Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Marvelous Surprise

Marvelous Marvine stopped by Chets on Monday while I was out. I know this because of the wonderful handmade surprises I found on my desk this morning. Marvine has been retired for years but she can't stay away. Every year she creates a wonderful handmade themed surprise for the faculty as a gift when school opens. Once a Creeker, always a Creeker!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Nine Reams of Paper Later

Ugh! That's all I have to say about that.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The End of the Line!

We've had a fabulous Literary Pumpkin Week at the Creek! We have decorated pumpkins as book characters, our littlest students have paraded the hallways dressed as their favorite characters, and tonight this wonderful week culminated with our PTA's Food and Fun Carnival. I'm always last - last in line at the hallway treating and last out of the building well after 10 PM. Truth be told - I love this night and I love being the end of the line!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Baby Boyd of Dance

Today Chets students got to experience a dance demonstration by former Creeker, James Chip Boyd and friends. Chip has been touring internationally with the Bad Boys of Dance who will be performing 2 shows at UNF this weekend. He is an incredible young man and this show is not to be missed.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

All Hail The Queen

"The Queen" held court today and I was lucky enough to be in attendance. I have worked with dayle timmons my entire teaching career and boy do I feel lucky. We have teased her by calling her The Queen ever since she was selected as Florida's Teacher of the Year in 2004, but really, she is. She makes teaching look positively effortless when we all know it is anything but. As I watched her have a book talk with her first graders while I read the introduction to the Kevin Henkes author study she has written and rewritten, I was moved to tears. How blessed we have all been to have spent time talking, thinking, writing and learning with her. My one regret is that that time is becoming shorter as she plans retirement in the next couple years. I was shocked to find out later she was nervous, just like every other teacher is when they are being observed. I'm not sure why I was surprised - dayle is a teacher's teacher and I'm glad I've had 20 years as her student.

The Theme Is Everything

At Chets the theme defines the year. Evidence is everywhere you look, in our communications and serves to focus us around a single purpose. It is highly anticipated and top secret until the reveal at the end of the year. Each year I have people guessing or trying to trick me into telling them. Today I got my first theme suggestion for the year. :) Thoughtful, creative meaningful. You never know...

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Blessed Boss

Yesterday my 'plate' overflowed with school and family life and I never got to my post but today cannot pass without sharing. This morning I got to have breakfast with the best faculty and staff on the planet. They ordered pumpkin donuts from Cinotti's (my fav) and gifted me with a beautiful orchard and a gift certificate for the restaurant Blue Bamboo. Wow!!!

I've never felt like a boss but I have certainly been blessed to spend my school days working shoulder to shoulder with incredible people for the good of children. I learn more from them than they could possibly learn from me! Thank you for honoring me today!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

An Exercise In Frustration

I was so excited about my plan for professional learning today. I had read, studied, planned, planned some more and then fell short in delivery. I had a great activity planned for a fantastic audience and only was able to accomplish half of what I NEEDED to because I was rushed. Time is such an issue. I'm sure the audience left just as frustrated as me. We need more time in our classrooms and out of them in professional development. Time to talk and think and work together. Time.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mind Is Still Whirling...

I'm so grateful for a great, idea generating, thought provoking workshop today on Text Dependent Questioning. Get of the month is about to be turned upside down.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Today Was About The Pile

Today my whole goal was to make the pile of 'loose ends' disappear from the top of my desk. These weren't critical items but they kept getting pushed further down the to do list. Simply put, I just haven't gotten to them. I love being in classrooms watching teachers teach and kids learn but I end up having to schedule time to take care of all of the little things that just pile up. I didn't quite clear the pile today but I made a very decent dent.

Friday, October 12, 2012

When Technology Won't Cooperate

Today several very important documents were trapped in my iPad because I mistakenly try to install an update on the app that held them at school. I forgot I can only do that at home. I'm sure there is some rule against it to protect somebody from doing something wrong but it sure would have made the day run smoother.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I Hate The Monkey Bars!

Nothing is worse for me than hearing one of my babies (students) is hurt. Today a very brave little first grader sat calmly with me and her teachers while we applied ice to an injured arm just above the wrist. Mom got there and we slid her arm on a trusty clipboard to keep it flat and straight and got her loaded into the car. I've worried all day and just got word - broken. :(

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Whew! My Observation is Over!

This year I got to be observed for a pre conference, observation and post conference with the same teacher. I just heard the collective sigh of relief as 83 of you realized you weren't the lucky one picked for this opportunity. :) I welcomed the opportunity to showcase the instruction at Chets and for the feedback. There are always ways to grow and improve when you're a lifelong learner!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Observations - Digital Style

I'm several days in to going digital with observations this year. I have a wiki set up to house artifacts and I created a template to type my notes in. So far I'm loving walking into an observation with only an iPad!!!!


I didn't get my blog post done yesterday. I was so thrown off by the end to a long and crazy day. Just as I finished meeting with PTA Board last night and was headed into SAC lightning struck a house next door to the school and it caught fire. The biggest problem is that house belongs to one of our long time employees. The rest of the night I could think of nothing else. They are all ok, thank goodness, but theirs damage. The Chets family began rallying immediately just like they always do and in the days to come this family will need us and we'll be there.

Friday, October 5, 2012


Today two precious first graders brought this yummy and healthy snack their class cooked for me to try! They were inspired to learn to eat with chopsticks after reading our Book of the Month, How My Parents Learned to Eat. Yum!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Using a quick snapshot at the end of a lesson to capture a student's learning, and sometimes misconceptions, is a great way to assess daily and then plan for instruction to follow. Today I got to see it's use in clarifying a student's misconceptions and for highlighting a clear understanding of the big idea in Science!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

And it begins...

Today I could easily have written 20 blog posts! So many things going on but the most fun of the day was spending an hour in a fourth grade Math class completing the first formal observation of the year. It's work - and it'll take me a couple months to get through them all but I'm excited. It feels right when I'm in classrooms watching teachers and students work!!

Some Days...

Some days my job involves fixing furniture...