My Moment – Day 34 – Movie Night

If you have not gotten a chance to read my blog about my #oneword for 2016, check out Enjoy the Moment.

As I mentioned in my blog, my #oneword is a call to action for me to be mindful of the moments that make up my day. The moments at home, the moments at work and the moments that happen in between.

I have to take a moment and make a shameless plug for the #NoOfficeDay. I was able to complete another #NoOfficeDay today, spending my entire day with the students and teachers in 1st grade. I strongly encourage you to check out the tweets today from @SiglerStars to check out my experience. While you are there, be sure to follow our @SiglerStars1st grade Twitter account. The students and teachers are looking to connect, share and learn from other connected classrooms and educators. As great of a day as today was, my moment actually happened after school. In fact, it is happening right now. Yesterday, I posted a moment that was a “celebrating parents” and as I currently sit in the front entry way of Sigler Elementary (yes, its 7:30PM), I can look up and see four empowered parents manning a concession stand for the students and families here for our Sigler Movie Night. Do you host movie nights at your campus? 

Three to four times a year, we open up our Sigler Gym and invite families to bring chairs, blankets & pillows to enjoy a night at the movies, right here at Sigler Elementary. Families come out, together (students cannot come alone) and simply enjoy being together as a family…at school. 

Movies can be expensive for a family of four. I know when I take my family, we can easily spend of $50. Why not give families the opportunity to grab dinner (bring it, to movie night), purchase a soda, popcorn or candy bar for a fraction of the price and enjoy a movie together, for free? Sounds like a no brainer…right? 

As this is my 34th moment, you can probably tell by now, I value relationships. I value culture. I value the community understanding their elementary school belongs to them. I believe it is our responsibility to provide opportunities for our school community to come together as a family for both academic and non-academic events. I want our parents to be comfortable enough being on campus, to simply come. If they are comfortable coming to campus for movie night, they will be more inclined to come for other events scheduled throughout the school year. 

As we know students will not truly embrace learning until they feel safe within their environments. Don’t you think the same is to be said about parents feeling safe within the same environment? 

What was your moment today? 

My Moment – Day 10 #NoOfficeDay

If you have not gotten a chance to read my blog about my #oneword for 2016, check out Enjoy the Moment. 

As I mentioned in my blog, my #oneword is a call to action for me to be mindful of the moments that make up my day. The moments at home, the moments at work and the moments that happen in between.

Over the summer months I fill up my Friday’s, scheduling #NoOfficeDays with each of my grade levels and departments. I have been looking forward to this Friday for a while. Today I was able to spend the day with our 2nd grade teachers and students enjoying a #NoOfficeDay.  

If you want to see all the images from my #NoOfficeDay, check out the hashtags #siglerlearns & #NoOfficeDay. You can also check out the tweets from @SiglerStars

Starting at 8:00AM, my day was full of #moments, right up until 2:45PM when students were dismissed to go home. We created alliterations, found clues authors share in their writing to help draw conclusions, studied chemical engineering (yes, in 2nd grade), played basketball, football and hockey and enjoyed lunch together in the cafeteria. I get worn out all over again just thinking about it. Teachers have a great gig! Teachers have a hard gig!

(If you are an administrator, spend a full day walking in the shoes of your teachers. If you are a teacher, encourage your administrator to spend a day walking in your shoes. It renews my appreciation for what teachers do each time.)

There are three #moments or what Steven Weber (@curriculumblog) would refer to as “tweetable moments” that I want to highlight below.

It was the first classroom I walked into today. Students were researching historic landmarks, finishing up a social studies unit they had been working on. Working together in collaborative groups, students located information on the web to draft a short commercial for the landmark they had researched. Students used a search engine you may be familiar with, but I was not. Have you heard of Google Junior? If you have, why didn’t you share with me? If you haven’t, be sure to check it out. In order for students to demonstrate their learning, they recorded themselves using the app “Do Ink” with a homemade green screen, that worked beautifully. So impressed! Students were standing right in front of their landmarks, sharing information that would lead us all to want to visit the historic sites.

My second “tweetable moment” (in all honesty, I tweeted them all, but I am just highlighting a few) was the math class I walked into where students were working on stations/centers. In a typical classroom during station time, you would see students at the teacher table, students working independently on some type of worksheet and then just a handful of students using technology. Not the case in this classroom. This teacher has worked hard to collect enough devices, to support “paperless stations”. Students in this classroom have come to understand they can learn using laptops and wireless devices. Today, they were able to demonstrate their understanding of money using a variety of apps and online tools. While students in grades 3rd-5th have Think Through Math in Texas as a resource, this teacher has found something similar for her students… Splashmath. Well done. Total engagement and learning for all students.

Then, possibly the most impressive #moment ever, occured in art class and I am not talking about anything I drew, painted or designed. The art teacher was supporting students in a lesson that embraced the Chinese New Year. As the activity progressed, students were looking at a variety of Chinese symbols that represented different English words. The teacher just happened to ask if the students knew anyone who spoke Chinese. All of a sudden, this happened…

WHAT? You speak Chinese? She is not fluent, but she knows enough to ask for an apple. You think I was impressed? You should have seen the faces of the students that were in the art studio with me. Who knew! It just goes to show us all what students are capable of if we give them the opportunity. 
It was a day full of amazing #moments and I take my hat off to all of our 2nd grade teachers. 
What was your #moment today?