Sunday, December 11, 2016

For the Love of Literacy

I know, long time no blog post.  I took 2 classes for grad school this semester and it kept me extremely busy.  However, the semester ended last week and I have a break until mid-January.  I wanted to share a story from last week.

In math my class is working on composing and decomposing teen numbers.  Since my class has been talking a lot about kindness and giving back this month, I asked students to illustrate what they would give someone and have the quantity be a teen number.  I also gave my students a sentence starter for a writing component: I want to give (teen number)__________ to ____________.
One example I included is if my friend doesn't like chocolate chip cookies, would it make sense to give that to them?  No.  Even though there are things that we like personally, we need to consider what would make an impression on the person we are giving to.  We brainstormed more ideas of what we could give someone then I sent students off to work.  I figured students would illustrate for their parents or peers, but my prediction was proven wrong pretty quickly.

As I walked around the classroom, I notice students illustrating what they would give me.  That was very sweet, yet I was more surprised to discover what students wanted to give me.  Once the timer went off, we gathered at our carpet to share.  The 5 students who wanted to give something to me, they illustrated books.  I asked a student why they wanted to give me books and they responded by saying, "because you love books".  I followed up by asking what I enjoy about books and students stated that I love reading.

Although this seems like another classroom story, it was a shining moment.  Students see and hear everything we do.  Let your passions shine.  Everyday I make it a priority to give my students time to read as well as allowing them time to book shop.  I also read to my students every day.  All of this shows my students that reading is a lifelong habit and I want it to be fun.  Although December can be a challenging month, slow down and appreciate the small moments with your students.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Making a Positive Impact

For #CompelledTribe this month, our shared blogging topic is about a student we had a positive impact on.  I graduated from college a few years ago so I haven't been in touch with students from decades ago, but I continue to cherish my experience from the past few years.

For the 2015-2016 school year I taught Kindergarten at a new school.  Being a new teacher in the building and district, I did not have any existing relationships with students.  This school year I returned for my 2nd year as a Kindergarten teacher at the same school.  In addition to spending time meeting and getting to know my new group of students, I was excited to see my students from last year.  I wanted to see how their summer was, how much they grew, and their general excitement.

This school year I am fortunate enough to see my students from last year everyday.  I see many of them when I pick up my class from lunch or specials and after school.  One student from last year went through many obstacles.  However, generally a happy kid.  As I see this student everyday they tell me with a smile, "Miss Bond I wish I was still in Kindergarten".  Not because they dislike first grade, but because they enjoyed their time in my classroom.  Hearing this everyday from that student is heart warming because I know I made a positive impact.

When I have a tough day, I sometimes look at my students from last year and realize how far they have come.  The same impact can be made with current or future classes.  I appreciate the small moments with my previous students such as a smile, stopping by every morning just to say hi, asking to read to my current class because they bought a new Mo Willems book, make me a painting over the weekend and handwritten notes.  (All of those are true events) I appreciate the small moments with my students, but I have realized these are the big moments.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

1 Tool to Help K/1 Students During Independent Reading

Last week we launched read to self as part of Daily 5.  Let the stamina building begin!  During read to self, students are expected to stay in 1 spot, read the whole time, read quietly, and get started right away.  Reader's workshop has similar expectations so even if you follow that model, this could work for you.  Some students told me after reading 1 book in their book box that they were all done.  Although it is still early in the school year (we started after labor day) and I need to continue modeling strategies, I wanted to provide my students with a visual that helped them understand the value of re-reading and not being "all done".
LEFT SIDE: Re-read
RIGHT SIDE: Books I am working on

This is nothing fancy, but it really helps students have a place to put their books as they read and get in the habit of re-reading.  Since K/1 students are mostly reading pattern books or guided reading text, a file folder is the perfect size.   One teacher on my team wrote the independent reading expectations on the front as a reminder for students.

Have a great week!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Why I'm Ditching Homework This Year

I always thought that sending homework helped students and reinforced concepts that we are learning in school.  However, studies have shown that the link between student achievement and homework is minimal or non existent.  A few studies I read mentioned that homework actually has a negative impact on elementary students.  

The National Education Association states that K-5 students are receiving 3x the recommended amount of homework.  Due to extracurricular activities and parents work schedule, families are not spending much time together as a family.  The time that families do have together at night I do not want it spent on homework.  I want my Kindergarten students eating family dinners, playing outside, and just being kids. They are only little once.

Study 1
Study 2

Erin from Beyond the Beanstalk created this image to illustrate the effect of too much homework in the elementary grades.

I want my students to have a positive mindset about school and not feeling anxious due to too much homework.

Reasons why I am ditching homework:

  • Homework does not offer choice.  Students are usually given a worksheet or packet with directions on which portions to complete and the due date.
  • Many classrooms that assign homework often punish students if homework is late or incomplete when many times these factors are out of a student's control.  I have seen classrooms that take recess away, lose points, and notes home.  
  •  Resources vary in each home.  Families have different levels of education, languages spoken, and basic supplies to complete homework.  
What am I doing instead?
  • No homework packets or worksheets!
  • I encourage families to read with their child every night.  I showed parents this image at curriculum night.  

    If you have families that want to extend their child's learning at home, I found the perfect free resource HERE  At curriculum night when I gave parents an overview of my homework stance, I provided three BINGO boards for reading, writing, and math.  A parent or child can choose an activity whenever they desire. 

    Last spring my principal encouraged each grade level to rethink their homework policy.  Fortunately my grade level is on the same page.  I understand everyone's teaching situation may look different.  I hope sharing my perspective as a Kindergarten teacher provided some insight into my decision.

Monday, August 8, 2016

10 Whole Class Rewards

I find that building relationships with your students, positive reinforcement, structure, and goal setting are essential to a smooth running classroom.  We have whole class, small group, and individual student goals.  When goals are met, we celebrate!

For whole class, I use brownie points, which is a brownie tray with brownie images.  I put 1 brownie on the tray when the class meets a goal such as walking quietly in the hall.  I change it up throughout the year, but this is how I typically start the year.  Warm fuzzies are another great option.

I typically have the students choose a reward as we are setting the goal.  This gives the students something to work towards and look forward to.

Keep in mind teachers have various teaching styles, which includes how they manage their classroom.  These are simple, cost effective ways to reward your class.  I prefer to give my students experiences they will remember and maintain a healthy classroom. Below are 10 ideas for whole class rewards that are not food:

1. Dance Party- turn on Go Noodle and let your students choose brain breaks.
2. PJ Day- Enough said.  Kids love wearing their pajamas to school.  Add in a stuffed animal and they have a fun reading buddy.
3. Mystery Reader- I host a mystery reader every Friday in my classroom.  Students love having their mom, dad or grandparents spend time in the classroom.  When it is a whole class reward I pick a staff member.
4. Bubble Party- Weather permitting, but last year I bought a pack of 6 bubble wands at Wal Mart and let my students play on the grass area outside our classroom.
5. Lunch in the Classroom- I don't know about you, but my students always look forward to eating lunch in the classroom.  When we have our early release day once a month, students have to eat in the classroom and they have so much fun with their friends.  If your school has space, eating outside is another option.
6. Flashlight Read to Self- Students bring in a flashlight for read to self time.  Fun way to change it up.
7. Free Choice- Students can draw or play.  They know which stations they have access to.  Our Lego wall in the hallway has been very popular.
8. Craft- First Grade Blue Skies has so many directed drawings that are very easy to implement or you let your kids create their own art.
9. Extra reading- Yes, this has been a reward in my class.  Students love spending time reading to each other and sharing their thinking in our classroom library.
10. No shoes- Students put their shoes (socks must stay on) in their cubby and enjoy learning in their socks.  They put shoes back on for lunch, specials, and recess.

As many of us are in the back to school season, I hope you find some of these ideas helpful.  I would love to hear other other non-food rewards that your students love.  Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

3 Literacy Mistakes I Have Made

This month's topic for Compelled Tribe is inspired by a tribe member, Jon Harper's radio show, My Bad!  Jon challenged us to his "MYBad leadership challenge - Mess up, fess up, and share with us on My Bad"  Today I am sharing 3 literacy mistakes I have made and how I learned from them.

Weekly spelling tests
Chances are if it is something you did when you were in elementary school, it might be time to reconsider its purpose and effectiveness.  Every child taking a weekly spelling test over the same words does not meet each child's needs.  Simply memorizing words will not have a long lasting effect.  When I administered spelling tests every Friday to the class, many students did not remember these words throughout the school year.

Instead: Children need to be involved with interactive, differentiated word work.  During my literacy block, students select word work based off their assigned color group.  Possible activities include magnetic letters, dry erase boards, Wiki sticks, rainbow writing,  Lego words.  Students work with different sets of words throughout the school year based on readiness.  Remember to not have too many stations out at once.

Leveled Library
In a past experience, the teacher had a large leveled library, but limited choices for students. Students were to only select a certain number of books from the leveled library since they were a "good fit".  Naturally, I thought that there needed to be emphasis on leveled libraries.

Instead: When I meet with students during guided reading or conferring, we read books on their level.    Levels are meant to guide our instruction, not be a "tell all" about a reader.  Guided reading is the time to focus on student's goals and strategies.  Students keep a few leveled books in their book bins, but they also have a book shopping day each week to pick books from our classroom library.  Choice is a huge motivation for students and I love seeing their excitement over books.

My new learning came from:
Kylene Beers

Reading Logs
I struggled with this.  In the past my team and I collected reading logs each month and recorded which students turned in their log with the required parent signature.  I wondered what purpose was this serving.  How was this helping my students?  Student's get tired of recording which books they read and parents don't like the hassle of signing them.

Instead: I conference with each student.  I ask each student how I can help on their reading journey.  The accountability falls within the conference and goal setting.  During read to self, I observe which students are engaged in their reading or trying to find distractions.  I also check their book boxes to see if they continuously have the same books.  Yes, kids are allowed to have favorite books they enjoy re-reading, but they also need to explore new books throughout the year.  As a class we discuss many books with each other.  Students recommending books to each other is powerful!
 Students are expected to read and I can tell if they do through conversation.  I understand some students are motivated by prizes, but my goal is to instill a lifelong habit of reading in my students.  Students can remember books from our conversations.

My new learning came from:
Angela Watson
Pernille Ripp

Growth mindset plays a huge role in my classroom.  As teachers, we need to have the same mindset that it is ok to make mistakes, as long as we learn from them and move forward.

Friday, June 24, 2016

How to Keep Your Cup of Mojo Overflowing

Mojo is the moment when we do something that's purposeful, powerful, and positive and the rest of the world recognizes it.
-Marshall Goldsmith
Summertime is the perfect time to fill your cup of mojo! Here are TEN surefire ways from the Compelled Tribe to keep or get back your mojo this summer.
Exercise - @Jennifer_Hogan
I find that when I get to exercise, it keeps me motivated, energized, and confident. Exercise is a time when I can disconnect from the world and just be “inside my head.” It allows time for ideas to percolate without interruption... time that I value and appreciate. It also provides the whitespace I need as an introvert. For me, it encourages creativity and problem-solving while the endorphins are being released! Done consistently, it’s a true mojo-maker!
Connecting - @jon_wennstrom
For me, I draw energy from being around positive people. Connecting with educators during summer learning sessions, sharing and learning from others on Twitter about books we’ve read, and of course blogging and reading blogs. I’m definitely an extrovert and being around other educators helps inspire me and always leads to new ideas to implement and helps me keep my mojo! 
Theater- @sandeeteach
I love Broadway musicals, plays, and other theatrical productions. It’s a way for me to escape and immerse myself in a story. One of my favorite theaters spoofs popular shows. For example, this year two of the shows will be “Indiana Bones Raiders of the Wal-Mart” and “Captain American Fork The Worst Avenger”. (American Fork is the city where I grew up.) The actors and actresses are masters of improvisation which makes for a night of laughter. Another favorite theater performs in the round which is always a delightful experience. There are beautiful theaters in downtown Salt Lake City for Broadway musicals and outdoor shows in many local communities. For a few hours, I can lose myself in another world. But upon further reflection, I always relate the experience to teaching because that’s just what teachers do. We get ideas that benefit our students from everywhere. 
Find a good read, or two - @Vroom6
There are lots of ways to find joy and rejuvenate during the summer months. And, I am all about work hard, play hard. With that, one of the greatest joys I get from the summer months, and a way in which I keep my mojo running full steam ahead, is by catching up on some of that much needed reading that took a back seat during the school year. Often times the days we are in session with students and teachers are filled with more scripted reading and writing. So for me, it is the summer months that I get to find that much anticipated new release on best practices in our field. Whether striving to become a better leader, or a better learner, it is the books that I carry with me to the beach, the pool or the park that I enjoy the most.
Dream big together - @allysonapsey
When my mojo needs a pick me up, I dream about what could be for our students, but I don’t do it alone. Just like everyone else, I find myself focusing on the trees rather than the forest from time to time. When monotony sets in, I push back by collaborating with the amazing teachers I work with. I am astounded after each conversation--we feed off each other, we divide and conquer, and we multiply our creativity for the sake of our students. Through these type of conversations this year, we came up with an amazing service learning project, we started plans for a Makerspace, we piloted new 
reading initiatives, we shared professional reading that has inspired us and so much more. While we are dreaming big together, we are building stronger relationships, laughing, and challenging each other. 
Pause and Reflect - @KarenWoodEDU
When my mojo needs some rejuvenation, (and it sometimes does), I first take a few minutes to reflect.  I find that sometimes my initial desire to “rejuvenate my mojo” may have my efforts focussed in the wrong areas or in areas which may not be productive for educators or students in the long run.  Reflection leads to focus and clarity.  From clarity goals can be set and then the fun begins!  Once my goals are established I jump in full force and do so with collaborative efforts.  It is very important that the shared vision of success is truly understood by all.  The last strategy I feel is essential for rejuvenating mojos is time to step away from work.  I admittedly do not do this well, however I find when I can clear my head (by going to the beach, going for a walk, kayaking, swimming, or practicing yoga/meditation, etc.) I return refreshed, focused, and ready to ramp up my mojo and the mojos of others around me. 
Get into some music! - @PrincipalStager
I was a music major in college and a music educator prior to becoming a principal. Whenever I need to get my mojo back or need to decompress, I find a piano and PLAY. I play in a group at my church so I have the opportunity to play rather often. I understand not everyone has the ability to sit down and play a musical instrument, but when I don’t have a piano to play, I drive in my car or just put my headphones in and JAM! There is nothing like a great playlist of uplifting and energetic music to get your energy back and your cup overflowing! This is my sure-fire way to get back on track.
Make a “bucket list” - @jodiepierpoint
I decided to make a “bucket list” of things I wanted to accomplish within a year, but I’m finding summer is a perfect time to accomplish them.  Things such as volunteering and baking cookies for friends have been real pick me ups!  Training for a quarter marathon has led into a half, simply because I’m out with great friends chatting while I’m doing it.  I check my list all the time, call a friend, and pick an activity to do - it’s a great way to rejuvenate not only myself, but others too!
What if People” & Quiet Time - @Debralcamp
I do my best thinking when I am with people that like to say “what if”.  There is something about the words “what if” that allows walls to come down.  When discussions are lead with the words “what if” it takes away the threat of there being wrong answers and allows for brainstorming to happen in a way that doesn’t in a lot of conversations.  I find it very motivating to be pushed and pulled by other people’s thoughts and ideas.  Positive energy comes when people work together and create as a group. There is a collective product that is created as well. I find on the flip side that quiet time and reflection after being with “what if people” takes me to a space in my head where more ideas can be generated.  Revisiting and reflecting again with the same group consistently allows for new ideas to develop and to be tried. (They don’t always work but the process sure is fun and motivating.)
Balance - @Abond013
Often times when I am feeling overwhelmed, I find that I need to prioritize. It is important for educators in any role to find time to take care of themselves. We need to give students our best and that is challenging when we are running on empty. Besides exercising, traveling, and spending time with family or friends, I find that fueling my passion keeps me going. For example, if you are passionate about literacy, continue to take interest and learn more. Surround yourself with people who share your passion.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

A Tool for Maximizing Instructional Time

A priority for classroom teachers is to maximize instructional time.  Since I am a big believer in the workshop model, I need to ensure student interruptions are at a minimum while I work with my small groups.  I know mostly everyone is now on summer break, but I hope some of you can use this tool next school year.

So how does it work?
During reading, math, or writing workshop when the teacher is working with a small group we expect students to stay in 1 spot once they pick a spot that is best for their learning.  Staying in 1 spot is an expectation for Daily 5, too.  To minimize interruptions, if a student has a to use the bathroom (emergency), injury, or is sick, they grab a card and hand it to the teacher.  When they hand the card to the teacher, they explain what they need. When their needs are resolved, they return the card to its spot and resume with their task.  The cards are meant to serve as a visual and provide clear structure for students.

This can be modified based on the needs of your classroom.  You can use it all school year or as needed. I started using it this spring after a grade level collaboration meeting and it was proven to be effective with my students once implemented.  Since I had many ELL students, the visual met everyone's needs.  Many teachers create anchor charts with their class when establishing procedures, this is an easy follow up to one of those lessons.

**My teammate came up with this idea.  It is not my original idea.**

How did I make this for my classroom?
I used Google Images to find a picture for each category (bathroom, injury, sick).  When I found an image I liked, I printed and laminated.  I place the cards in a common area of the classroom that is accessible.

Sunday, May 15, 2016


At the start of the 2015-2016 school year, the staff gathered for our first work day.  As a new teacher to the building, I was eager and full of excitement.  Our staff motto this year was ALL IN!  Staff members took a pledge to be all in for the kids.  I personally loved this instead of memorizing a lengthy vision.  All in was easy to remember and could be applied across many areas.

That same day my principal told us that it was going to be the best school year ever.  Little did we know in April we would be awarded the #1 Magnet School in America.  I say it really has been the best school year ever!  A large part of that was doing what's best for kids and continuing to be innovative with our instructional decisions.  Watching our school transform this school year has made a positive impact for our students.  Alternate seating has been my favorite transformation.  The students love it!

With this award it was only natural to plan a celebration for the staff, students, and community.  On Friday students walked into school on the red carpet.  As students entered their classroom, they were given a small #1 foam finger.  Parent volunteers were in classrooms helping paint student faces.  Once the bell rang, students had 2 rotations: painting ceiling tiles and attending an assembly.  My students ended up on the news and published in the newspaper.  Seeing the joy on my kid's faces was incredible.
Kindergarten team 

School assembly and me/my instructional assistant

While it was exciting to see our passion and efforts transpire into the recognition of #1 Magnet School in America, it made me reflect on the experiences we create for our students.  Are all staff members all in throughout the entire school year?  What does all in mean to you?  I strive to be a lifelong learner so I can provide my students with memorable learning experiences.

As we are in the final stretch, have fun with your students!  Create memories that will last for years.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Increasing Parent Involvement and #LastBell

As a Kindergarten teacher, I believe we need to set a strong, positive foundation for a child's education.  Building a partnership with families is essential.  Most teachers already communicate through notes, newsletters, phone calls, and e-mails.  However, we need to get families in the classroom.  When student' see their family make the effort to come into school, it illustrates that they value education and the parents/teachers are a team.

Many teachers may think it is too much work or preparation to host families in the classroom so frequently.  Family events do not always have to be holiday parties.  Some of my events are, but I try to host a theme.  Starting in November, I strive to host 1 family event a month during the school day.  Depending on your schedule, I find it best to do it first thing in the morning or at the end of the day so parents don't have to make an extra trip to school.  These events are not hosted by the school, they are hosted by you as the classroom teacher.  I love getting to know the families in my classroom and giving them the experience to truly witness their child's growth over the school year.  Mostly importantly, my students are only little once.  I want to make sure parent's enjoy this stage and embrace their child's love and curiosity to learn.

Most of us are in the final stretch.  Our days are filled with assessments and other demands.  However, this is a fun time of year to continue to make memories with your students and their families.  These relationships go beyond 1 school year.  Continue to build those relationships and have fun with your kids!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

#LoveMySchoolDay Reflection

Last Monday, April 11 was #LoveMySchoolDay.  I moderated #DubChat with my friend, Melissa.  As we were collaborating about which questions to pose to our audience it made me reflect on which aspects of my school I enjoy the most.  The timing was perfect since my school was recently named a top 5 magnet school in the United States.  My school is a creative arts and science magnet elementary school and we find out in May where we rank in the top 5.  Regardless, I am so grateful to work at a school where creativity is not only supported, but strongly encouraged.  Especially as a Kindergarten teacher it is critical to teach the whole child and exercise their creativity.  My favorite change this year across our building is flexible seating.  Next year I plan to start from day, but I appreciate the positive changes I have seen in my students and classroom community.

Being a connected educator is vital to professional growth.  Sharing ideas and reflections with one another at any time is priceless.  Although as educators we often hear the negatives, Twitter has many passionate educators who want to remove barriers for their students and share the positive things happening.  Twitter is an opportunity to showcase what is happening in your classroom, school, or community.  Across the globe educators have one purpose: to do what is best for our kids.

Below are the questions from the Twitter chat myself and Melissa moderated Monday.  I hope you find these questions useful as you reflect on what you enjoy about your school as well as how to move forward in the future.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Quiet Mouse - A Classroom Management Strategy

I am finally on spring break.  It is so nice to be home with family and friends.  I am kind of disappointed that I am not at the beach this year, but there are many beaches in North Carolina so I am sure I can make up for it at a different time.

Coming inside from recess was a difficult transition for students.  I felt this transition could be used more efficiently.  I allow students to get a drink of water before coming to the carpet for our vocabulary mini lesson.  In order to try to make this time of day less hectic,  I use this friend for some reinforcement.

Yes, it is a mouse puppet that our dance teacher gave me.

So how does it work?

To launch the idea: As students are getting a drink of water and coming to the carpet, I pick 1 student who was quiet and respectful the entire transition.  The student I choose keeps the quiet mouse until recess the following day.  Then, that student sits in the rocking chair at the front of the room after recess to watch for a new quiet mouse.  Once a new quiet mouse is selected, then the game continues each day.

Students are allowed to be quiet mouse more than once.  They are chosen by their peers based on who is displaying positive behavior the entire transition.

Other ways to adapt this in your classroom:
-Walking in the hallway
-Using the restroom
-Working quietly during independent time such as writer's workshop

I have done this for over a month now and my students still are very enthusiastic about earning the quiet mouse.  They enjoy reading to their mouse friend.
 I hope this strategy can be used in your classroom as well.

**I saw this idea somewhere on Pinterest, but could not find the original creator.  If you know who it is, let me know so I can give credit to the quiet mouse idea.**

Happy Spring!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Southern Living

First off, I am in LOVE with my new blog design.  Megan from I Teach, What's Your Superpower designed it and made my vision a reality.  She is amazing!

I moved to Raleigh last August and it is a fantastic place to live.  Here is a list I created about southern living and life in Raleigh.

1.  Everyone loves barbecue.

2.  People have no problem being active.

3. Raleigh residents don't have to choose between being at the beach or mountains.  We have plenty of options.  I love living a quick drive from either place.

4.  Raleigh has southern charm
The most common phrases I hear are "bless your heart" or "hey y'all"

5. Raleigh doesn't have experience with snow.  When there is a chance of snow or ice, people go out to buy bread and milk.

6.  50 degrees is "chilly"

7.  In Ohio I am used to McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy's and Chick Fil A for fast food.  In Raleigh, Bojangles is the fast food place.

8.  When it's sunny, you will find people at the park.

9.  NC State Fair is a big deal!

What else would you add to this list?

Monday, January 25, 2016

My 1st NC Snow Day

I moved to Raleigh, North Carolina last August for a Kindergarten teaching job.  I lived in the same suburb of Ohio since I was 2 years old so it has been an experience to live somewhere new and unfamiliar to me.  Besides the drastic changes in the schools, the weather has been an adjustment.  I love sunshine and warm weather-- especially in the winter months when I am used to brutal cold temperatures below 0.

This "winter" North Carolina has mostly been in the 50s and 60s, except last weekend.  On Friday we were expecting a big ice storm.  Coming from Ohio where snow and ice is normal, I expected a dusting here.  However, apparently every person goes to the grocery store to buy milk and bread at any chance of winter weather coming.  Why?  I don't know.

I was actually taken aback by what I saw Friday afternoon.  The way Ohio and North Carolina reacts and treats winter weather is incredibly different.
View from my apartment window.  If you look closely at the road and concrete by the pool- it's all ice.

My car on Saturday after .75 inch of ice and snow.

Joke was on me- took over an hour to de ice my car.  Look at how thick that ice is!

Over the weekend 50,000+ people in my county lost power.  Some are still without power.  I had a snow day on Friday and today.  Then tomorrow I have a 3 hour delay.  In Ohio we only had 2 hour delays so the option of 2 or 3 hour delays is new to me.

Even though it is 50 today and supposed to be 60 tomorrow, I am going to enjoy this "winter" weather.

Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2016 One Little Word

My one little word for 2016 is MINDSET.  I read Carol Dweck's book last year and it impacted my life.  I went through a lot of major changes in 2015 and having a growth mindset helped me navigate my emotions.  We go through many situations in life, but our attitude is what controls the situation.

I am on the mindset committee at school and started reading Mindset in the Classroom.  I look forward to seeing how it can improve our classroom and school.
Bulletin board at school. 

Moving forward in 2016...
I love reading this book to students immediately upon returning to school.  After reading the book, we discussed what a resolution is.  Then, we chart ideas of possible resolutions for school.
I was so impressed with my Kindergarten students ability to reflect.

After reading the book and discussing whole class goals, I meet with individual students to help them decide on their goals.
Students choose from goals from work habits, math, reading, and writing. 

This is the template students use to record their goals.  Once the goal is met, I check it off and date it.  I believe goal setting is very empowering for students.

Both pictures above are from Mrs. Ricca's Kindergarten freebie.

Happy New Year!