Blog Archives

The Power of Connection

This week we welcomed former Greenwood Elementary students back home. Several graduating Seniors walked the hallways they once traversed as K-5 students.

Music played over the P.A. system to celebrate returning Alumni.  After the “walk” the Seniors took time to reconnect with former teachers and even shared some inspiring advice with our 5th graders.  Seeing the power of “connection” is hard to put into words.

This short (2 minute) video captured a few of the hugs, high-fives, and connections that were made.  Click HERE to view the video.



We’ll also be embedding this video into our K-5 students’ yearbooks using augmented reality (AR) technology.  To view the video using AR follow these three quick steps:

  1. Download the Aurasma app
  2. Follow the “Greenwood Elementary” channel
  3. Point the Aurasma viewfinder at the cover of the yearbook and watch the magic begin.

In addition to the “Welcome Home” video, we will also include several other fun surprise videos throughout the yearbook that are accessible using augmented reality and the directions above.  Enjoy the memories and stay connected!

“Once a Grizzly…Always a Grizzly.”

Image Credits for Video:

Thanks to Adam Hinnenkamp for the drone footage of Seniors as they arrived!

Special thanks to Greenwood Elementary and Wayzata District staff for sharing photos to the #GWgreats Twitter hashtag and shared folder in Google Drive.

Can MakerSpaces Invent the Future? (Video)

YouTube SpheroExoIt is incredible what kids can do when we believe in them, coach them, and get out of their way! Our students recently participated in a robotics competition that was invented from the ground up by staff and students.  We designed and printed 3D “exoskeletons” that fit over our Sphero robotic droids…and SpheroExo was born.  The rest is history.

Check out the 5 minute video below and prepare to be amazed at what kids can do.

We are so proud of our students and all they are creating, engineering, and achieving.  Watch for our students next week as they present SpheroExo to teachers at EdCamp Eau Claire!  Students will be sharing their design process and how they’re inventing the future at #EdCampEC.

I’m not sure that MakerSpaces can actually invent the future, but I’m very confident that cutting-edge tools and a culture conducive to innovation helps.  A relevant and connected pedagogy empowers all kids to create, connect, and dream bigger.


We Are Greenwood (video)

Our 4th grade podcast crew collaborated on a video project that depicts a year’s worth of learning in just four minutes!  Students brainstormed words that described their work and goals for learning.  The kids were amazing, and their video speaks volumes about who they are and what they can become. 

I’m really inspired by our students, and LOVE the fact that our teachers are so committed to teaching the “whole child” through the arts, character education, and so much more. Click HERE to view their video and to see what our artists, mathematicians, readers, writers, and engineers have been up to the past year or so.

Profiles of Character

Be sure to watch the six videos below featuring Wayzata student-athletes.

Be sure to watch the six videos below featuring Wayzata student-athletes.

Our school is excited to shine the light on some Wayzata student-athletes who are sharing inspiring messages of positive character.

Our teachers will be sharing one short video every couple days with our elementary students.  The dates that each video will be shared are listed below.  We also have some optional classroom conversation starters that align with the message that each student-athlete shared.  I am also encouraging students to practice the character pledge at the conclusion of this blog post.

We will show the video above to students on September 14, 2015

Student-Athlete: Cooper

Sport: Lacrosse

Character Trait: Trustworthiness

Descriptors: Be honest and reliable.  Do what you say you’ll do.  Have the courage to do the right thing.  Tell the truth.  Admit mistakes.  Choose integrity.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How does Cooper compare communication to trustworthiness?
  2. Why do you think Cooper says, “Trustworthiness is an important factor in a successful team?”
  3. How is your class or school like Cooper’s lacrosse team?
  4. How can you show trustworthiness at the Fun Run?

We will show the video above to students on September 16, 2015

Student-Athlete: Eliq

Sport: Basketball

Character Trait: Respect

Descriptors: Treat others with respect.  Follow the Golden Rule.  Use good manners, not bad language.  Don’t threaten, hit, or hurt anyone.  Stand up for what is right.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What example did Eliq use for showing respect when a coach or teacher is speaking?
  2. How can you show respect for yourself?
  3. What are some ways you can be a respectful spectator or fan?

We will show the video above to students on September 18, 2015

Student-Athlete: Emily

Sport: Dance

Character Trait: Responsibility

Descriptors: Put forth a good effort.  Be accountable for your words and actions.  Set a good example for others.  Do what you are supposed to do.  Plan ahead.  Think before you act.  Be on time.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How does Emily show responsibility to her dance team?
  2. Why is asking for help if you need it showing responsibility?
  3. What responsibility do we have to our class and team for being positive?

We will show the video above to students on September 21, 2015

Student-Athlete: Andrew

Sport: Wrestling & Football

Character Trait: Fairness

Descriptors: Play by the rules.  Take turns.  Listen to others and be open-minded.  Don’t take advantage of others.  Treat all people fairly.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How does Andrew show fairness when a referee or teammate makes a mistake?
  2. Andrew mentions being on a team with younger classmates.  What does Andrew mean when he encourages us to, “Teach them up?”
  3. What will you do to respond to Andrew’s challenge (e.g. The Fairness Experiment).

We will show the video above to students on September 23, 2015

Student-Athlete: Hannah

Sport: Cross Country & Track

Character Trait: Caring

Descriptors: Be kind.  Express gratitude by saying, “Thank you.”  Take a stand against bullying.  Be a good friend and student.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How does Hannah know her team cares about her?
  2. Who does Hannah encourage us to show caring towards?
  3. What will you do to show caring?

We will show the video above to students on September 25, 2015

Student-Athlete: Mara

Sport: Diving & Track and Field

Character Trait: Citizenship

Descriptors: Obey laws and rules.  Do your share to make our community better.  Cooperate.  Stay informed.  Be a good friend and neighbor.  Respect authority.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What does it mean to be an ambassador of our school?
  2. Why is following laws and rules important in diving?  Why is it important in school?
  3. What do you think Mara means when she says, “Respect authority”?

Student Character Pledge*




They bring out the best in me and you.


and being FAIR

Help to show others that I really


I know what’s right

I know what’s good

I will work hard to do

What I know I should.

*Character Pledge Credit: The Josephson Institute

A special thanks goes to the high school students who donated their time to visit our school to share with us.  Thanks for being great role models to our students.  Thanks also to our PTA for organizing our Fun Run and connecting it to the character traits we focus on all year long.  Having a common language helps us support positive decision-making and celebrate students for making a difference in a unified way!

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