Day 1 on the Ground #sol20

Day 1 on the Ground #sol20

September 15, 2020

I didn’t really enter the building until last Thursday. It felt like Pompeii, covered with the dust of a volcano that spilled all over life at school as we knew it. In my home office, I could live in a completely parallel universe.

I spent two days trying to put the literacy center to rights while actually trying to put my own self right in the process. I was determined if I could put all of those books haphazardly left last spring when the world changed in their proper place, if I could release the time capsule in my today bin from March, then and only then could I get my mind going in the solutions for now.

In a little over two days, I got the books in approximately the right space. They are in their correct bins, but perhaps not with their book alike friends quite yet. This might be a metaphor for so much of today’s learning community world. The shelves are dusted. The paper files I couldn’t quite find the capacity to go through are under my desk. My personal PPE stockpiled by Mr. K over the summer is in the hassock next to that desk. My personal books are in the right bins. The Monday flowers are on my desk. It looks right.

But it doesn’t feel quite right.

My battered copy of Leading Well was propped on the white board rail. I’m sure I was reading something in it that day when everything changed. Abandoned? No. Still full of the wisdom that will lead me and hopefully inspire others. Lucy says our main goal is to learn from data of all sorts. I’ve been collecting that data over the months, weeks, and now days we’ve been changing and moving forward. Talking to teachers, hearing their plans, their hopes, their concerns. Touching the books, considering how to share them with students, which ones to use for lessons, which ones to make into video read alouds, which ones to share freely and with whom.

As Lucy says in Leading Well, now is the time for vision casting. Building agency. Creating a mantra. Thinking big picture. Using stories. Working through priorities. Creating a vision for next steps. Plan. Build learning communities. Oh, yes, that book is still going to be the heart of the work.

This morning, thank goodness, I was assigned duty out front. Finally, students face to face! Many times in my long career, I’ve had the pleasure of greeting students first thing in the morning. We were blessed with a bright sunny day and as the cars pulled up, it almost seemed like what I remembered.

Then I opened the first door. The anxiety of parents and kids came rolling out of the car like a fog. Good Morning! I said, I hope brightly. We are so happy you’re here. Let me help you find where to go.

It was hard to recognize some of them when all I could only see their eyes. It made me quickly say, I’m Mrs. Kennedy. I’ve missed you. Most came willingly continuing to trust what we’ve built.

One of the fourth graders told me, I’m nervous.

Yes, I said, it’s been a long time. We are still here, glad to see you.

Will you walk with me? he asked.

Yes I said.

#IMWAYR Opening Day Edition

It’s Monday What are You Reading:  Opening Day Edition

April 3, 2017

I was raised on baseball and have lived in baseball towns most of my life.  The St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs and White Sox, and now  Boston Red Sox are dear to my heart.  As a teacher, I have yet to be at a opening day, though I have enjoyed  the ritual of spring training.  Here are some books to celebrate opening day wherever you are.  

Here are some terrific baseball books in no particular order.

Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 8.04.54 PMBaseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuk

A beloved book by teachers and students alike,  this book looks at baseball in a completely different light.  Baseball is the turning point in the poignant book.  Wonderful for character interplay and story arc discussions as well as its historic perspective.

 

Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 8.25.05 PMZachary’s Ball by Matt Tavares

Every New England child’s dream,  catch a fly ball at Fenway Park… and something magical happens.

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 8.24.52 PMFenway Foul Up by David A. Kelly

 

I love all of the Ballpark Mysteries including  Wrigley Riddle.  This early chapter book is the beginning of a series about ballparks in the tradition of Ron Roy and Matt Christopher.

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 8.24.41 PMTeammates  by Peter Golenbock

 

Jackie Robinson and PeeWee Reece teach more than baseball in this beautifully illustrated picture book.  A mainstay in strategy work.

 

Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 8.24.29 PMPoem Runs by Douglas Florian

 

Poetry, baseball, and Doug Florian- a winning team.  

Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 8.19.09 PM

Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 8.24.19 PMThe Littlest Leaguer by Syd Hoff


Syd Hoff,  the sentimental favorite and a really great book. Easily read by our youngest fans.

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 8.24.07 PMThe Field Beyond the Outfield by Mark Teague

Perhaps only available in my personal library, Mark Teague can do no wrong.  Aliens and baseball, a winning combo.  

Take Me Out

Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 5.58.40 PMApril 3, 2017

Today our fun loving school friends created an opening day feast complete with steamed hotdogs with all the trimming,  popcorn, and cracker jacks.  Here’s a little poem in honor of that indulgence.  

 

Ballpark hot dogs

In that amazing cooker

the warm sun

laughter

cracker jacks

peanuts

it takes us all back to a

sunny summer day when

all was well and we

were the kings and queens

of the world

or perhaps princes and princesses

when all our dreams came true

in the crack of a bat

thanks for that feeling

May it carry us for many days.