Friday, February 12, 2016

Mrs. LC, it's okay! It tastes like broccoli!

Valentine's Day is a pretty big deal in schools.  Students spend time the week prior signing and distributing cards to classmates and teachers.  We celebrated Valentine's Day on February 12, since the holiday actually fell on Sunday.  Before school started I was visiting with a teacher about loading kids up on sugar then sending them home!  Later that morning I ventured down to breakfast and saw that students were eating cookies.  In fun I said to students, "What's the deal?   We don't have cookies for breakfast!"  They assured me that it was a miracle and that it was okay for them to do so.  As I walked away, they called me back, "Mrs. LC, it's okay.  It tastes like broccoli!"

As Bill Cullen might say, "Kids say the darndest things!"

Monday, December 14, 2015

Our Greatest Gift

For many, the holidays are a very stressful time of year.  Trying to find the perfect gift, host the perfect party and still meet our daily demands can sometimes become very burdensome.

In trying to find that perfect gift, it is a challenge for all of us to remember that our time is the most precious gift we can give.  I consider myself fortunate to have been able to work in a school district long enough to have taught children of former students.  A large number of teachers at Imbler can say the same thing.  I continue to be amazed at how quickly students move through our schools.  As I am writing, I am reminded of Harry Chapin's song Cats in the Cradle where we follow a young man becoming a father, being too busy for his son, then asking his son for time as he ages and the son being too busy for him.  Even if your child has just entered kindergarten, he will be out of your home sooner than you think.  I hope you have the wisdom and ability to spend precious time with your children over this upcoming holiday break.  Precious memories will be formed!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Giving Thanks

As I write, I hear students outside my office window in preparation for our last day before breaking for the Thanksgiving holiday.  Each year about this time, I try to spend some time reflecting upon the many blessings that have been bestowed upon me. Here is a partial list:

I am thankful....

  • to have been given the opportunity to work in a new school district where I can get to know a whole new group of wonderful, caring people -- staff, students, and community members.
  • to once again be reminded that there are great people wherever we go.
  • to be witness to staff and student successes and at the same time challenge them to become better and learn more.
  • for a loving family and many friends.
  • for my loving and supportive husband.

I hope each of you takes the opportunity over this Thanksgiving to pause and remember your many blessings!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Thank You Day

This week we were able to spend some time appreciating those who have served our country.  A Veteran's Appreciation Assembly was held on Tuesday afternoon.  Too often as we go through life we take what has been given to us for granted.  Veteran's Day is an opportunity to stop and reflect upon the good fortune we have in America.  As I was walking back to the elementary building after the assembly, I thought, "Veteran's Day is about the thank yous."  In my mind, Veteran's Day will be known as thank you day.  Thank you, veterans for all you do to defend our country!

Students shaking hands of Veterans to thank them for their service

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Panthers State Bound!

Congratulations to the football and volleyball teams for qualifying for the state playoff and state tournament respectively!  Best of luck to these athletes as they travel to represent our school and communities!

Students signed this poster to send the teams to state!

Monday, October 26, 2015

A Sign of Autumn...

Being new to the area, last week I learned that a sure sign that autumn has arrived is the ag department's annual pressing of apples for apple cider.  Mr. Cant shared with me, "We did this when I was in school."  I wonder if current students question whether or not there was written history for such a long time passed.  Perhaps, Mr. Cant's oral history will suffice for verification that pressing actually did take place that long ago!

Not ever having witnessed apples being pressed, I ventured to the shop to view the students in action. As I watched, I wondered what the intended learning goals for the activity were.  The more I reflect upon my wondering, the more I realize there are a plethora of learnings students encounter.  The day began with juniors and seniors setting up the equipment for the day's pressing.  During the day students worked together to make cider to share with the community, and at the end of the day more juniors and seniors cleaned and put the equipment away.  Perhaps the most important lesson learned throughout the day was that the students relied upon each other to create a great product, that what they did mattered and had an effect on the students who came after them.  I hope the students also learned that they are providing a service for their community; many community members have come to rely upon the ag department for their annual apple cider fix.  Of course, there were agriculture standards that were met as well -- food safety, marketing and problem solving just to mention a few.

Below are pictures involved in apple pressing...
Students cleaning apples in preparation to be pressed.

Chunking the apples

Pressing the apples

Changing cylinders

Straining the cider

Monday, October 19, 2015

Identifying Similarities and Differences

In 2001 Robert Marzano published his book Classroom Instruction that Works: Researched-based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement.  The first strategy analyzed in the book is identifying similarities and differences.  According to Marzano's research, using the strategy can lead to a percentile gain as large as forty-six.

The pictures below are of Venn diagrams created by Mrs. McIntosh's second graders.  The students are comparing a non-fiction book about bats with the book, Stellaluna.  Students are building a foundational base which will enable them to write better persuasive essays along with many other tasks given to them in their later years of school.