Monday, April 24, 2017

A Different Kind of Countdown

Principal ponderings...

We are in the home stretch.  It always seems like the time after spring break is a fast-paced race to the finish.  We have 40 school days left before summer vacation.  What?!  Only 40 days?!  How did that happen?  I feel like we were all just sitting in the cafeteria before the first day of school, and now suddenly, we are winding down.  I know that around this time everyone starts counting down.  People are making plans for what they will do over summer vacation.  The weather is finally getting nice, and kids and adults begin to stare longingly out the window, daydreaming about summer fun.

But we have 40 days left.  And I am proposing a very different countdown during these 40 days.  I want us to think of all of the amazing things that we get to do with kids over the next 40 days.  Do you have some students who you don't have the best connection with?  Well you have 40 days to work on that connection.  Do you have some students who love math and are eager for new math challenges?  Well you have 40 days to keep that math enthusiasm going and challenge them in new ways.  Do you have students who still need reminders about making the right choices and showing SPARK behavior?  Good news, you have 40 days to help them work on making smarter choices.  Do you have students who are not truly engaged in learning in your classroom.  You have 40 days to make sure that everyone is engaged in the learning going on in your room.

Yes, we are counting down the days.  But we need to make sure we making every single one of these last few days count.  Be sure and check out the staff room each day because I will have a special countdown chart in there with a new message each day for all of us.  Time definitely goes by too fast.  Let's make sure we are capitalizing on every moment that we have with our students.  Amazing learning, amazing experiences have been happening for them in classrooms, on the playground, in the cafeteria.  Let's keep adding to those experiences and interactions all the way until the last bus pulls away on the last day of school.

40 days left to be awesome for kids....starting today!

Currently reading:
I definitely used the break to catch up on some reading!  I was very excited to get some new books in the mail and from the book fair.  Here's a few great picture books that I read and hope to read in some classrooms...
This is the picture book that goes along with the book Wonder!
Love this book, great for growth mindset, positive thinking, etc! It's called Penguin Problems.

I finished reading Snicker of Magic - such a great book!  I loved the language in this book and the characters.  Let me know if you want to borrow a copy.  I am currently reading another Nikki Grimes book.  This one is a short novel called The Road to Paris.  This is a story about a young girl who is in foster care.  The author certainly wrote from experience for this book since she herself was bounced around to many different foster care homes when she was little.

Events this week:
Monday - Welcome back!!
Tuesday - Grade 4 ELA MCAS, School Council Meeting @ 3:30
Wednesday - Grade 4 ELA MCAS, several staff attending CPI refresher training at Prescott from 12-3:00, 1st grade Curious Creatures enrichment program in the afternoon
Thursday - Grade 4 ELA MCAS, K math PD session in the AM
Friday - Special Olympics!, Liz and Dianna at SLT in the AM

Great things I noticed last week:

  • I had the chance to check out some amazing simple machines in a few of the 4th grade classrooms. 
  • A big thank you to Mrs. Fulreader's middle school son for coming over to help some 4th graders build their simple machines. 
  • I had fun eating lunch with these 2nd graders; we discussed our favorite and not so favorite vegetables! 
  • Loved catching these two 3rd graders in the hall.  One friend was helping another one back from the nurse's office.  Kind kids at FloRo! 
  • Did you see our new office help?  When you are hurt and can't go out for recess...time to fill in as an assistant! 
  • Crafty, creative Kate in the nurse's office definitely put some smiles on faces with these signs! 
  • What do you do when it's Good Friday the day before vacation and we have lots of staff out and not enough subs?!  You bring in the assistant superintendent to be a sub!  Thanks Dr. Novak! (And Karen Gartland and Luke Callahan!) 

Check it out:
A good reminder about the benefits of having a growth mindset in math:
And a great tweet I saw last night...

Also, on Tuesday night I am helping to moderate the #edchatMA twitter chat, all about inclusion.  We are combining with the #coteachat...a whole chat devoted to coteaching.  Even if you are nervous about chiming in...find the #edchatMA hashtag and follow along with the discussion at 8:00 Tuesday night!

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