January 13, 2017
Last week, I was under the weather and spent several days on my couch, resting. In between naps and drinking tea, I read and watched some television. This time provided me with an opportunity to rest, learn and reflect. I enjoyed listening to all different sports reporters and both coaches as they prepared for the College Football National Championship. I read some articles from ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) and different teaching blogs. I watched a few interviews and news programs that focused on the ending of President Obama’s presidency.
At our faculty and staff meetings this week, we discussed the following quotes:
“The big picture of curriculum is thinking about how all the individual units form a cohesive whole and keeping that at the forefront of your curriculum design, process, rather than taking a unit-by- unit approach.” -- Angela DiMichele Lalor
“When ordinary people get involved, get engaged, and come together in collective effort, things change for the better.” -- Barack Obama
“Hold each other accountable—you can’t do it by yourself.” -- Dabo Swinney
Dennis Miranda said, “As you reflect upon where you would like to be at the end of this school year, what one word would you consider to shape that journey?” Some of our words included: nurturing, consistent, mindful, perseverance, juggle, dedicated, happiness, joy, compassionate and thoughtful.
My reflection from reading some teaching blogs consisted of our need to continue to model even basic skills to our students. For example, it is always a challenge at the elementary level to have our students in a timely fashion get dressed and undressed for winter recess. One suggestion from a teacher was for families to purchase a reusable grocery bag and students will always put their snow boots and snow pants into the bag at school. It was recommended that we take the time to model with students what are the right and wrong ways to get dressed for recess and undressed after coming in from outside. We can make this fun by having the teachers try on their winter gear by putting their mittens on first and then trying to put on boots and snow pants. Lastly, we should teach our students a routine. In the younger grades, we can even make a checklist or picture poster for students. One teacher shared her routine that she teaches her students: 1)snow pants; 2)boots (sneakers/shoes) into recycled grocery bag; 3)scarf; 4)coat and zip; 5)hat; 6)mittens. The routine to get undressed was: 1)mittens; 2)hat and mittens go into hat; 3)scarf; 4)jacket; 5)hat with mittens and scarf go into sleeve of jacket; 6)jacket on hook in cubbie/locker; 7)snow pants into bag; 8)boots into bag; 9)sneakers on. For some of our students, the steps that need to be accomplished for going out to recess or coming in can be overwhelming or time-consuming. So the more, as adults, we can help them with organization and practice, the more successful our students will be.
Have a great, long weekend!
P.S. Please join us next Friday, January 20 th , as we celebrate the retirement of Mrs. Knott-Garon. We invite you and your children to come into the MPR from 2:15-3:30 p.m. to spend some time socializing, sharing a story, saying thanks and wishing her well. We will have a brief ceremony at 3:00 p.m. Snacks and beverages will be provided. Katie’s last day will be Tuesday, January 31 st .