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

Roll With It!

Update for April 18-22

http://ih0.redbubble.net/image.30576296.4998/flat,800×800,070,f.u6.jpg
The first beautiful Spring weekend led me and many others to hours of yard work.

Once upon a time, I used to look forward to getting outside and scaping the land with shovels, rakes, and garden sherers.

Today, I still enjoy being outside; it’s the yard work that I have come to dread.  Mowing, edging, and pouring chemicals on my yard all take hours of time to do.  Time seems more precious these days and I’m to the point when I’m ready to just buy a goat.

However, today while I was getting sunburned and overusing muscles I don’t normally use, I came to the conclusion that my outlook on yard work is my problem and I needed to own it.

I needed to remind myself that this happens ever year.

It’s all about my mindset and how I framed the work ahead.  

I got to be outside on a beautiful sunny day.  I got to work at something that I would be able to appreciate for months to come. I got to get exercise.  I found myself slowing down and taking my time to notice what’s around me.  I even started getting creative and imagining how I was going to redo some of the landscaping.  

I share this because if we’ve been teaching for more than a year, we all know what happens in May — discipline increases, we (kids and us) are starting to focus on summer, things get busier as we try to wind down.


This happens every year.  It probably always will.

Anticipate it.  Adapt to it.  Adjust to it.

Change your mindset — We get this opportunity to use the excitement of the school year ending. 

We get to give kids the chance to put all of the skills they have learned from us this year to do something truly amazing.

Roll with the energy and excitement!

Have a GREAT week!

–Herb

Articles Worth Reading — 

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js


Upcoming Dates — 

Apr 4-May 27 — Spring Literacy Assessment window (Grades K to 5)

***State Testing Dates ***

Apr 19 — Grades 3, 4, 5 Math State Assessment

Apr 26 — Grade 4 Social Studies State Assessment
Apr 26 — Grade 5 Science State Assessment

Apr 19 — ADDC Staff Meeting, 3:40 ADE Media Center
Apr 21 — Herb Meeting AM
Apr 21 — ART SHOW!
Apr 18-22 — Book Fair
Apr 21 — New Kindergarten Parent Night, 6:30-7:30pm
Apr 22 — K-5 Interim Reports
Apr 27 — ADE Walk-a-thon
Apr 28 — Herb mtg AM
Apr 28 — Grow Together Thursday

May 2 — ADE PTO Meeting, 7pm
May 3 — BIT Meeting
May 4 — ADE Staff Meeting, 8am
May 5 — Flower Sale Pick-Up
May 6 — BAC Meeting
May 2-6 — Teacher Appreciation Week
May 5 — Spring Flower Sale Pick-Up (This date may change.)
May 11 — Spec Ed Team meeting
May 14 — AD/DC Warrior Dash
May 18 — ADDC Staff Meeting, ADE Media Center, 3:45
May 19 — Herb Mtg AM
May 26 — Grow Together Thursday
May 30 — Holiday, NO SCHOOL
May 31 — ADE PTO Family Luau

Jun 3 — Last Day of School (Students)

Being Comfortable with "Stuck"

Update for Oct 5-9

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Doh.jpg

When I started writing this update, I was stuck.  I didn’t know what to write or what the focus would be this week.  I thought about the topics I had written about already – culture, learning, shared vision – but was still stuck.

So I just went with it.

We go through each day at school as prepared as possible and ready to make decisions on the fly.  A website called busyteacher.org claims teachers make 1,500 decisions each day.  I think that’s a low estimate — 27 to 30 students, a litany standards, and schedules all demand fast decision-making. Thankfully, it’s a skill that is strong with most teachers.



But there are times when we are just stuck. 

We don’t know what to do yet and we have that uncomfortable feeling of ineptitude.

That feeling of not being able to do something is just part of being stuck – It comes with the process of learning.

The good thing about being stuck is that we get the opportunity to grow and get stronger through the process of getting unstuck. 

Figuring out how to proceed often leads to collaboration, reflection, investigation and seeking clarity. Those are pretty remarkable outcomes from not knowing what to do next.

So the next time I am stuck, I am going to remember that it’s part of learning.  We don’t have all the answers (I doubt we ever will).  But accepting that getting “stuck” is part of learning will help us be more comfortable when we don’t know what to do next.

Have a great week!

-Herb


Articles that pushed my thinking —

Leadership is a Choice http://esheninger.blogspot.com/2015/09/leadership-is-choice.html?spref=tw

Three Things We Need To Remember When We All Hit “The Dark Side” http://www.inc.com/betty-liu/three-things-to-remember-when-we-all-hit-the-dark-side-.html

Learner-Centered Vision Will Frame Next Generation Learning http://gettingsmart.com/2015/09/learner-centered-vision-will-frame-next-generation-learning/

Innovation… Just like your mama used to make: http://eepurl.com/bAfcR1


Video that made me chuckle —



http://abc7news.com/society/baseball-announcers-poke-fun-at-group-of-sorority-girls-taking-selfies/1013853/

Upcoming Dates

Oct 5-9 — Fall Conference Week, Conference Night is Oct 7.

Oct 5 — PTO General Meeting, 7pm

Oct 6 — Building Improvement Team meeting, 8am; I-Time Begins!

Oct 9 — Fire Prevention assemblies (See email); Interims due if no P/T Conference

Oct 10 — Community Cardboard Challenge, Heritage Middle School, 9-12pm

Oct 14 — IAT Team meeting, 3:30

Oct 16 — COI Day, No School for Students

Oct 23 — Staff Meeting w/ Dr. John

Oct 26 — Yearbook Cover Contest begins / State of the Schools @ Bradley H.S.

Oct 28 — IAT Team meeting, 3:30

Nov 2 — PTO Meeting, 7pm

Nov 3 — Hilliard U Day, No School for Students

Nov 5 — Steering Committee Meeting in PM at CO

Nov 6 — Board Building Tour, AM before school

In It Together

Update for Sept 29 – Oct 3

I don’t like to make promises, but I promise you I will try to show gratitude for the work you do for kids day in and day out. So let me start by saying thank you. Thank you for helping me throughout the entire week. Your help and support made a huge difference for me.

I have to be honest. Last week was one that took a lot of my time and energy. However, the best part of last week was actually how “busy” it really was. Last week helped me see that we have folks within our learning community who will step up and say, “How can I help?”.

It’s that kind of response to challenges and difficult situations that allow us to realize our potential for taking on future challenges.  I am confident that, together, we will be able to continue our work in creating a learning community that works for the kids we serve.

Thank you for a great week!

Reminds / Upcoming Dates —

EdCamp Logistics –
On Monday, I will be contacting students who have yet to turn in an EdCamp Session choice or students who will need to make a 4th choice due to sessions being full.  I hope to get session confirmations to student by Tuesday.
Data Team Dates –
We will be starting our half-day release times for Data Teams on the following dates:
·       Oct 22 – 5th Grade, half-day AM; 4th Grade half-day PM
·       Oct 23 – 3rd Grade, half-day AM; 2nd Grade half-day PM
·       Oct 30 – KG half-day AM; 1st Grade half-day PM (This is a switch in order to coordinate 1/2 time teachers’ schedules).

More information will be coming to you in the near future. I just wanted to get these dates out to you.
Interims – Oct 3
I would like for you to take this opportunity to communicate with parents how their child is doing so far with the material you are focusing on at this time in the year. Just like you, I believe that supporting the growth and success of each of our kids is the most important aspect of the work I do. Please turn your interims into my mailbox by Wednesday, Oct 1 so that I have a chance to review each of the interims.  I appreciate your support. Please see me if you have any questions.
Why is he in here? — 
I’ve had a couple of folks ask my why I am in classrooms nearly every day.  I appreciate that others may be wondering too, so I wanted to share with you my response.
The work that teachers do is the most important work that is being done within our learning community. Seeing the instructional best practices and strategies that are being utilized by teachers is the best way for me to support the work you do. It’s like checking the heartbeat of the building.
When I walk into a class and stick around for a bit, I always try to see things from the students’ perspective. I use a framework of four questions that I ask from the perspective of the child that helps me form an understanding of the learning experience:
  1. What is important for me to do in today’s lesson? (Learning Target)
  2. What​​ must I learn to be able to do it? (Lesson-sized chunk of content knowledge & skill)
  3. How will I be asked to show that I can do it? (Performance of understanding)
  4. How well will I have to do it? (Success criteria or “look for”)
Upcoming Dates –
Mon Sep 29, 2014
Submit items for BAC agenda to Herb by the end of the day.

Wed Oct 1, 2014
Interims due in Herb’s mailbox
12:30-1:30 Special Education Department Meeting

Thu Oct 2, 2014       
Mumkin Delivery
5:30pm – 6:30pm Market Day

Fri Oct 3, 2014       
K-5 Interims Due
Newsletter Home
8am – 9am Building Advisory Committee Meeting
After school – ? Setup for Warrior Dash

Sat Oct 4, 2014
Warrior Dash! 10:00am – 2:00ish (Grade-specific start times).  Here is more information about Warrior Dash — DASH INFO

Tue Oct 7, 2014       
8am – 9am Building Improvement Team mtg — Team members – Please be ready to share examples of PBIS in other buildings (A Google search will provide many examples).  We will be working on finalizing the “matrix”.  Thanks!

Fri Oct 10. 2014       
9:30-11:00am Kids’ EdCamp

Mon Oct 13, 2014   
3:35-4:20 ADE/DCR Staff Meeting at ADE
6:30pm – 7pm PTO Executive Mtg
7pm – 8pm PTO General Mtg

Thu Oct 16, 2014       
Spirit Day
6pm – 8:30pm Tailgate Party

Fri Oct 17, 2014        Central Ohio In-Service Day – No School for Students 

Videos That Inspire-


Articles Worth Reading — 

“What Our Fear Actually Inhibits”via +George Couros

“Lead with the heart” via

Smiling So Much It Hurts

Update for Aug 15 – 19


This story is one of those stories that we live for.

IMG_20140912_144015788.jpg  


Last Friday morning, Mrs. Kim Dornburgh, a 3rd Grade teacher at Alton Darby, came to me to ask a favor. With a smile, she gave me her “Dream” bracelet that our Superintendent, Dr. Marschhausen, had given to all Hilliard City Schools staff.  I was confused for a second – Was she turning in her dream?


Kim told me that her student had seen me wearing my “Dream” bracelet and said, “When I grow up, I want a dream like Mr. H”.  Without hesitation, Mrs. Dornburgh recognized a great opportunity to lift this student up.  


Kim had it all worked out.  She would give me her bracelet to give to her student when he was least expecting it.  I agreed, but only if she would email Dr. Marschhausen to let him know about the story.


So on Monday, as I am talking with a teacher in the hallway, I see Dr. Marschhausen walk by. When I caught up with him, he told me he received an email from Mrs. Dornburgh about her student wanting a “dream” and wanted to come by and drop off a bracelet to her.


What happens next is one of those moments that we live for.


A little later, I got the bracelet from Mrs. Dornburgh and went to find her student who was working in another room. I found him and asked him to come out into the hallway.  I told him that I had heard about his conversation with Mrs. Dornburgh about wanting “a dream”.  I showed him the extra bracelet and said, “I’m giving this to you so that when you wear it each day, it reminds you to work hard to make your dreams come true.”


He stood up a little taller, his eyes lit up, and his smile went from ear to ear.  


What happens next is one of those moments that we live for.


Here is what Mrs. Dornburgh shared with me about what happened next:


I had the opportunity to share my “Special” students story with my classroom.  I did not know how they would react.  


As it turns out, when we went to the gym for PE, “A-” was a minute or so late and this is what transpired.

Student: “Hey ‘A-’, what’s that on your wrist?”

‘A-’: “A bracelet like Mr. Higginbotham’s.”

Other kids: “Wow, ahhhhh,  cool, Can I see?”, etc.

The entire class surrounded him with love and support.


40 minutes later… “A-” was still smiling.  He hugged me and said, “My face hurts”.


I said, “Are you OK?”  He said,  “Yeah, you smile a lot when you are so cool… My friends think I am cool.”  


This is one of those moments we live for.


Moments like this happen every day at our school. We live for these moments and need to celebrate them and share them with anyone who will listen.


What stories will you share?



Upcoming Dates —


Monday, Sept 15 — International Dot Day! *See email for details — Staff members should wear your new Gold 212 shirts.


Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:45-12:00pm CO Building Visit

Wed Sep 24, 2014 3:35-4:20 ADE/DCR Staff Meeting at ADE
Thu Sep 25, 2014 Picture Day (Gym)


October
Thu Oct 2, 2014
Mumkin Delivery
5:30pm – 6:30pm Market Day

Fri Oct 3, 2014
K-5 Interims Due
Newsletter Home
8am – 9am Building Advisory Committee Meeting

Tue Oct 7, 2014
8am – 9am Building Improvement Team mtg

Fri Oct 10. 2014
9:30-11:15am Kids’ EdCamp

Mon Oct 13, 2014
3:35-4:20 ADE/DCR Staff Meeting at ADE
6:30pm – 7pm PTO Executive Mtg
7pm – 8pm PTO General Mtg

Thu Oct 16, 2014
Spirit Day – Wear your favorite team gear!
6pm – 8:30pm Tailgate Party

Fri Oct 17, 2014
Central Ohio In-Service Day – No School for Students
Video That Inspires –



Articles Worth Reading –


A Two-Gear Construct for Envisioning Blended Learning | Edutopia http://edut.to/1qtxSSu




How can we all keep the kindergarten spirit? http://connectedprincipals.com/archives/10826  via @8Amber8

Creating Opportunity #EDAD688

I feel strongly about using Twitter for professional growth.  Each day, I run across dozens of great ideas shared by amazing educators across the world.  Being involved with Twitter really has changed me professionally.

http://earthandindustry.com/files/2010/02/twitter-screen.jpg

Every now and again, someone will share something short and to the point (which is the point of Twitter) that really changes my thinking about teaching and learning and what I can do to help improve learning experiences for students.

This quote made me have one of those moments:

Screenshot 2014-01-24 18.33.13

This quote really resonated with me in two ways.  First, this quote is something I’m realizing more and more the older I get:  If you have an idea, go for it.  It may be a risk, but isn’t it riskier to never know what might have happened if you didn’t try?

Second, and more importantly, this quote made me begin to think of how we can teach the kids we work with how they might be able to create the very opportunities they are waiting around for.  How many of our students are secretly wanting to start some sort of club?  How many are wanting to do a big project, but need more likeminded folks to help out?  What could we share with students to help them get going on their own big idea?

I’ve just started thinking about how I might help students advocate for opportunities.  Right now I have more questions than answers, but I might just start listening a little more closer to what kids are asking for to see how I might help them get there.