We have had absolutely amazing weather to kick off the 2013-14 school year. The first week of October (our 5th week of school) looks to be a continuation of this pleasant weather pattern….and you won’t hear complaints from the Georgetown team! This nice weather boosts everyone’s mood AND allows for outdoor recess (rather than indoor).
This incredible weather pattern allowed us to have one of the most beautiful days for our WALKATHON. It was held last week Thursday, 9-26-13. We had many parents and grandparents join us as we walked around the track. Mrs. Impens and her team created a festive and fun event for all 660 participants. If you have not yet turned in your WALKATHON donations, please do so tomorrow (Monday). We are currently at $7000…and hope to earn $8000 more so that we can watch Mr. Rob, Mr. Gort, Mr. Bowen, Mr. Bialochowski and Mr. Kooiker sumo wrestle for the international sumo wrestling championship!
Our school photographer, Malachi Hollis, captured some amazing photos of the day. These are featured in a video below.
Our week ahead is busy with fire safety lessons, Vision and Hearing screenings run byt the Ottawa County Health Department for select grades, a pizza night AND it ends with our first POPCORN DAY! I want you to know that POPCORN FRIDAYS are very popular elevating the popcorn poppers to hero status!
Our sister school, Raey Guang Elementary (Pingtung, Taiwan) will be visiting us October 29 through November 1. This will be their third visit to our school and we are thrilled to host them again.
Making the trip are 20 children (ages 8-12) and four teachers. There are twelve Georgetown families that are hosting our guests. The host family stays are the most memorable part of the visit–our Raey Guang friends never forget the kindness that is shown to them.
We have posted the photos of our visitors paired with their host students on a board in our lobby. You can also see a display in our rotunda highlighting features of the Taiwanese culture. Mr. Chen, one of the teachers, created a special blog to introduce each student.
The purpose of the trip is to expose the Taiwanese children to American culture, education, language, food and traditions. They are very excited to spend time with us during the holiday of Halloween.
Did you know that you can see the school of Raey Guang in the town of Pingtung by using Google Earth? If you have this application downloaded, paste this address into the site: No.86, Xingfeng Rd., Pingtung City, Pingtung County 900, Taiwan. Here is a photo of the school entrance using Google Earth. Isn’t technology amazing?!
During the visit, we will share photos on our blog. We are counting down the days to their arrival.
I received an awesome thank you gift this year: The Book of Awesome. This book helps to remind me of all the wonderful small things that make my days better–if I am reminded to look for them.
The author of this book, Neil Pasricha, began his writing with a blog which led to an award and this led to the book. He recently spoke at the Toronto TED TALK, sharing his touching story behind his collection of all things awesome.
Neil shares the three A’s that helped him to write this book…and shift his perspective from one of despair to hope. I would like to encourage you to set aside a few minutes to watch this positive awesome talk!
After you watch this, I think you will feel much like I did: We are surrounded by awesome people and events and simple things each and every day! We simply have to make time to look for them.
Over 120 students entered the October Blog Scavenger Hunt! The individual winner of this hunt was a very special second grader from Mrs. Greenlund’s classroom. I gave Jordyn the option of going anywhere for lunch and she chose to have JET’s Pizza with me at school. (Jet’s makes frequent deliveries to our building!)
We ate our pizza and talked about fun topics that included Halloween candy totals, puppies, cousins, Thanksgiving celebrations and how much she loves her little sister.
Having lunch with Jordyn was the best part of my day on Thursday!
To help you become acquainted with our school blog (and our classroom blogs), I created a guide that serves as a glossary for all the important sections of our blog. Our blogs serve as a critical communication tool and much more:
Communication is frequent and ongoing.
All posts are tagged with key words and placed in categories to help you find all types of information easily and quickly. Many parents will misplace newsletters or notes (myself included) and these blogs hold all the information indefinitely.
Because the information is stored throughout the year, the blogs serve as a yearbook or journal of our school events/news.
In the past year, we used 100,000 fewer pieces of paper as a result of switching from weekly newsletters to frequent blog updates. Blogging helps us to BE GREEN and environmentally friendly. Families without internet connection receive a copy of the blog each week.
Today is LEADERSHIP DAY 2009. This is a day in which Scott McLeod, a professor at Iowa State University, invites educators to share why and how we use technology in our careers. Earlier this week, I blogged about being a principal who twitters. Those of you who read the post learned that I am certifiably a ‘tech geek’. It is important to note that I am also NOT very ‘tech savvy’. For example, I struggle to define critical technology terms (gigabyte, modem, html, css) and certainly do not know how to rebuild a hard drive. I have been smart enough to call on technology experts when needed: I know the extension numbers to the district Tech Office by heart — and when they can’t be reached, I have utilized the brains and heart of John Lawrence.
How specifically do I use technology on a daily basis as the learning leader of Georgetown Elementary?
As a learner, I cannot imagine not utilizing technology as a tool to create documents, problem solve and communicate with others via blogs, nings, wikis, twitter, and email.
As a building administrator, technology allows me to function more efficiently and accurately (hand held computer, laptop, web 2.0 tools to create, sort and examine data). Sometimes, technology tools make me look more artistic and creative than I am! If I use my tech tools well, I have additional time to build relationships with parents, students and teachers.
As a learning leader, technology allows me to do what is essential – promote independence in teachers and students. I want the teachers to empower their students in technology with the same passion they use to model, guide and release reading, writing, and math—and all content areas. Technology is a learning tool that promotes independence, invites discussion, and grows a community of learners in exciting new ways. Therefore, I am committed to helping teachers find the right tools to use at the right time with the right learners.
Why am I so passionate and focused on technology when there is so much that competes for my attention on a daily basis?
Access to amazingly simple and free technology tools have transformed the way I communicate, problem solve, share, create, learn and lead. This did not require me to be tech savvy…it required me to be tech interested.
I believe that technology tools will not by themselves create great learners, teachers or leaders. I am convinced, however, that our best and brightest will be the better ‘tech’ equipped and capable at learning, teaching and leading NOW and in the future.
For those who would like to begin the journey of discovering more about technology tools and how they are used in education, I would encourage you to:
Read blogs by teachers, students, administrators.
Once you have read a blog post, leave a comment for the blogger.
Join twitter. Find followers in the area of educational technology. Follow them, ask questions, share.
Begin a blog of your own and invite others to read your posts & leave comments. There are many free blog options available on the web. I am partial to Edublogs due to their great support, both tutorials and problem solving. Kudos in particular to Sue Waters, someone who has tutored me from Australia!
Georgetown has four 2nd grade teachers on staff. These teachers, Mrs. Greenlund, Mrs. Kuieck, Mrs. Quigley and Mr. Bowen, work closely to plan instruction, assessment and special activities. Their great professional relationship and shared passion for teaching is evident in their blog communications. You will be amazed by the student writing that is being shared–as well and the rich learning in all content areas. Please take time to visit these blogs and learn about the incredible instruction taking place in our second grade classrooms.
As you know, at the beginning of each week, I spotlight a blog or two or three for you to check out. In the past few weeks, I have highlight PE, Art, and Music. The blogs I am recommending for surf worthiness this week are the four very busy and wonderful first grade classrooms. All four teachers use every moment to focus on instruction and still manage to build in time for those critical life long learning skills of teamwork, socialization and problem solving. Enjoy your surfing through these classrooms!
there are 16 courageous and brilliant bloggers coming your way! We had our first student blogging class after school today, and they students did an amazing job getting their blog themes selected, creating their first post, and adding a link. You can check out their blogs by visiting BLOGPALS, where you will find all the student blogs listed. If you can, leave a comment for them…it will make them BLOG CRAZY! Mrs. Reagan
I imagine some of you humming the Disney tune in your head as you read this post! Our school blog has had well over 8,000 visitors since it’s launch in early November. This is truly amazing, especially when you consider that these visitors have come from six of our seven continents! The only continent to not yet light up on our board: Africa.
We have had many repeat visitors from schools around the world. I have honored them by creating links to their classroom and school blogs on our main page. This link is titled: Blogs From Around the World.
Enjoy visiting the blogs. I encourage you to leave comments on their blogs. I assure you, they will share these with their students and respond.
To check our visitors, click on the clustrmap to the right. So far, we have been visited by these countries (# of visits for each country listed as well):
United States (US)
United Kingdom (GB)
New Zealand (NZ)
Hong Kong (HK)
Korea, Republic of (KR)
Asia/Pacific Region (AP)
Russian Federation (RU)
Czech Republic (CZ)
United Arab Emirates (AE)
Puerto Rico (PR)
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