Saturday, February 15, 2014


Discover. Play. Build.

I'm celebrating lots of things this week-- the CYBILS awards (announced yesterday),  a three-day weekend, warm weather (almost sixty degrees today and tomorrow), a Saturday off after working four out of the last five, time to clean house and pay some bills and get my hair cut and get the car washed-- but here are my big celebrations…

Celebration #1
Son #2 got a job!
A real job!
As a carhop at a fast food chain!
I am really proud of the steps he has taken toward adulthood this year.

Celebration #2
Second Grade Science Fair
We have an amazing second grade team at my school. This week, the kids hosted their own "science fair." A few weeks ago, the older kids had their science fair. The second graders are completing a unit on sound and decided they needed to have a science fair too. Each child built an instrument- maracas, drums, guitars, etc. They also created science fair "boards" out of 12" x 18" construction paper, folded in thirds. Yesterday, they had a science fair- they set up tables in the auditorium and invited all of the primary grade classes. I loved hearing about what they had learned and playing their instruments. I loved the huge joy they found in their learning!

Celebration #3
International Hug Day
Our sixth graders decided that Thursday was International Hug Day. I have no idea if this is an actual day or if the kids just made it up (maybe the sixth grade girls just wanted excuses to chase the boys around the playground), but Thursday, as I did recess duty, I was greeted with at least a hundred hugs. Yesterday, some of the kids decided that the hugs felt so good that they would just continue the tradition for a day or two longer. A couple of kids I know are going through really tough times, and I was really glad to have a good excuse to hug them, without embarrassing their adolescent selves.

Celebration #4
Middle School Social
Yesterday, our sixth, seventh, and eighth graders, had a "social" at the end of a day. A social, as best as I can describe it, is kind of like a dance- it was in the school cafeteria, they had music and a concession stand and we turned out most of the regular lights. Our fifth and sixth grade teachers did a really good job of picking songs- shuffles and line dances and dance competitions- there wasn't a lot of "coupling" and the kids had a blast.  I helped at the concession stand and it was just a really fun to see the kids having so much fun!

Celebration #5
Professional Reading
My district, like many others, is really emphasizing data-driven instruction. It's been hard, for me at least, to figure out how to balance looking at data with professional reading, authentic conversations about good practice, etc. Recently, however, we have implemented a book study- our primary grades are reading Fisher and Frey's Better Learning Through Structured Teaching and coupling it with some articles, etc., on guided reading (on Tuesday, we get to go see Linda Dorn as part of a district professional development day). The intermediate grades are reading Notice and Note.  On Thursday, at grade level meetings, we had some rich, rich conversations. I love my school and am so honored to get to be a part of the terrific work that they are doing!

Head over to Ruth Ayres Writes for a lot more celebrations!


Linda B said...

Sounds like such a good week, Carol. The weather certainly helps, too, doesn't it? Congrats to your son-not easy working & studying! So fun to hear about the 2nd graders science fair. The teacher team must be great-it's a lot of work to do that kind of 'extra'. I know the kids must have loved it. And glad you have such a nice school full of good colleagues. I have Notice and Note-still haven't got to it! So many say it's good! Have a great lo-ong weekend!

Tara said...

Hooray for son #2!!
And hooray for your school - it sounds like a supportive and nourishing kind of place to work.

Jone said...

So happy for son # 2. We are doing a lot of Linda Dorm. And a lot do data collection. Mixed feelings about it

Loralee said...

The hug story was so sweet!