Monday, November 24, 2014

100 Things to be Thankful for...

Principal ponderings...

Several writing blogs that I follow have been posting '100 Things that I am Grateful for' so I figured I was up for that challenge.  Here is my list in no particular order.  Some things are simple and some things are rather big and complex.  You might try an activity like this with your students or with your family or just do it for yourself.  It could be 100 things or it could be 10 things.  It's the perfect time of year to stop and appreciate the big and small things in your life.
1. Being pregnant...being able to grow a human!
2. My loving, supportive, musical husband
3. Parents who have always loved and supported me and still do!
4. My sister who will always listen to me
5. My 2 brothers who always make me laugh
6. The amazing family that I married into
7. My home
8. My pets, Dash, Cleo and Tom, who help me de-stress when I come home
9. Books!
10. Really great friends
11. My career in education
12. The ability to work with dedicated, caring staff
13. Twitter connections
14. Jelly Belly Jellybeans
15. Cinnamon crunch bagels at Panera
16. My couch with power recliners
17. Mornings when I can sleep in
18. Nights when I actually sleep through the night
19. Overseas trips that I have taken
20. Chopped...and the fact that episodes air in the middle of the night when I can't sleep!
21. Cupcake Wars
22. My ability to swim
23. My obsession with writer's notebooks
24. My positive outlook on life
25. Being a strong, independent woman
26. Hot tea
27. Baking
28. Being able to hear my husband sing
29. Technology
30. College friends who I am still close with
31. "Friends" and "Seinfeld" reruns
32. The Paper Store
33. Acupuncture
34. Massages
35. Pedicures
36. Blogging
37. My best friend who lives in Paris
38. That I had a chance to get to know my grandmother before she passed away
39. Family game nights
40. Scrabble
41. Amazon
42. My adorable nieces
43. My step-son who under the teenage exterior is a very caring kid
44. Public libraries
45. Bookstores
46. The Hanover Theater
47. Living close to Boston
48. Being able to go back to Virginia Beach to visit family and vacation
49. Time on the beach
50. Quiet moments
51. Thoughtful conversations
52. A Fire in the fireplace
53. Fires in the fire pit
54. A roof over my head
55. A bed to sleep in every night
56. A fridge and pantry that always have food in them
57. Holiday meals with family
58. My education from kindergarten all the way up through my advanced graduate degree
59. Freedom of speech
60. The right to vote
61. Hair salons
62. Photographs from my childhood
63. Ice cream
64. Video chatting
65. The experience of growing up both on a farm and in a resort city
66. Items in my hope chest
67. Buy one get one free sales
68. Free shipping
69. Popcorn
70. Creativity
71. My mom's honeycomb coffee cake
72. Songs playing on the radio that make you dance in your seat in traffic
73. Ice cold water on a hot summer day
74. Children's Hospital in Boston
75. Hydrangeas
76. Cinnamon scented candles
77. Lemon scented candles
78. My health
79. My first grade teacher, Mr. Page, who realized I was an advanced reader and did the only thing he knew to do...sent me to the library to read as much as I wanted
80. My 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Simmons, who recognized my love of writing and encouraged me to do it as much as possible
81. That I had the chance to drive across the country for a month with my mom
82. All of the students whose lives I have touched over the years and who have touched mine
83. Bubble baths
84. The sound of rain on a skylight
85. That my parents took us camping when we were little
86. Four teachers who I used to work with and are now my close friends and biggest supporters
87. Strength that has gotten me through tough times
88. A positive childhood
89. Hugs from family, friends, and students...especially kindergartners!
90. Comfy pajamas
91. Flip flops!
92. Accomplishing goals
93. That I am an emotional person (although lately the hormones are a little much!)
94. Getting cards in the mail, instead of bills
95. The smell of clean laundry
96. Smiling
97. That I am loved and get to experience love
98. That I get to do what I love
99. Feeling my baby kick inside me
100. Soon I will become a mom :)

Currently reading:
It's still November, which means it's still Picture Book Month.  Here are some more picture books that I have read this month.  How to Babysit a Grandpa was a new book at my public library.  A cute book and now I need to read How to Babysit a Grandma.

Interrupting Chicken is a humorous story that any kid would love as a bedtime story!
I also started reading the Shelter Pet Squad series book, Jelly Bean.  Even though it's not a picture book, it's written by a picture book author that we love...Cynthia Lord!  Looks like it will be a great book for 2nd graders.

Events this week:
Monday - Picture retake day, Grace will be attending a K-12 ELA meeting to help develop 5 year literacy plan for the district
Wednesday - Half day, 12:15 dismissal, no afternoon kindergarten, Spirit Day! Wear FloRo or GDRSD gear and be on the lookout for a special guest! Sign ups close for multi-part PD series.  Be sure and sign up for one of the options!
Thursday - Happy Thanksgiving! No school
Friday - Thanksgiving Break, no school

Great things I noticed this week:

  • This week I was able to go with Ellen Potter, Angela Smith, Katie Novak, Lyn Snow and Dr. Rodriguez to the North Street School in Tewksbury.  We spent time observing a co-teaching model that they are using.  We were also able to sit with the principal of the school, the two teachers and the SPED Director to debrief and discuss what we saw and how we are piloting a co-teaching model at Florence Roche.  Loved being able to reach out to surrounding districts...hope we can do more of this!
  • The NESN film crew was here on Friday to tape some of our 1st and 2nd graders asking questions for Red Sox players.  This is for the show "Red Sox Small Talk."  The clips will air in the spring when the season starts.  I will be sure to let everyone know when to watch!

  • Our student teacher, Ms. McElroy, who is in Mrs. Hoke's class, led a reader's workshop lesson on understanding character's wants and problems.  During independent reading time, she was conferring side by side with students while everyone was engaged in reading.

Check it out:
Some video clips from Ellen to make you laugh as you prepare for the Thanksgiving festivities!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Taking a Closer Look at PARCC, part 2

Principal ponderings...
I am waiting to hear back from Pearson about the math PBA (Performance Based Assessment).  As soon as I hear about it, I hope to share some sample math problems with you.  Today, I am sharing a 3rd grade EAL PBA example.  This would be a text-based narrative response that students would be expected to complete.  The one I shared a few weeks ago was a literary analysis task.  Let's all read the passage and think about how we would become the character and write a journal entry.  Think about the reading and writing skills that our students will need in order to complete this task.

Today you will read the story “A Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience.” Pay close attention to the actions of the characters and the events in the story. Answer the questions to help you prepare to write a narrative story.


A Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience
by Sandra Beswetherick
1 It was my idea to invite Derrick, the new kid in our neighborhood, on our annual father-and-son weekend trip. Derrick had never been camping or fishing.
2 “Great idea!” Dad said. “It’ll be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for him, one he’ll never forget.”
3 Dad and I didn’t realize how true that would turn out to be.
4 The car blew a tire on the way to our campsite. Not an impressive start.
5 “A minor setback, that’s all,” Dad said as Derrick and I tumbled out of the car to help.
6 It was dark by the time we reached the campsite, got the boat into the water, and set up the tent. There was a stiff, icy breeze blowing off the lake.
7 Derrick shivered as he examined the sky. “That isn’t snow, is it?”
8 “Snow?” I said.
9 “It never snows in March!” Dad protested.
10 But those big flakes fell fast and heavy, blanketing the ground.
11 I burst out laughing. Derrick grinned. But Dad was horrified. He hustled us into the tent so we wouldn’t catch pneumonia or something. But first he made sure we didn’t track any snow into the tent with us.
12 “We need to keep the floor dry,” Dad insisted. “There’s nothing worse than sleeping in wet sleeping bags.”
13 He passed out sandwiches after we settled in. “Minor setback,” he assured Derrick. “The snow should be gone tomorrow.” Dad reached for the large bottle of cola to pour us each a drink.
14 Maybe the cola was warm, or maybe it had been jostled too much, because when Dad opened it, that bottle erupted like Mount Vesuvius. Cola overflowed like lava. Dad dropped the bottle. It rolled across the tent floor spewing its contents, and we ended up perched on our sleeping bags like castaways adrift in a cola sea.
15 Derrick clapped both hands over his mouth. His face turned red, and his cheeks ballooned out as if he were about to explode, too. From behind his hands came the snuffling and snorting of trapped laughter.
16 I tried to keep a straight face, out of respect for Dad—not just because he’d insisted that we keep the tent floor dry, but because he’d wanted this trip to be perfect.
17 “Minor setback,” Dad muttered as we soaked up cola with our towels.
18 The next morning dawned bright and beautiful, much to Dad’s relief. Derrick stood at the water’s edge, admiring the clear still lake, the tree-lined shore, and the cloudless sky.
19 “Wait until you catch your first fish, Derrick,” Dad said as he got the boat ready. “That’s an experience you won’t forget.” Dad turned to me. “Right, Steve?”
20 “Right, Dad,” I answered.
21 “And wait until you taste some fried, freshly caught fish for breakfast,” Dad said. “Right, Steve?”
22 “Right, Dad,” I said, although I thought Dad was trying a little too hard.
23 But Derrick didn’t catch his first fish. In fact, none of us felt even a nibble on our lines. This wasn’t a minor setback for Dad. This was a major disaster.
24 The silence grew. The still air settled hot and heavy.
25 I leaned over the side of the boat. “Fishy,” I sang into the depths of the lake. “Come on, I know you’re down there.” It sure beat sitting around in silence. And we weren’t catching any fish anyway.
26 Derrick joined in. “Fishy,” he crooned, looking down into the water. “Here, fish, fish.” When he turned back to me, his eyes were bulged, his mouth was puckered, and he was gulping down air the way a fish gulps water. The perfect fish-face!
27 I let out a whoop and made a fish-face of my own, my open hands on either side of my head for gills. “Fishy!”
28 Derrick and I turned our fish-faces toward Dad. There sat Dad with the goggled eyes and downturned frown of his favorite fish, the largemouth bass. “Fishy, fishy, bite my hook,” he chanted in a throaty voice, “so I can take you home to cook.”
29 Derrick hooted with laughter and fell into the bottom of the boat. Dad’s bass frown upturned into a grin.
30 Lucky that Dad’s mood improved when it did, because it was about then that the boat started sinking.
31 “Mr. Adams,” Derrick asked, “should there be this much water in your boat?”
32 “Holy mackerel!” Dad yelled. He reached for the motor. “You guys, bail!”
33 We barely reached shore, the boat sloshing with water.
34 That night, as we sat around the campfire toasting marshmallows, Derrick admitted he’d been worried about coming on the trip. “But it’s been incredible,” he said. “I’ll never forget it. Thanks for inviting me.”
35 “You’re welcome,” said Dad. “We’re glad you came.”
36 “I wonder what will happen next?” Derrick asked, putting another marshmallow on his stick.
37 “Yeah,” I said. “I wonder.”
38 As for Dad, he smiled a brave smile.

“A Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience” by Sandra Beswetherick from Highlights for Children Magazine’s March 2006 issue, copyright © 2006 by Highlights for Children, Inc., Columbus, Ohio. Used by permission.

This story tells about Derrick’s first camping trip.
Write Derrick’s journal entry about this camping trip. Include information about how the characters responded to the events in the story as you write the journal entry.

Currently reading:
It's still Picture Book Month, and I have more picture books to share with you.  I just had my baby shower this weekend and can you believe that part of the shower was everyone giving me a book!? Guess my family and friends know me so well. ;)
I was especially excited to get this beautiful treasure chest from a math teacher that I used to work with...she made it!  Perfect place to store lots of books in the nursery!
Here are some books I received that I read and can't wait to read to my baby girl!  The Paper Bag Princess is definitely a book that I will read to her.  Hope she will be just like the main character, Elizabeth.
Here is a great book that my mother gave me which will help little ones discover the magical world inside a book.
My sister gave me this funny book, Marcel the Shell: The Most Surprised I've Ever Been.
Brown Bear's Wonderful Secret is another great picture book; readers can try to guess along with the animals about what Bear's secret is.

Events this week:
Monday - Latin class @ 3:30
Tuesday - Latin and Spanish class @ 3:30, School Council Meeting @ 3:30
Wednesday - Grade 2 Chorus practice @ 2:25 in the gym, Library Fund Committee Meeting @ 8:30, NESN film crew interviewing 1st & 2nd graders from 12:30-2:30, Staff Meeting @ 3:30
Friday - Trimester 1 ends

Great things I noticed last week:
Unfortunately, being out of the building for 1 full day, plus all morning on Friday, and the fact that we had no school on Tuesday...I sorry to say that I don't have any photos to share this week.  I plan on fixing that problem this week!.  But I still noticed several great things this week...

  • We had workers in the building in the evenings who began installing all brand new lighting throughout the school.  What a difference new bulbs makes!  Everything is so much brighter!
  • I popped into some 1st grade classrooms and overheard students talking about the commutative property.
  • On Friday afternoon, I met my mentor, Sharon Kennelly.  She is the principal of the John A. Crisafulli Elementary School in Westford.  After just a few minutes, I could tell that she will be a great support system for me, and I am looking forward to continuing to grow as a result of this new relationship.  I will be going to observe her at her school and you will probably see her here at Florence Roche as well.
  • We had a set of twins start in 3rd grade on Wednesday.  On Monday, when I brought the family around to meet the teachers and see the classrooms, the students in both classes were so welcoming and helped the boys to feel less anxious about starting at a new school.  And both classes had even made cards to welcome them!  It was great to see these simple acts of kindness.  Keep going with the ripple effect of spreading kindness throughout our school!
Check it out:
Discovered this diagram on twitter and loved it...thought I would share with all of you.
Love this quick blog post: Are you a leaner or a learner?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Lots of Little Talking Heads

Principal ponderings...

Don't be confused by the title of this week's post.  I am not referring to the American rock band from the 80's, Talking Heads.  But give yourself some bonus points if you started singing "And She Was" or "Burning Down the House"!

The title of my post actually has to do with the new Educational Leadership magazine that arrived in my mailbox on Friday; it's titled "Talking and Listening."  And here's when I once again reveal my education nerdiness.  I was slightly giddy as I started to read through the table of contents and the introduction from the editor.  For example, I definitely felt validated when I came across the article titled, "Talking About Math: How to Better Facilitate Purposeful Discussion about Mathematics."  Sound familiar?!  The article talks about different structures for mathematical discussions, such as open strategy sharing and targeted sharing.  The message to take away from this article: "Teachers play an important role in creating learning opportunities through discussions.  As teachers foster productive mathematical discussion, it is important to work toward a mathematical goal while helping students learn how to participate as sharers and listeners."

In the magazine, they talked about a recent study of discussions happening in 4th and 5th grade classrooms.  I love one of the four conditions that they stated made it possible for teachers to push students to extend their thinking during discussions: "The teacher framed reading as a collaborative endeavor.  Discussions were an integral part of the classroom environment, as opposed to classrooms in which reading is framed as an individual activity aimed at identifying correct answers to narrow comprehension questions."  Again, sound familiar...maybe like something that we have happening during reader's workshop?!

Interesting number from the magazine...93% is the percentage of employers who say that a job candidate's capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than his or her college major.

Another interesting article is titled "Now Presenting...How are Students Supposed to Become Proficient at Speaking if we Don't Teach them How?"  Good question.  The author, Erik Palmer, states, "Daily, we accept oral communication that's far below what our students are capable of--and far below what we should accept."

I was doing a lot of nodding my head in agreement when I read Ellin Oliver Keene's article, "All the Time They Need."  She says, "Waiting in silence for students to think before responding can, at first, be uncomfortable for everyone.  But oh, the insights they'll share!"  Keene goes on to say, "If we want students to think at high levels, we're going to have to give them a little time.  And we're going to have to get comfortable with silence."  I'll give you a few minutes of silence to think about that. ;)

The whole magazine this month is packed full of great reading, lots of articles that make you stop and think.  For me, it just reiterated something that we have already been focusing on...the importance of teaching kids to be thinkers and to share their thinking through talking and listening to their peers.  If you would like a copy of any of the articles or want to borrow my copy of this magazine, please let me know.  If you are a member of ASCD, then you can read the articles online.  If you are not a member, you can still sample some of the articles.  I will leave you with some quotes from the first article by Elizabeth City, titled "Talking to Learn."
  • "Although it's possible to think without talking--and to talk without much thinking--each can strengthen the other."
  • "I want schools to be places of rich learning, and therefore I want them to be places of rich talk."
  • "Some of my happiest, most rewarding moments as an educator have been hearing what comes out of learners' mouths when I get out of the way."
What will you do this week to focus on these two crucial thinking skills...talking and listening?  We do want a school full of lots of little talking heads!

Currently reading:
I will continue to honor Picture Book Month by telling you about some more picture books that I checked out from my local library this week.  By the way, so far I have read 144 books this year.  I am still hoping to reach my goal of reading 200 books by the end of 2014!
The math version of Rumpelstiltskin!  A boy learns the important lesson that he needs to be the one to learn how to do math; he can't rely on someone else to do it for him!

Goldfish gives a personal account of his life as several intruders begin to take over his fishbowl!

This is a great book, full of wonderful vocabulary words.  Would be a good one to use during writer's workshop.

A wonderful book that demonstrates how one act of kindness can cause a chain of events of other acts of kindness...the ripple effect that we have read about in Each Kindness!

Events this week:
Monday - Latin Class @ 3:30
Tuesday - Veteran's Day, no school, New lighting being installed in the building
Wednesday - Chorus practice @ 2:25 for Grade 1 and Multi-age
Thursday - Spanish and French class after school
Friday - Liz and Dianna will be at Prescott in the am for leadership team meeting

Great things I noticed last week:

  • I walked by and caught Mr. Wiesner doing some hallway educating...talking to kindergartners about students, that's not George Washington in the picture. :)
  • Mrs. Miln was demonstrating being an active problem solver as she read a story and came to words that may have been more difficult to decode.
  • I noticed this bulletin board display in the kindergarten wing...looks like I know what they have been talking about during reading time!
  • While I was in the kindergarten wing, I also saw one of our 4th graders being a great helper by tying lots of shoes for Mrs. Spiczka.
  • I caught Mrs. Shreve in the middle of a random act of kindness!  Mrs. Volpe had been planning to put together a bulletin board about the book Each Kindness, but she had been busy planning our 3rd and 4th grade ELA half days this week.  Mrs. Volpe was pleasantly surprised when she came in one morning and the bulletin board was mostly done!
  • I did not get to snap a photo, but our brand new Florence Roche student council had their first meeting this past week.  I heard the meeting was a success; they established group norms and began to brainstorm ways that the student council could help the school and community this year.
  • Mrs. Lanctot's class was celebrating finishing a unit of study and they each got to come up and show off their amazing reading skills!
  • Mrs. Wilkins's class was super excited to show me how they played the place value game!
  • And here is a great chart that I found in Mrs. Pierantozzi's class.  When you are conferring with students during reading or they have a place where they can let you know they need a check in with you without disturbing your conferences?
Check it out:
We are about a month away from "The Hour of Code."  If you haven't watched this video clip yet, take 5 minutes to view it.  We will be hearing from the tech team a our next staff meeting, and we will hopefully have high school students coming to help us with coding activities on Dec. 11.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Taking a Closer Look at PARCC, part 1

Principal ponderings...
I am posting one of the sample 4th grade ELA writing tasks from PARCC.  Let's all read the passage and the poem and then think about all of the skills that will be needed for our students to develop an essay answer.  From kindergarten to 4th grade, we are all teaching literacy skills that are building off of each other.  Everything we are doing is helping prepare our students to think critically about their reading and then respond in writing.  Even though your current students might not be doing the PARCC assessment this year, your teaching has had an impact on the students who are taking it.  So try it out for yourself.  Read the two pieces and then see what you would come up with for an answer to the following question:

Identify a theme in “Just Like Home” and a theme in “Life Doesn’t Frighten Me.”

Just Like Home

by Mathangi Subramanian


When the recess bell rang, Priya sighed and slowly hung up her smock. At her old school, she spent recess climbing the monkey bars and sharing secrets with her friends. Now she sat in the corner of the field and watched the other kids play without her.


The only thing Priya liked about her new school was art. They hadn’t had art at her old school, but here art was a whole hour. The studio had the most wonderful things, like aluminum pie tins, plaster of Paris and India ink. During art, Priya forgot that she didn’t have any friends at her new school. All she thought about was whatever she was working on.


As she cleared her table, Priya noticed a box of sidewalk chalk sitting on the counter by the window. She grabbed and stuffed it in her pockets. Then she took her usual place at the end of the recess line.


While she and her classmates filed through the halls and out into the yard, Priya thought about how she and her mother used to draw chalk patterns on the long driveway leading up to their old apartment building. The patterns were called rangoli, and they looked like stars and roses. Priya’s mother said that the drawings were to welcome guests to their home. All the families in India, where Priya’s family was from, did rangoli every morning, just like Priya and her mother. Their new apartment had barely any sidewalk in front of it, and there was no room for rangoli. Priya missed the early mornings she and her mother would spend drawing feathery, colorful patterns on the cement.


Priya walked over to the basketball court and sat on the hot pavement. She was glad to have something to do besides sit in her corner. She pulled the box out of her pocket and took out a bright red piece of chalk and began drawing the rangoli patterns she loved best. She drew flowers with huge, swirling petals and stars with eight points. She colored them green, yellow and blue, all colors her mother had used. She liked the soft, solid feeling of the chalk in her hand, and the way that the dust left patterns on her fingers.


“That’s pretty,” a voice said.


She turned around and saw that Enrique, a boy in her class, was watching her.


“It’s called rangoli,” she said. “They do this in India, where my parents are from.”


“You know what that reminds me of?” he asked, kneeling down beside her. “The floor of my grandmother’s house in Mexico has tiles that have designs like that.”


“What do you mean?” Priya asked.


“Hand me a piece of chalk,” Enrique said. “I’ll show you.” Enrique sat down on the pavement and began to draw. He used green, orange, and yellow chalk to draw flowers that were more detailed than Priya’s, but still had huge, curvy petals. Then he drew circles inside circles, and surrounded them with small diamonds. Priya kept drawing too, in between and around Enrique’s designs.


“What are you guys doing?” a voice asked.


Priya and Enrique had been so absorbed in drawing that they hadn’t noticed that their classmate Farah had been watching them.


“Hey,” Farah said, sitting down beside them, “that looks like the rugs in my Uncle’s house in Iran. Except on the rugs, the shapes are bigger, and aren’t as curly.”


“Show us,” said Enrique, handing her a piece of chalk.


Farah took the chalk and began drawing. She drew shapes that were full of straight lines and bold colors. They were bigger than the shapes Priya and Enrique had drawn, and they overlapped each other in diagonals to form new shapes. She colored the drawings purple, dark blue, and white.


“Wow!” Ms. Lopez, Priya’s teacher, said. “That’s beautiful!”


Priya, Enrique and Farah stood up and looked at what they had done. The pavement was covered in bright colors and shapes: triangles, circles, squares and diamonds, all mixed together. Their classmates began to drift over to see what was happening.


“It looks like a universe, with lots of planets and stars,” said Lily.


“It looks like a coral reef full of tropical fish,” said Jasper.


“What do you think it looks like Priya?” said Enrique.


Priya looked at Enrique and Farah. Their knees, elbows, and fingers were covered in red, yellow, green and blue chalk dust. Priya smiled and said, “It looks like home.”
"Just Like Home," by Mathangi Subramanian. Reprinted with permission from Skipping Stones Multicultural Magazine, March-April 2012.
"Life Doesn't Frighten Me" poem by Maya Angelou


Don’t show me frogs and snakes
And listen for my scream,
If I’m afraid at all
It’s only in my dreams.
I’ve got a magic charm
That I keep up my sleeve,
I can walk the ocean floor
And never have to breathe.


Life doesn’t frighten me at all
Not at all
Not at all
Life doesn’t frighten me at all
"Life Doesn't Frighten Me" from AND STILL I RISE by Maya Angelou, copyright ©1978 by Maya Angelou. Used by permission of Random House, an imprint and division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved.
Currently reading:
Did you know that November is Picture Book Month?  In honor of this, I have been checking out lots of picture books from my town library to read.  Plus, I only have two months left to reach my goal of reading 200 books!  So far, I have read 135 books...still hoping I can reach my goal.
Great book by Peter Reynolds all about the importance of imagination
This is a lovely book about a boy who wants to make the world a greener place, one garden at a time.
A giraffe who loves to count?  This is a definite book for Florence Roche!
Beautiful illustrations and a modern day Giving Tree story about life cycles.
And of course I had to read this book as I anxiously await the arrival of my little one!

Events this week:
Monday - Latin Class @ 3:30
Tuesday - 4th grade field trip to Lowell Mills, Latin Class @ 3:30, Spanish Class @ 3:15
Wednesday - 4th grade field trip to Lowell Mills, Kindergarten Chorus Practice @ 2:25, Staff Meeting @ 3:30 in the library
Thursday - Student Council Meeting @ 8:30, 3rd grade literacy work @ SU in the am, 4th grade literacy work @ SU in the pm, Spanish/French Class @ 3:15

Great things I noticed last week:

  • We were excited to see all of the members of the tech team in our building on Tuesday, helping anyone who needed some tech tutorials!  I told Luke that they are welcome back to FloRo anytime!
  • At Wednesday's School Committee meeting, the Middlemiss family and their Big Heart Foundation generously donated a buddy bench to the Florence Roche playground.  Scott and I are regularly communicating and collaborating and this is just one more way to stay connected to him, and for him to be able to give back to all of you.  He is truly grateful for the support that you all have provided to his family.  Check out the foundation website to learn more about what it is and what they do:  We are still working on making literacy collaboration connections with our schools.  I am excited to announce that Scott and I have been selected to present together at the MA Reading Association conference in April.  I am submitting a grant to GDEF to try to bring several staff members with us!
  • We had lots of great book character costumes on Thursday!
Check it out:
Interesting blog post about using assessment to teach transference between the different writing genres:
This is the story of the "buddy bench" that was developed by a student:
Designing a growth-minded school: