Saturday, October 12, 2013


Last week, I suffered a sparkle lapse. There, I said it. For the first time all year, I didn’t publish my staff blog. I think there was just a bit too much on my plate and I decided that I needed to be ok with skipping the week. Just this time. Maybe no one even noticed! My goal has been to blog each week, and I had been looking forward to this week- there was no way I was going to miss two in a row! In each week’s post, I have a “food for thought” section, where I try to share something fun, inspiring, or thought provoking. Sometimes it’s a video, a quote, or a story. Once in awhile it’s my own thoughts but I do love when I find something from one of my friends or colleagues to highlight in that spot. This week, I'm posting my food for thought here...

This morning, like many mornings, I was enjoying my coffee and checking out my email and Twitter. Bam! Inspiration hit me with my subscription to Katherine Sokolowski and her Read, Write, Reflect blog. It’s one of my favorites, and her posts always have me thinking. This week, her post is entitled “Let’s Celebrate!” and she shares about Ruth Ayres and her  blog challenge to share something to celebrate each week. Love! Check out Ruth's Celebrate Link UP where each week she invites you to share something you’d like to celebrate that week. I know that sometimes we can have a dark day, or a dark week- like last week when I lost my sparkle. But there is so much to celebrate! Here are some things that I’m celebrating this week- things that made my heart full and my spirit sparkle!

  1. Market Day! Our amazing 2nd grade teachers brought project-based learning to life as their students collaborated to create a “shop” where they provided a good or service to our K-3 students who shopped til they dropped! Students earned market bucks throughout the week for good behavior. The second grade students worked in teams and did an awesome job of getting their products ready- including several nail salons, a Minecraft prop shop, tissue flowers, and sparkly clay pots. Check out the Animoto and a few commercials  below! This was an excellent example of a real-life, relevant assessment of learning to culminate their communities unit. I ended up with a beautiful flower, a glittery pot, a hair band and a journal. Awesome!

Minecraft Props

Rockin’ Tattoos

Nail Polish Stars

Market day Animoto

  1. I am also celebrating our fearless new teachers who, with just two days GLAD training under their belts have been implementing strategies to increase student engagement! I dare you to say the word coniferous to a first grade student! They are sure to bust out with a motion and a super academic definition! Kindergarten students can tell you all about the Bald Eagle, and third graders can be heard chanting a rounding song, even at lunch! Our second graders are also immersed in their communities unit- with their own communities decorating our halls with rural and suburban examples. GLAD strategies are everywhere!
  2. October is Connected Educators Month! This is also something to celebrate! Many people may think of technology when they think of connected educators- teachers Tweeting, Skyping, blogging and more. For sure, those are ways to connect. But for me, being a connected educator is so much more. I am inspired daily by educators that I connect with- at my school, online, through the Area 3 Writing Project, and people I have met in person. This past summer, I met Nancy Minicozzi , known as @coffeenancy on Twitter this summer at CUE Rockstar Tahoe. Even though she did not attend my book trailer session, she has created several awesome book trailers and shared one with me today using Voki, a tool I did not know about! Check it out here!
  3. Finally, I’d like to celebrate that I work in a school that inspires teachers to be creative and innovative. As expected, teachers start with the grade level standards when designing curriculum. Then, teachers consider the students, their interests, and instructional needs and design something customized just for them. It is a TON of work, but the results are amazing when teachers aren’t bound by a scripted textbooks.

There’s so much more to celebrate! The beautiful fall weather, the Harvest Festival, and the Book Fair is coming to my school!

What are you celebrating this week? Click on Today’s Meet and share something you love!

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