May 31

Honoring the past (151:365)

Established in 1929

Established in 1929

Last night the RM Bacon School put another idea into action… our First Annual Alumni Night. We are blessed to be working at a school that has been serving the students in Millville, NJ since 1929 and we wanted to welcome them back. This event was part of our system action plan to improve our community relationship.

 

We transformed the infamous Bacon Gym into a scene from history. In honoring the alumni, we decorated the gym with memorabilia from the 1930’s. 1940’s and 1950’s. Alumni were able to connect with each other, enjoy great food, and reminisce. We copied photos, yearbooks, and even some of the artwork we could find to make everyone feel comfortable. Throughout the evening, we read the alumni’s favorite memories from their time at our school. As I read them for all to hear, I joked that our current students are really no different…. They value teachers who care, love to dance, and love the activities.

 

Prior to honoring 4 outstanding Alumni, I made a presentation of the current situation at Bacon School. I talked with the Alumni about how serious we are about honoring the past through providing the best, 21st century learning opportunities to the current and future students. I showed them a video of the current students engaged in learning, fun, and of course…. dancing! It was truly a memorable evening!

 

May 30

Teamwork (150:365)

Planning becomes action through teamwork!

Planning becomes action through teamwork!

Whenever we have big events at my school (and we make everything big!) I notice a certain change in people. For instance, tonight is our Alumni Night and we have been preparing for this for the past 4 months. It is a group  effort because one person could not do it all. So how does it come together? It’s simple… Teamwork!

 

I see staff working together to help out the overall “cause.” It seems that those who help, despite their busy schedule, will continue to ask the same question, “How can I help?” Ironically, it could be the same person who is just helping with one event, ends up coordinating another event. Then everyone asks them, “What can I do to help?”

 

I hope that the students see how the teachers work together to achieve awesomeness… It really is a great lesson for them to see firsthand!

May 28

Making the most out of the last few weeks (148:365)

The PrincipalCast interviewed Brad Gustafson to gather ideas about making the most out of the last few of school. During the podcast, Brad talked about how his school has embraced Augmented Reality to help tell their story. He also suggested professional development opportunities for educators to engage in this summer. He is leading the charge for educators to take the Digital Leadership Challenge.

 

Here is the podcast….. enjoy!

May 27

How did they treat you? (147:365)

source: www.theroot.com

source: www.theroot.com

I recently found this on Facebook. It was posted by my fraternity brother Siafa Lewis. All he said was this was a great watch/listen if you have 15 minutes.. Now I am asking you if you have 15 minutes, I think you would be glad you watched it. It’s a very powerful message, and as Mellody Hobson points out, “A topic that many people don’t want to address. It is the equivalent of touching the third rail…”

 

Here are some things to consider as you watch:

– Are you comfortable being uncomfortable?

– Do you treat people fair?

– Can you embrace diversity to grow as a person?

– Are color blind or color brave?

May 26

Summer “break” (146:365)

source: textimages.us

source: textimages.us

Dear Educators,

There is nothing worse to our image than telling non-educators that your can’t wait for summer break and that you won’t have to work until September. Yes it is somewhat true, but the reality is that this time is spent reflecting on the school year, and preparing for the next school year.

 

In fact, many educators attend conferences, connect with each other through social media, read books, devour ideas on Pintrest, and work other jobs….Be prepared to articulate that to the folks who make it their job to criticize us. It will help our profession immensely. We don’t need any more fodder for the anti-teacher movement in this country.

 

 

May 25

5 Learning Opportunities for Memorial Day (145:365)

Source: buffalocatholiccemeteries.org

Source: buffalocatholiccemeteries.org

As we celebrate Memorial Day in the United States, I think it is important to understand how we can provide students with opportunities to learn about this holiday. With the advent of technology, and web 2.0 tools, these learning opportunities are right at your fingertips. Let me know if you put them into the classroom and how it impacted your students’ learning.

 

5 Learning Opportunities for Memorial Day. As you will notice that the activities listed below climb Bloom’s Taxonomy. Be sure to have them go through all the stages to realize the full potential of learning:

  1. History of Memorial Day – Check out Apples 4 the Teacher’s comprehensive site about the History of Memorial Day. Also, you can use the History Channel’s 4 minute video to assist with background knowledge
  2. Understanding the Impact – Education World has a graphing activity for all grade levels so that the students can see the impact of those who lost their lives fighting for the country.
  3. Virtual visitation – There are literally thousands of opportunities for students to take a virtual tours of the various memorials throughout the country. One place to start is the The National Mall and Memorial site. Halo creatives has a virtual tour of the National Mall.
  4. Skype or Google Hangout with a Veteran – Make this activity an opportunity for you or your students to connect with someone who is either unable to visit the classroom because of health or distance. Ask your students if they have a relative, or I am sure someone in your school has a connection. Have the students develop questions for the Skype. Interview a few people and have the students analyze and evaluate the stories or maybe have them compare/contrast their learning.
  5. Pay it forward – Have your students create a wiki, video, Prezi, or Augmented Reality activity for others. Make sure to post it in a blog so that others can learn!

 

May 24

Prepare to be a Digital Leader w/ @nmhs_Principal (144:365)

Prior to the release of his now Best Selling book, the PrincipalCast crew interviewed Eric Sheninger about Digital Leadership. As you prepare for the summer, and maybe you are going to read the book, here is a a podcast with the man himself. Find out what he feels about the future of leadership, common core, and even when he works out…. Check it out! Let us know what you think

Episode 14: 

May 23

It is OLYMPIC (143:365)

Photo by Carrie Sinone

Photo by Carrie Sinone

I just celebrated my 4th Olympic Day as Principal of RM Bacon. The tradition of Olympic Day goes back to 1978 when a few Physical Education teachers got together and wanted to bring all of the elementary schools together for fun, community, and competition.Every year on the Friday before Memorial Day, the elementary kids and teachers in 4th and 5th grade parade through the town meet at the High School. Kids compete in various events such as Newcomb, Baketball, Kickball, Softball throw, as well as track events. The day of competition concludes with the tug of war!

 

As a principal, I am always so proud of the kids. They paint their face, their hair and as they parade through the town, they chant our school’s name. When they return after the day of competition, we play “We are the Champions” over the loudspeaker. Then, they join in the Fun Day activities that the K-3 graders were involved with throughout the day. The kids get to go in Bouncy Houses, Water Slides, and eat snow cones. Then we send them home to their parents for the 3 day weekend tired, wet, and blue! It is always a special time!

Pictures from the day: 

olympic day 4

Photo by Carrie Sinone

olympic day 6

Photo by Carrie Sinone

olympic day 7

Photo by Carrie Sinone

olympic day 5

Photo by Carrie Sinone

Photo by Carrie Sinone

Photo by Carrie Sinone

May 22

Addressing the bullying situation: 6 tips for staff (142:365)

source: www.change.org

source: www.change.org

This morning at our staff meeting, the district’s Anti-Bullying Coordinator trained us in the “Characteristics of Bullying.” The presentation covered the various aspects to bullies, victims and bystanders as well as helpful tips to maintain a bully free learning space.  At the conclusion of the presentation, we discussed 6 tips for staff.

 

Here are the 5 suggestions to address the bullying situation: 

1. Be sure that students know that you listened to them – Often times, parents and students will say that they told the teacher and nothing was done. Usually, that is not the case. Teachers deal with these concerns on a daily basis. Our suggestion, let the students know you will look into it, and that they might not see the outcomes, but if the issue comes up again, make sure to let them know.

2. Identify the balance of power – Do the students in question have the same power, or does one have more? Is this a case of bickering, or drama, or does someone always have the upper hand? This may be difficult to see or hear, so asking students about it or doing your own lesson in the classroom could help.

3. Avoid getting on the students level – Do not use sarcasm, instigate situations, or get involved in the student drama. Be the adult, don’t exasperate the situation. Sometimes easier said then done, but it is always important to be the adult in the situation.

4. Follow up, follow up, follow up – One way to make students “know” that you have listened to them, and that something was “done” take the time to ask them if things have improved. If they need to speak to guidance or the principal, be sure to refer them immediately.

5. Help the bully – If there is a student who doesn’t like to keep a balance of power with the other kids, take time to help them understand. You can’t bully the bully out of bullying because then you become the bully! Model the interactions you want them to use when dealing with other.

6. Empower the bystanders – Very rarely does bullying happen out of the watchful eye of students. Encourage the students, the witnesses, the bystanders to break the code (snitches get stitches). If they can’t tell an adult, then the bullying will get worse. There are lots of lessons, and learning opportunities to encourage the bystanders to speak up.

 

In addition, we read the No Bullying Pledge every morning on the announcements. Feel free to use it.

I will treat everyone with respect, I will try to solve problems in a peaceful way, I will not take part in any actions that purposely hurts another person, I will join with friends to stand up for kids who are being picked on.