Some weeks are long and I have moments when I'm discouraged and tired, just waiting for Friday.
And then I have a day that reminds my why I love my job, the students and the staff. And I am anxious to return on Monday to start over again. The day wasn't about me. It was about looking around and seeing all the wonderful things going on around me.
I started the morning by stopping quickly by the high school to pick up the Lakeview art work that had been dropped off after being displayed at the Barnes & Noble bookfair last weekend. Karen was already there and the media center was busy with students already, using the computers, relaxing and talking to each other.
Karen asked a couple of the early birds, "Do you know what this is?" When they replied, "A Christmas tree", she exclaimed, "You are the BEST!" and they assured her it was very cool. Karen is always doing something interesting and visually surprising to get the attention of the students.
As I dropped the art work off at the Lakeview art room, I saw how Jackie had set up paint stations for the paper mache masks. She does amazing projects with our elementary kids and I admire her patience and intelligence. I am lucky to work with her.
At 9 a.m., I reviewed our Google Docs presentations on online safety with 3rd graders and then they explored the current news on Dogonews. They each filled in a survey form to share what they learned. They were free to watch videos so once the first student discovered it, it was no surprise that more than one student wrote something like this: "That dogs like Gangnamstyle to!!" I'm sure that a few of them will return to the kid friendly DogoNews web site this weekend.
In between classes, one of our teachers came by to talk about web tools that help gather data (like Edmodo polls, Polleverywhere and GoogleForms). I sent her a Richard Byrne link via email and later we talked again about her classroom iPad. With minimal instruction, her kids are using Skitch to annotate photos they have taken in class.
The fourth grade class was already logged in to their DogoNews accounts, so in Media Center, they had time to explore the news areas and watch the videos. Their comments were a little more sophisticated: "in the ice hotel they had cups made out of ice and the cup could only be used once and so over they half to make over 1,000 cups", but there was still a group focused on the Gangnam dancing dogs and parrots. It was an opportunity to talk about how videos are made and do some very preliminary planning for making our own lip dub. By the end of the day, students were telling me they had lyrics written to "Solon Style".
Our very special Teacher Assistant (Paula's daughter) worked on property stamping new nonfiction books we just received from Gumdrop Books.
As I left, I stopped to listen to Mrs Day read a Mrs Wishy Washy book to kindergartners.
And I passed by supplies for a local food bank collected by our 4th graders.
As usual, the SHS Media Center was buzzing when I arrived there during lunch/seminar. There was a hot contest at the chess table, but there were also students studying, reading, chatting and working on the computers. Our seminar/lunchtime crowd is large, but very polite, respectful and as quiet as you can be when you are cheering on participants in a chess tournament.
At the beginning of block 3, I met with a Spanish teacher to work on a plan for helping students research a topic for a paper to be written in Spanish. I am creating a web site with search tips, links to trusted sites, tutorials on using the databases and documents they will need to consult. Collaborating with teachers in this way is one of the most rewarding things I do. We finished up when I looked at the time and saw that I had 5 minutes to be at my next appointment, to work with 3rd graders creating a LittleBird Tales online story, with narration and original art work.
We weren't alone in the Media Center lab area. One of the 4th grade classes was working on a Blabberize project explaining the parts of the human body and they were recording their scripts, using their writing and fluency skills.
I was a few minutes late for a 2:15 meeting at the Central Office because I stopped to talk to a student in the hallway who was using Skitch on the iPad and to peek into several classrooms with high school Spanish students teaching 2nd graders new vocabulary.
At CO, I had some planning time with Matt Townsley, my supervisor and then I went back down to Lakeview to meet with the contractor who will be installing a mounted projector and sound system in our media center.
At the end of the day, I took this panoramic photo and felt grateful for all the cool things I had the opportunity to be a part of.