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.