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Welcome to the A.L. Stanback Exploratory Newsletter!

Find your student’s exploratory class to learn more about upcoming events/information and what students have been working on in class!

Physical Education- Coach Thompson and Coach Capps:

In Physical Education this month we started with large group games such as Capture the Flag, CastleBall, Ratball, and Alaskan Kickball to get a feel for competition and how to function as a team.  Our first unit of Physical Education has involved learning the rules, history, and strategy of Ultimate Frisbee.  In Health Education:

PLTW/STEM- Mr. McBurnett:

“The greatest teacher, failure is.”

                                     - Yoda

What is engineering? That is the question I pose to all of my students in the first few day of class. I get a wide variety of answers, but most students say something about building things. And through a guided discussion we agree that engineering is solving problems by creating things.

We then begin to learn about the engineering design process and learning how engineers solve problems. The hardest part of solving problems? Failure. Trying a new idea and seeing it not work. While the design process addresses this with a return to a previous step, it is hard for most middle school students to accept. Most students keep pushing forward with an idea that has proven to not solve the problem, compounding the failure, and leading to more frustration.

This semester I will be working hard with our students to internalize the concept of “failing forward.” Failure is almost inevitable in engineering, however, the discoveries that can be made in failure are lost in instant success. We will attempt to shift our paradigms, from failure as a bad thing to failure as a bigger step forward.  Students often resist this mindset, because it is frustrating to see something they worked hard at fail to solve the problem. We will work hard on learning and moving forward from our failures in class.

Help your students at home by talking with them about the projects they are working on in engineering. Listen to the successes and the failures. Provide as much positive feedback for the failures as you do the successes. Try things like these to help them move forward:

Get them talking, drawing, writing, gesturing, whatever it takes to get them exciting by the possibilities of trying again with the new knowledge gained in failure.

You are always welcome to come in and see what we are doing in class! Be sure to check in at the front office before coming to my classroom (634 or 636, across from the gym.) Email me at eric.mcburnett@orange.k12.nc.us with any questions!

Spanish- Ms. Bryant: Leer (Read), Escribir (Write), Escuchar (Listen), Hablar (Speak)

In all the ALS Spanish classes, we work on building skills in all four areas of language use. Here are some details of what we’re up to in each class.

Follow Ms. Bryant on Twitter @MrsBryantOCS to see what we’re up to more regularly! Email samantha.bryant@orange.k12.nc.us with any concerns.

Visual Arts- Mr. Barnhouse:

Sixth grade visual arts students have been studying Egyptian Art, which was aligned to what they were studying in their Social Studies classes.

Seventh grade visual arts students studied perspective, artists that have used perspective and have been asked to create perspective compositions using several different materials.

Eighth Grade visual arts students have been studying feminist artist and how they use their art to advance equality. They were asked to create a plate that represented (using five different symbols) a female hero in their life.

6th Grade Art


7th Grade Art


8th Grade Art

Don’t forget to take a picture in front of the ALS wings and add to the hashtag.


AVID- Mr. Jocys:

“ Think Harder and Smarter”

“Struggle to Succeed”

“Adjust Your Approach”

“And Always do Your Best!”

Band- Mr. Capps:

Chorus: Ms. Kelly:

Business (CTE): Ms. VonBraunsberg (Ms. VonB): End of the Semester



Look out for newsletters from your Exploratory Team!

Have a wonderful Quarter 3!