Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Thinking Ahead

Now that summer is in full swing (and even the weather is cooperating with 84 degrees in the PNW) both Celina and I are reflecting and thinking over where we go from here.  We are mulling over the possibilities for next year.  What worked?  What do we want more of?  What did we learn?  Where do we want to go and grow?  It is probably typical that just a chat about something mundane (the schedule) has us talking for an hour about what we want to see more of in our classroom next year.  So, a top five of our ideas, so far. . .

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Infused Teaching

It is funny to think that the school year just barely ended, yet I feel that new learning and past experiences are beginning to fuse together as I am to a simmering stage already.  I honestly did not expect to be in this place until the beginning of August, but here I am:  ready and willing. 

As I approached our week learning how to infuse art into our daily teaching and learning, I was giddy about the prospect of new information.  Now I am giddy about the connections that are occuring.  Ann and I had a big AH-HA moment yesterday, during our training, when we were in a session that was covering a variety of teaching models:

Discipline-Based Teaching = Subjects/classroom disciplines are taught separately
Thematic Integration = Two or more subjects using the same theme at the same time
Multi-Disciplinary = Two or more subjects joined together for relative concepts
Infused Teaching = A concept shared by multiple disciplines, with the concept meaning also being shared

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Yep, that's me... giddy about the upcoming Professional Development opportunity ahead of me this week.  And let's be honest, Ann is too.... I know this because we have shared a few giddy texts back and forth today.  And actually she is probably more gaga than giddy, because this week we are attending an Art Impact Institute :  5 full days of hands-on, interactive training. Yahoo!!

In the beginning I said no to participating in the opportunity, as it is a 2-year commitment (in conjunction to a grant) and I had planned on other commitments this summer.  However, as we were in desperate need of another person to attend (along with Ann dangling the carrot, because she has been syked for MONTHS), I agreed with excitement.  As the week approached and I had many days to rest and rejuvenate, I began to feel the excitement grow.  Then reading the schedule last week sent me over the moon!   I felt like Krissy Venosdale as she was counting down the days to Space Camp... Thinking about spending a week deeply engrossed in your passion is an incredible feeling. 

Ann and I (along with many other remarkable educators, trainers, and experts) get to participate in over 40 hours of Art, Theatre, and Dance.  Yep!  WE get to learn, dance, create, collaborate and perform!  It is so thrilling to prepare for a learning experience that is not a "sit-and-get".  Ooohhhh the possibilities!

So it leaves me thinking as I approach my week of learning... Do our students get giddy about coming to school and go gaga over the possibilities of what they are about to learn?  And how do we ensure that they do/are? 

Hmmmmm.... More to come, I'm sure of it, as Ann and I reflect together throughout the week.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

In Retrospect: Our Top 10 Essentials

As we requested our students to provide their feedback regarding the school year and highlight the elements that were most important to them, Ann and I also did the same.  As we compared our list to the students’ Top 10, we were honestly not amazed that many concepts overlapped.  Our year was full of learning and inspiration, and the 52 of us truly built this experience together. 

In creating our list, we included all of the things that we desire to carry forward into the next school year as essential aspects of our classroom.  We do teach in a unique situation, as team teachers in a large classroom with 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders together.  However, we view these 10 as fundamental within any learning environment.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Ten Favorites to Celebrate

Image found by BING images HERE                          
The end of the school year brings cheers, smiles, hugs, tears, and laughter in abundance.  It is a time to honor the memories of shared experiences; our classroom community moments built from a strong foundation and trusting relationships. 

Together, Ann and I made a big shift in our practice last summer after we accepted the positions of Multiage Teachers.  With our students we took off on the learning journey, promising one another to WORK HARD each and every day.  We were COURAGEOUS as we approached bumps in the road and supported one another in the face of challenges.  Throughout the year we consistently encouraged each other, taking every opportunity possible to CELEBRATE GROWTH.   And what a year the 52 of us had with this motto guiding our daily learning!!

Sunday, June 17, 2012


The summer break is finally here and I am easing my way into relaxing.  Oh who are we kidding, I leaped into it with a marathon nap today!  It was the perfect delicious freedom that makes summer special.  Plus it is the ideal backdrop for the percolating that is coming from reflecting on my past teaching year.  My brain works a lot better when rested, and I am finding this renewed energy is leading me in many different areas, most particularly deep into books.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Reflective Again

Keyboard typing Pictures, Images and Photos
Image found at Photobucket
Ann and I began our blog in November of 2011 as a way to be reflective about our practice and document our experiences as Multiage Teachers.  Within the first 2 months of the school year we were quickly inspired by the wisdom of our 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders as we embarked on our learning journey together.  They were thoughtful in their day to day work as we empowered them within our learning community.  As their insight unfolded we soon recognized how many incredible moments were passing us by undocumented, and thus Work Hard, Be Courageous, Celebrate Growth was born.