Sunday, June 3, 2012

Winding Down

I can't believe that there are only two more days left in the school year. One of those days is an early dismissal so we are really down to an hourly countdown. The year seemed to fly by at an amazing rate. I achieved some of my goals, but not all.

We were able to have every grade Skype with an author or at least another class this year. We met with:

Authors who graciously Skyped for free:
Tom Angleberger (Origami Yoda & other chapter books)
Kate Messner (Marty McGuire, picture books, & other chapter books)
Jean Marzollo (I Spy & other picture books)
Alan Silberberg (Milo, Sticky Notes & Brain Freeze)
Linda Urban (Mouse was Mad & chapter books)
Michael Scotto (Latasha and the Red Tornado, picture books & another ch. book)
Laurel Snyder (Bigger than a Breadbox, picture books & chapter books)

Classes from:
Burlington, WI
Battle Creek, MI
Oak Brook, IL
York, NE
Newton, MA

We were also able to bring in the author Kashmira Sheth to share with all of the elementary students too, thanks to funds from the PTO.

I tried many new things this year including the technology zoo. That is something that I want to set up for a few times during next year.

We had a great response to first grade book club (once a month) and I even started a small fifth grade lunchtime book group too.

We wanted to create a video tour of the school and our tech crew shot a lot of footage for that, but it never came together and the editing seemed like an impossible task. Instead, brief bits of the footage were used in our first video yearbook. I am hoping that the students and families will enjoy that.

It remains to be seen if students are more energized around summer reading, but a student and I created a school blog and I am encouraging students to use that space to talk about reading this summer. We are also going to have a space for posting pictures of students reading over the summer. If it gets even one kid reading more than they would have, it will be a success.

This was a year of our iPad implementation since we got a cart of 30 iPads in September. Figuring everything out was a challenge and I am still learning, but they have been a wonderful tool for many of the teachers. I look forward to moving forward next year now that we have base knowledge and experience.

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) was a new adventure for me this year also. Tomorrow I will be sharing my work with the girls from my lunchtime book club. Nobody has seen the final product, but they have been asking to read it. I can't remember if it was Kate Messner or Laurel Snyder, but one of them said you are a writer when you write, but you are an author when you share it. So I am finally sharing. Will that make me an author?

I am looking forward to summer for the chance to reflect on the past year and plan for the next.


  1. Looks like a great year for you and the kids. Kudos for the way you care and bring books alive for the kids!

  2. Thanks for stopping by the blog Marge!