Happy Thanksgiving!

During a late-evening walkabout to check on a reported concern, turkey1I stopped to read some precious learner work displayed outside a classroom doorway with this picture:

I’m thankful for carrots and peas you see

I’m thankful for mommy and daddy and Steve

I’m thankful for seasons and football and school

I’m thankful for you and for me so cool!  🙂

We have MUCH to be thankful for at LME; here’s hoping you take time to reflect on the many blessings and gratitudes in your life too!  EnJOY this week away, learners and classroom leaders; safe travels and Happy Thanksgiving!

Giving Thanks…

We wrapped up a busy week before Thanksgiving with a variety of heartwarming teaching and learning opportunities today:

HSsosOur annual Super Outrageous Science (SOS) Day events found us exploring everything from butter to electricity to owl pellets (yes, really).  Learners shared delightful commentary and observations throughout the morning as we visited classrooms.  You can see some Head Start friends here presenting their theories on the process of making butter.

I also enJOYed some special reading time (after buttter making) RNclasswith Kinder friends in Mrs. Nanney’s class when I read with them the book they gave to me.

Our campus participated in a special Miller Rally this afternoon that involved us welcoming home a soldier mom stationed overseas for the past 15 months.  She successfully surprised her second grade daughter on our campus, yet we surprised the mom with lots of flags, banners, and welcome home signs to show our appreciation for her service to our country.  Special thanks to all involved who ensured we successfully pulled off this important mission!  Welcome home, soldier; enJOY your family this holiday season!

givethanksFinally, several students shared their blessings of thanks and giving.  Here’s hoping you take time in the coming days to count your blessings too!  🙂

Note:  Our campus is closed November 25-29.  Have a safe and blessed holiday!

Give Thanks for Each Day!

My Kinder friends in Mrs. Nanney’s class surprised me today with a random act of kindness.  You see, they know a few things about me:  I love books; I love reading and writing, and Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday (just to GiveThanksEachDAyname a few).  They each signed and gave me the sweetest book ever…Give Thanks For Each Day by Steve Metzger.  They wanted me to share the text with you:

Give thanks for each day. Give thanks for each night.
For colorful flowers; for stars shining bright.
Give thanks for new crayons; red, green, and blue.
Give thanks for the moments when wishes come true.
Give thanks for the train that chugs down the track.
Give thanks for the comfort when Mommy comes back.
Give thanks for a puzzle, a favorite bear.
The thrill when you’re lifted way up in the air.
A hug!  A parade!  A bath!  A new toy!
The things in our world that fill us with JOY!
Give thanks for a walk by a lake in the park.
Give thanks for the light in our home after dark.
Give thanks for the snowflakes that fall from above.
For getting together with people you love.
Give thanks for sweet ice cream; for ducks in a row.
Give thanks for great stories, which help you to grow.
Give thanks for the ocean; give thanks for the sand.
The sweet, simple pleasure when we’re holding hands.
Give thanks for “I love you,” the best words to say.
Give thanks for each night. Give thanks for each day!

Thanks to these thoughtful young readers who know me so well; thanks for sharing the JOYs of everyday simple things and reminding us all to Give Thanks For Each Day!  🙂

May you have enough…

In walkabout today, several learners commented to me about their gratitudes and blessings; this is a common theme in our classrooms this week (and, I hope, every week).  🙂  In talking with one particular learner happythanks1who is dealing with a great deal more than a young child should know, I was reminded of this saying my Granny B often quoted:

May you always have enough…

  • happiness to keep you sweet,
  • trials to keep you strong,
  • sorrows to keep you human,
  • hope to keep you JOYful,
  • failure to keep you humble,
  • success to make you eager,
  • friends to give you comfort,
  • wealth to meet your needs,
  • enthusiasm to look for tomorrow,
  • faith to banish worry, and
  • determination to make each day better than before! 

Yes, it is important to teach our children to share and embrace the gratitudes of daily life along with the necessary coping skills to deal with stress and pressure too.  Our daily focus on strong character traits at school (like trust, respect, responsibility, service and more) help to reinforce these coping skills and focus on the blessings all around us.  Together, we are working to truly maximize foundations for our future leaders today and everyday.  Thanks for walking the journey with us; thanks for sharing your most valuable blessing, your child, with us!

Perfect Thanksgiving…WRITE ON!

As is tradition, I was invited this morning to share a special holiday story with some young readers working on an interesting writing project today.  They selected the book The Perfect Thanksgiving by Eileen Spinelli.  perfectTHWritten in fun rhyming couplets, this entertaining tale delightfully shares the story of very different families celebrating Thanksgiving in very different ways.

Enter two families who couldn’t be more opposite:

  1. Family one seems just “perfect”—with a plump golden turkey, gorgeous whipped cream swirls atop their pie, and lace napkins on the table.
  2. Family two, on the other hand, seems very different—the turkey burns, the Jell-O wiggles and jiggles right to the floor, and Dad’s shirt serves as his napkin.

What could these two very different families possibly have in common?  They find they’re alike in “just how loving our different families are…”

After great discussion, these young writers created lists of their own family traditions to place on a hand-decorated turkey (literally drawn from their own hand, mind you, just like they found in the story).  We shared their results making comparisons between various traditions and new ideas.  Full of whimsy, good spirit, and familial love, this laugh-aloud picture book added a spicey springboard to their writing, but will certainly create some interesting conversation during any Thanksgiving feast!  Thanks, my little writing friends…WRITE ON!  🙂

Power Friday!

“LaRue Miller Elementary POWER rules the today!”  power1This is how we started a powerful Rally this morning as we presented four special checks to the four organizations chosen by our learning community during our Power of Miller Event this year.  Representatives from PAWS For Reflection, the American Cancer Society, the Parkland Burn Center Camp for Children, and Manna House joined us to receive each check and share some vital information about their work and service as our learners and classroom leaders carefully listened.  It was truly a profound moment for our students to witness firsthand the POWER of giving to others in need.  Thanks to our recipients for spending time with our students; thanks to our LME learning community for raising money to share with others!

misd1Likewise today, our LME staff members enJOYed a special treat sponsored by the Midlothian Education Foundation.  During the recent MISD Employee Drive, our campus staff members raised the most money and were treated to a delicious fiesta of Mexican food prepared by El Fenix.  Thanks, MEF, for honoring us with this opportunity and for the spectacular work you do on behalf our all MISD learners and classroom leaders!

EnJOY the weekend and may the POWER be with you!  🙂

Turk-rific Thanks!

DIGITAL CAMERAI had a visit this afternoon from some young friends who are working on their “gaditudes” (gratitudes). 🙂  They were explaining to me how they add a feather to their own turkey every morning after morning message and journals until the turkey has a full row of feathers.  Each feather, of course, represents a special blessing or thankful gift in their life.  Before leaving my office, they reminded me to share my own “turk-rific thanks” since they happen to know Thanksgiving is my all-time favorite holiday to celebrate each year.  🙂  Here’s hoping we all heed this powerful advice in the coming days; we are all blessed in the most extraordinary ways after all . . .

Angel Tree Time!

As shared yesterday, our annual Angel Tree drive started this week.  Mrs. Stanley is once again heading up this heartfelt project of love our campus annually participates in to assist Manna House with holiday needs.  Helping our learning community and friends in need remains a major part of who we are at LME; this project is certainly no exception.

Each “angel” on the tree will have a clothing need angel-treeor special gift request for a local child or senior citizen.  You are welcome to choose one angel or several depending on your preference.  Permission slips for participation went home on Monday this week, but the office has more if you need one (let your classroom teacher know you need another).  Once the permission form is given to Mrs. Stanley, your child may choose an angel.  Please send the “angel” attached to the unwrapped item no later than December 6th.  Also, if you are willing to purchase a larger item (electronics, bicycle, etc.), please contact Mrs. Stanley for these specific arrangements.

As always, we appreciate the overflowing response of gifts, talents, service, and especially love when we participate in selfless acts of kindness on behalf of others in need.  These valuable lessons learned at an early age garner greater acts of loving kindness in the future.  Thank you for assisting us in creating altruistic lifelong learners and leaders for the future!  🙂

Movers and Givers…

StuCo1This is the time of year to count our blessings, give with great thanks, and share our bountiful harvest with others.  Our LaRue Miller Elementary learning community did this in a BIG way!  Our entire campus collected a total of 2,622 food items during our annual food drive all last week.  Our Student Honor Council members assisted Mrs. Stanley in carefully sorting, counting, and packing the items in categories for our local food pantry, Manna House.  The group StuCo2willingly helped to load the Manna House van this afternoon during their recess time as a way to share their time too.

Thank you, LME learning community (especially our parents), for sharing your gifts and service with those in need during this holiday season.  If you missed out on last week’s project, our next one starts this week (more to come!).  🙂

Veteran’s Day 2013!

In teaching others, we teach ourselves; the best and greatest teach from their hearts.  As is our tradition at LME, we take this day to honor vet2and thank the brave men and women who choose to serve our nation’s military.  Our fifth grade classes spend great time in preparing historical displays on the branches of military service, preparing scripts and texts, and learning patriotic musical singing and bell-ringing numbers to share.  With the entire school decked out red, white, and blue, we gather together to offer our love, support, and genuine thanks to our nation’s finest citizens, our Veterans.

vet1This year, we were particularly blessed to have servicemen from four of the military branches present the U.S., Texas, and military flags at the beginning of the program.  Special thanks to Air Force Master Sergeant Joe Cabler, Army Sergeant Doug Schimdt, Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer Jeffery Grant Sr., Army and Marine Corps Sergeant Ray Maldonado, Navy Seaman Joe Hocker, and Air Force Lieutenant Jeffery Grant Jr., and Navy seaman and master trumpeter Bill Thompson for participating with us!

This annual tradition marks an opportunity to remember, reflect, and revisit the service and sacrifices of the brave men and women who have before, who are today, and who will tomorrow give unselfishly of themselves on behalf of our freedom and liberty in the United States of America!  Here’s hoping we each stop today (and everyday) to thank a Veteran!

Note:  GREAT job, 5th grade learners and classroom leaders; barely a dry eye left in the room at the end!  🙂