Sunday, October 27, 2013

October 28th-November 1st

Food for thought...

I love my job! It is my passion and I feel so lucky to be able to work with such amazing and passionate people. People who are creative and incredibly hard working. On any given weekend, at least one person comes in to work, often more. There is so much to do, and never enough time in the day. It's hard to find balance, and yet it's so important. I'm trying to lead by example... the last two weekends I haven't been to work and I've tried to find a little time for me each day. It was also a little scary leaving school for a whole day for the first time to attend the Fall CUE conference in Napa, but it was also good to get away. I appreciate Maria and Julie being in charge for the day! I feel energized and inspired by both the conference and a little time off. If you want to read more about why Fall CUE is kinda like Christmas, click here. Or not! I hope you are able to find balance and take some time just for you!

Things I loved this week
The book fair!

TK's Ten Apples Up On Top

The ever changing 2nd grade community murals

Dates and details

Spirit days this week!
Monday,  October 28th- Crazy Hair Day - “Don't Be Crazy - Be Healthy!”
Tuesday, October 29th- Pajama Day - “Healthy Kids Make Dreams Come True!”
Wednesday, Oct. 30th- Wear Favorite Sports Gear or Team Jersey - “Team up and Be Healthy!”
Thursday, Oct. 31st- Wear a Costume or Dress in Orange and Black - “Don't Be Scary, Be Healthy!
Friday, November 1st- Wear Crazy Socks - “Sock it to unhealthy choices!”

October 30th- whole staff collaboration in lounge 8-9 am
November 1st- early release day- whole staff collaboration in lounge 12:30
November 4th- We will have visitors from Winters School District- coming to see Common Core in action since you are all so awesome!
November 11th- no school - Veteran's Day
November 13th- Coordinator Coffee- parents can chat with me from 8:30-9:00 am
November 15th- Movie night TBA
November 25th-29th Thanksgiving break

Tech Tip: The Power of YouTube and Digital Publishing

This weekend I was reminded that teaching kids is about helping them find their passion and that innovation doesn't always have to include technology. I was also reminded about the power video has to teach us, and to move us. Here are two videos that illustrate these two concepts, as well as a link to Lisa Highfill's CUE session on Youtube. Although the products below are low-tech, the power of technology via YouTube allows us to hear their stories...  Enjoy and have a great week!

The Landfill Harmonic

Caine's Arcade

Sunday, October 20, 2013

October 21st-25th

Food for thought…

I love books! I love reading them, talking about them, buying them. I make no apologies for my Amazon bill and am always on the hunt for a used book store. The gift card for Amazon you gave me last week is gone already, spent on books, of course! This weekend, I took some time to relax and read and it felt so good! I finished up Wake Up Missing by Kate Messner (a science YA thriller) after downloading the first four chapters from her website for free! I also started And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, my November book club read. I’m also reading Bill Bryson’s childhood memoir The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, which I discovered last week after listening to him speak at the Sacramento Bee Book Club event featuring his newest book One Summer: America 1927. Right now, I have 10 actual books on my bedside table, and more on my iPad. There are also books in my office including Donalyn Miller’s The Book Whisperer and Ame Dyckman’s latest book Tea Party Rules. I love them all! Last year, I set a goal to read 365 books in 2013, or an average of one per day. My Goodreads page says I’ve read 72, and that I am 220 books behind! What really happened is that I lost track of the books I read and forgot to log them. I wanted to count the books I read to my first graders, as well as my personal and professional reads. At the end of 2013 I may not be able to say that I read a book each day, but I can say without a doubt that I loved books each and every day of the year! My book inspiration comes from many places- Twitter, my friends, my book clubs, and even authors! I connect with many authors on Twitter, and Ame Dyckman is awesome. She sent bookmarks, stickers, and some cute pins for every kid in our school! In the next few weeks, I’d love to come read with your class and share some goodies! She would love to hear from your class, and is going to Skype with our school when we open our new library! Here's the book trailer for her latest book!

Also, it’s the time of year where authors, librarians, and bloggers start making predictions about the American Library Association award winners for the year. Last night, I checked out this School Library Journal post which shares predictions for both the Newbery and Caldecott awards. This year’s American Library Association’s award ceremony for youth media will be held on January 27th and is streamed live! My most recent Amazon purchases are all from this list! Here’s the book trailer to Journey by Aaron Becker. I can’t wait for it to arrive!

I’d love to know what you’re currently reading! Leave a comment at the bottom of this post to share your book love. Happy reading!

Dates and Details

October 21-November 15th Kids Can Food Drive- Boxes in front and in cafeteria for grade level drop off

October 23 late start Wednesday - PIPs

October 21-25 Book Fair!

October 24th- Jennifer off campus in PM
October 25th- Jennifer at CUE, Maria and Julie will be acting administrator that day
October 25th 11:00-11:30 Mad Science Assembly (regular lunch schedule)
October 28-November 1 Red Ribbon Week Spirit Days: (more info to follow)
  • Mon Oct 28th- Don't be crazy- be healthy! Crazy Hair day
  • Tuesday October 29th- Healthy kids make dreams come true! Wear your pj's
  • Wednesday Oct 30th- Team up and be healthy-- Wear your favorite sports gear or team jersey
  • Thursday Oct 31- Don't be scary- be healthy! Wear your Halloween costume or dress in orange and black
  • Friday Nov. 1st- Sock it to unhealthy choices! Wear crazy socks 

October 30th- Late start Wednesday- whole staff collaboration in lounge

November 1st-: Early release Friday- 12:45-2:00 whole staff collaboration in lounge, after 2:00 grade level planning/prep
November 15th- Star Academy Movie Night

Things I loved this week:

Watching the 2nd grade communities unfold in the hallways... Be sure to check out their amazing murals!

Watching the TK kids come to school so excited because they brought pumpkins!
Having Alex officially join our Star Academy team!
Hearing Tammy say she was inspired!
Being joined by almost 50 parents at our first parent meeting, and sharing the news that we are already almost halfway to our goal of raising $32,500 in just the third month of school!
Watching first graders write in their notebooks and hearing their nonfiction chants from my office!
Hearing from one of the parents in Saryn's class how much they appreciated her efforts with a student who had to move unexpectedly
Seeing so many families at the Harvest Festival!
Watching first graders giddy with excitement as they boarded the bus for their first field trip
Having kindergartners offer to help me open yogurts!

Tech Tips

Tammy shared the Screen Actor's Guild StorylineOnline  where celebrities read. Thanks for the tip!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

October 14th-October 18th

Food for thought...

Last week, I suffered a sparkle lapse. There, I said it. For the first time all year, I didn’t publish my staff blog. I think there was just a bit too much on my plate and I decided that I needed to be ok with skipping the week. Just this time. Maybe no one even noticed! My goal has been to blog each week, and I had been looking forward to this week- there was no way I was going to miss two in a row! In each week’s post, in this “food for thought” section, I try to share something fun, inspiring, or thought provoking. Sometimes it’s a video, a quote, or a story. Once in awhile it’s my own thoughts but I do love when I find something from one of my friends or colleagues to highlight in this spot.

This morning, like many mornings, I was enjoying my coffee and checking out my email and Twitter. Bam! Inspiration hit me with my subscription to Katherine Sokolowski and her Read, Write, Reflect blog. It’s one of my favorites, and her posts always have me thinking. This week, her post is entitled “Let’s Celebrate!” and she shares about Ruth Ayres and her  blog challenge to sghare something to celebrate each week. Love! Check out her Celebrate Link UP where each week she invites you to share something you’d like to celebrate that week. I know that sometimes we can have a dark day, or a dark week- like last week when I lost my sparkle. But there is so much to celebrate! Here are some things that I’m celebrating this week- things that made my heart full and my spirit sparkle!

  1. Market Day! Our amazing 2nd grade teachers brought project-based learning to life as their students collaborated to create a “shop” where they provided a good or service to our K-3 students who shopped til they dropped! Students earned market bucks throughout the week for good behavior. The second grade students worked in teams and did an awesome job of getting their products ready- including several nail salons, a Minecraft prop shop, tissue flowers, and sparkly clay pots. Check out the Animoto and a few commercials  below! This was an excellent example of a real-life, relevant assessment of learning to culminate their communities unit. I ended up with a beautiful flower, a glittery pot, a hair band and a journal. Awesome!

Minecraft Props

Rockin’ Tattoos

Nail Polish Stars

Market day Animoto

  1. I am also celebrating our fearless new teachers who, with just two days GLAD training under their belts have been implementing strategies to increase student engagement! I dare you to say the word coniferous to a first grade student! They are sure to bust out with a motion and a super academic definition! Kindergarten students can tell you all about the Bald Eagle, and third graders can be heard chanting a rounding song, even at lunch! Our second graders are also immersed in their communities unit- with their own communities decorating our halls with rural and suburban examples. GLAD strategies are everywhere!
  2. October is Connected Educators Month! This is also something to celebrate! Many people may think of technology when they think of connected educators- teachers Tweeting, Skyping, blogging and more. For sure, those are ways to connect. But for me, being a connected educator is so much more. I am inspired daily by educators that I connect with- at my school, online, through the Area 3 Writing Project, and people I have met in person. This past summer, I met Nancy Minicozzi , known as @coffeenancy on Twitter this summer at CUE Rockstar Tahoe. Even though she did not attend my book trailer session, she has created several awesome book trailers and shared one with me today using Voki, a tool I did not know about! Check it out here!
  3. Finally, I’d like to celebrate that I work in a school that inspires teachers to be creative and innovative. As expected, teachers start with the grade level standards when designing curriculum. Then, teachers consider the students, their interests, and instructional needs and design something customized just for them. It is a TON of work, but the results are amazing when teachers aren’t bound by a scripted textbooks.

There’s so much more to celebrate! The beautiful fall weather, the Harvest Festival, and the Book Fair is coming!

What are you celebrating this week? Click on Today’s Meet and share something you love!

Dates and Details
October 14th-17th Minimum Day lunch schedule:
2nd grade
Early kinder
3rd grade
1st grade

October 14th 4:30-6:00 PM Tech Task Force meeting at NCS Library Media Center
October 17th 6:00-7:00 PM Star Academy Parent Meeting in library
October 21st-November 15th Kids Can Food Drive
Oct 21st-25th Book Fair
Oct 24th- Jennifer off campus in afternoon / Tech time with Joe at 3:15 in the lounge
Oct 25th- Jennifer off campus @ Fall CUE- Maria and Julie will be sharing Teacher-In-Charge duties that day
October 25th Mad Science Assembly 11:00-11:30
October 31st- Costumes optional

Tech Tips

Tech Tips from @katsok
Make an Animoto movie- Free Animoto for educators