Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Author Visit & Free Books!

The coolest thing happened at my school this week; we had 2 different authors come and visit us!  My awesome reading specialist found out about this great organization called, An Open Book.  They are an organization committed to bringing books to disadvantaged children and teens in the Washington, DC area.  Through the organization our school was able to have 2 authors visit with 3 different grades.

Uma Krishnaswami is one of authors who came to our school, and she was great!  She read her book, Out of the Way! Out of the Way!, to the whole 1st grade.  The story is a sweet tale about a tree growing up amidst a very busy and growing village.  I can see using this as a mentor text for a few different topics like change over time or natural made vs. man made features.  

After she read to us, she worked with them to create a whole group list poem.  The kids loved the book and had so much fun creating the poem with her!

The best part for my students was finding out that they were going receive a free copy of the book, and that the author was going to sign it for them!  They were so excited and just couldn't believe that they were getting their own book to take home and keep!  It was so cute!

After one of my cutie pies got her book signed, she went right over and put it safely in her desk.   Then she went back to sit on the carpet to listen to another one of Umi Krishnaswami's books being read aloud.  After a few minutes she quietly got up and went back to her desk to retrieve the book, as she walked pasted me she leaned over and whispered, "I just want to hold onto my book, is that ok?"

What a wonderful experience for my students!  I think this organization is just great and would encourage you to go and check them out!

I wasn't involved in coordinating the event, but I was told that it was pretty easy to set up and the whole experience was just so meaningful!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Happy Teacher Appreciation!

Happy Teacher Appreciate week to all of you wonderful teachers out there!

I thought I would take a minute to write about a few outstanding teachers that I have had the privilege of knowing or working with.

Mrs. O'Leary is an amazing teacher and good friend.  I feel pretty lucky to have been placed on her team before she retired from her over 30 year teaching career.  Mrs. O'Leary is the kind of teacher that we all wish we had ourselves or would want for our own children.  She has a gentle nature a warm smile and a huge heart and tons of creativity.  Now, don't let those sweet qualities fool you, she is spunky, dedicated and has the absolute highest standards for her students and their parents.  She opens her heart to her students and creates bonds with them that seem to last and last over the years.  Her wealth of knowledge of teaching is an endless and she is the kind of teacher who loves to help other teachers.  I learned so much from working along side her, it was like having a second internship and I am grateful for all her support.

Mrs. Riley is another amazing teacher that I have had the privilege of working with.  I  was actually on her team when I served as a long term sub for one of her team mates and year later, I was her long term sub while she had knee surgery, so I was able to work with her and then be her for a short time.  :)  Mrs. Riley is the kind of teacher that captures everyone in the room, she has an energy about her that is contagious.  She gets to know each one of her students and lets them know just how important they each are.  I work in the same school where my own children went so I am also fortunate to be able to say that Mrs. Riley was my daughters reading teacher.  My daughter was always coming home with stories about the awesome things that Mrs. Riley was doing in class; from dressing up as a character from a story to talking in silly voices to get everyone's attention.  Mrs. Riley is retired now but I keep a picture of her in my classroom to remind myself of the kind of educator that I want to be like!

Last but certainly not least is my dear friend, Mrs. Row!  Mrs. Row and I go way back because we met when our now 18 year old sons started kindergarten together.  Not only is she a great teacher, she is probably the reason why I am a teacher today.  Before teaching I worked for a small company as their office manager and computer trainer and when the company went out of business and I was jobless, Mrs. Row said, "why don't you sign up to be a sub?"  Well, she had to talk me into it but as soon as I started subbing it was like a lightbulb had gone off in my head and I just knew that I wanted to become a teacher.  So, Mrs. Row started me on my journey that led me to eventually get my teaching degree.  Now, back to Mrs. Row and her amazing teaching.  Both of my children had Mrs. Row as their teacher and my son actually had her in 3rd grade and then again in 5th grade.  In addition to being able to see her teaching from a parent's perspective, I am fortunate enough to work in the same school with her so I  get to see her teaching and leading from a professional perspective as well.  Mrs. Row is always thinking of new ways to reach her students just where they need to be met and pushes them as far as they can go.  Like the ladies above, Mrs. Row also has this amazing way of connecting with her students and their families.  When you are the parent you feel so blessed to have her in your child's corner and when you are a co-worker you feel inspired to try a little harder yourself.

My hat is off to all of the amazing teachers out there who are tirelessly working to change little lives everyday!

Teachers Pay Teachers is having a huge sale to help celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week!  The sale starts on Tuesday,  hop over the TPT and check it out, don't forget to use the promo code TPTXO!