Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Playful Learning Portal

Memo from DPI on Playful Learning Site and Training

A new portal makes it easy for teachers to explore, discover, share, review, and learn games that can help students learn. The Playful Learning platform,, became available in open beta this month. Designed around the belief that “Play is how we learn best,” the site aims “to introduce truly playful systems and fun worlds that can meet your specific needs and ignite student passion in your classroom.” Playful Learning is a project of the Learning Games Network, a non-profit producer of games for learning grounded in the tradition of game-based learning research at the MIT Education Arcade and the University of Wisconsin’s Games+Learning+Society Center. Learning Games Network is now based in Cambridge, MA and Madison, WI. The group says in the Mission section of its website: “A wise man once said: ‘Play is the highest form of research.’ When you give a learner the space to play and the freedom to fail, awesome things happen.” The network received a grant to conduct events around the country, including one in Wisconsin: at the UW-Whitewater, November 15-16. 2013.

Monday, October 28, 2013

LEAF is offering Winter Ecology and Tree ID

For School Forest Educators, LEAF is offering a new course called Winter Ecology and Tree ID

Strap on some snowshoes and explore a northern hardwood and hemlock forest with Treehaven's Forest Ecologist. Learn how to integrate winter ecology into your class curriculum, practice winter tree and shrub identification, and collaborate with other K-12 teachers. This course also includes reading and online discussion before and after your weekend at Treehaven.

NRES 621- 1 graduate credit
At Treehaven in Tomahawk
Saturday Feb. 1 - Sunday Feb. 2
Space is limited and scholarships are available! 
Total cost with scholarship is $150 (includes graduate credit, meals, and lodging)

Click here to for more information

Nicole Filizetti is LEAF’s new Professional Development Coordinator. Send her an email for questions or registration details.

Gretchen Marshall
Wisconsin School Forest Education Specialist
LEAF K-12 Forestry Education Program
UW Stevens Point, College of Natural Resources

On reviewing your health benefits:

This Mayo Clinic Health System Health Note serves as a reminder that it’s that time of year when we need to review health benefits and determine how much we should be planning, saving for next year, and the use of the 125 FLEX plan. 
Understand your health plan benefits:
  • You, not your provider, are responsible for knowing your health plan benefits.
  • The minimum you need to know is your deductible, co-insurance and co-pay amounts along with your out-of-pocket maximum.
  • The time to address any confusion with your benefits is now, not when you are facing a stressful medical situation and need to make decisions quickly.
  • As consumers, we all play a role in keeping health coverage affordable for ourselves and our employer. Inappropriate use of healthcare raises premiums for everyone.
  • High deductible health plans with a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) or Health Savings Account (HSA) are designed to reduce health spending by providing a financial incentive for consumers to choose the best healthcare value. In these types of plans, monthly premiums are generally lower than traditional health plan premiums, leaving consumers with greater control over -- and responsibility for -- their health spending. The high deductibles and out-of-pocket costs give patients an incentive to learn more about the cost and quality of care before spending.
  • Contact your health plan customer service line with questions.
Amy Every
Senior Communication Consultant, Marketing Communications
Mayo Clinic Health System Franciscan Healthcare
700 West Avenue South
La Crosse, WI 54601

Sunday, October 27, 2013

DPI Educator Effectiveness Training Movie

The DPI has released an online video which is the first part of a four-step training plan to prepare educators for statewide implementation of the Wisconsin Educator Effectiveness System.

Step 1: Orientation Movie is available on the Educator Effectiveness website,

The Wisconsin Educator Effectiveness System is a comprehensive, performance-based evaluation system for teachers and principals, designed to promote educator professional growth and development. The system measures educator practice and student outcomes equally and takes multiple forms of evidence into account. It will be implemented statewide starting in 2014-15.

DPI will release the next step of the Educator Effectiveness System Training, Step 2: Overview Module, in February. All evaluators and teachers must complete this self-guided online module, which will provide a broad overview of the Educator Effectiveness System.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Staying motivated is not always easy

Mayo Clinic Health System Health Note that provides inspiration:

Staying motivated is not always easy. Get motivated and back on track by thinking about these words of wisdom from poet Walter Wintle, "If you think you are beaten, you are, If you think you dare not, you don't. If you like to win, but you think you can't, It is almost certain you won't. If you think you'll lose, you're lost, For out in the world we find, Success begins with a fellow's will. It's all in the state of mind. If you think you are outclassed, you are, you've got to think high to rise, you've got to be sure of yourself before you can ever win a prize. Life's battles don't always go to the stronger or faster man. But soon or later the man who wins is the man who thinks he can." Switch your thoughts to positive ones and success will ensue.

Amy Every
Senior Communication Consultant
Marketing Communications
Mayo Clinic Health System Franciscan Healthcare
700 West Avenue South
La Crosse, WI 54601

Monday, October 7, 2013

Important to vary your exercise routine

This Health Note from the Mayo Clinic Health System talks about the importance of variety in your exercise routine. Each type of exercise – aerobic, strength training and stretching – serves a unique and important purpose.

"Don't bunt. Aim out of the ballpark." -David Ogilvy

Being physically active can include lifting weights or running, but there is more to it than that. It's about having a greater range of motion, increased flexibility, improved circulation, and stronger bone structure and muscle. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends 30 minutes of physical activity a day for adults, 60 minutes for children, at least five days a week.

There are different types of physical activity including aerobic activities, muscle-strengthening activities, bone-strengthening activities, and balance and stretching activities. Aerobic activities increase your heart beat and range from moderate to vigorous intensity. An aerobic exercise typically increases your resting heart rate by 60-85%. Muscle - and bone - strengthening activities include weight-bearing activities such as lifting weights or body weight exercises.

Balance and stretching activities such as yoga will help to enhance physical stability and flexibility. Try incorporating different types of activities into your workout every day. For example, if you strength train on Monday, try a yoga class on Tuesday. Changing up your exercises will keep you interested and also puts different types of good strain on your body.

Amy Every
Senior Communication Consultant, Marketing Communications
Mayo Clinic Health System Franciscan Healthcare
700 West Avenue South
La Crosse, WI 54601   

Saturday, October 5, 2013


The tidout valuation total in the school district is up 2.76%

City PdC 257,793,350
T Bridgeport 94,136,689
T Eastman 27,690,147
T PdC 60,338,584
T Wauzeka 299,365
V Eastman 15,181,863
Total District 455,439,998

The tidout valuation history is below. The increase for this year still does not bring the valuation total to pre-recession levels.

City PdC 273,588,350
T Bridgeport 87,070,072
T Eastman 26,953,789
T PdC 63,817,492
T Wauzeka 227,178
V Eastman 14,421,381
Total District 466,078,262
  2008 2008 % Change
City PdC 273,796,650 0.08%
T Bridgeport 88,037,848 1.11%
T Eastman 27,332,765 1.41%
T PdC 57,034,886 -10.63%
T Wauzeka 230,829 1.61%
V Eastman 14,551,358 0.90%
Total District 460,984,336 -1.09%
  2009 2009 % Change
City PdC 282,867,150 3.31%
T Bridgeport 91,482,203 3.91%
T Eastman 26,429,330 -3.31%
T PdC 61,129,305 7.18%
T Wauzeka 431,271 86.84%
V Eastman 14,007,731 -3.74%
Total District 476,346,990 3.33%
  2010 2010 % Change
City PdC 273,698,050 -3.24%
T Bridgeport 89,384,363 -2.29%
T Eastman 27,179,237 2.84%
T PdC 59,473,014 -2.71%
T Wauzeka 376,796 -12.63%
V Eastman 14,576,824 4.06%
Total District 464,688,284 -2.45%
  2011 2011 % Change
City PdC 265,697,950 -2.92%
T Bridgeport 91,758,267 2.66%
T Eastman 29,209,037 7.47%
T PdC 60,838,441 2.30%
T Wauzeka 301,421 -20.00%
V Eastman 15,329,026 5.16%
Total District 463,134,142 -0.33%
  2012 2012 % Change
City PdC 250,379,050 -5.77%
T Bridgeport 89,257,351 -2.73%
T Eastman 28,005,442 -4.12%
T PdC 59,830,809 -1.66%
T Wauzeka 295,360 -2.01%
V Eastman 15,436,774 0.70%
Total District 443,204,786 -4.30%
  2013 2013% Change
City PdC
T Bridgeport
T Eastman
T Wauzeka
V Eastman
Total District 455,439,998 2.76%

Tips to smokers who are trying to quit

One of the most widely accepted ways to improve health is to not use tobacco. Future health insurance premium costs will almost assuredly be higher for tobacco users. The following Mayo Clinic Health Note offers tips to smokers who are trying to quit on their own. 
Mayo Clinic Health System Health Note:
  •  Are you having trouble kicking the habit?
  • Would you prefer to quit on your own rather than seeking help from a health professional, community program or clinic?
Mayo Clinic offers 10 helpful ways to resist tobacco cravings.
  1. Delay. If you feel like you have a tobacco craving, try distracting yourself for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Don't just 'have one.' It is not realistic to say that you will only have one cigarette.
  3. Avoid triggers. It is important to identify your triggers so the next time you are in a situation you can either avoid them entirely or have a place you can go without tobacco present.
  4. Get physical. Just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, such as walking or jogging, can subside your craving.
  5. Practice relaxation techniques. Stress has been found to trigger tobacco use; therefore, it is important to identify relaxation techniques to take the edge off stress.
  6. Call reinforcements. Contact a family member, friend, or support group member for moral support. They can help by distracting you so you have less of a struggle trying to resist a tobacco craving.
  7. Remember the benefits of quitting. Identify why you chose to quit in the first place. It also helps to make a list of the reasons of why you wanted to stop smoking and useful tips on how to resist tobacco cravings.
  8. Go online. There are many tobacco cessation programs available online as well as blogs and posts that are encouraging or insightful. This allows you to learn how others have quit using tobacco or how they resist their cravings.
  9. Try nicotine replacements. Contact your primary care physician if you are looking for a nicotine replacement therapy. Some types are available over the counter and others require a prescription.
  10. Chew on it. Try eating something with a crunch or chewing on a piece of gum to help fight your tobacco craving.
Recognize that there are tobacco cessation programs available for all employees as well as useful tips located on
Amy Every
Senior Communication Consultant, Marketing Communications
Mayo Clinic Health System Franciscan Healthcare
700 West Avenue South
La Crosse, WI 54601