One Sunflower

glimpse – March 29

It’s being called a “summit.”

Today, the primary teachers in my school will be leaving their classrooms to gather off-site for an afternoon to continue the discussion begun 2 years ago as we have moved towards PreK to grade 3 alignment.  “Big Ideas,” “Safety Net,” “high leverage standards,” are descriptors of the work we’ve been trying to do together.

Norms will be set for these passionate, knowledgeable and sensitive professionals and I’ve been asked to be a time-keeper, a task requiring keen watching.

I will be very tired tonight.


glimpse – March 25

It’s been a year long process and in a month it will be done.  Every class in our school is creating a banner for our back hallway that captures the essence of a children’s book and the way it portrays a “habit of mind.” I’m sort of the coordinator of this project and as such, I’m the only one really aware of all the work going on around the school.

In February, we were invited to hang our banners in the local children’s museum as part of a children’s art walk during the month of May.  The invitation adds a bit to my anxiety about the time-line but I’m really pleased and am excited to honor the request!

I’ve been so busy helping everyone with their art work that I forgot about my own class draft!  We have been focusing on the habit of mind of “responding with empathy.”  I’ve found animal books are great tools for developing this understanding in preschoolers.

We’ve read A Mama for Owen and Alborough’s wonderful books, Yes and Hug. We are using The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney as the focus of our banner. Last week, some of the students worked with their parents and families to make pictures.  Today, I decided to partner the children up to work on drafts.

I purposely mixed boys and girls, 4 year olds with 5 year olds, children who struggle with fine motor skills with those who don’t, children with great oral language with those who have less vocabulary.  It was a fantastic activity.  The partners picked up their big paper, spread it on the floor, went to get crayons independently and began talking to each other about how to execute their plans.  I encouraged them to help each other, to look at the work of other teams and to keep working until they were pleased with their drawings. I witnessed a lot of stamina in this work – isn’t that a habit of mind too?

Now I’ve got to go through the drafts and figure out our next steps.  Other classes have voted on peer art, the components and arrangement.  Maybe we will try to do the same.


one more week

Go Writers Go – through spring breaks and March Madness, writers block, report cards and test prep – they’ve been doing it day in and day out.  Slice of Life writing challenge is down to one more week.

If you know a writer, give them a high five!

And if you are a writer, writer wanna-be, writer’s mama, I salute thee!

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for your amazing sponsorship!

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