I’m going for it…

How my week felt in a nutshell…or in the back of a pickup.

20+ scheduled meetings in one week seems like a lot of meetings. After living through a week of 20+ meetings, I can confirm with you that it is.

This week felt like I was doing a lot of things all at once. I saw the truck packed with furniture in the picture above on my way back to school from, you guessed it, a meeting. I laughed because of how incredibly unsafe it looked. I guess it’s not actually funny, I just couldn’t believe what I saw. You know someone at some point said that they shouldn’t move furniture like this. The driver obviously had enough bungee cords to prove otherwise.

Strangely enough, after a full week, I felt great on Friday evening. I still had enough energy to spend time with the family and stay up late after everyone went to bed.

There’s a reason I still felt great at the end of the week that I’ll get to in a minute.

Fast forward to Sunday to me waking up at 4:45am to get myself ready for a 10 mile race later that morning. On Friday, we race participants had received an email from the race organizers warning of the dangers of running in heat that was in the forecast for the race. They reminded us that “no records are going to be made” in this kind of heat, so take it easy and be safe.

While I was driving to the race that morning, I had already started telling myself not to run hard and to play it safe. Despite the forecast and the warnings, the morning still felt pretty cool while I was standing at the starting line. We would be running on a trail that was fairly wooded too, which would keep the air cool.

3 miles into the race, I was feeling pretty good. I didn’t feel as hot as I thought I was going to feel. I was passing some of the other runners I had started the race with and I told myself, “just go for it”. I ended up having a pretty good run and it became a confidence booster for me as I head into the last few weeks before the half marathon I get to run.

I bring up the packed week and my race this weekend because everything that happened this week reminded me how important my self-talk is.

I felt great on Friday not because the week was over with, but because those 20+ meetings led to better things for the kids we serve. I said yes to all of those meetings after all because I said to myself that I can do it. I also reminded myself to have gratitude for a great team of teacher to work with and I celebrated the work that was accomplished.

I felt like I ran a good race because I decided to stay tuned into how was feeling during the run. I’ve run enough to know when I’m dragging and when I feel like I could run all day. I pushed out the pessimism of the race organizers and went for it.

I know that every week won’t go this way for me. But when you feel like you can take on a challenge, what are you giving up by not going for it?

Have a GREAT week!

– Herb

Upcoming Dates —

September

25 – Pastries with Parents, 8am
27 – Herb at mtg off campus, AM; ADE Staff Meeting, 3:45pm; Mumkin Delivery, 1pm; Mumkin pickup 4-7pm
29 – ADDC Culture Celebration, 1-3pm

October

2-6 Conference Week
5- School Community Meeting, 9:25am; Fall Conference Late Night 4-8pm
7 – Cardboard Challenge
9 – PTO Meeting, 7pm
10 – School Improvement Team Meeting, 8:15am
11 – ADE Staff Meeting, 8:30am
17 – District Leadership Institute – Herb out
18 – District Leadership Institute – Herb out
19 – ADE Fall Tailgate, 6:30-8:00pm
20 – COI Day, No School
23 – Yearbook Cover Contest (through November 3)
26 – State of the Schools, 6pm Makoy Center
31 – Halloween

 

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Is it about the tech or the learning?

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Thanks to Angie, one of our 2nd grade teachers for sharing this article from The Guardian called “Tablets out, imagination in: the schools that shun technology.” I love thinking and discussing the role technology plays in learning and this article caused me to refine my thinking and philosophy of tech in the classroom.

The question of the use of technology in schools seems as though it’s been asked for years. I can remember when we got our Apple IIe installed in my 1st Grade classroom and my teacher explaining to us that we were going to have to take turns using it but we weren’t going to spend all of our time playing games on it.

I guess playing Number Munchers and Oregon Trail wasn’t playing games in my teacher’s eyes, but that was the extent of our use of technology in my classroom 30 years ago (it hurt to type that).

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Fast forward to today when we have ubiquitous access to technology and one can see the reason why we continue to ask the question of how much is too much.

Just like with most things in life, Mother knows best: Moderation is the key. Balancing the use of technology so that its use is most effective for students. At the center of this balance is the classroom teacher. Just as we facilitate a discussion through a line of questioning that deepens understanding, we also need to consider how we facilitate the use of technology by our students. How are we presenting the use of iPads can be the key to unlocking the potential of creativity and ownership of learning that our students can leverage to demonstrate their understanding of complex concepts and new skills. George Couros, author of The Innovator’s Mindset, argues that students should be learning with technology instead of simply learning technology.

Some powerful learning moments come when teachers present a new app to students, allow for some exploration of the app, and then ask students “What are some ways we might use this app to show our learning”. Furthermore, this kind of ongoing discussion around the theme of “how might this help you learn” emphasizes the key idea that technology is a tool for learning just as is a pencil, calculator, or textbook. If we make technology the end-all-be-all for learning, then it will be.

If we reinforce the idea that technology is a tool for learning, then it will be. Take a look at these guiding questions, also from Couros:

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From https://georgecouros.ca/blog/archives/3702

What really excites me about tech in the classroom is the unforeseen outcomes that will come from the imaginiations and creativity of our students.

Thanks to Angie for sharing this article!

Have a GREAT week!

Herb

Worth Checking Out

T.G.I.F.: Feedback Fridays — http://www.ascd.org/publications/newsletters/education-update/sept17/vol59/num09/T.G.I.-£Feedback£-Friday.aspx

Impossible, unlikely or difficult? —  tinyurl.com/yd8o7n4x

How the Google Suite Can Enhance Open-Ended Math Exploration — https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2017/09/04/how-the-google-suite-can-enhance-open-ended-math-exploration/‬

Upcoming Events

September

21 – Student Picture Day
25 – Pastries with Parents, 8am
27 – Herb at mtg off campus, AM; ADE Staff Meeting, 3:45pm; Mumkin Delivery, 1pm
29 – ADDC Culture Celebration, 1-3pm

October

2-6 Conference Week
2 – School Community Meeting, 10:45am
5 – Fall Conference Late Night 4-8pm
7 – Cardboard Challenge
9 – PTO Meeting, 7pm
10 – School Improvement Team Meeting, 8:15am
11 – ADE Staff Meeting, 8:30am
17 – District Leadership Institute – Herb out
18 – District Leadership Institute – Herb out
19 – ADE Fall Tailgate, 6:30-8:00pm
20 – COI Day, No School
23 – Yearbook Cover Contest (through November 3)
26 – State of the Schools, 6pm Makoy Center
31 – Halloween

Ordinarily Extraordinary

 

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The spirit and culture of America is often reflected in our ability to show compassion and to help each other during moments of great need. During tragedy, we often look to a dozen or so public figures for leadership. Yet we only have to look at ordinary people to see extraordinary leadership in action.

Leaders pick the phone and ask, “How can I help?”.

Leaders act without thinking, “What’s in it for me?”.

Leaders work to find a solution. They do the work without complaint, and do so with joy, knowing that they are called to serve those they have never met and yet will forever change what happens next for those they help.

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Your leadership is essential to the students you serve. It’s incredible, the impact you can have. The kind of impact you have is totally up to you.

Leadership is a choice, not a title. It’s ordinary people doing extraordinary things for others.

Have a great week!

– Herb

Worth Checking Out

Such a great read! The learning in this article reflects the vision we have set out to achieve! —

“A Literacy-Based Strategy to Help Teachers Integrate Science Skills” https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2017/08/22/a-literacy-based-strategy-to-help-teachers-integrate-science-skills/

Upcoming Dates

August

28 – First School Community Meeting, 10:45am, Gym

September

1 – Board of Education Bldg Tour, 8am
4 – Labor Day, No School
5 – Mumkin Orders due
6 – Curriculum Night, 5:30-6:30pm
7 – Herb at Admin mtg, AM
11 – PTO Meeting, 6-7pm (Exec mtg); 7pm (General mtg)
12 – School Improvement Team meeting, 8:15am
13 – ADE Staff Meeting, 8:15am
15 – Building Advisory Committee meeting, 8:30am
16 – AD/DC Warrior Dash, 1-6pm
21 – Student Picture Day
25 – Pastries with Parents, 8am
27 – Herb at mtg off campus, AM; ADE Staff Meeting, 3:45pm; Mumkin Delivery, 1pm
29 – ADDC Culture Celebration, 1-3pm

Let Your “Why” Lead the Way

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Image source: flickr

What is your “why”?

What is your response when someone asks you why you got into education?

Serving others and changing the world for the better are the “whys” that drive me.

Serving others sounds reasonable and relatable to others, especially those who are outside of our field.

However, the second “why” – helping change the world for the better – gets a different response: a coy smile, a “yeah, right” look, or some sort of patronizing response.

But it’s true – I want to change the world and make it a better place.  I believe that education is the key to that change.  The values we lift up show our kids the importance of integrity, responsibility and citizenship and what that looks like when we apply what we’ve learned to create something new or solve a problem that exists.

I love this thought from the book Start. Right. Now.: Teach and Lead for Excellence

Good teachers help students learn facts so they can do well on tests and progress in school.

Great teachers empower students to use knowledge to change the world.

Whitaker, T., Zoul, J., & Casas, J. (2017). Start. Right. Now.: teach ande lead for excellence. San Diego: Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc.

The learning experiences we create for kids should go beyond just covering a curriculum or making sure we “hit” standards.  Our work needs to be rooted in the bigger goal of creating students who are empowered to use knowledge to make the world better.

When we talk about “exercising the gap” between good and great, we are talking about pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone and escape from “that’s the way we’ve always done it”.  Doing so gets us and our students closer to a more personalized learning experience and to a point where we are developing learner agency.

It’s shocking to me how people dismiss the importance of education to our future.   It’s even more shocking when educators misplace this importance.

Let’s continue to commit ourselves to developing an understanding of the importance of the work we do and how it connects to the success our students will experience in their future.

Each one of us is the key to developing a future we hope to see.

Have a GREAT week!

– Herb

 

Worth Checking Out

How Schools Can Face The ‘Bad Habits’ That Inhibit Meaningful Changes https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2017/03/06/how-schools-can-face-the-bad-habits-that-inhibit-meaningful-changes/

Want to Fix Schools? Go to the Principal’s Office https://nyti.ms/2m9RAWx

Upcoming Dates

March

 

13 – Spring Flower Sale Orders due

14 – IMPACT PD (K-2 Teachers)

15 – Olive Tree Spirit DAY; Spec Ed Team Meeting, noon; RTI Team meeting, 3:40

16 – Admin meeting (Herb, AM); 5th Grade Musical Performances: 10:50, 1:20, & 7pm

17 – BAC meeting (rescheduled to this date), 8:15am

20-24 – Spring Break

27 – Class Panoramic Pictures

29 – Staff Meeting, 3:45 – One2One Pioneers to present.

30-31 – Herb in DC

 

April (State Testing dates listed below)

3 – School Community Meeting – “Adjust and Adapt”, 10:45am; Board of Education meeting at ADE, 7pm

4 – BIT meeting, 8am

6 – Admin meeting (Herb, AM)

10 – Preschool IEP meetings (Herb/Brian H), throughout day

12 – Staff Meeting – Progress check on Data Team goal

13 – Mental Health and Wellness Team meeting, 8am; One2One Principal meeting, 10am

14 – Holiday, No School

2016-17 Testing Calendar

Ohio State Assessment Schedule at ADE (Grades 3, 4 & 5):

Tuesday, April 4 — Grade 5 English Language Arts, Part 1

Wednesday, April 5 — Grade 5 English Language Arts,  Part 2

Thursday, April 6 — Grades 3 & 4 English Language Arts, Part 1

Friday, April 7 — Grades 3 & 4 English Language Arts, Part 2

Tuesday, April 18 — Grade 5 Mathematics, Parts 1 & 2

Wednesday, April 19 — Grade 4 Mathematics, Parts 1 & 2

Thursday, April 20 — Grade 3 Mathematics, Parts 1 & 2

Tuesday, April 25 — Grade 5 Science and Grade 4 Social Studies, Parts 1 & 2

 

This Incredible Opportunity

My goal as an educator has always been to help change the world and help make it a better place for all.

We who teach have been given this incredible opportunity to help lead a community of learners.  Our work empowers students with the skills and knowledge they will need to be the leaders we will need in the future.

When I feel down or stressed, I need to remember to be grateful for this incredible opportunity I have to make a difference – to keep the main thing the main thing – and then act with as much positivity, optimism, and joy as I can every single time I walk through the doors of this great community of learners.

Have a GREAT week!

– Herb

Articles Worth Checking Out

Can Personalized Learning Flourish Within A Traditional System?

Lazy but talented

Using Math Menus: Some Nuts & Bolts | Marilyn Burns Math Blog

Upcoming Dates

March

7 – BIT Meeting, 8am; 3rd Safety Drill, 10:45 am

8 – ADE Staff Meeting, 8am — Check in on Students’ writing performance since last month (Counts as monthly Data Team check-in for literacy)

10 – Principals’ One2One meeting, 10am

13 – Spring Flower Sale Orders due

15 – Olive Tree Spirit DAY; Class Panoramic Pictures; Spec Ed Team Meeting, noon; RTI Team meeting, 3:40

16 – 5th Grade Musical Performances: 10:50, 1:20, & 7pm

20-24 – Spring Break

29 – Staff Meeting, 3:45

30-31 – Herb in DC

2016-17 Testing Calendar

Ohio State Assessment Schedule at ADE (Grades 3, 4 & 5):

Tuesday, April 4 — Grade 5 English Language Arts, Part 1

Wednesday, April 5 — Grade 5 English Language Arts,  Part 2

Thursday, April 6 — Grades 3 & 4 English Language Arts, Part 1

Friday, April 7 — Grades 3 & 4 English Language Arts, Part 2

Tuesday, April 18 — Grade 5 Mathematics, Parts 1 & 2

Wednesday, April 19 — Grade 4 Mathematics, Parts 1 & 2

Thursday, April 20 — Grade 3 Mathematics, Parts 1 & 2

Tuesday, April 25 — Grade 5 Science and Grade 4 Social Studies, Parts 1 & 2

Permit and Promote

“If you permit it, you promote it.” – Todd Whitaker, What Great Principals Do Differently

This quote was referenced by Todd Whitaker in the context of building culture and establishing expectations.  He explains that the culture of any organization is shaped by the worst behavior the leader is willing to tolerate.

As we recognize and commit to the need to journey into uncharted pedagogical territory in education, this quote actually may be the key to moving forward. That is, if we flip the focus of the quote from negative outcomes to positive outcomes.

What if we permitted more in our classrooms in order to promote more of the kind of learning experiences our kids need?

What would happen if we permitted more projects, more collaboration, more reflection, and more student control?

If we permitted more of the kind of learning that will allow more inquiry, authentic application of skills, and opportunities for kids to reflect on their learning journey more often, we will promote a dramatic shift the learning culture in our classrooms.

As we move into Act III of the school year, think about what you might intentionally permit in order to authentically promote.

Have a GREAT week!

– Herb

Worth Checking Out —

Love this video by Apple —  As we move to providing students with a One2One iPad experience next year I challenge you to think less about the tool and more about what’s possible with it:

What Makes a Master Teacher http://georgecouros.ca/blog/archives/267

what-makes-a-master-teacher

Upcoming Dates —

February

 

27 – Spring Flower Sale Kickoff

March

1 – School Community Meeting – Step Up/Build Skill, 10:45; Spec Ed Team meeting, noon

2 – Admin mtg (AM)

4 – ADE Family Fun Day, 10am-3pm

7 – BIT Meeting, 8am; 3rd Safety Drill, 10:45 am

8 – ADE Staff Meeting, 8am — Check in on Students’ writing performance since last month (Counts as monthly Data Team check-in for literacy)

10 – Principals’ One2One meeting, 10am

13 – Spring Flower Sale Orders due

15 – Olive Tree Spirit DAY; Spec Ed Team Meeting, noon; RTI Team meeting, 3:40

16 – 5th Grade Musical Performances: 10:50, 1:20, & 7pm

20-24 – Spring Break

2016-17 Testing Calendar

The Kind of Community We Build

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Most early childhood and elementary school teachers speak passionately about building community in the beginning of the year, but what kind of community we build is the bigger question.

-Mraz & Hertz, A Mindset For Learning (2015)

I continue to find A Mindset for Learning a thought-provoking and informative read.  The authors connect research-based information and ask their readers to think deeply by what it truly means to build a classroom community of resilient, joyful learners.

It’s no secret that the teacher is the number one driving force in the development of the classroom community.  Teachers set the tone through what they celebrate, what they ignore, their body language, and the words they choose when working with their learners.

So how are things going in your classroom community?  Before you answer, take a look at another quote from A Mindset for Learning and ask yourself if the statement a) reflects your belief about building a classroom community and b) reflects what is currently happening in your classroom community.

[A] child’s self-control, tenacity, and persistence are influenced first by their environment and the reliability and consistency of their caregivers. If we want to build a community of persistence, joy resilience, flexibility, and empathy, we must first be all of those things, and be reliable in those things.

As you reflect, also consider the fact that kids are extremely intuitive and tuned-in to their teachers.  They pick up on when we are energized and when we are flat.

In a 1993 study, researchers showed students, who did not know the teachers, 30-second silent video clips of 13 graduate teaching fellows while they were teaching and had the students rate the teachers on 13 variables like “accepting”, “active”, and “confident”.  The researchers then compared the ratings by the same students with the end of the semester course evaluations from the same students and found a 0.76 correlation (0.60 is considered “very strong”).  Amazing — Students can “slice” their perception of us in 30 seconds and just off of our body language.

This study underscores the importance of modeling the thinking, the behaviors, and the values we must reliably model if we are to instill the same within our students.

We are reaching the midway point of the first six weeks of school.  Take time now to reflect on the progress you have made with your students.  Reflect on how much of the community reflects your students interests and values vs. your own.  Where is the balance tipping? Towards you or towards your students?

Take into account the profound value and impact a sense of hope, belongingness, and engagement have our each of our students.

Have a GREAT week!

-Herb

Tweets Worth Reading

 

 

 

Upcoming Dates

September

12 – PTO Meeting, 7PM

14 – RTI Team Meeting, 3:40PM

21 – Safety Drill (Lockdown), 10:45; Spec Ed Team Meeting, 12:00

22 — School Picture Day!

24 – EdCamp Columbus at Gahanna-Lincoln HS

26 – MakerSpace Grand Opening!

29 – Pasteries with Parents, 8:15AM

30 – BAC meeting, 8AM

October

1 – Community Cardboard Challenge

7 – Building Tour by Board of Education

17-20 — Fall Conference Week; Late Night is Weds, Oct 19.

21 – COI Day

24 – State of Schools (Darby), 6-9PM

25 – State of Schools (Davidson, 6-9PM

26 – State of Schools (Bradley), 6-9PM