Friday, August 7, 2015

The warmup begins

I was thinking about running this week.  It's hard to imagine, I know.  One of the phases of running is the warmup.  I don't warmup often, but when I do, especially for races, I find that it gets me better prepared.  I equate August to the warmup of our school year.  Think about it.  We are all in the midst of planning for the return of our students.  We are thinking about our classrooms, our colleagues, our schedules, our content, and all that we have to do to be prepared.  I have my sights set on a number of things that I want to do this year and can't wait to get them all going.  If you are around at all next week, stop in and chat awhile.  I'd love to hear what you have prepared for our kids.

Calendar
Monday, August 10th- Online registation opens
Thursday, August 13th-  CPI training 9:00-3:00 (Intermediate School Library)

Scheduling
As of the posting of this blog, Dawn (Did I ever tell you what a rockstar she is?) and I think we have all of the schedules done for online registration.  Thank you for providing me with suggestions (2 teachers, what students to keep together, what students to keep separate, etc.).  There were a lot of suggestions and we did the best that we could for the benefit of our kids.  It may even help out some of you, too!  Some of the suggestions just couldn't be done due to math placements and co-teaching opportunities.  Thanks for your understanding and support.

Teachscape release webinars
Just so you know, we will be using Teachscape again this year.  There are some upcoming webinars that will explain the new options.  They can be found in this link.  If you are unavailable at any of the times and would still like to view the webinars, all you need to do is sign up and you will have access to the webinar when it is convenient for you.  Scroll to the "Teachers and Support Professionals" options.  If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me.

Tweets, quotes, and blogs
"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.  Nothing can be done without hope and confidence."- Helen Keller, author and political activist
If you want to know more about Voxer, here's a great link from Cybrary Man.
8 key connectors (from Julie Oppelt)
The Power of Connectedness (from @JayBilly2)
"Being tolerant does not mean that I share another one's belief.  But it does mean that I acknowledge another one's right to believe, and obey, his own conscience."- Viktor Frankl, neurologist and psychiatrist
"Pirate lessons"- (from @tellez318 via #tlap chat on Twitter)
Remind 101 for students and families (from @8amber8)
"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."- John Wooden, basketball coach
Katie's Krops video (from @TroyBilt)
"We become what we think about."- Earl Nightingale, radio personality, writer, and motivational speaker
Teachscape 2015 release webinars
"No chance, no destiny, no fate, can circumvent or hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul."- Ella Wheeler Wilcox, author and poet
5 formative assessment ideas (from Suzanne Klein at ASCDEDge)
"Real difficulties can be overcome; it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable."- Theodore Vail, industrialist
"Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all."- Dale Carnegie, author and motivational speaker
@mertonint on Twitter
#mertonint on Twitter
Intermediate School Facebook page

       
(from Cierra Kaler-Jones on Pinterest)

Family communication challenge
As I continue to search for ways to connect with families, one glaring thing comes to mind.  I don't have any "hard evidence", but I bet that more than 90% of our contacts with families are either posted assignments or discussions about inappropriate behavior.  With that said, I challenge you to the following- take 5 minutes a day and make one positive phone call home.  Not an email.  Not a text message.  A phone call.  With 180 school days, that's 180 positive phone calls for each staff member.  And you know what.  If you need me to cover your class for 5 minutes so that you can make the call, I'll gladly do so.  Often when I make these calls, the person on the other end of the line starts out by saying, "What did he/she do now?"  If we all do this enough, our calls home won't always appear negative.  So, who's up for the challenge?

Have a wonderful weekend!
Jay