Pinterest

Below is a post I shared on my staff blog for my teachers. I have found the shorter the better even though there is so much to say about Pinteret or any other topic I bring up:):)

Hopefully you are enjoying your time off! Due to all the traveling we have been doing I have extra time to be on my phone, ipad, or computer in the car.(When I am not driving of course!:) Most of you have heard of or mentioned Pinterest but if you have not taken full advantage of it I might suggest that you take a second look. 
Matt showed me Pinterest a couple months ago and it became my new late night "hobby." Meaning whenever I was putting my kids to bed I was on Pinterest:) Below is a screen capture of some my "boards" (like a bulletin board of my favorite stuff.)You will notice that there are both personal and professional "pins." Don't look too close or some of the ideas I have for you guys wont be a surprise:):) 
It is exciting to see how many teachers share their ideas with the world through personal blogs and websites. Some teachers put all their lessons, pictures of their classrooms, crafts, organizational tips out there for everyone to see! Any one of you could share all your ideas with the world too. 
Well, if you have time to explore I suggest exploring Pinterest!!! 
You may now return to your regularly scheduled Christmas break!!!
See you soon.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Merry Christmas! This is the 1st Christmas my little brother gets to spend Christmas with Jesus. Wanna know what it's like...... See below


My First Christmas in Heaven
I see the countless
Christmas trees
around the world below
With tiny lights, like Heaven's stars,
reflecting on the snow

The sight is so spectacular,
please wipe away the tear
For I am spending Christmas with
Jesus Christ this year.

I hear the many Christmas songs
that people hold so dear
But the sounds of music can't compare
with the Christmas choir up here.

I have no words to tell you,
the joy their voices bring,
For it is beyond description,
to hear the angels sing.

I know how much you miss me,
I see the pain inside your heart.
But I am not so far away,
We really aren't apart.

So be happy for me, dear ones,
You know I hold you dear.
And be glad I'm spending Christmas
with Jesus Christ this year.

I sent you each a special gift,
from my heavenly home above.
I sent you each a memory
of my undying love.

After all, love is a gift more precious
than pure gold.
was always most important
the stories Jesus told.

Please love and keep each other,
my Father said to do.
I can't count the blessing or love
has for each of you.

So have a Merry Christmas and
Wipe away that tear
Remember, I am spending Christmas with
Jesus Christ this year


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2011 Christmas Read Aloud




This year I will be reading The Christmas Cookie Sprinkle Snitcher to all classrooms. Treat will be cookie with sprinkles:)

Christmas Cookie Sprinkle Snitcher



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Golden GermX Award

October can be a long month for teachers. The honeymoon period for behavior is over and the kids are restless. Then there are P/T Conferences and Fall Parties AND the time change.

Sooooooooo.....to liven things up a little bit my counselor and I came up with some "fun" awards/recognition "tropies" to be passed around the building on a weekly basis.

The Schmop: This is along story but this is the mother of all awards! I can be for good or bad or fun or whatever. Currently my speech teachers holds onto the Schmop because her father died last week.
This is a real feather duster with a construction paper face that was give to me as a joke and I am paying it forward:)

The Golden GermX Award: Originally this was going to be painted gold and/or wrapped in gold and put on a gold pedastal but the green plaster really made the award. Currently a 4th grade teacher hold this award because she got sick and had to be taken home by the counselor and puked in the counselor's car:)

Suck-it-up: You know how there are times we just need to suck it up??? Currently a 1st grade teacher holds this award for complaining about something. Turns out she was going to Las Vegas for the weekend and we told her to suck-it-up.
Bright Idea Award: Again this can be for any type of idea good or bad. Right now our counselor is in possesion of this award for coming up with all the award ideas:)

You are welcome to borrow our ideas or share some of your fun awards that we can borrow! Happy October!!!


Joplin MAESP Meeting November 9th

Hello Southwest MAESP Members!

As we gear up for our annual Fall Meeting we need some information from you. The plan for the meeting is explained below:

When: November 9th 12:00
Who: SW MAESP Members
Where: Joplin -(Location to be determined)
Presentation : Joplin Principals
12:00 Lunch
12:45 Presentation

Since our meeting will be held in Joplin this year we are anticipating a BIG turnout. In order to accommodate all who plan to attend we need you to fill out the RSVP posted below. Lifetouch will be sponsoring lunch so we need an accurate count. The RSVP will be printed so we can check off those who are attending for lunch.

WE NEED YOUR RSVP, ASAP!!! Please respond by THIS Friday October 28th!
Once we know how many will be attending we will be able to select a venue for the meeting. More information to come next week!

MAESP SW Sub D October Meeting

Hello SW Sub D Elementary Principals! Hopefully your year is off to a great start! We need to get together to share ideas and solve all the problems of the world.

Last year we scheduled a couple of meetings. One meeting had to be canceled due to weather and I don't think I ever rescheduled. I don't want that to happen again so I am reading to get started planning some of our meetings.

2011-2012 Kick Off Meeting!

When: Monday October 10th 1:00PM (You can still fit in lunch doodie:)
Where: Ebbit's Field S. Glenstone
Time: 1:00 - 2:30 or 3:00ish
Topic: Choose a candidate for SW Distinguished Principal, Membership ideas, Round table discussion regarding any issues you need help with, Schedule meetings for remainder of year and topics

Please fill out the form below so I know how many to include in our reservation at Ebbit's Field.
Looking forward to seeing all of you!
Melinda

Memorializing a Facebook Page

Did you know that you could memorialize a loved ones Facebook page after they pass away? Unfortunately I had to learn about this 2 weeks ago when my little brother Keith Allen was killed in a motorcycle accident at the young age of 34. It is a sad and tragic story but his life can live on SAFELY through Facebook.

Below is a link to an article about how to request that a Facebook page be memorialized. Before you do this you need to be aware of a couple things that I didn't realize until AFTER the page was put in memorial status.
How to memorialize a Facebook page

  • If you have your loved ones login information you may not need to memorialize the page. If you can login and make changes then you can change/privatize any information you need to.
  • If you are not able to login to the page Facebook will not supply you with the login information even if you are immediate family. (I am actually okay with this right now. I might change my mind in the future.)
  • The person will no longer show up in your "friends" list.
  • You will not be able to "tag" photos. (This is good and bad as we still have friends who have photos they would like to share with us. I asked that they "tag" my mom and dad's pages.
  • Only confirmed friends will be able to search for Keith and find his page.
  • All his "information" and friends list has been deleted from his information page.
  • I did post on his page that I was going to be doing this but I should have posted it in advance of doing it so everyone was prepared. It was a little fast.
  • I sent a link to a newspaper article that confirmed his death. I am also certain that when they viewed his page and saw all the  memorials they new he had passed away.
I recommended that you do this within a month or two of your loved ones death but not right away. You might contact me through this blog before doing this so I can share my experience with you.

Back to School Teacher Packet 2011

Below is the copy of the back to school teacher packet I sent this year. Feel free to duplicate as needed!!!

Teacher Back to School 2011

Student "Check In, Check Out" System - for Behavior

Raise your hand if you have one (or two, or five, or 10) of those students who need just a little extra adult attention feedback? This is what we tried at the end of this year and it was AMAZING!

"Check In/Check Out" is an idea we borrowed from Esther Elementary in Lebanon, MO. The idea is that some students benefit from starting and ending their day with a special adult to set goals and receive feedback.

Here is how this worked with a student that I worked with. (It seemed to work best when the child was paired with a staff memeber he/she had a strong relationship with.)

Morning time: (Whatever time works best for you.) Student meets with his/her adult and plans for a successful day using the daily behavior chart. (You might consider something more simple that what you see in the next picture. This is too much and we are tweaking.)
This is completely customizeable as well. But hopefully you get the picture.

The "Triage Questions" were the key. What conversation do you need to have with your student in the morning? The questions can be whatever behaviors you are working on with your assigned student. These were compatible to my student.

Points vs. Percentage: We ended up just doing % because the points were obnoxious as you can see. We will change this part of our form to equal only % I think. So this student's goal was 90% per day and he met it most of the time as you will see in the next picture. We really had to talk through the days he didn't meet is goal. It took him a few times to realize it was okay and that the next day was a new day.

Consistency: We have a bazillion different behavior charts floating around our building. This is GREAT for the teachers but when a team comes together for intervention on a student it takes 15 min. to interpret and understand the behavior charts. We would like ONE consistent chart and this was our first try.
End of the Day: My student looked forward to this part of the day! He calculated his own percent using the BIG calculator on my iPad. After he met his goal for so many days we would spin the "prize wheel." We kept track of the prizes he won at the top of the day he spun. (Hard to see on the chart.) If he spun the same thing twice, he could keep that item or spin again. His choice.

We will make some changes in our system for next year but this is a system that is worth keeping!

Worth knowing: This student really needed a positive adult relationship. ALL the adults in his life had failed him up to this point and he needed some consistency. He was a 2nd grader. He and I had built a pretty good relationship in a short time and he got over the fact that I was the Principal too. He had to come to my office to cool down a few times but he recovered and went about his day.

Me So Forty....and Getting Healthy

Some of you are handling your milestone birthday a bit better than I am. So I thought would share all the Apps, gadgets, crazy things I am doing to deal with this once in a lifetime event.......



Getting in shape!
It appears that my HS friends and some online friends are running marathons and/or doing triathlons. I think I will just stick to getting healthy and back into decent shape first.

Tried RunKeeper. Couldn't get it set up the way I want and not very motivating when the "voice" repeats "zero distance" and a "10 hr pace." While I work on getting that set up correctly I am revisiting Couch-to-5K.


iTunes Playlist: Working on my playlist for working out. Got the timing of the songs down but now have to work on the order of songs.


Eating Healthy:
Re-stalled "Lose-it" to log what I eat. So far so good but I need to find a "friend" to hold me accountable. I stress eat and consume way too much Starbucks. Trying to make adjustments so I don't have to give up Starbucks.

Menu Planner give me the option to plan my meals. This has come in handy in the past but having a visible menu posted on the fridge works better for us. Going to go back to this. Lose-it might have a menu options that I will have to look into also.

Movivation:
My 40th birthday would have to be the ultimate motivation. In order to make a little bit more fun I am using iRewardChart do keep track of work-out days and Wheel of Friends to spin for my treat for working so hard:) Ah, you laugh but isn't that what we do for kids:):):) (Tune in for a post on how to use "Wheel of Friends" at school.)

Accountability:
Let's try 4-Square for accountability:)

Schools In Need: Joplin, MO and Minot, ND

Imagine the school, classroom, home you live or work in be completely obliterated by a tornado. If you can't image that try to vision your school completely submerged in river water. Below are links to both schools and information how you can help.



Joplin Schools - Bright Futures
Joplin Schools on Facebook

Minot Schools

Oh....And this too.

The Write Tools
My summer reading list is a long as everyone else's. This was added to my reading list after having lunch with @dlegore a couple weeks ago. She attended the 90/90/90 conference in St. Louis and this was promoted by the Leadership and Learning Center.

Last year we focused a lot on writing as a school and as a district. My teachers began collaborative scoring for the first time and found success. Writing is hard and TEACHING writing is even harder. How many of us are comfortable with our own writing skills? I try to keep up this blog but I am still insecure about my own writing skills. This blog is meant to be helpful to other principals and if I can do that....my writing is successful.
You should try it:)


Oh and here is what is on my Kindle: (The books say "new" because I upgraded to the iPad 2 and had to reload my Kindle books.)

Surprising! Leading My Staff in the Summer

You would think that as social networking, blogging, twittering savvy as I think I am that I would have used my staff blog for more PD in the past? Nope. Just posted info and directives until this summer........

Secret Info: I have a blog that is specific to my teachers that I do not publicize. Some of you might have found it or I shared it with you because you requested it. Otherwise it is the blog that replaced my "paper memos" and sometimes email.

The usual information:


This is it! The final count down! Hopefully I won’t forget too many things but here is a start……
East Staff Celebration – Friday after the district-wide picnic we will meet back at East at 3:00 for a brief end of the year “get together.” Originally I was going to announce Teacher of the Year and Staff member of the year tonight after school but I will do that briefly when we pass the Schmop tonight. I also want to recognize these people at Tiger Pride so I thought we should announce it among ourselves first.
District Picnic – Friday after the students leave please make your way over to the HS for the annual picnic. We will lock the doors from 1:00 until after the picnic.
Tutoring hours to Nikki - This is just a reminder to turn in any tutoring hours before or after school to Nikki. We can count these hours towards our attendance and get monetary credit for them.
Inventory – Please include your iPad on your inventory. Under cost I would put $600
Cleaning your room for summer – Remember that we are having summer school. ANYTHING that you do not want used, lost, or broken is to be taken home. I would recommend that you use bulletin board paper to cover things you do not want used. You might also consider boxing things up and taping them. The teachers will be sitting at your desk so you may want to clean out your desk drawers as well. Make sure all plants and food items go home with you. Any food or candy you have stashed needs to taken home or eaten:)
Exit Conferences vs. Check out forms -
  • Exit conference
  •  = a conversation between us about how the year went and a look at next year. If you change your time after tomorrow morning you will need to tell me because I will make a copy of the schedule at 7:45. Betty will call you if you forget your time.
  • Check out forms
  •  – Before you can turn in your check out form Betty, Nikki, or I will need to go over you list to make sure everything is turned in. Make sure you go over that list thoroughly this week.
PTO Meeting - You are invited to tomorrow night’s PTO meeting! If you have not been to a PTO meeting I think it would give you an excellent perspective from the parent point of view for WE. You can also log this on your end of the year hours. At this time we will not have a teacher representative at this meeting. It is very important the you have a voice and you can also hear/see where the parents are coming from.
Last Day to work in the building = Tuesday May 31st! We will start preparing for Summer School on Wednesday. If you are teaching summer school you have an indefinite amount of work time until the end of June:):):)
That’s all folks! For now!
New and improved summer learning information:


What are your plans for the First Days of School? How do you establish routines? Do you explain your expectations clearly?
To find the answers to these questions you might consider digging out your copy or find a copy ofHarry Wong’s book The First Days of School. (We have some copies at school and I believe I have/had a copy in my office.) You might not even need a copy if you refer to this website. I came across a link to the “Implementation Guide” for Wong’s book and it is a great resources.
Since we will be focusing a lot of our attention on consistent expectations, routines, and procedures you might find this resource very helpful.
Extra Link: Random Daily 5 websiteI also came across this link to a Daily 5 website with pictures and everything. I am finding that I love websites with pictures because it is easier to understand what the teacher is explaining.
Let me know what you think!

No More Boring Meetings!

In an effort to improve the format of my "meetings" in general I ordered Kagan's Cooperative Meetings gigantic manual. Then I scanned it to pdf, emailed it to myself and uploaded it to GoodReaders on my ipad! Like I am going to carry around a 10 lb. binder all summer? Um....No.

You know all that required info we have to share our staff that is the sit-n-get kind? Not any more! Well I hope not:) I will use my handbook/faculty meeting cliff notes as my "content" and deliver it with Kagan structures. Then have my teachers process how they can use these structures in the classroom!

Wanna try it with me? Of course I have grandiose ideas and hope they turn out. Consider this modeling risk-taking disguised as instructional strategies or visa versa:)

Disclaimer: I am not blazing the trails of another initiative in my building. Lord knows we have enough of those. But I am hoping they can take some of the structures back to use in their classrooms to increase student engagement.

Podcasting with iPadio

This weekend I will be doing a presentation on podcasting with another Missouri principal. Dr. Tim Gallaghar is a Middle school principal from Fort Osage, MO and regularly podcasts with his students. Scott Elias and I used to podcast at Practical Principals and hope to return to podcasting when he completes is doctorate degree and our lives slow down again. In other words..........a long time from now:)

iPadio was introduced to me at FETC. Once you set up your iPadio channel you can simply phone-in a podcast. You are given phone number and password and you simply make the call.


Faculty Feud for Project Graduation

Last night our Faculty took on our rival school faculty in a volleyball game and basketball game. Three teachers from my building played on the volleyball team so we thought it would be fun to go "cheer/jeer" at them:) Republic and Willard Project Graduation split the proceeds and it was a great time. Willard won 2 out of 3 for the volleyball title but my family didn't stay long enough too see who won the basketball game.

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Using Twitter for Customer Service

Twitter is useful for a lot of reasons and one reason could be customer service. I try not to "call businesses out" on Twitter because I don't want one experience to blow it for a company. So many things go "viral" that you could destroy someone or something by posting something online. Having said all of that....I did resort to twitter to get the attention of one company.

At FETC I signed up for a Square Reader to try out with our PTO. If we could accept credit cards for PTO fundraisers etc. we might be able to increase our fundraising. So I signed up on Feb. 1st and expected my reader within the week. Well, bring on "Snowmaggedon 2011." I assumed it didn't come because of the weather so I gave them the benefit of doubt. It's been 3 weeks.

The Square website was loading very slowing at school and that could have been a school issue and not a Square issue. After waiting 10 min to try to figure out how to contact them I resorted to twitter.


Well they got right back to me! I expect to receive my reader next week and I'll let you know when it comes.


The email was very nice and apologetic. Some of your experiences might not match this one. Twitter has a been used to bash service but in this instance it was the only way I could contact them based on the speed of my internet connection.

Before our PTO can use Square we have to find the answers to a couple of questions:
1. Is the credit card information stored on the iPod Touch we will use? If not where is it stored?
2. How much of each transaction do we actually pocket?

I wonder if Square will read this blog post?:):):)

Schmoker Focus Book Study and Online Discussion

ASCD book of the month is Focus: Elevating the Essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning.
I wish I could remember where I first heard mention of this book but after reading Results Now by Schmoker I knew any book by this author would make sense with me. Then David Jakes mentioned it in his Educon conversation and I knew it would be good. (I find myself agreeing with David Jakes often even if my tweets and blogs do not reflect that.

After reading the first 2 chapters today this is definitely the right book at the right time, at least for me.
I started a google doc to get my thoughts on paper and I am sharing that with you. Just remember that these are my own random thoughts that I want to be able to come back to and might not make any sense to you. It is a public document so you are welcome to add your thoughts. If I have time I will make look a little more organized. Or maybe not:)

A group of us will also be discussing this on twitter on the next three Wednesday evenings. We will use the hashtag #ascdfocus and you can sign up here. Hmmmmm? How will this affect my leadership? Will I be able to be transparent on twitter?

Image Credit

Parenting 2.0 FETC Presentation by Rita Oates

This presentation has some really good links and statistics to share with your PTO and/or parent community. (What tags do you recommend for this post? I will go back in and add them if you can recommend some.)

Parenting 2.0: How to Help Parents with Digital Issues and Fears (from FETC 2011)

iRover Interactive White Board "Station"

Putting interactive white boards in all "core" classrooms in the district was our superintendent's goal about 4 years ago. Regardless of your personal opinions on that topic that goal has been reached. During this process we visited a district that had a reputation of being on the cutting edge creating IWB lessons. My teachers traveled to this school for a full day of workshops. It was disappointing to find that all the lessons were created in PowerPoint and were basically retyped versions of the textbook projected onto the white board. I remember walking out of session with one my teachers and saying to her, "Please don't ever do that to our students."

Now that most of my teachers have spent at least one year getting used to the IWB's (Yes, they all have one.), my hope is that there is more student interaction and ownership of this learning device. One horror story I heard at FETC is that IWBs in some classrooms are covered up with bulletin boards.
Then I saw the iRover at FETC. Would this be the answer?


I still think it depends on the teacher but this is a really good concept. The iRover is only the furniture, or cart, and we would use IWB and projectors that we already have. At first I wanted to buy one for everyone right there on the spot. Even my instructional specialist saw the potential.

All of my teachers have writing centers that hold chart paper. This cart holds the IWB. It is important to have teacher/student created writing posted around the room. One concern I have would be if all writing were done and saved on the IWB and not displayed around the room. It is important to have a print rich environment.

In our primary classrooms our SMART boards are placed at a level the students can reach and interact with. So I ask myself this, if the boards are already at a level the students can reach and the students are not using them, is putting them on a different piece of furniture going make a difference?

If you are a principal, how have you implemented interactive white boards in your school? How do you monitor how they are being used?

Day One FETC - Florida Education Technology Conference

My district sent 7 staff members to FETC this year. Since PD funds are going to be cut tremendously over the next couple of years this could be our last big conference for a while. I am thrilled to be here due to a FREE plane ticket earned from last year's attendance at #colearning when my flight was canceled. Turns out, due to weather, I might be stranded here as well:) "Snowmagedon 2011" is hitting the Midwest as I type this post.
Advice for newbies: Last week I tweeted out a question for advice for newbies. Here is the advice I received:

  • Wear comfortable shoes (Tennis shoes don't exactly go with my outfit but I am in comfortable shoes:)
  • Do not miss the Shoot-out at 11:00.
  • Be sure to sign up for all the prizes.
I think that I can do all of the above!
How I prepared for FETC:
  • Scoured the website for a few hours this weekend. 
  • Added FETC website as a bookmark on my iPad.
  • Did a google search on he keynote speakers to help decide which sessions to attend.
  • Had a crash course in Edmodo. Edmodo will be the "back channeling" resource sharing site for the conference. Each session has a group number you join in edmodo for resources and discussion.
Now I am off to find the Shoot-out! You can follow me on twitter at @mmiller7571. I have found that things go really fast at conferences and I may not be the best "tweeter."
Tune in form more later.

And BTW this is #1 for @fliegs blogger challenge:)

The Post is Within the Picture - Creativity???

You have to read the text inside this picture to understand. Still experimenting with uses for iPad in the classroom. This is probably not a quality use since it's just an electronic worksheet but my 5 yr. old loves this:)




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Top 100 Administrator Blogs

Below is a link to an awesome list of administrator blogs. If only more admin were blogging. I shared the link with my district admin team and hopefully they will read some of them, some of the time:) There are some great ideas among these blogs that you can implement in your own school. What an amazing collection of forward thinkers who want to share with us!

This blog was put together to share ideas with the administrators across the US and eventually the world so that we could learn together. Our work in the Principal's office can be lonely at times. We don't have another principal across the hall that we can run to for advice or ideas. It is nice to see other admin willing to share and help each other out.

Click her for the entire list

Montessori Crosswords App Review

Back in November I started using iPods and my iPad with some of the students in my school. I was not convinced that these devices were more than just mere toys/games. However I found that they were valuable when it came to the "word work" part of our new Daily 5 routine. When the kids were released to work on words they were working with magnetic letters, wiki sticks, dry erase markers and white boards, etc. There are plenty of apps in the iTunes store regarding working on words. Some are okay but I wasn't finding anything that was working on letters sounds.

Montessori Crosswords has the letter sounds. Instead of saying the name of the letter when you touch a letter it was making the sound. This was a huge find for me! My 5 year old knows her letters but we have begun working on sounds and the other apps didn't have the sounds in isolation. I have the Magnetic ABCs and really love it but it only says the letter name. Even thought this has a section where you can build words that are pre-created this app also has the magnetic letter feature that you can build your own words by the sounds of the letters.

I am still leaning towards iPads for K-2 because of the size of the screen for their little fingers and not quite perfect fine motor skills.

Teacher PD = Brain Gym

Yesterday was a teacher workday in my district. In the morning teachers meet with their Cadres (Math, Literacy, or School Succss). In the afternoon we had an in house expert present to us on Brain Gym movements.
Mrs. Houghtaling teaches 1st grade at Willard Central Elementary and has been using Brain Gym in her classroom for the past 7 years. At the end of her workshop our staff decided to at least start with the "hook up" this week. You will see a picture in the Smilebox below. Enjoy!

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Sub D MAESP Meeting Jan. 20th

Hello Principals!!!


I hope your year is off to a great start! Some of you may have had some extra time off with this crazy weather. Here is the information about our meeting next week:


Who: MAESP Sub D - BRING A FRIEND!!!


When: Thursday Jan. 20th 1:00PM - 3:00PM


Where: Ebbet's Field on South Glenstone (Used to be Rivals next to the old Circuit City.)


Topics: Grade Cards & Lesson plans - Please bring a copy of your grade cards for each grade level in your building. Or you can email me copies and I will upload so you don't have to make so many copies. We will also discuss lesson plan expectations. What do you expect for teachers when it comes to lesson plans?



Please use the form below to let me know how many to include in our reservations:





Leadership Team-Builder - Story Cube App

For me, team-building is a way to get to know my staff better and make the transition, from a busy day, to our meetings. I try to do team-building activities as often as I can but sometimes you just have to get the point of a meeting an get started. This week I chose to do an activity.
At my building Leadership Team meeting this week I used the iPhone app Story Cube for our team-builder. It is a "dice" app that has dice with pictures on them and you can use the pictures as story starters, or how I used it for this activity. This is how it worked.........

  • Turn your iPhone on "airplane mode" (You wouldn't want to get a text message right in the middle of someone else's turn.)
  • Each person takes a turn shaking the iPhone to roll the dice
  • There are 9 dice but for the sake of time we only picked two, after we rolled.
  • Each teacher had to relate one picture to a personal topic and one picture to a professional topic. (We only did 2 for the sake of time.)
  • You have to tell what picture is on the dice(because we were using my iphone and the other teachers couldn't see it) and whether it is personal or professional then tell your story.
  • Then pass to the next person.
I chose the picture of the magic wand(not pictured on the screen to the right but there is a wand on one of the dice) for personal wishing that I could wave a magic wand over my 2 children so they would sleep through the night. 
I chose the picture of the tree(also not pictured) to tell the group about the new trees planted by PTO over Christmas break

How did I come up with this? Tony Vincent shared the app via twitter then I just came up with activity on my own. At least I think I made it up:) I sometimes do better on the fly so to speak.

One of my teachers used the idea for her grad class last night and I learned something valuable about another staff member that I need to remember.

Try it and tell me what you think!

District Literacy Team

This afternoon we spent 3 hrs. Learning and discussing writing conferences. I hope to be able to go back and do some conferences with some students and document to help the teachers out. It was good stuff!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Principal Back to School To-do list....

Writing this post was on my to-do list for Monday that I obviously didn't get done until today:) Seriously, why did I even make a Monday to-do list? Anyway, here is what was on my list for Monday and/or this week after being off work for  2 weeks of holiday break:


  • Write my to-do list in this blog to help other principals in need
  • Update school Facebook page
  • Update school website
  • Send weekly update email to parents through SISK12
  • Send teacher memo
  • Check/update 2nd semester staff and school google calendar
  • Board Report due Friday - still working on that
  • 1st discipline report due in board report
  • Write thank you not for parent that planted like 8 trees over the holiday break
  • Finalize Instructional Excellence logs for Central Office
  • Call parent who is going to install hand sanitizers
  • Make chart for 2nd qtr./semester reading scores
  • Assign readers for the rest of the chapters of our school-wide book club
  • Contact MAESP committee for new principal recognition at the state conference
  • Plan "Costumes for Community Service" day for Jan. 7th
  • Finalize hotel and arrangements for visit to school to observe RTI strategies
  • Survey 3rd and 4th graders for input on our monthly recognition assembly
So you get the point?! There is lots to do. This doesn't even include getting into classrooms which I usually schedule or have an idea of where I am going to visit each day. Geesh! 

So what else did I leave out? What was on your to-do list for back-to-school after break?