Monthly Archives: February 2014

DinoSoaring!

Our second graders were truly dinoSOARing IMG_3935last night during their prehistoric musical adventure.  Written by Jill and Michael Gallina, this rip-ROARing presentation brings dinosaurs to life with fun facts, catchy tunes, “Anylosaurus terminology,” and cool dance moves (dinosaur-style, mind you).  🙂

IMG_3926Congratulations to our talented learners, their classroom leaders, our entire Specials team (especially Mrs. Perez our music teacher), and our Art Club (for the clever sets and scenery).  Special thanks to the many parents and volunteers who donated material and sewed for hours so every child had a clever dinosaur outfit to wear!  WOW!  So…if you see a Stegosaurus walking down the street, chances are he or she is DinoSoaring!  🙂

Success!

success3Each night before my own children went to bed, my husband and I asked them what their success of the day was (even when we got the “eye roll).  The idea came from a story we read about the Olympic Gold Medal Gymnast, Bart Connor. He gave his parents all the credit because they did this with him.  He said, “Every night before bed my parents would ask me what my success was, so I always went to bed a success every night of my life. I woke up every morning a success. When I was injured before the Olympics, I knew I was going to make it back because I was a success every day of my life…”  What a confidence booster indeed…and you know what?  It works!

Teachers and classrooms who focus on and celebrate success create more success. Success becomes ingrained in the class culture and students naturally look for it, focus on it, and expect it of themselves and those around them!  When you implement systems and principles creating a culture celebrating and expecting success, this drives behavior and habits creating successful outcomes.

So how do we put this into practice? The ideas are endless, but here are two you can do right now:

  1. Create a success journal where you write down the success of each day.  Do this for a month and you’ll be amazed at your results!
  2. Ask the members of your household each night about their success for the day.  They get to verbalize it and YOU get to celebrate it with them!

Jon Gordon says, “What we focus on shows up more in our life.  If we look for and celebrate success, we’ll see more of it.”

So…how do you and your child celebrate success?  Here’s hoping you focus on and find creative ways to celebrate success daily.  🙂

Note:  Speaking of success, our 2nd graders perform their clever DINOSAURS program this evening at 7:00 p.m. in the LME Cafe; we hope to see you there! 

Parent Survey!

parentsurveyMidlothian ISD is seeking parent feedback to help measure an accurate representation of parent and community engagement at the campus and district levels; you are invited to participate with us in this important process now.

Please complete the following survey based on your experience at your child’s campus.  All responses are valuable and completely anonymous.  Survey ends Friday, March 7 at 4 p.m.  Click here to take the parent survey:

[ https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MISDparent ]

Thanks for participating and sharing your thoughts as learning partners and participating members of our learning community!

Tutus and Ties 2014

tt1Yes, our PTO moms have topped last year’s highly successful annual Tutus and Ties Event at LME with even more this year!  From the stunning decorations, red carpet, top tunes, and 100s of colorful tt2balloons, to the scrumptious food, fun, dancing, and friendly fellowship…truly and simply extraordinary indeed.

tt3Special thanks to our creative PTO Board of dedicated moms with great vision and insight who lead the with grace, style, and great humor.  They spent the better part of Friday evening and all day today attending to the details of this enormous undertaking.  Thanks to the moms, grandmas, staff members, and other volunteers who worked the event (and clean up) tt4so our dads, grandfathers, uncles, and brothers can give their undivided attention to the young ladies who brought them.

It’s such a pleasure to be a part of a learning organization where our parents are our partners and actively participating members of all we do—during school hours and well beyond.  Tutus and Ties 2014…a true Red Carpet Affair!

Chili Cookoff 2014!

chili1Yep…it was hot, hot, hot!  The annual C.A.T.C.H. Committee’s Chili Cookoff and Dinner was a huge success.  From mild to smokin’ spicy hot, we noshed on proud entries.  Our esteemed panel of judges, Dr. Stewart, Coach Timm, chili2Bella, Mr. Fio, Mrs. Worley, and Mr. Van sampled 16 family entries and collaborated to determine the winners.  Congratulations to:

  • 5th Place:  “Momma’s Mean Beef Chili” and the Hurst Family
  • 4th Place:  “Chili De’Lite'” and Nurse Sullivan
  • 3rd Place:  “Your Daddy Can’t Handle It” and the Huse Family
  • 2nd Place:  “SW Roo Chili” and the Hampton Family
  • 1st Place:  “Lone Star Chili” and the Pirotte Family (with bragging rights for the next year!)

chili3Our People’s Choice Award this year went to “Awesome Adin’s Chili” and the Shaver Family.

Special thanks to our wonderful C.A.T.C.H. Committee, Family Events Committee, our staff members volunteers, and families who set-up, served, laughed, and participated in the food, fellowship, and family fun.  Here’s hoping you make plans now to join us next year for a spicy good time!

Innovation-ready?

Are you an innovator?  Are you thinking about your student as being innovation-ready (versus college-ready)?  What must we, as parents, educators, future employers, and community leaders do to enable our young learners to be innovation-ready?

Through the eyes of young innovators themselves and their profound stories (including conversations with their parents, teachers and employers),creatinginnovators Dr. Tony Wagner, explores these and many more questions in his groundbreaking book:  Creating Innovators…The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World.  Dr. Wagner carefully constructs a deeper understanding as to what it means to innovate and how we need to best develop the capacities of students today to become more innovative in what they do throughout their lives.

Nurturing creativity and sparking imagination while teaching children how to learn from failure with perseverance is paramount.  Dr. Wagner identifies a clear pattern:  “a childhood of creative play leads to deep-seated interests.”  In turn and over time, these special interests develop and blossom into a deeper purpose for career and life choices.  He notes:  “Embracing the principles of play, passion, and purpose…these are the forces driving young innovators today.” 

Just to prove his point, Dr. Wagner’s book features its own innovative elements:  more than 60 original videos expanding on the key ideas of the book.  Produced by filmmaker Robert Compton, the videos are embedded into the eBook edition and accessible in the print edition via QR codes (talk about using my 21st Century devices creatively!).

Over the next few weeks, I’m exploring Dr. Wagner’s challenge and call; I’ll share my findings along the way.  It’s time we all play our part in creating the transformation to innovation!  Are YOU innovation-ready?

Note:  Please join us tomorrow evening for our innovative C.A.T.C.H. Committee’s annual Family Chili Cookoff Event starting @ 6:00 p.m.

Fraction Action!

fractionwallDuring walkabout today, a young learner in a workstation was creating fraction bars to demonstrate a whole.  I stopped to ask some clarifying questions:

  • Child:  Mrs. Van, did you know fractions are part of our everyday life?
  • Me:  In what ways do we use fractions everyday?
  • Child:  Well, I know you like pie, right?  You use fractions when you cut into the pies you make to share with others.
  • Me:  I LOVE pie (and it shows) and you’re exactly right!

Our conversation went forward with several other examples, but the most exciting part of the lesson today is understanding how fractions work in our real world.  Fractions_of_a_circleHelping our children to visualize them is key to comprehending their daily use.  My learner friend shared something special she does at home to “practice fraction action:”  she keeps a diary where she records and draws the fractions she notices in her world.  For example, when grocery shopping, she bought 1 1/2 pounds (1.5 in decimals of course) of ground beef for “Taco Tuesday” at their house.  She shares her diary with her dad each week to talk about her observations…what a clever idea indeed!  Here’s hoping we all find a little “fraction action” in our lives too!  🙂