Friday, January 27, 2017

Connecting to "real life"

Jen shared this with me earlier this week and I just had to share it with you.
Who says we can't make real life examples for the math we're learning?  Or the Science we're learning?  Or the (fill in the blank) that we're learning?  I see the kids learning every day and the way that you connect their learning to the real world.  Continue to make those connections.  One of these days you'll look back and be able to say, "I remember when "Johnny" was in my class.  I knew that he would be a famous computer programmer. Or a famous inventor.  Or a famous (fill in the blank)."  Let's remember to keep it real with the kids.

Great things I saw this week...
  • Review of rules and expectations as we began the second semester.  Some of the presentations for the kids were worthy of an Academy Award (Ask Dave!).
  • Getting outside to play at recess and kids creating new games to avoid the water and mud.
  • I finished almost all MAP testing on Tuesday and the kids thanked me for my time.  Wow!
  • Listening to students share about their learning- read aloud jots, writing, Science observations, equations, and new books.
  • Bring a friend to choir day and our first day of guitar lessons.
  • The incredible effort of our 7th graders on their writing, using text evidence to boot, during LA while I visited Tuesday and Thursday.
  • Being able to share some good news with two families- their kids found money (not just a dollar bill, by the way) and turned it in to the office, one in November and one on Wednesday.
  • Matt sharing PE, and Merton, with educators in Winnipeg, Canada on Thursday and Friday.
  • Our conversations about kids, and keeping them first, is always inspiring.  No matter the circumstances, you always keep kids first.
*Don't forget to schedule your midyear SLO/PPG meeting.  I need to meet with you all regardless of if you are "on cycle" or not.

Monday, January 30th
  • Coaching 7:30-8:15
  • Game at Richmond 5:30PM
  • Board meeting 7:00PM
Tuesday, January 31st
  • Practice 7:00-8:15
  • Homework Club 4:15-5:15
Wednesday, February 1st
  • Power Day
  • Game vs. Lake Country 5:30PM
Thursday, February 2nd
  • Tu-Tu Day!
  • Grade level and specials meetings
  • Homework Club 4:15-5:15
Friday, February 3rd
  • No Office Day (I'll be shadowing one student in the morning and one in the afernoon.  I can't wait!)
*Did you find a date and time to meet for your mid-year SLO/PPG?

Tweets, quotes, and blogs
8 Things to Look for in Today's Classrooms (from George Couros)
After a discussion about MAP scores with more than one person, I thought this post from Pernille Ripp was an important viewpoint to share.  I'd love to discuss this at our next team meeting.

@mertonint on Twitter
#mertonint on Twitter
Merton Intermediate School Facebook page
SIP meeting notes from 1.25.17
Family smore from 1.27.17

Boss Complex
I get a daily email from Sam Parker and the blog (linked in the heading) caught me square in the eye.  Not just the word boss, but this section of the post...

"We push things. Fail. Succeed. We become confident ... then maybe a little too confident. We start to know a lot ... maybe everything ... becoming less approachable ... less inviting... creating situations where people are afraid to tell us the truth. Feedback slows (or stops). Our self-awareness slips. Bad habits settle in. We drain others and get in the way of good things happening. We become dangerous.
And it can happen to anyone ... leader or not."- from Sam Parker
Doesn't that just get you?  It's January, well past halftime, and sometimes we get complacent.  Something worked all year long, the kids are learning, the kids are behaving.  Why would I want to make any changes?  But if we don't make changes, our complacency could lead to a stagnant learning environment for our kids and ourselves.  February is next week, and there will be an opportunity for you to jump start your teaching and the engagement of our kids.  I won't give you specifics here, but know that we're having a "coopetition" for the month of February that will help us learn some new things, cooperate with one another, and have some friendly competition.  Thus the term "coopetition"- cooperation mixed with competition. It will be fun!

Thanks for taking the time to read this every week.  I hope that you can gain a thing or two every time you read it.  If not, I'm open to any suggestions to help this be more valuable for you.
Be the one!
Take care of the kids.  Take care of each other.  Take care of yourself.- John Gunnell