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:)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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:


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?