Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Read Across America and MORE

It's not often that I get to sit down during the week and blog (Spring Break time) and it's not often that I blog about my awesome students. After a jam-packed, fun-filled week of celebrating learning, it gave me reason to pause, reflect, and rest. I am proud of my students and all that they accomplish. I can truly say that they play hard (boy do they) but work even harder. It is because of them that I push myself sometimes to keep learning, growing, and meeting my own personal goals. This Blog Is Why I am an inspired PBS Digital Innovator!

During Read Across America week, we celebrated with countless others around the country. In addition to Dr. Seuss activities, students enjoyed Leap Day fun, Math Mardi Gras Night (and Day), Career Day, a mobile dentist visit (thanks, Colgate) and a Book Character Parade. It was all about making learning fun. Although it made the week wild and crazy, they had a blast. I enjoyed seeing students work together and families come out to support them.

First, students wrote about what life would be like for them on the next Leap Day in 2020. They will be in fifth grade and one student was sad to say that he would lose his "swag"! Well, I am fine with that as long as he keeps his "smarts"---awesome kid. Next, students had two opportunities to dress up and Career Day was the first. It was great to hear about their future goals, hopes, and dreams. I also took this time to dress up in my college graduation gear (cap, gown, tassel, hood, honors cord). My "costume" served two purposes: 1) to share my future goals with students and 2) to hopefully spark students' interest in furthering their education and attending college. Throughout the day, many students in our school said how much they liked my outfit. I hope to be able to say the same to them one day. We learned that one of my students won the grade level drawing contest for his career day drawing. His question, "Is it unusual for a first grader to draw like that? Is that why I won?" What an artist! Have you ever tried to have a photo shoot in the middle of the hallway right before the book character parade? Great pictures, great memories (see below). To end the week, students completed an art project to go along with our door decoration theme, "Thing 1 and Thing 2: Learning is our Thing". It was a very simple activity that gave us lots of laughs. The shining moment for me, was to see my "toughest" student tickled the most as I painted his hand. These are some of the fun moments, but what I am really proud of is the fact that 100% of my students are on track with meeting their reading and math goals in our school intervention program.


As educators, I know some days may be tough and it can be hard to see the impact you have in your day-to-day interactions with students, but they are paying attention. To everything. It makes a difference. YOU make a difference. Before leaving work, I was talking to the sibling of one of my students. He is at home sick and he cried because he could not come to school. I had a parent conference and we talked about how important it is that children love school and don't give up. I want my students to love school and continue to have that growth mindset. That is why I continue to strive for greatness and I look forward to learning from other great educators as a PBS Digital Innovator.

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