Student Gives at Animal Shelter and Gains Much More

This month, we asked students to share ways they give back in their communities using #flvsgiving on social media. This post was written by one of our students who volunteers at her local animal shelter.

FLVS GivingHi, I’m Alexis Lamphere.

I’m a senior at FLVS and I currently volunteer with the Osceola County Animals Services in Saint Cloud.

In addition to volunteering my time, I foster kittens that are underweight or too young to be adopted and don’t have a mother cat to take care of them.

Working at the shelter is honestly a life-changing experience. I’m given the chance to help improve and change many lives every day. It teaches you to be selfless and you start to have an endless love for each animal. You start to care about the animal’s happiness more than your own and he/she becomes more than “just some dog” or “just some cat.” The animal becomes a loved one, a friend, and part of your heart. Continue reading

Join an Hour of Code!

Hour of Code TutorialsComputers are everywhere, but fewer schools teach computer science than 10 years ago.

The good news is, we’re on our way to change this. If you’ve heard about the Hour of Code before, you might know it made history. More than 100 million students have tried an Hour of Code with fun online games and tutorials featuring Star Wars, Mineraft, and Frozen.

Last year, students of the FLVS STEM Club got involved by giving presentations about the various tutorials available on Across the country, every Apple Store in the world hosted an Hour of Code and even President Obama wrote his first line of code as part of the campaign.

Over 100 partners have joined together to support this movement.  Continue reading

National Novel Writing Month

National Novel Writing MonthIf there’s one thing I’ve learned as I’ve matured, it’s that everyone has a story to tell.

And, that our stories matter. Whether you’re a student, parent, grandparent, teacher, homemaker, hairstylist, or CEO, your story is important and only you can tell it.

Did you know that it’s been estimated that 81 percent of Americans say they dream of being an author? That’s roughly 200 million people! I admit I am one of the 200 million, and it’s been a long road, but I will be publishing my book this year.

Have you ever thought of writing a book but didn’t know how to start? Continue reading

Military Family Appreciation

Military Family Appreciation MonthNovember is Military Family Appreciation Month.

While we should make sure to thank our military families each and every day, setting aside some time to truly reflect on their service and to honor them for their sacrifice is also super important.

My family, and especially my dad, has always made it a point to thank our men and women in service who give so much to protect our freedom. Before enjoying our meals, each and every night before bed, and every holiday as we gathered as a family, we would thank the military.

Thank them for giving us the gift of togetherness and safety.  Thank them for standing guard in a million different ways to ensure we get to live the greatest life imaginable.  Continue reading

Travel is the Ultimate Education

This is the seventh post in a series by the Cooney family about their world travels, made possible by the flexible learning offered at FLVS.

Cooney World Adventures Issue 7Recently, friends of ours withdrew their nine-year old daughter from school to take her with them to Washington, D.C. and Iceland.

They planned to tour the nation’s capital before leaving for Iceland for the family’s first trip abroad.  To do so, Jennifer (not her real name), would miss approximately a week of school.  Jennifer’s mom contacted the school well in advance and completed the necessary paperwork to request an excused absence.  She outlined in detail all that Jennifer would experience and see during the trip.

However, the school principal did not respond and after repeated calls asking for an update, it was time to leave. Continue reading

The Power of Picture Books

The Power of Picture BooksOn my day off this week, I find myself eagerly drafting my first blog post for FLVS because (as all writers understand) I not only enjoy writing, I need to write.

So given my literacy background and current position as a first grade teacher at FLVS, I think I’ve chosen the right topic for me and you, my readers.  Author Randy Pausch eloquently says, “Your passion must come from the things that fuel you from the inside.”

My own children were quite young when I started my career in early childhood education, but it was clear to me then (and even clearer now) that I am passionate about beautiful picture books and quality children’s literature.  Continue reading

November is National Scholarship Month

National Scholarship MonthIt’s never too early to start thinking about how to pay for college.

Paying for college is a costly endeavor.  Figuring out how to pay for college can be confusing and difficult.  While student loans must be paid back, scholarship money can pay for tuition and fees directly and does not have to be paid back.  A scholarship reduces the amount of loans and out-of-pocket expenses you must pay.  Therefore, scholarships are the best answer for many students.

The good news is that scholarships are easier than ever to find and apply for thanks to online tools that can connect students to billions of dollars’ worth of funds.  There are scholarships out there for everyone!  You can find scholarships for being left handed, good at soccer, art, or just for being tall!  Continue reading

Why Today is a Great Day

Blog_VeteransDay_151030Veterans Day? I am not much of a blogger – in fact, counting this blog, I have written one blog.

That being said, I could not pass up the opportunity to blog about Veterans Day. It’s a different sort of holiday for me, one that I never paid much attention to growing up. It seemed like almost everyone I knew had served in some capacity or another. Veterans Day was just another holiday in which everyone participated. To that end, I never thought twice when I graduated high school and headed off to serve. Of course while I was in the Army, almost everyone I knew either had served or was still serving.  Veterans Day was just another day.

But Veterans Day is not just another day – it is a great day!
Continue reading

Got Notes? (Part 2)

More sketchnoting tipssketch – note
/skeCH nōt/

1. A substantially awesome method for taking notes that is easy, fun, and does not require drawing ability (stick figures welcome!)

2. Combining doodles and notes and increasing your memory retention by transferring an idea from your head to the paper!

This definition summarizes some of what we learned in part one of this series. Continue reading

Seven Survival Skills for Careers

Tony Wagner quoteIn his critically acclaimed book, “The Global Achievement Gap,” author Tony Wagner explores what he considers to be “Seven Survival Skills for Careers, College and Citizenship.”

After spending time with the most successful executives and professional people in the world, Wagner came to the conclusion that there is a gap between what our students need to be successful when they enter the real world and what we are teaching them in the classroom.

As a result, he created a list of essential 21st Century skills that all people need in order to be successful in college, in their career, and for their overall citizenship. Continue reading