Thursday, August 15, 2013
We're all in this together
Just some Housekeeping--Mark your calendars!!!!! Take some pictures!!! and get ready to link up with me next week (it will start Monday) to share your Beautiful Classroom!!
I have been so busy working in my room and working on custom sets at night, that I literally have not had a moment to breathe. My house is a mess! My laundry pile is growing and I seriously need to scrub the counters. Hopefully, after Open House tomorrow I can relax a little over the weekend to prepare mentally for the first day of school.
Today I was part of a Professional Development Presentation of our school wide goals. We (the Team Leaders and Administators) met before school started and attended several trainings on Effective Leadership. We reviewed our Data and came up with Goals for our school. It was a great process for us, to see our school as whole---not each grade level or teacher as an individual--but a Team working together towards common Goals to be successful and improve student achievement and learning.
We planned and practiced, and chewed off some nails. But we really were so prepared, that everything went off without a hitch. Included in our presentations was a little bit of everything--Data, Power Point, Movement, Collaboration, creativity, ownership of learning and of course chocolate!!!
My part of the presentation was to facilitate the collaborative groups. We prepared ahead of time by writing each goal on color chart paper. Pink, orange, green and yellow. As the teachers came in, each team leader gave a member of their team a dot sticker with 1 of the colors. After the sit down presentation, our media specialist facilitated Hand Up, Pair Up, Share Up--to discuss the data for our school grades. We got them up and moving and speaking with people outside their comfort zone.
After 3 rounds of this I had my turn. I explained that they would now look at the color sticker they received when they entered. This was the group they would be now working with. We purposely wanted to mix the grade levels--so there was at least 1 teacher from each grade level as well as resource teachers and some ESE teachers who attended our meeting.--Collaboration!!
At the designated tables was the chart paper and (Also prepared ahead of time) bins with post-it notes, pens, markers and index cards. Everyone separated to now "un-pack" the goal to which they were assigned. Each teacher was to have some "think time" and write down what they thought on the post-it. After this, there was discussion amongst everyone in the group. Next, each group came up with a visual representation of what the Goal meant to their team on the chart paper. Each group was different. 1 team made bullets, another a bubble map and 1 group even drew a student with a back pack and all the post-its with the ideas coming out of it. Finally, each group shared their chart and ideas with the rest of the teachers.
I was so impressed with everyone I work with. I am absolutely blessed to work with amazing teachers who love what they do and are there for our students.
I got some great feedback from my teammates as well, that they enjoyed the meeting and one person even said "It was the best meeting" they had had!! Really!!! Wow! That was so validating for me, because I was such a nervous wreck about speaking in front of my peers.
To top off a great meeting I came home to a package from Creative Teaching Press at my front door!! Have I mentioned how much I love them? Well, here I go again-- I LOVE CTP!!!!
Heather, from CTP read a blog post of mine and contacted me asking if I would like some name tags. I said "YES" of course! She then asked if I would like anything else. I mentioned 1 or 2 things that I had been looking at in the catalog--I had never been offered anything for free before. And, to be honest, I felt funny asking for materials. Well, they have totally blown me away!! I haven't even taken pictures of everything yet, because there is soooo much!! I will be working tomorrow to hang some of my new goodies and be sharing my classroom pics in my linky party on Monday.
But here's a sneak peek!!!
Check back in next week to see what I do with these cuties!!! Thank you CTP you Rock!!!!