Monday, September 23, 2013

Yes, I am an education information addict.

Principal Ponderings...
They say admitting it is the first step.  So I have a confession to make...I am an education information addict.  I have always loved to read professional books, whether they were about education in general or whether they were specific topics, such as the teaching of writing or working with children with disabilities.  There is nothing quite like frantically opening the Amazon box on my porch that contains brand new books or sitting in the education aisle of Barnes and Noble, getting lost in the titles.  My bookshelves in my office and at home are full of books, books that are full of information about education.  Yes, I know it is a problem, but there could be worse addictions!

Within the past year, my addiction has been fueled in a new way.  I jumped on the Twitter bandwagon last year, and have been enjoying the ride!  It's one thing to be able to read a good professional book that makes you think and wonder about education.  It's an entirely different thing to be part of a PLN (professional learning network) that stretches from my home in Shrewsbury to places like Wisconsin, Alabama, Florida, or even overseas to England or Germany.  Now I can not only read blogs, articles, thoughts about all aspects of education, but I can actually connect with peers who are trying to do the same thing I am trying to do...provide the best education for kids.  Just last week, I participated in a webinar with a principal from Wisconsin, a principal from New York and an instructional coach from Iowa focusing on the topic of 'Coaching for Instructional Improvement.'  I follow all three of them on twitter and have been able to share ideas that we use in our school as well as gather ideas from them.  Since I had a lot of time on the couch last week to recover, I also participated in a few Twitter chats.  These are scheduled online discussions that you can either simply read what people are saying or you can comment and participate in the chats.  Some of the ones I participated in last week were: #educoach on Wednesday night where the discussion centered around how administrators can use Evernote as an organizational tool, and also on Wednesday night was #sbgchat which is a weekly conversation about standards based grading (Wednesday's topic centered around how to help parents understand standards based grading).  A few weeks ago I participated in a great chat called #titletalk, and I learned about some great new children's literature titles that I had not read yet.

I will continue to share information that I gather from Twitter with all of you, but I recommend that you check it out on your own as well.  You can very easily sign up at  You create a twitter handle that starts with the @ symbol.  My twitter handle is @clorn8d1and you can find me and follow me!  Andy also set up a special hashtag for GDRSD so you can find other staff in the district who include #gdrsdchat in their tweets.  Here is a good little cheat sheet about twitter for newbies:
I will continue to feed my addiction to education information...and I hope you all will join me!

Events This Week:
Monday, Tuesday and Friday - Students will attend the fire safety program during gym class
Wednesday - 4th grade instrumental rental night from 6:00-7:00

Great Things I Noticed Last Week:
Unfortunately, since I spent much of my week on the couch, I do not have too much that I was able to actually see in person!

  • Family Fun Night was a huge success.  Thanks to the PTA for organizing this, and for changing the way we ran it.  Dismissal was much smoother and parents and kids were more relaxed at the event.  Thank you to those staff members who came out to the track for part of the event.  Parents and kids were excited to see all of you.  I personally loved the entertainment, especially the singer! ;)  Fun was had by all.
  • Several teachers attended the optional SMART Goals training on Tuesday.  Hopefully you picked up some pointers to help you work through planning out your goals.
  • Several teachers stopped by the lab on Thursday afternoon to practice using Evernote.  I appreciate those of you who are already Evernote users who were there to help your colleagues.  I have seen that many of you have entered notes already into your notebooks.  Way to go!
  • I was not able to attend, but I heard it through the grapevine that the lab teachers had a great day with our TLA consultant, Joia.  They got to watch a demonstration lesson in Mrs. Fournier's classroom and then discuss how it went.  Mrs. Fournier said that the next day her students asked, "Could the teachers tell how much we love reading?"  How awesome is that?!

Check It Out:
If you have not watched a clip of Kid you go!  I love this kid!
Here is an interesting opinion piece from the LA Times written by a Boston teacher about not being afraid of the Common Core:,0,4172556.story
Here is a great blog post from a teacher I love to follow on Twitter; she talks about how we should challenge our students to make us proud instead of punishing them.  She is also the teacher that created the Global Read Aloud project.

And I will leave you with this great quote:

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