure Quest students spent all day outdoors traveling to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to visit the Porcupine Mountains and Lake Superior. The students had fun hiking, playing in the sand, swimming, skipping and picking rocks and enjoyed a stop at Dari-Maid on the way home! It was a successful first week of Adventure Quest, with one more week filled with learning adventures to come.

After dinner the Chinese students spent a few hours downtown Eagle River attending the street dance and shopping.  
Day 5
Friday, August 7, 2015
Friday morning consisted of working on group projects and after lunch Northland Adventure Quest students were out in the field with Vilas County Forester, Justin Meier. They learned how to prune the branches of red pine trees in a plantation to improve the value and growth of the timber. Students were able to extrapolate the survival success of a stand of Jack Pine that was planted this spring using a random sampling technique. Mr. Meier used an increment borer to take a core sample from one of the Red Pine in the area. After counting the rings, NAQ students determined the tree was 107 years old. It was a great learning experience, thanks to Mr. Meier for sharing his knowledge with our students!

Friday evening the Chinese students had a great time at the Eagle River Bowling Alley.
Day 6
Saturday, August 8, 2015
With the weekend here, it was time for some fun enjoying a few of the local attractions. The majority of the day on Saturday was spend at Wildwood in Minocqua where the students really enjoyed the animals and were so excited to be so close to them. 
After Wildwood a stop at the 19th Hole for ice cream was well appreciated by all! One final stop before heading back to Eagle River was the park in St. Germain. Students had fun just being kids and hanging out in the park!

Day 7
Sunday, August 9, 2015
After breakfast Trees for Tomorrow presented a class to the Chinese students on Bogs. 

Sunday afternoon was spent at the Waters in Minocqua where the students enjoyed swimming, the water slides and the hot tub! After dinner the students enjoyed a movie and popcorn at Trees for Tomorrow. Gearing up for week two of Northland Adventure Quest! 

Day 8
Monday, August 10, 2015
Today students were split into group A and group B. Group A did a Rocket Challenge, while group  B did Lego Mindstorm.

Lunch was the highlight of the day as the Chinese students cooked Chinese food for the American students and the American students cooked American food for the Chinese students. This was a great cross-cultural activity as the students came up with a menu and cooked for each other. 
Here is a short video clip of the cooking activity:
After class the Chinese students enjoyed some time at Silver Lake Beach before dinner. This beach is a very short walk from their dorms at Tress for Tomorrow where they are staying. Here is a short video of some of the fun they had at the beach!
video

After dinner a trip to Shopko for a little evening shopping adventure topped off a great day! 
Day 9
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Students had fun with math and science again today as they continued to build and program Lego Mindstorm Robots to run from start to finish on a set course, complete with a “sphero ball” and “little bits” which are Lego magnetic circuit sensors.  The students also used two-liter bottles to build rockets that they designed in teams of two using different types of materials to make a nose cone and fins, and to make it aerodynamic. They had fun launching them outside propelled by water and air. Hands-on learning at its best!
Tuesday evening the Chinese students received a big Northwoods welcome from the Chain Skimmers Water Ski Team! They enjoyed the show and the entertainment was fantastic and new to these kids, skiing on water!
Day 10
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
The 2015 Northland Adventure Quest students spent the day in Lac du Flambeau visiting the William J. Poupart, Sr. Fish Hatchery & Trout Pond where they were given a tour and fed rainbow trout. After taking a break at a park they visited George W. Brown, Jr. Ojibwe Museum & Cultural Center. Here they learned about Native American culture and history, complete with a four seasons diorama, a 24-foot Ojibwe dugout canoe, Ojibewe arts and crafts, traditional clothing and a French fur trading post.

After dinner the Chinese students went back to the high school where they climbed the climbing wall in the field house and enjoyed root beer floats afterwards.
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Day 11
August 13, 2015
The official last day for Northland Adventure Quest 2015...where did the two weeks go? The majority of the day was spend working on projects and preparing for the presentations. Students were excited to put the finishing touches on their projects. The theme of the project was to compare and contrast similar topics from each country; the topics included art, pro athletes, architecture, inventions, pollution, authors, panda bears compared to a black bear and Chinese activities verses American activities. The students did a great job with the technology aspect of the project and the overall thoughts and ideas were well presented.
After the presentation a closing ceremony was held and certificates were awarded to both the American and Chinese students. Jack Palmer received the Northland Pines Friend of Education Award, it was well deserved.
A picnic lunch followed and then it was time to say goodbye to our new friends. Lots of hugs tonight and great memories were created over the past two weeks; along with a new appreciation for each others' culture. We wish our new Chinese friends safe travels back to China.
Day 12
August 14, 2015
Today Trees for Tomorrow hosted the Chinese students all day as they did a number of activities and started to pack their bags for home!

Day 13
August 15, 2015
Time for the Chinese students to load the bus and head for Chicago to catch the plane for the 14 hour flight over the Pacific Ocean back home to China. What a great time by all and Northland Adventure Quest 2015 was a big success!


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Home Sweet Home



Well, the final stage of our journey, the drive back to Eagle River. Left Chicago at 6:00 a.m. and we have about a 6 hour drive home. This was a great experience and I met some wonderful people while in China. The hospitality we received was unbelievable and the people from China could not do enough for us. During our journey we have traveled nearly 17,000 miles. 

In the US we don't realize how good we have it compared to what I witnessed in China. A few examples of this include:

  1. Being able to drink tap water; we could not drink water from the faucet (not even to brush our teeth)
  2. No restrictions on our Internet sites
  3. The great conditions of our school buildings compared to China
  4. The number of students in our classrooms compared to the Chinese schools
  5. Being able to see blue skies, the stars and blue water
  6. No smog or pollution
  7. Seeing the woods and forest
  8. The appreciation for nature
  9. Non-crowded streets
  10. It does not take us an hour and a half to go 4 miles during rush hour; we don't even have rush hour!
 I could go on but I think you get the point.  Home sweet home - made it back to Eagle River! We had a great journey, I really missed my family and it is so good to be home! Go Badgers.