Monday, August 15, 2016

The Disney World of Schools

As I begin my 45th year of teaching, I recognize how blessed I am to be at an amazing new school, Central Elementary.  It's so brand new the workers are still completing it.  For the first day we had classrooms, restrooms, and a cafeteria that were functional, so we were good to go.  


In my career I have opened three new buildings.  This is by far the most amazing of any school I have experienced.  I want to give you a tour of the building. Because there is still machinery completing the front of the building, I'll wait to post a picture of it.

The sun shines above the office area.
The street entrance is to the left
side of the picture.

This is the view across the front lobby
to the back entrance.  Above you can
see the window looking down from the
second floor.  See our cloud-shaped lights?
This is the beautiful color scheme of the building.

Life principles are scattered throughout the building.
A colorful bulletin board is by each
life principle.

This view is looking down the hall toward the K
and PreK room.  Note how the trim near the
ceiling glows.

This is the entryway to the Commons.  The
students can slip in and wash their hands in
the restroom before going to lunch.  Notice the
girls' side is on the left in this one.

The boys' bathroom is on the left
side of the washing station.  Note
the little girl in tile.  The other side
has a boy, naturally.  Lights come
on automatically when  a student
walks into the stall area.

The Tree of All Seasons is in the middle of
the front lobby.  Many 1st-day-of-school
photos were taken here.  There will soon be
a wrap-around base at the base of the tree.

 The library entrance is by the word summer.
Here's a 2nd-floor view of the mosaic tile
in the front lobby.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Speak Success

I ran across this article I would encourage everyone to read. We all (parents and teachers) need to monitor what we say better so we do speak lack and failure into the children we are around - and reinforce it in our own lives.  Thanks, author Lisa Winter, for this good reminder.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Good Parenting!!

The importance of reading to children daily from (and even before) birth cannot be stressed enough.  It is the greatest influence on a child's future academic success.

I ran across these videos today. Click here  and here.  This two-year-old's reaction to the story his mom, Shara Newell, is reading is one of sheer delight.  It's obvious Mommy has given him a priceless give -- a love of reading.  Good job Shara!!

Such familiarity with the story did not take place after hearing it once or twice.  It took multiple readings with great enthusiasm every time to result in this little one's participation to this extent. 

So don't be discouraged, parents, when your little one asks for the same story the 29th time in a row.  Besides reinforcing a precious parent-child bond over the book, you are painlessly developing wonderful skills, such as increased attention span, listening skills, written/spoken word association, understanding story structure, vocabulary, listening and visual comprehension, etc., etc. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Happy Birthday to Me

Somehow I have managed to miss out on this book since it was published in 2013.  My sister remedied that by giving it to me for my birthday today.  I am delighted!!!

The vintage illustrations in this book immediately took me back to my childhood and the little collection of Golden Books my brother, sister, and I shared.  The author has selected about 75 illustrations from Little Golden Books published in the 40s-60s.  Each illustration highlights one of the life principles the author features.                                 

With a visit to my childhood through this book, I began to wonder what children’s books were published the year I was born, 1950.  Take a stroll through the bookshelves with me as I mention a few.
 Let me know if you have read some of the following oldies.

Henry Huggins - Beverly Cleary
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe - C. S. Lewis

These were published in 1950, but won their awards in 1951:
The Egg Tree - Katherine Milhous - 1951 Caldecott Winner 
If I Ran the Zoo - Dr. Seuss - 1951 Caldecott Honor
Dick Whittington and his Cat - Marcia Brown - Caldecott Honor

These won their awards in 1950, but were published in 1949:

Bartholomew and the Oobleck - Dr. Seuss - 1950 Caldecott Honor
Song of the Swallows - Leo Palitti - 1950 Caldecott Winner
Door in the Wall - Marguerite de Angeli - 1950 Newbery Winner

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Happy Birthday, Marcia Brown

On July 13, 1918, a little girl was born in Rochester, New York. She loved to read and early on decided to be an artist when she grew up.  In 1940 when she graduated with a B.A. in English and drama, she began teaching high school in Cornwall, New York.  Then in 1943 she took a position in the Central Children's Room of the New York Public Library.   

She published her first book, The Little Carousel, in 1946. Brown’s 1947 classic, Stone Soup, and her 1951 Dick Whittington and His Cat both garnered Caldecott Honor Medals.  Her childhood love of fairy tales lead to the writing of her Caldecott-winning book, Cinderella or the Little Glass Slipper, in 1954.   She won the award twice more with Once a Mouse (1961) and Shadow (1982). 

Marcia Brown wrote and/or illustrated more than 30 books over the course of her career and won a number of awards, including the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal in 1992 for her contributions to children’s literature.
Working on Woodcuts
Marcia Painting