Friday, April 24, 2009

A Wiki is BORN!

The Principal's Book of the Month was introduced to us by our founding principal, Dr. Terri Stahlman, in the first year of our standards based reform implementation, America's Choice. It is a leadership strategy in which the principal selects an authentic piece of children’s literature for all classes in the school with the purpose of creating a common literacy conversation between students and teachers. In addition, this strategy can be used to connect children’s literature and an adult professional text to drive professional development. Since its inception in 1999 Book of the Month immediately became a highly anticipated opportunity for our learning community to grow our vision for students and introduce new instructional practices for the classroom. Whether its an oldie but goodie like Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse or a new read like Woolbur teachers and students alike enjoy revisiting these great stories year after year after year. Thanks to Melanie Holtsman we have created a wiki to house all of the work done to create the BOTM experience monthly. It's a work in progress so make sure to check it out frequently and let me know what you think.


Friday, April 17, 2009

Traveling Up I-95 on SEEDLINGS!

Last week, Melanie Holtsman and I were fortunate enough to be invited to speak on SEEDLINGS. This is a weekly show that is audio broadcast by EdTechTalk. EdTechTalk is a community of educators interested in discussing and learning about the uses of educational technology. Cheryl Oakes, Alice Barr and Bob Sprankle hosted a lively conversation with us regarding my role as the instructional and technology leader at our school and the ways that Melanie supports technology work at our school. I am amazed at how all of this happened and that we actually pulled it off. The three moderators were not in the same location in New England, Melanie was in the back office of a store in Orlando on the internet and I was trapped inside my vehicle on a cell phone with my husband, brother in law, child and two dogs as we traveled up I-95 into South Carolina. (No, I wasn't driving, amazingly neither dog barked and I didn't laugh out loud as my husband and brother in law acted out my side of the conversation! ) While it was a a little nerve wracking it was also a lot of fun getting to share all the incredible things that are happening with technology in our classrooms. I was so proud as I shared our story. If you'd like to have a listen Go here :)


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Welcome to the Chets Creek Crab Shack!

The highly anticipated annual opening of the CCE Crab Shack took place this past Wednesday. For one day only our faculty lounge is transformed each school year immediately following our Spring Break into a Crab Shack filled with tons of fishy fun (ironically, we don't even serve crabs). We enjoy food and fellowship together as we sing along to great tunes and even get heckled by the principal, yours truly. Everyone leaves having caught a "big one" (gummy worms to gift cards) and ready to face our final push until the end of the school year. The day is also designed to remind us all to put the four practices of the FISH! philosophies back into our daily routine.

These practices have helped to build the type of school culture that can mirror the success of the fishmongers at Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle, Washington:
Be There - be present in the moment of anyone you come in contact with, pay attention and participate with them!
Play - have fun, create joy, and laugh!
Make Their Day - do the unexpected in an effort to provide someone else with happiness - it is not about you - its about them!
Choose Your Attitude - you control your approach to the day, pick kindness, try respect because the outcome almost always reflects your attitude in the first place!

At the end of lunch our bellies are full of fish, grits, cole slaw, homemade desserts and a reminder of how lucky we are to be together doing this most special work with children. Here's a peek at the fun: