So my dear friend and mentor Adam Welcome shared this post about standing on tables for kids and it really made me think-what am I doing to make a lasting impression for these 361 kindergartners who will be leaving for elementary school in just three short weeks? As well as the 60 plus staff who will be take a break for the summer-how can I make a difference in the final minutes of our time together?
Notes of Gratitude: Dr. Todd Schmidt wrote about seeking out reminders and finding things to be grateful about each and everyday. Starting in April I wrote a personal note to every staff member in the building and mailed it home. It initially started as a way for me to reflect on all the great things I see everyday-but it turned into a positive experience for the staff as well. I received texts, emails, and hugs from staff members so grateful for the notes-some of them even put the notes on their own refrigerators at home alongside their children’s positive notes and success at school.
Mini PLC Celebrations: As we are wrapping up our first year of implementing PLC’s in our building we celebrated with “Dilly Bars and Dandelions”. Each team read an article on common formative assessments and created a Thinking Map about what they learned. These were shared outside on lawn chairs and offered us a way to informally celebrate our learning and talk about steps for next year. The work in establishing a functioning PLC is hard-however it is important to pause and celebrate along the way as adult learners-just like we do with our students.
Dance Off’s! So my friend Jennifer Kloczko finally convinced me to buy the karaoke machine….it sat in my office for about a month before I finally jumped in with both feet and took it outside for morning recess. What happened? The kids LOVE IT! We hold dance parties as many days I can get outside. We vary the music from Kids Bop-to Kool and the Gang and get all students and staff involved. Last week we expanded our fun by inviting the Intermediate, Middle and High School Principal to dance with us-next week we are hoping for the four Elementary Principals to join us in the fun! What originally started as a fun way to get the wiggles out before the day started-turned into a community building activity that bridges staff, students, parents and community members.
Our Middle School Principal Jason Senne dancing with some of our Kindergarten Students made quite the impression.
So in whatever way you are choosing I hope you are helping to set the tone for yourself, your staff and students to end the year on a note of gratitude, fun and celebrations!
Keep dreaming BIG for our LITTLEST learners,