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Article posted April 11, 2014 at 11:06 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 563

We are still working to add magic to our world by doing good. Our acts of kindness board will stay up until the end of next week and we are still working to get to 100 recorded acts of kindness. I'm sure there were many acts that did not make it on a heart so we will work on remembering to capture these special moments.



Article posted April 11, 2014 at 11:06 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 563



Article posted March 18, 2014 at 12:48 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 124

Article posted March 18, 2014 at 12:48 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 124



Article posted March 11, 2014 at 05:41 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 38

Don't let the evening pass without asking your daughter about today's Spirit of Uganda performance. I can't imagine that they would not share about the lively, vibrant assembly. By all reports it was an impressive, intriguing, engaging performance.

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Article posted March 11, 2014 at 05:41 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 38



Article posted March 10, 2014 at 07:34 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 36

Today we investigated the topic of standing up for your true passions and interests.  We enjoyed the story William's Doll by Charlotte Zolotow.  It is about a little boy who wants a doll but his brother and friend tease him about it and his father keeps bringing him other things instead.  Before the book ended we had a great discussion about whether or not William should get the doll.  The girls very animatedly reported that yes, indeed, he should have a doll! They were steadfast in the fact that it did not matter that he was a boy.  It was what he wanted and he was only trying to be good to something.  









We practiced what we would say if someone teased someone we knew about something they liked or did or wanted.  The class agreed that it was not ok to keep quiet.







William's Doll was adapted into a song for the Free to be You and Me soundtrack and then turned into a musical cartoon for the special in the '70s.  We watched it on the Smartboard together.  It is a pretty fun soundtrack and special with many great jumping off points for family conversation.  I have borrowed the DVD and the CD from the public library many times.  Maybe it would be something fun to check out over Spring Break.  







Here are the songs we listened to:







Enjoy!







 














Article posted March 10, 2014 at 07:34 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 36



Article posted March 9, 2014 at 07:14 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 37

 



In January we studied about Martin Luther King, Jr. and we learned that Dr. King had a dream where everyone would be kind, helpful, and respectful of others. Last week, in the spirit of the dream I shared with the girls that for my 35th birthday a few years ago I chose to not go out and celebrate but instead I challenged myself to go into the community and perform 35 Random Acts of Kindness for others. We've recently read a story where a class reach 100 acts of kindness so the girls thought it fitting that we challenge ourselves. Between now and Spring Break we hope to reach that 100 number ourselves. We watched this video of a woman's simple act of kindness and the impact it had on a local school's students.



    Our rule is that you cannot report your own act of kindness; someone else has to report something nice that you did. At school, the girls are going to be watching one another to look for those acts of kindness. If someone helps you find your lost crayon that’s an act of kindness to report. If you fall and someone helps you up and checks to be sure you’re OK, that’s an act of kindness too.

We want to invite parents, grandparents, friends, and neighbors to participate too. For example, if your child helps you fold clothes, carries out the trash without even being asked, or does an especially nice thing for you, please write a heart note and tell us about it. If you as a family recycle, do service projects in our community, or help at the food pantry, write and share that too.

We are looking for those loving things that warm your heart. Share them with us by writing on the hearts provided in the classroom or on a little heart of your own and we will get to 100 in no time!

For the curious: Here are my Birthday Random Acts of Kindness: I left the little notes that said 35 Acts of Kindness for my 35th Enjoy this Act of Kindness with people or with the things.....



Ideas:



Gas Money at Gas Pump [X]

Treats to the Firehouse[ ]

Treats to the Librarians[X]

Treats to the Police Officers[ ]

Flowers to People in a parking lot[ ]

Quarters on a vending machine at Hospital[ ]

Candy Canes on an ATM[X]

Lottery Cards on Gas Pumps[X]

Pay for someone's food behind you in drive thru line[X]

Hide dollar bills in the dollar store toy area[X]

Send Thinking of You Cards to people I know[ ]

Send Happy Cards sick kids via Hugs and Hope[X]

Leave Coupons near products in store[ ]

Mail Coupons to Military Families through Coupon Cabin[X]

Leave Crayons and coloring books for kids in the park[X]

Help a senior citizen find something in a store [X]

Coupons a the mall - Express, Kohls, etc.[ ]

Leave Operation Beautiful Notes on Bathroom Mirrors[X]

Leave happy cards on cars[X]

Feed Meter[ ]

Help put back carts[X]

Buy a supermarket Gift Card and hand it back to the Cashier[X] Food to the Food Cupboard[X]

Send Thank You card to people who have touched me in my life[ ]

Leave diapers in the mall bathroom[ ]

Smile, smile, smile - "Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing." Mother Teresa [X]

Lend money to Kiva[X]

Donated books to library[X]

Coloring Books and Crayons at Hope Gardens[X]

Hold the Door for Someone[X]

Let Someone go in line in front of me[X]

Kindness to the earth - save some recyclables from the trashcan[X]

Text someone I haven't talked to in a while[X]

Thank the Mail Carrier[ ]

Leave a surprise at a friend's house[X]

Write a positive message on a blog I follow[X]

Show up at a friend's house with a treat[ ]

Leave coins at a vending machine in the hotel. [X]

Leave coins in a claw game on Turnpike Rest Stop. [X]

Donate towels to SPCA[X]

Donate soap and shampoo to shelter [X]

Leave a surprise at a friend's house for their child from their elf[ ]

Leave candy canes on the neighbor's doorknobs. [X]

Donate clothes[X]

Feed it Forward on Restaurant.com [X]

Put a Happy Note in the Netflix Envelope [X]

Leave Vitamin Waters in Locker Room at Gym [ ]

Suprise Karen with ice cream from Penn State [X]

Donate to Philabundance [X]

Give scratch off lotto tickets to the cashiers after you buy them [X]

Put tips in the tip jars [X]

Buy a gift card to 2nd Avenue thrift shop, hand it to person behind you.[X]

Leave Operation Beautiful notes on mirrors in changing rooms. [X]

Article posted March 9, 2014 at 07:14 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 37



Article posted March 3, 2014 at 01:35 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 36

Did you know that 1M is ripe with novices, apprentices, practitioners, and experts? This past week the class reviewed the meanings of these terms as we further discussed the critical nature of having a growth mindset. Each day this year it has been clear to me that this is a vital element to success in the classroom and in life. When girls internalize and actualize the approach they become more flexible, hardworking and their growth is sizeable. The growth can be in any area of their life whether it is tackling a frames and arrows challenge, increasing their automaticity of math facts, improving their curling game in the gym or problem solving social hiccups. Often our young ladies believe they should have already mastered everything and when something is hard it is viewed as impossible. This week I continued to reframe that by having them describe tasks and skills that fit into the novice, apprentice, practitioner and expert levels. The definitions are as follows: Novice – I’m just starting to learn this and I don’t really understand it yet. Apprentice – I’m starting to get it, but I still need someone to coach me through it. Practitioner – I can mostly do it myself, but I sometimes mess up or get stuck. Expert – I understand it well and I could thoroughly teach it to someone else. The key to this self-assessment is recognizing the movement between levels. You needn’t remain a novice. An expert can still make errors if they are working too fast. The morning of this conversation we read Tallulah’s Tutu by Marylin Singer. Tallulah desperately wants to earn her tutu but she is crippled with disappointment when it doesn’t come fast enough. We also took a peek at a news story about a 4 year old and her mom who make dresses out of paper. I was pretty sure Penelope was reading my lesson plans because before the lesson during free choice she and Ava crafted a skirt in the maker spot. As we looked at the dresses, we took note of how they changed and improved with practice and experience. The discussion inspired Gretel to create a tux for her beanie boo and I encouraged the girls to try and create something from paper if they had a snow day today. I did say it was ok to email me pictures so we could share them when we returned to school.





























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As your daughter ventures through the daily successes and challenges of being a First Grader, remind her of her ability to change. To grow from a novice to an expert if she believes she can and subsequently positively participates in the steps needed to improve. That was an important part of Tallulah’s learning. She believed she should have a tutu, but it takes hard work to get there. To help us see the power of accepting critique in an effort to improve we watched the story of Austin’s Butterfly, seen below.





The group found the video powerful and many meaningful comments and questions were shared in our discussion. I appreciated Penelope and Cailyn allowing us to critique their Dreamers and Problem Solvers presentations. It is not easy at any age to think about what could have been better. If you haven’t yet listened to Pam Brown’s podcast of her coffee “Academic Challenge and Social Disappointment” it is still available on the parent dashboard and very relevant to this topic. I look forward to continuing to support the girls in developing their growth mindset. We have used these terms and will continue to do so and I hope you can continue the conversation with your daughter at home. If you would like to follow the paper dress making duo on instagram just search for their handle 2sisters_angie. There are many dresses there that we did not get to evaluate during our lesson.

Article posted March 3, 2014 at 01:35 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 36



Article posted February 24, 2014 at 10:33 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 37

These are familiar words for us this winter. Snow came so many days. Sometimes it was an interupption and we are still trying to get on track with a few projects, however, it certainly put us in the spirit of the winter olympics! We took advantage of snow days by interviewing each other upon our return. We tallied and graphed information and evaluated our data. What a festive few weeks we had studying the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Our days together with our SCH sisters were truly memorable. We adored desigining and building our own sleds and then testing them at our all lower school girls sledding event.



Snow Came Today from Stephanie Moore on https://vimeo.com" target="_blank">https://vimeo.com">Vimeo.

Article posted February 24, 2014 at 10:33 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 37



Article posted February 16, 2014 at 08:34 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 37

There is no doubt that the ladies of 1M are a creative, inventive bunch. There are few things more popular during free choice times than the classroom Maker Spot. AKA – “Beautiful Junk.” What is created in this area is often impressive. One of our first engineers was Josie who crafted a stylish but sturdy carrier for a beloved toy. The girls often work deliberately, searching for the tidbits they need for a particular project. Other times, they rustle through the baskets waiting for a spark of inspiration. As an early childhood teacher, I have always had a “beautiful junk” space in the classroom. It is the magical work of young children to create with what is around them and to see infinite possibilities in paper, tape and string. We were thoughtful in creating a space for this type of work when a team that I was a part of designed the LS Physics and Engineering Lab. The LS has been expanding this vision in our “Maker Space” room. It is a space that is inspired by what we early childhood educators have known for decades coupled with the thriving Maker Movement. Hear more about the global movement below.








When girls build structures and sculptures from beautiful junk they are often met with a series of challenges. Things collapse, don’t stick, won’t fit together as proposed. One of our engineers recently rushed to me proud with a structure but upon lifting it from the table the insides of her structure tipped over the edge and fell to the floor. She was visibly upset. I encouraged her to go inspect her structure and see what she could do so that wouldn’t happen again. After some very intentional adjustments she brought her structure to me again. “Look!” she called while confidently turning her structure upside down. When I asked her how she could turn her structure upside down without worrying she told me, ”Well, I made it stronger. I made it more secure with different tape. I added this (a bottle cap) so the big part wouldn’t wiggle. That’s stable isn’t it?” I definitely agreed and marveled at the language she had absorbed from our conversations in the block area and Physics Lab. Each of your daughters has had a similar but unique experience while building with the found materials or blocks.



For those of you who haven’t discovered our class Maker Spot, it currently lives in the rear of the classroom. We welcome help keeping it stocked with fun, interesting items – paper towel rolls, packaging, tops from laundry soap, stationary, unused Dixie cups, cotton from medicine bottles, stickers, beads from broken necklaces, sparkly gift boxes, pieces of wrapping paper, fabric, ribbon and the like are always in demand. “So,” you may be wondering, “What do I do with the results of all of this fabulous creativity, persistence, and independence?” I will give you seasoned teacher and mother Kristin Trueblood’s well-tested parenting secret regarding junk sculptures. As her two daughters brought item upon item home in lower school she would admire them and leave them on the kitchen table for a few days. Then she would move them to the top of the washing machine. If no one mentioned the out of sight structure again, into the trashcan/recycling bin it slipped. As with the majority of the early learning curriculum, the point is the learning process that comes with creating rather than the object itself.



Speaking of process and creating, it is not uncommon for me to eventually spot a few girls stockpiling items from the MakerSpot in their backpack. The intent is not for them to bring home an untouched waffle box. I’ve spoken to the girls about utilizing the materials in school and bringing home their finished sculpture, project or invention to share with you so feel free to follow up if you find any materials coming home untouched. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next!! They are well on their way to being as innovative as the girls in the below commercial. We love watching this in 1M!!!



Article posted February 16, 2014 at 08:34 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 37



Article posted February 11, 2014 at 08:25 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 39

All I can say is WOW! These 1M girls are bleeding the red, white and blue as they closely follow and cheer for Team USA!



The Olympics weaves into our study of "Dreamers and Problem Solvers" so seamlessly. I couldn't ask for more! Each day we are taking some time to take a closer look at one or more Olympians. We listen to their stories, told in their own word and in many cases the words of their mothers. A majority of our mini-documentaries are compliments of the Raising an Olympian series, part of the P&G Thank You, Mom series. Don't you adore those commercials?! As we hear the stories of each athlete we pull out the non-cognitive skills they demonstrated to be worthy of our "Dreamer and Problem Solver" status.



The girls impress me with their insights and comments. They thought Julie Chu showed such courage to try hockey when there were no girls teams to join. "She tried what she wanted to try and kept going because she loved it." I adored how they picked up the theme of honesty and importance of thinking about the community. "She told the truth to her coach. She wanted the team to win. She couldn't lie about being hurt. An injury is serious." They saw themselves in Julie. "My eyes got watery because she reminded her mom of what her mom had taught her about being a good person. I do that. I do that for my mom."



We of course had to learn more about one of the first Team USA gold medalists, Jamie Anderson. We were so excited for her! The girls were impressed that she won the gold in a new Olympic Event. "She worked hard to get there." "She made it in the one round but then they threw it out. Because of the weather." "She cares about others. She took a time out to help kids. That takes commitment to your neighborhood."



I wish I had been able to capture every single part of these conversations.  They are poignant, touching and relevant to the girls' everyday lives.  Thinking about persistence, resilience, work habits, honesty, cooperation, collaboration, focus, control, changing perspective, responsibility and a host of other skills is critical to the girls' path to success.  Continue the conversations with your daughter at home.... And of course....thank you to all the moms and dads who are helping 1M girls learn the value of persevering after they fall!

Article posted February 11, 2014 at 08:25 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 39



Article posted February 11, 2014 at 06:28 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 52

We have been waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and yes.....waiting for our Publishing Party. Snow, ice, delays, illness it kept postponing our celebration. Finally we decided that Thursday it was now or never. We had to have it. We were authors trembling with excitement to share our prose, poetry and humor. We held a microphone to highlight the importance of this sharing moment. We placed our spotlight (read Smartboard projection) on each proud writer. For a few of us it was an exercise in courage. To read aloud a piece in front of a large group was not on the bucket list of some 1Mers. Others found it glorious. We learned many lessons: longer does not always mean more powerful, neatness does count when you must reread in front of the group, it can be hard to hold the attention of 14 6 and 7 year olds. What was most important was that this was about celebrating. We each sat attentively and waited for each author to share. The girls shared why they chose their piece. The reasons varied from believing it was their best work, most impressive illustration, longest piece, reminded them of special moments to the simple but mighty reason - "It makes me happy." We gleefully raised our juice glasses to each writer in a lively celebration of our friends. The girls were thrilled to have a special popcorn snack and time to celebrate writing. We cannot wait until our next Publishing Party! Please, snow and ice, let it be sooner rather than later!



Publishing Party Feb from Stephanie Moore on https://vimeo.com" target="_blank">https://vimeo.com">Vimeo.

Article posted February 11, 2014 at 06:28 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 52



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