Sunday, May 10, 2015

If you don't look closely, you might miss...

Principal ponderings...

Last week, was teacher appreciation week.  I know the PTA planned your teacher appreciation week for the week before April vacation, but the official week for teachers was last week.  Of course I could thank all of you for teaching our students, for following the Common Core, for creating engaging lessons.  I could say how much I appreciate that you help our students complete PARCC testing, master their math facts and demonstrate an understanding of the reader's workshop units of study.

But sometimes if you only look at the big picture items, you miss a lot of small, but very important things happening in our school.

If you don't look closely, you might miss...

  • a teacher giving up her lunch so that she can connect with students while they eat and chat
  • a guidance counselor helping a crying child transition out of mom's car
  • a paraprofessional complimenting a child who doesn't usually get compliments
  • a teacher observing another teacher so that she can try out something new in her classroom
  • a teacher encouraging a student to question and wonder
  • a teacher offering to do a family's laundry because they don't have access to a laundry machine right now
  • a staff member tying a child's shoe
  • a staff member giving a student a snack when they don't have one
  • a teacher giving a former student a hug or a high five
  • a paraprofessional greeting a student and helping him start his day with a smile
  • an art teacher listening to a student's story at dismissal time
  • a teacher giving up part of his lunch to play with some students at recess time
  • a music teacher encouraging a student to write her own song lyrics
  • a staff member letting a student borrow some books
  • a nurse listening to a child who is upset
  • a teacher sitting at a back table with a few students reviewing the concept one more time
  • a teacher modifying the lesson so that every child in the room has the ability to access the learning
Each day, I look closely and see educators in our building doing the little things that in the long run make a big impact on the lives of children.  Yes, I appreciate the fact that the staff in our school work hard everyday to teach our students and help them grow, but I have to remind myself that if I don't continue to look closely, I will miss so many small, yet very important interactions happening all around me.

Thank you all for the big and little things you do for our students.

Currently reading:
I am still working my way through Brown Girl Dreaming and it is still a really great read! I am also trying to finish The Lost Treasure of Tuckernuck.  I am not as into this one, but I am not letting myself abandon it just yet.  Apparently last week was National Children's Book week.  So here are two children's books that I read this week...I Love You, Stinky Face and You Are My Wonders.  The You Are My Wonders book would be a great read aloud for K or 1.  It would also be a fun book to have older students try to copy the style when writing a book for younger students.
Events this week:
**Welcome back Dr. Novak!
PARCC testing this week for 3rd grade, see schedule sent out by Dianna
Tuesday - Rocks and Fossil presentation for multi-age @ Twomey Center in the morning, School Council Meeting @ 3:30 in the library
Wednesday - Library Fund Committee Meeting @ 8:15, Dr. Rodriguez visits in the am, 3rd grade chorus practice in the gym @ 2:25
Thursday - Dr. Novak visits FR from 10:30-11:30, 2nd grade field trip to Drumlin Farms

Great things I noticed last week:

  • 3rd graders in Mr. Coronis's class were working expository writing when I popped in their room.  They were taking information from two different texts and putting the information into their own words as they typed on the Chromebooks.
  • These kindergartners started my week of on a positive note by sharing their acts of kindness that they wrote about!
  • Be sure and check out the new display in the library.  One section is devoted to the kindness books that Mrs. Middlemiss donated to our school!
  • A first grader saw me in the hall and was so excited to talk about how he was learning to read with expression and making the characters in books come alive using your face, body and voice.  He invited me in to demonstrate and while I was there I also got to see Mrs. Wilkins' class perform a rewrite of a story that they wrote and illustrated!
  • Just had to share that on Sunday we celebrated Mother's Day by going to the Franklin Park Zoo.  Moms got in free AND it was Star Wars Day!  Yes, Star Wars is a big deal in the Garden house.  Emerson, or Princess Leia, spotted our FloRo mascot...the giraffe!

Check it out:
Check out this twitter chat on Monday night from 8:30-9:30.  #TWTBlog is where you can find the's all about conferring during writer's workshop.
Watch this video clip of a principal who is all about creating a culture of literacy...she's my kind of gal!
A great post about summer reading and tells you about the bookaday challenge...anyone looking for a way to push yourself with reading this summer?!  Try bookaday!

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