Monday, March 17, 2014

March Madness, Part 1: Home Sweet Home

It was a dark and snowy night. Again.

There's March coming in like a lion or lamb...then there's March coming in like the Abominable Snowman. It's been warm, cool, freezing, windy, and hopefully after today, clear and sunny. March is always kind of a "mad" month, not just weather-wise but school and life related as well. For the most part, the first few weeks of this month for me have been more Lamb Chop than Simba from the Lion King.

Why? I've been close to home, and when you've been traveling a lot, home feels so good. This has been in part from the wild, wonderful winter. With Dr.Seuss Day looking like a snow day (it was), I decided I could "read" to the students of West Virginia by taping myself in my classroom and uploading it to YouTube. You can watch the video of "Oh, the Places You'll Go" at this link.

Oh the things you will think!
Luckily, the weather cooperated for a local event I've been waiting for - the county Social Studies Fair. Not only do I love social studies - I have wanted to announce the names of the winners since I was in eighth grade, and I finally got my chance. West Virginia is the only state that has a Social Studies Fair, where students research a topic of their choice, create a display, report, and presentation, then present their findings to judges from our community. Students compete at the school, county, regional, and state level. It's an authentic way to have students be independent in their learning and a wonderful opportunity for the community to see the potential and hard work of our students.
Proud to announce the names of present and past Tomahawk students!

I  had the chance to meet more of the students and parents of the community again at Rosemont Elementary's S'more Reading Night. Berkeley made his county debut sharing his favorite book, "M is for Mountain State." Rosemont's faculty and staff do a wonderful job promoting reading among their students and families - they had an amazing turnout!
Berkeley stole the show in Mrs. Spataro's classroom :-)

I have also resumed interviews for Be the Difference WV, starting with Valley View Elementary. During January and February I took a break, because the number of snow days we had would have made it difficult to schedule any visits. I am taping five schools this week, which will leave me with only four more to do to have covered all of Berkeley County.
With Len Jurkowski at Valley View Elementary

With Kimberlea Poling at Valley View Elementary

Saturday I returned from the Teaching and Learning Conference in Washington. D.C. That will be a separate post, because it was so amazing that it warrants having its own post. Next week I head back to Charleston to work on the NCTAF committee for improving professional development and learning in West Virginia, and I present a workshop at Shepherd University. Let's hope that the weather calms down so we can spring into a season of hope and new experiences.

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