Google+ Badge

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Field Study and Grants Administration

There's quite a bit of paperwork to complete when it comes to planning field studies. Today I'll focus in on that paperwork as we plan for a number of upcoming fifth grade events, events that take us into the field to learn about American history, rivers/wetlands, and to participate in athletic and celebratory events.

Paperwork includes payments, chaperones, processing grants, checking online payment lists, CORI checks, and more.

There's also some leg work to do to complete grants we've received. I'll have the students help me measure today so that when I order our new tables and cabinets, they will be the right size for fifth grade students.

We'll want to prep a bit for the upcoming field trips, and that prep will including looking at maps, practicing singing My Country Tis of Thee, reading the life story of Lydia Maria Child, completing river packets, and participating in an introduction to the Wild and Scenic River System as well as how to be safe and healthy when learning outdoors.

Thankfully online field trip fee collection, receiving grants, and teamwork has made these special events easier to plan and manage than in the past.

2018 Fifth Grade Play Success and More

Our gifted music teacher once again coached fifth grade students to a stellar performance during the fifth grade play. The music teacher spends the larger part of the music year teaching the students the singing and acting skills needed for this performance. She also carefully guides children in choosing play roles that interest them--there's a place for every child to shine in the play, and that's amazing when you consider that we have 76 fifth graders.

All the school students and staff filled the gym during the day to watch the play, and friends and family members filled the gym during the evening performance. It was great to hear the younger students' giggles as the fifth graders performed and it was similarly wonderful to see fifth grade students' friends and family members gleam with pride in the evening.

The play was a job well done!

Now we're heading into a couple of weeks that will heavily emphasize the multidisciplinary biography project that students are involved in. Students are writing fictional interviews with famous people throughout time as well as creating timelines, posters, and portraits. In the end they'll dress in character to portray 76 different global changemakers in a human timeline. It's a lot of work and in the end, a great history lesson for all that attend the event. Participants meander the timeline asking the students questions and viewing the students' project pieces.

When students arrive today, they'll be tired from giving the play 100% yesterday. We'll have a quiet morning of research and writing. Then in the afternoon, they'll have more time to research, write, and read in the library then work on their posters and timelines in the computer lab. On Thursday we'll return to our rotations with a focus on Symphony Math and other math tech, more research and writing, and an end-year reading assessment. Friday will be more of the same. Next week we'll add more river study to the mix and a traditional field trip to Boston's historic sites. It's a mostly hands-on, experiential, "summer camp" stage of the school year--one that requires lots of energy, and one that is lots of fun too. Onward.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Who Do You Share Your Ideas With?

I share my ideas with open minded individuals who see life as a series of actions that reach for betterment. These people do not see new ideas as criticism or evidence that I'm a know-it-all, but instead these people entertain new ideas with an open, discerning mind.

On the other hand, I don't share new ideas with defensive people who see every new idea as an arrow or bullet--these people always see ideas for betterment as critique and criticism of the present. These people don't have a growth mindset and would prefer to bury potential in order to support the status quo. When you offer people like this a new idea, you typically get a negative look and demeaning words. I typically avoid sharing new ideas with people like this.

There's limitless potential for betterment. I see opportunity for betterment everywhere I look, and I know that if we lean in that direction, we will make things better. Yet if we construct walls that block opportunity for greater collaboration, betterment, and new ideas, we will not get better and instead be relegated to living with the static status-quo.