Sunday, March 20, 2011

Did You Know?

Highly effective teachers make incremental change throughout their career?  Usually this is includes collaborating with other peer professionals and administration with the intention to see student achievement gains.  Here are the hallmarks of this "Deliberate Practice":
* Continually self-assess and seek feedback on performance, particularly about  proficiency on the research based practices linked to student achievement

* Focus on "thin slices" - work on mastery of a small quantity of skills  each year rather than doing too much at one time..steady growth over time
* Identify areas of weakness and/or interest
* Select focus area for improvement..a research based practice that is of interest (I want to be able to do that) or where improvement is needed (I need to be able to do that)
* Determine current level of performance in focus area
* Set goal and time frame for improving performance
* Seek mentors in area where they are working
 These habits form a life-long learning process that results in continuous improvement,  quality collegial relationships, and higher student achievement.  Effective school leaders support teachers' efforts to engage in deliberate practice.

Excerpted from Florida School Leaders Website: 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A GREAT Recycling Idea...

Saw this on Facebook today and thought it was worth sharing:

" I have the best new idea for recycling. Have an old, broken umbrella? Remove it carefully from the wire brackets until you just have a circular piece of material. Cut off the closure string. Now you have a FREE small parachute to use with children. Depending on the size of the umbrella, 4-6 children can use it for parachute play with or without balls! Clever?"  

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Great Chuckle

If you've ever had to help kids get boots, hats, mittens, and such on during the school day, then you'll love this little laugh.  I am not sure who to credit with it, as I received it in an email from my 90 year old Grandmother:

The Cowboy Boots 
(Anyone who has ever dressed a child will love this one!) 

Did you hear about the Texas teacher who was helping one of her kindergarten students put on his cowboy boots? 

He asked for help and she could see why.. 

Even with her pulling and him pushing, the little boots still didn't want to go on. By the time they got the second boot on, she had worked up a sweat. 

She almost cried when the little boy said, 'Teacher, they're on the wrong feet.' She looked, and sure enough, they were. It wasn't any easier pulling the boots off than it was putting them on. She managed to keep her cool as together they worked to get the boots back on, this time on the right feet. 

He then announced, 'These aren't my boots.' 

She bit her tongue rather than get right in his face and scream, 'Why didn't you say so?' like she wanted to. Once again, she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting boots off his little feet. No sooner had they gotten the boots off when he said, 'They're my brother's boots. My mom made me wear 'em.' 

Now she didn't know if she should laugh or cry. But, she mustered up what grace and courage she had left to wrestle the boots on his feet again. 

Helping him into his coat, she asked, 'Now, where are your mittens?' 

He said, 'I stuffed 'em in the toes of my boots.'