Friday, December 9, 2016

It's what we do

I had a day on Thursday.  We've all had one of those days.  We have a schedule with events we know we must take care of with space for maybe a couple of unexpected issues.  And then it happens.  The "script" you thought you had for the day takes a drastic change.  Sometimes the change is for the best and sometimes it's not and sometimes it's a little bit of both.  I won't go through the list, but know that I wanted to be in classes more than I was but I just couldn't.  Thursday is over and today is another day, and it's also a Friday.

So here's my challenge for you all.  Please realize that the kids know it's almost Winter Break.  Some of them can't wait because of some phenomenal things that will happen with and for them.  Some of them don't want anything to do with the break because there is so much that is unknown.  Please keep that in mind.  As many of you say, the 7 plus hours the kids are with us every day might be their best 7 plus hours of the day.  What can you do to make this time their very best?  I know that it gets difficult to keep up the energy in these days before break, but I also know that you are all here for the kids and don't want to disappoint them.  Keep sharing your ideas with one another to spread the wealth of ideas that you have.  If the kids are engaged and enjoying their learning, there will be fewer issues in classrooms, hallways, the cafeteria, recess, and the bus.  And as always, let me know if I can stop in to help you with anything.  My favorite days are the days when I spend the majority of time in classrooms, so don't hesitate to invite me in!

Great things I saw this week
  • Teamwork by students and staff to prepare for our concerts.
  • The work ethic of our kids is outstanding.  I saw this first hand while covering for Colleen on Monday afternoon.
  • Students responding to blogs from other students, both ours and students from other schools.
  • The Giving Tree tags are disappearing and wrapped presents are showing up in their place.
  • Soloists in band and choir fearless while performing beautifully.
  • Smiles on our students and their families throughout the holiday concerts.
  • Supportive staff attending the holiday concerts.
  • Kids coding and teaching each other (and staff).  I had a blast with the 7th graders on Tuesday!
  • Discussions in Science about geomagnetism and the relationship of the sun and moon.
  • The true concern that staff show for our students who are dealing with things we can hardly even imagine.
  • Students helping one another during Inventor 2 as I was literally no help.
  • Students stepping up to clean up in the cafeteria even though they didn't create the mess.
  • Presents continue to come in for the Giving Tree.
  • The wonderful support you are showing to Jim as he continues to battle cancer.
Monday, December 12
  • 4th day of Christmas
    • Bagels in the lounge!
Tuesday, December 13
  • 5th day of Christmas
    • Thermal Tuesday (Wear flannel or thermal shirts and jeans)
Wednesday, December 14
  • DeSTEMber all day (See emails from Mary about this.)
  • 6th day of Christmas
    • Donuts in the lounge!
Thursday, December 15
  • Team meetings (last ones of the calendar year)
  • 7th day of Christmas
    • It's a surprise!
Friday, December 16
  • 8th day of Christmas
    • Lunch on Jay and Jen (but you know Jen does all of the work)
Tweets, quotes, and blogs
How to Cultivate a Growth Mindset with Your Children (from
"The road leading to a goal does not separate you from the destination; it is essentially a part of it."- Charles de Lint, writer
Grow like a lobster (I found this during #mybad16, a Twitter chat on Monday night.  Please take 1:31 to watch.  It's worth it.)

"Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save."- Will Rogers, humorist and entertainer
The ABCs of Middle Level Education (from AMLE)

Storify from #satchat on Saturday morning where we discussed homework.
7 Keys to Positive Classroom Culture in the Middle School Classroom (from TpT, a good reminder)
3-D printed prosthetics model future (from ThisWeek Community News)
"You can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you."- Dale Carnegie, writer and motivational speaker
@mertonint on Twitter
#mertonint on Twitter
Merton Intermediate School Facebook page
Family smore for 12.9.16

I said this in my opening paragraphs, but I need to say it again.  This time of the year is difficult for some students.  And the same is true for some staff.  Please be mindful of that.  John Gunnell's quote is even more important now.  "Take care of the kids.  Take care of each other.  Take care of yourself."
Be the one!