Welcome to the Panther Project

January 5th, 2016
Kent Warneke
Editor
Norfolk Daily News
 
Not a day goes by in the Norfolk Public Schools that something interesting, educational, fun or important doesn’t occur.

The students may be well aware of what’s taking place; teachers and administrators, too. But what about everyone else.

That’s the premise behind the Panther Project — a collaborative effort involving the Norfolk Public Schools and the Daily News that has been in existence since the 2009-2010 school year. Each of the Norfolk school buildings has its own website, filled with information. But the sites tend to only be viewed by individuals and families with a direct connection to each school. By working with the Daily News and sharing some of that information on the newspaper’s website, many, many more people will see it.

Here’s how it works:

Each building within the school district has a media coordinator. Within the Daily News’ Web site at www.norfolkdailynews.com, we have created a separate page for each school building. Under the coordination of the Norfolk Public Schools’ Tim Kwapnioski, the media coordinators are encouraged to post as much information, photos, announcements and more on that portion of the Daily News’ website.

The benefit to the school district is that it gets additional exposure for the Norfolk Public Schools by piggybacking onto the most widely used website in Norfolk. The Daily News site attracts close to 2 million page views a month from 60,000 to 80,000 different users each month.

The advantage to individuals who are interested in the school district is that they now can go to just one Web site and see a host of information about different schools without having to go to so many individual websites.

The advantage to readers of the Daily News’ print edition is that from the information posted on the Web site from school media coordinators, some of the most noteworthy, most interesting items will be included in a Panther Project weekly advertisements in the newspaper.

 

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Montessori Students Learn About Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

January 18th, 2017

Although Norfolk Public Schools was not in session due to weather, the Montessori students still caught up on their contract work for Monday, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

When asking the Montessori students what this day is about, one student responded, “We honor Dr. King’s dream of our nation united in peace.”  Another student said, “We honor the courage of a man who wanted freedom for others.”   Some of the other words that came up when students were asked about Martin Luther King, Jr. Day were:  equality for all, love, truth, justice, compassion, and the power of forgiveness.

The observation of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebrates the remembrance and leadership of his life, legacy and the timeless values he taught.

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Canned Food Donated

January 12th, 2017

Our students were collecting canned goods to give as a donation to the Salvation Army.  Our goal was set at 400 items and we collected 623 items.  We hit our goal and even surpassed it!  Way to go!  The top three classes  were :  1st place Mrs. Blum’s class with 113 items, 2nd place Mrs. Heppner’s class with 97 items, and 3rd place ended with a tie between Mrs. Berner’s and Mrs. Jones’ classes with 73 items.   We have a great group of fantastic and generous students.  Thank you for bringing in your food items for donation!

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Music Reading at Westside

January 12th, 2017

Westside Elementary students are learning different ways to read music. One way to read music is by using a listening map. A listening map shows the listener what the music sounds like, by using visual images or pictures. Students in all grade levels use listening maps. In Kindergarten and first grade, a Big Book is used in a group setting. This student is tracking each note of a melody, by pointing to a visual representation (circle/dot) on the page.

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Students in second through fourth grades learn how to read and use the maps independently from a text book. In the pictures shown, students follow a listening map to the song “A String of Pearls” by Glenn Miller.

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Kindergarten and first grade students are just beginning to learn about barred instruments, such as the xylophone (made of wood) and glockenspiel (made of metal). The children listened to the story “Up, Up, Down” by Robert Munsch. The words in the story can by imitated in sound. When the character in the story climbs up the tree, students strike the instrument, one bar at a time, from the lowest sound to the highest. The instrument makes it sound like someone climbing! Then, when the character falls out of the tree, students use a “glissando”. This is done by swiping the mallet across the bars quickly from the highest sound to the lowest. You can “hear” the character falling!

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In preparation for the upcoming holiday, upper grade level students engaged in a lively discussion about Martin Luther King, Jr., followed by a song that incorporates Dr. King’s famous words “free at last”. Here, students are reading the lyrics in the form of a poem.
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There are many fun activities planned for the remainder of the year. It is going to be another great semester in music class!

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Hour of Code at Westside!

January 4th, 2017

Westside students took part in the national Hour of Code, giving students of taste of computer science and skills for 21st century success. Students in kindergarten through 4th grade completed activities to provide them with an understanding of how computer programming works. Early introduction to these skills invites children to explore a much-needed career path.

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Kindergarten through 2nd grade completed the fun and engaging Kodable, teaching students to think like a programer by focusing on the importance of sequence and order and introducing students to algorithmic operations.

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Third and fourth grade students used MIT’s Scratch program to animate the letters of their names by correctly applying computer programming language. Using Scratch encourages students to think creatively while organizing programming instructions to complete the tasks they need to accomplish.

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‘Tis the Season to Give

December 22nd, 2016

Students at Washington Elementary worked together to make blankets. These were donated to a local charity. Although it is fun to receive, learning how to give is an important personal, social and overall life skill.
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Christmas Around the World

December 22nd, 2016

As part of the “Christmas Around the World” social studies unit, the second graders at Washington make gingerbread houses. This activity comes from the German tradition. Fourth grade students help the second graders. This provides an opportunity for all students to practice teamwork and cooperation skills, and it requires the older students to use leadership skills.
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Multicultural Day

December 22nd, 2016

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Multicutural Day speakers were:  Beto Silva, Karen Drevo, Tanya, Kristi and Faith Heck, Bret Lee and girls from the Nebraska Christian School in Central City with Nate Musgrave.  The girls came from Kenya, South Korea, Vietnam and Thialand.  We also played musical chairs.   We will also have a sing a long in the gym later today in the gym.  Merry Christmas to you all!!

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High School Jazz Band and Show Choir Assembly

December 22nd, 2016

The High School Jazz Band and Show Choir performed for us this afternoon.  Singing, dancing and fun.  Among the groups were 4 former Woodland Park students.  Elliot Brummond, Madellyn Meier, Drew McKellips, and Clayton Spray.

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Free Throw Contest

December 19th, 2016

31 students participated in the Norfolk Elks Lodge Free Throw Contest on Thursday, December 15th at Woodland Park.

Winners are:

Skylar Indra 8-9 Girls
Connor Heiderman 8-9 Boys
Kaden Russell 10-11 Boys
These three will compete on January 14, 2017 at the Northeast College gym.

 

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Hour of Code at Grant Elementary

December 14th, 2016

Grant students took part in the national Hour of Code, giving students of taste of computer science and skills for 21st century success.  Students in kindergarten through 4th grade completed activities to provide them with an understanding of how computer programming works.  Early introduction to these skills invites children to explore a much-needed career path.  Kindergarten through 2nd grade completed the fun and engaging Kodable, teaching students to think like a programer by focusing on the importance of sequence and order and introducing students to algorithmic operations.   Third and fourth grade students used MIT’s Scratch program to animate the letters of their names by correctly applying computer programming language.  Using Scratch encourages students to think creatively while organizing programming instructions to complete the tasks they need to accomplish.

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