Saturday, December 17, 2016

Contributing to the Culture of the School

How do you contribute to the culture of your school? Are you contributing in a positive or a negative way? Small things can make a huge difference when thinking about the culture on a campus. 

When I arrive at school (work) each morning around 6:30ish I make the decision to have a positive day. I ask myself, "How can I make a positive difference in a situation or in someone's life". I begin with saying "Good Morning" to each person (big or little) as they come through the office. It is amazing the difference that makes, it sets the tone for the day. 

Before Rise & Shine I make my way around the gym to give a quick hello and hugs to students. Some days there are students that I specifically drop by to start their day off with a kind word. A smile or encouragement can make a huge difference in the way the day will play out. 

I believe in having a Servants Heart. I am around the school campus each day and I am not afraid to to clean a bathroom, empty trash, teach a quick lesson, or to simply listen and give advice. Whatever needs to be done, we all need to pitch in and see that it is done. 

Leaving little notes for staff and students is wonderful way to boost the culture. Celebrating events in the lives of your co-workers and being exciting for even the small things in their lives will go a long way in building relationships and culture too. 

When you are able walk onto your school campus and choose to be positive in all situations, solve problems not create havoc, you will see your culture begin to change. 

Mrs. Hime 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

A Season of Serving Others and the Gift of Giving

"Tis the Season"... 

This year I have taken on our second through fourth grade Gifted and Talented group. It is comprised of nineteen students that are excited to try new things and dive into the unknown. I thought it would be a wonderful learning experience for the students  to serve others and enjoy the gift of giving during this time of year! 

We are currently in the middle of hosting a Food Drive on our campus. As of last Friday the students have collected a little over 700 food items which, along with items collected this coming week, will be donated to the local Mission House. The students announce the Food Drive each morning in Rise & Shine then collect and count the items each day.

Last Friday afternoon the students RAK'D the faculty and staff on our campus. They wrote positive messages, added a candy cane, then placed the notes on each car in our parking lots that surround our school. We even got thank you tweets! 

Our next project will begin this week, decorating sacks for the Winter Feed. The students will illustrate Christmas scenes on bags that will be filled with food and little surprises for community members that attend our district Winter Feed during the Christmas break. 

The students will end this unit of serving and giving by putting on a skit that will span over four days during all three lunches the week before break. This idea came up while our class was brainstorming ideas,  and the rest is history! 

If you want a feel good activity this time of year, get a group of seven through ten year olds, brainstorm ways to serve and give to your school and community, the benefits are endless! 

A glimpse of our week! 

Mrs. Hime 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Thankful to be an Oklahoma Educator

This Thanksgiving I am "Thankful to be an Oklahoma Educator"! 

I am thankful that I have had the opportunity to work in seven school districts (taught in six), each one different, but fabulous in their own way. I have held many positions over the years: financial secretary, cheerleading coach, test coordinator, mentor, technology integrationist, ELL, GT, and assistant principal. I have  taught high school, pre-k, and everything inbetween. I have a pretty colorful resume: Teacher of the Year and Regional K20 SKIE award winner are two highlights that I cherish. 

I have had amazing colleagues and have learned from each of them. I have had the pleasure of meeting many incredible families across the state. 

I have had sad moments in my career when students have passed away and discovering abuse of a child. I have celebrated happy moments such as when the "lightbulb" goes off and  students "get it". 

Oklahoma education is not perfect, but when I signed up for this career I knew it wasn't going to be.  I knew what I was getting into. I knew I wanted to make each day an exciting learning adventure for the students of Oklahoma. I have put my whole heart into this state for many years. I stand up for what is right, never losing sight of the fact that parents are trusting me each day with their most precious treasure. I am thankful to be an Oklahoma Educator, I love my job! 

Mrs. Hime 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

SW Mock Election was a Success!

Another GT project was wrapped up this week!

The students have been studying the election process since mid-September. They have defined election vocabulary, researched the election process, visited the County Election Board, designed and hung posters around the campus to advertise the big day, and  this past Tuesday they hosted a Mock Election for approximately five hundred second, third, and fourth grade students on Southwest campus.

Each GT student worked the election in one hour shifts. They manned the sign-in table, ballot box, handed out "I Voted" stickers, and counted ballots. 

The students announced the winner during Rise & Shine Wednesday morning to cheers from the campus. They were so excited Hillary Clinton had won ( I don't think they realized their winner was not the nation's President-elect). 

I can't wait to meet with them this week to hear their thoughts on the big day: What worked, what didn't work, what could we do differently next time... 

Mrs. Hime

Sunday, November 6, 2016

GRA 2016

Global Read Aloud 2016 wraps up this week! 

This was my 4th year to participate, but my first to host a Gifted and Talented book club group made up of second through fourth graders. We have meet each Monday over the past six weeks to have lunch, discuss our book (The BFG) , reflect, and complete activities. 

Our book club began with a Mystery Skype to determine the location of our WRA 2016 partners, they were a group of fourth graders from North Carolina! Each week the students have completed a reflection activity in Seesaw. The students collaborated to construct and publish a Gooblefunk Dictionary (you can scan the qr code below to view it). They also each wrote a dream of their own on Dream Jars, they were fantastic! 

Gooblefunk Dictionary 

We will end our book club tomorrow (Monday) with a pizza party, discuss the ending of The BFG, and reflect in Seesaw. I believe that each day should be an exciting learning adventure, the past six weeks has been an awesome one! 

Mrs. Hime 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Role of Technology in the Classroom

This week's #Edslowchat question of the week is very timely: What should the role of technology be in school today and how can it be used effectively? I was very encouraged yesterday as many #cpsreds attended the Western Oklahoma Edcamp. It is always wonderful when educators take their time to learn and grow!

Technology is a tool in the educator's toolbox. Ask yourself, "Which of my already awesome lessons can I add tech to so that it enhances the learning experience?"  Technology allows the classroom to expand outside of the four walls as students become Global Citizens through connections around the world. It allows students to learn things they would not normally be able to, and in a timely manner. 

Technology should not replace curriculum, but should support it. There are many research based programs that have digital components that allow easy access to students so that they are able to use them in many locations. Teachers are also able to differentiate for students using these technology tools. When monitored correctly, there are apps and educational games that allow students to enhance their learning. 

Using technology to reflect (blog) allows the student (and teacher) to look at what worked, what they need to improve upon, what can they do differently, and where do they go from here? This is a fabulous way to make plans to improve, grow, and move forward. 

One thing has not changed, the teacher is the variable in the classroom,  meaning sets the tone for the learning. If the teacher has clear, thought out plans for integrating technology in the classroom, it is a win for the students and the school district. If students are not using technology effectively we are doing a disservice to them. If we (as educators) are allowing the opportunity in our classrooms for students to learn the correct way to use technology we are preparing our students for the future. 

So many little lives depend on us to make the best choice for their  educational path. Let's make it an exciting and innovative one! 

Mrs. Hime

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Activating Prior Knowledge

Activating prior knowledge is an essential strategy that should be used in all subjects, at all grade levels. This past week in PLCs was ELL Thursday Thoughts ,we discussed the importance of background knowledge for not only ELL students, but all students.

When we tap into a student's prior knowledge, and make connections to their life experiences, it enables them to deepen their understanding, which in turn creates independent readers. A large percentage of our students do not have the life experiences to relate to, so we must provide them with academically enriched experiences to enhance their background knowledge. Field trips and mentoring programs would be ideal ways to enrich background schema. However, with today's shrinking resources it is mainly left up to the individual classroom teachers. We can build background knowledge through videos, read alouds, sharing our own adventures, and research projects.

I shared a few ways to activate student's prior knowledge: 

  • Using an old favorite, the KWL chart but adding an H: KWHL. What do you KNOW , What do you WANT to know, HOW will you find out more, What did you LEARN
  • Surprise Book activity: Choose a book that relates to the topic you will be introducing, cover the front and back with paper so the students can not see anything on the covers. Give them little hints about what they will be studying, each time tearing a small piece of the paper off until someone guesses what the topic will be. 
  • Smartboard activity: Post a picture related to the new topic, cover it with your shade, uncover a small portion of the picture each time you give a clue until someone guesses the topic

Each PLC group shared wonderful ways to activate students background knowledge too: 

  • Before introducing the topic ask the students three questions relating to the topic to tap into their knowledge
  • Read aloud a realistic fiction to introduce the topic 
  • Conversation
  • Relate the topic to the teachers life experiences
  • Journey writing
  • Using Brainpop to introduce a new topic 
  • Brainstorm
Tapping into a student's background knowledge, or building a student's background knowledge,  is a key component in the reading process. What strategies are you using this week to set your student's up for success? 

Mrs. Hime 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

It's a Balancing Act: Curriculum vs. Personalized Learning

This week's #EdSlowChat question is currently a "hot" topic in education... How do you balance "covering Curriculum" with "personalized learning"? 

I am no longer in the classroom, but I still remember the struggle to meet each student where they were and take them where they didn't know they could go. Before school began each year I printed the state standards for my grade level. I examined them and placed them in a three brad folder. Then I laid out the curriculum that my district had purchased for me to teach.  I began to "map" my year, looking back to my standards to clarify what the state said I should be teaching. If a standard or skill wasn't in my folder to be taught, and it wasn't foundational for another lesson I would "paperclip" it for a later date. As the year began, and I introduced a standard/skill I went back to my folder and highlighted the standard/skill taught with the date. 

The  most sacred teaching time for me was at my "flex table". That is the time of the day that I personalized the learning for students. I had three or four groups of four to six students at my table for 20 minutes each day, these groups changed depending on the needs of the students. This was the time that I explicitly taught the standard/skill. The resources I used at the table were not always provided by the school. I sought resources that I felt would assist the students to gain the knowledge they needed.  

I believe teaching is a balancing act, making sure you reach each child on their level while teaching the curriculum  and being authentic to your teaching style. Everyday should be an exciting learning adventure for each student. It requires teachers to know what they they are teaching and to know who they are teaching. Plan, Plan, Plan...

Mrs. Hime

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Creating a Positive Atmosphere in Your Classroom

Fostering a positive atmosphere in the classroom is one of the most important things an educator can do. It not only leads to happy students, teachers, and parents but it also helps in building relationships. When you have a positive vibe, and strong relationships, the "Sky's the Limit". 

As a  classroom teacher I would arrive in the gym (where our students gather in the mornings) at least ten minutes before the welcome began. I loved greeting my students, discussing their night, gathering notes etc., it sat the tone for our day together. Now that my roll has changed I think it is  still important to greet the students each morning, but on a larger scale. So, I arrive in the gym at least 25 minutes before the welcome so that I can say hello to each class and stop by the students that I feel need a quick hello or hug to start their day. I love the fact that our principal does this too, I think it sets the tone for the entire campus. 

After the morning welcome I walked with my class to our classroom, held the door open for them, said another quick hello or reminders as to what to do when they entered the room. Each Monday morning they would find a personal note on their desk from me. It might be as simple as, "Last week was awesome, let's make this one amazing" or "Hope you have a week as fabulous as you are".  I don't have a "classroom" anymore so I try to have a pen and sticky notes with me at all times so that if I see work hanging in the hall I can write a quick note to the student and stick it to their work. During our Dot Day celebrations there were so many things on the hall walls that I decided to write one word on the notes, all synonyms for awesome! 

I have also found that communicating positives with parents helps with our classroom vibe too! Phone calls, notes, blogs, SeeSaw, twitter, Facebook class accounts are a few ways to have positive communication with school families and build relationships at the same time. 

During the day there are many opportunites to say an encouraging word and listen to the needs of our students. I have always tried to treat each student as if they were my own, this worked well for me. 
I can honestly say that I didn't have many discipline issues when  the atmosphere in the classroom was a positive, uplifting one. Everyone wanted to be there and couldn't wait to see what exciting learning adventure we would embark upon each day! 

Attitude is a choice, choose a positive one! 
Mrs. Hime 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Professional Development

Professional Development has changed throughout the years. Gone are the days that we have to sit in a room with our colleagues to watch videos, or listen to a guest speaker discuss blood borne pathogens. Thank goodness! 

The #EdSlowChat question last week was "How has professional learning/development changed in relation to your role as an educator"? When I sat down to reflect on this question I was amazed at how my PD & learning has changed over the years. 

Social media has enabled me to have an online PLN (Professional Learning Network) which has broadened my contacts. Twitter has been huge for me in this area, I have specific hashtags and people that I follow and chats in which I participate. Facebook also has groups that has been a huge help. If I am seeking information on a particular subject I can "google it" and many resources become available, which includes online courses or webinars. I have attended Edcamps in several states, making connections  and receiving the latest updates in technology, innovation, and creation  have been crucial to my growth as an educator. 

One of the biggest Professional Development opportunities is right under our noses, the educators that we work with day in and day out! We each have something to offer, it's just having the time to share with each other. A few of the ways our campus is able to connect, share, learn & grow is allowing teachers time through Wireless Wednesdays, Lunch & Learns, and a new "Pineapple Chart". 

21st Century Professional Development should be "Out of the Box", it isn't one size fits all anymore! 

Mrs. Hime 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Academic Vocabulary

Academic Vocabulary is important in all subjects and all grade levels, and to all students. Last week my ELL Thursday Thoughts during PLCs were on the importance of having common vocabulary across grade levels. It not only benefits the ELL students, but ALL students. 

Can you imagine being an immigrant student, or having been in the United States for a few years and hearing several different terms for essentially the same thing. An example might be:
(5 take away 4 is 1)  then the next year you learn (5 minus 4 equals 1), or maybe it is the same year just in different classes (pullouts, specials etc.). I know to some this seems minor, but when you are just learning a new language, or you are a slow learner, it becomes jumbled in your brain. We need to teach the correct terms so that the struggling student can learn it correctly the first time. It is ok when explaining a new term to use words that the student can relate to in order to build upon their background knowledge, however we need to quickly introduce the proper vocabulary.  

Having a place to keep academic vocabulary words so that a student can refer back to them is important. A few ideas are using the Marzano Method (write, define, illustrate) in a notebook, or have an ongoing Interactive Notebook. Interactive Word Walls are also important in a classroom, you may have two or three going at a time

Revisiting Academic Vocabulary in a center or even a whole class game, after explicitly teaching them, is a wonderful way to review. Using SeeSaw to define or illustrate a word would be a way that parents can see the words the students are learning, or using the Tellagami app to build a character then define a word from the Academic Word Wall.  Playing Bingo or Password would be two whole class ways to review. 

Students learn by doing, hands on activities will make academic words concrete. Expanding our student's vocabulary should be one of our top priorities, let's make sure it is the correct vocabulary. 

Mrs. Hime

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Teaching on 9/11/01

During conversations about the attack on the World Trade Centers (Twin Towers) and the Pentagon, I am always asked "Where were you on 9/11/01?".  My answer is always the same, I was teaching at a small K-8 school in Idabel, Oklahoma...

The morning began the same as any other  in our third grade classroom, with excitement to see what amazing learning adventure we would take on that day. Shortly into the third hour of the day the principal came to our classroom door and asked to see me in the hallway. I remember walking out my door and seeing  every other teacher that worked in my hallway, standing with curious looks on their faces. I couldn't imagine why Mr. Austin wanted to take us out of our classrooms...  As he  began explaining the tragedy that had happened in New York City, we were speechless, a second grade colleague of mine became emotional. As we gathered around her she explained her daughter was in New York City, it would be several hours until she knew her daughter was unharmed.

Mr. Austin directed us to remain calm, carry on as normally as possible, and not to discuss any of the day's events with our students. Fifteen years ago I didn't have technology in my classroom, no ipads, laptops, or smart phones. I don't remember what time of the day my students went to specials (Music or PE) however I do remember sitting at a small rectangle table that was our classroom listening center.  It had a boombox that had a cassette player and a radio. I sat at the center while my students were out of the classroom and listened to the news. I still remember the feeling as I was finally able to hear the details as they were coming into the news station.  

I also recall  the end of the school day. We had a quick faculty meeting to discuss how we would proceed the following day. When the meeting was over no one stayed around to chit chat,  the parking lot emptied quickly. We all wanted to to be with our families, recount our day, and watch the news.  

Six years later I traveled to New York City with my daughter, Erika, and my sister Shawna. As we stood on the observation deck overlooking the massive hole where the Twin Towers had once stood, I thought back to that day in my classroom, how I was very sad and nervous on the inside, but how I was an actor that day for my students. They were so innocent and didn't have a clue how their  lives would be forever changed. 

One of the heroic stories that came out of the 9/11 tragedy was that of Todd Beamer. His words "Let's Roll" became a popular phrase, I read the book and wore the shirt.  I have thought about his widow and children each year on the anniversary of his fateful flight. As an educator I hope that I can be an example and role model for my students, as Todd was for our country. 

May God Bless America, 
Mrs. Hime 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Digital Citizenship

What was I thinking, volunteering to do Digital Citizenship with  twenty-three second through fourth grade classrooms, well this is what I was thinking...

Our school district has made a huge technology movement over the past five years. With that movement came many awesome technology tools that has enriched our district. But, it has also left, as do so many things, more on the classroom teacher's plate. 

Each year our classroom teachers have to find thirty minutes at the beginning of the school year to squeeze in Digital Citizenship. This year I volunteered to do the lesson with each classroom and take them on a tour of the Makerspace. This was actually selfish on my part, I would get to be around the students, we could meet each other up close and personal, while giving the teachers a little time to breathe. 

So, five days later I am through! During the week approximately five hundred students met me at different times in the Explanation Station. Each group watched a slideshow and two videos, shared and discussed what they learned, then toured the Makerspace. It turned out exactly as I had wanted it to, I was able to meet each new student and get reacquainted with others. 

Life is good, I love my job! 
Mrs. Hime 

Sunday, August 28, 2016


As I was reflecting on the first full week back to school with students one thing kept coming to mind, timeout... 

What do you do with the student in your classroom that isn't following your expectations? As a former classroom teacher I had a "Reflection Station". If a student was not following class rules, expectations, or procedures they would be invited to the Reflection Station to think about their actions and complete a short form that they would take home for their guardian to sign and return to class the next day, that usually detoured any negative choices for a while. The next time the student made a negative choice I called the guardian and the student visited the Reflective Station. The third time this happened I requested a guardian visit and the student visited the Reflection Station, this usually led to positive choices. 

I wish that I had read about "The Responsive Classroom" much sooner! I love the idea of introducing a "Talk spot" or "Take a break" spots as positive, respective, and supportive teaching strategies. The "Talk Spot" is a place in the classroom that you can invite a student  so that you can talk privately, or if they are having a disagreement with another student they can ask to go there to work the problem out. The "Take a Break" spot is a safe place inside the classroom where the student is able to hear the lesson, but is able to calm down, then rejoin the class. What novel ideas! 

Of course the teacher's voice and tone play into "The Responsive Classroom". Always using a calm, quiet voice, and few words allows less distractions in the classroom. Our principal shared an awesome article  with us this week, Eye Opening Video Will Make Adults Reconsider the  Way They Talk to Children, it really makes you think about your words and the procedures you use in the classroom, and school. 

As always, I love to learn  then share... I found many ideas for a responsive classroom on Pinterest and Teacher Pay Teacher. What are your expectations and consequences as you go into the school year? Have you explicitly practiced them in a positive manner? It's not too late to start, tomorrow is a fresh new start! 

Have a wonderful week! 
Mrs. Hime

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Leaving a Legacy

This morning, as I was reflecting on a week of inservice and the first two days of school with students,  this week's educational slow chat question kept coming to my mind...What legacy am I leaving for the students, faculty, and staff of Southwest Elementary? I made a list, in no particular order, that I would like my legacy to consist of. Hopefully, at the end of the school year, it will be a legacy that is worth leaving!

 1. Mutual Respect
 It is so important that we have respect for one another in all situations. We may not always agree 
 but we must value each other's opinions and ideas. "treat others the way you want to be treated".

2. Confidence
Having confidence (trust) in our abilities and having a feeling of self assurance 

3. Trust
I want others to see that I am a person that speaks the truth at all times, the good and the bad, so 
that we have a relationship built on trust. 

4. Honesty and Integrity
Be honest in all circumstances, act with integrity which shows that I have moral principles.

5.  Kindness
Spreading Acts of Kindness has always been important to me. Being friendly to everyone, even 
at the my darkest times, is a trait I want to share with others. 

6. Serving Others
The most important things we have to offer are not things, but ourselves. Whether it is covering 
a class, making copies, wiping tables in the cafeteria, or carrying a backpack, the feeling of serving always makes the person serving feel awesome! 

7. Taking Risks
Failing forward isn't failing at all, it is progressing in the right direction,  I hope to model this               daily,  it is worth it! 

8.  Planting Seeds
Planting a small seed may not seem important but when it is planted and nurtured, it will grow 
and flourish into something so amazing! 

9.  Each Person is Important
Each person, and position, in a school is very important, or we wouldn't have them.  I want others 
to see that I value every person that I come in contact with. 

10. Connect, Share, Learn, and Grow 
I want to continue my theme...connecting with colleagues to share the wonderful                                 things we know so that we can all learn and grow on our professional journey. 

What legacy are you Leaving? Make it a great one! 
Mrs. Hime


Sunday, August 14, 2016

A Summer Full of Learning...

I can not believe summer is coming to an end... it has flown by! What is that saying, "time flies when you're having fun". I have had so many opportunities to learn and grow this summer, I can not wait to share with the amazing staff at Southwest Elementary! 

I started my summer with two days of webpage training. I know that sounds boring, but I learned so many new things, I have already put many of the ideas into practice on our campus webpage. You can see it here! 

I was invited to a LETRS training by one of our second grade teachers, I am so glad I went! Not only did I learn and grow as a reading teacher but I got to spend the day with one of the best teachers I know! 

It was great to see so many of my peers and friends at the summer CCOSA conference. My favorite session was watching my husband and several other amazing educators discuss #oklaed. I am so proud of these men that had this idea five years ago and haven't backed down. It has been trending as one of the top chats on Twitter! 

I spent a week in Edmond with an outstanding group of Southwest teachers! We not only attended Great Expectations but we also spent time on the way there and back and at lunch each day going over all the things we had learned and how we were going to implement it on our campus. It was an outstanding week! 

Traveling to Denver with Clinton colleagues was a definite high of my summer. We not only attended awesome meetings, gathered many ideas to bring back, but we collaborated on the way to, and home from, Denver. You could say I was "brain dead" when we returned home!

My office was packed and moved. It is coming together slowly between meetings and getting ready for the new school year. 

A week of Leadership and Strategic Planning meetings were also on my agenda this summer. These meetings were held in Clinton, with Clinton school and community leaders. It is wonderful to work and learn with such amazing people. 

School is starting in four days, I think I am prepared! 

August ELL News 
August Innovation & Technology News 

I am not sure what my blogs are going to look like this year, I may change it up a bit.  For the past four years I have reflected each week, this year I may blog on specific topics, thoughts, and ideas. Stay tuned! 

Stephanie Hime
ELL/EdTech/Asst. Principal 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Week 38: I Made It!

The last week of the school year... always a busy time... 

I spent my week collecting ELL binders, working on ELL information that would be helpful in making plans for summer school, collecting ipads and resetting them, videoing last day assemblies, attending meetings to discuss plans for next year, and of course organizing, producing, and publishing the last Southwest Weekly Recap of the year. 

As I reflect on my year, I feel excited! The new ELL program that I helped implement was a huge success! Our team worked together to make major changes in curriculum, resources, parent involvement, and community awareness. The end of the year survey  had wonderful suggestions for next year, the wheels are already turning! 

I am equally as excited  that I was able to connect, share, learn and grow with the faculty at Southwest Elementary as I assisted them in integrating technology into their awesome lessons and classroom activities. There were not very many responses on this end of the year survey but the ones that were received offered encouragement to continue on the path that we are on. I am already looking  forward to next year,  "the sky's the limit"!

I just reread my first weekly reflection of this year (You can find it on my Pinterest Board, Weekly Reflections), I am so happy that I wrote a reflection each week (Yes, that is 38!) as an avenue to learn and grow from my experiences. I tweeted the amazing things happening at #swelem and #cpsreds as a bridge between school and home. I am sad to say that about halfway through the year Shuttercal crashed and decided not to continue their services so I wasn't able to document an entire year on their site. 

So many people have asked if I missed the classroom,  I can honestly say that I didn't. I saw a "bigger picture" this year, I had the opportunity  to assist and serve the faculty and staff, making an impact outside of my four walls. I am excited to see what the future holds!

Thank you for reading my journey each week, I have loved every minute of it! 
Mrs. Hime


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Week 37: Innovation Week

Week 37 was just the most amazing week ever! After weeks and weeks of planning, organizing, planning, scheduling, and more planning Southwest was "Ready to Rock!" We had five themed days...even the rain couldn't keep us down! 

The Best Day Ever 
Our week started with a huge surprise for the students! After breakfast and putting backpacks away all twenty-three classrooms boarded busses that would take them on an all day learning adventure throughout our city! Each class had a partner class that traveled with them. Each grade level visited the following places on a rotating schedule: 

Second Grade: Post Office, Archery, Rock Wall Climbing, and Hockey
Third Grade: Fire Station, Newspaper, Public Library, and Ag Farm
Fourth Grade: Airport, Route 66 Museum, HS Science, and HS Band

Dodgers Game
Second and Fourth grade attended the Dodger game at Bricktown in Oklahoma City. Third grade had attended earlier in May so they stayed behind and had an AR goal celebration. 

Little Olympics
Southwest brought Little Olympics back! It was a day filled with many track and field events, fun, and laughter. Each class could send four students for an event, the top five in each event were rewarded with a ribbon at Rise & Shine Friday morning. 

Teach Like a Pirate Day
Every classroom and extended teacher taught something they were passionate about! Some of the classes offered were: 

Design and Float Boats (me), Soccer, Pet Party, Dino Fossils, Decoupage, Origami, Coral Reef, Baking, Painting, Video Gaming,  Drums, Suncatchers etc...

Every hour the students were able to choose the class they wanted to attend. It was definitely a day of "out of the box" learning experiences! 

Innovation Day at the Frisco Center
All five campuses transported (and set up) their Makerspaces at the Frisco Center for the entire student body to travel through. From 8:15 until around 2:15 over 2,000 students and community members were able to observe the innovative and creative things happening at Clinton Public Schools. 

It was an exciting, fast paced, busy week filled with amazing authentic learning opportunities for our students. I went through many highs and lows throughout the week. Just when I would think I couldn't do anymore a student, parent, or community member would offer a kind word, encouragement, or thanks so off I would go again. This week took a village, I am so proud of the positivity that the faculty and staff of Southwest had all week and for the vision of our Principal. 

Thank you for reading about my journey each week, I am having the time of my life!
Mrs. Hime 
We have four days to make a difference! 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Week 36: Another Week in the Books

Another week is in the books... nine days to make a difference! 

SES hosted our first  "Paper-free Day" this week, it was a huge success! We asked that no one use paper or pencil, think "outside the box",  use creative, innovative, and techie ways of teaching for the day. As I walked through the classrooms I was amazed at the many ways teachers were teaching, it was so impressive! I also saw the fruit of my labor, I am so blessed to work with the best at Southwest!! 

A few months ago I wrote a grant to the Clinton Education Foundation for $2,000 for half the cost of sending myself and seven colleagues to a four day Great Expectation training, and it got funded this week! I am so excited to be able to share this learning experience with the amazing men and women of Southwest Elementary! 

This week I had a fall, you know, like Humpty Dumpty... I hardly ever eat in the cafeteria but when I saw they were serving my favorite, mac and cheese, I decided to run over and get a tray. As I was walking back to my building,  enjoying the fresh air, I found myself going down, the next thing I knew I was on the ground, my tray spilled everywhere. The first thing I did was make sure the polish was still on my toes and fingernails, then checked to see that my watch wasn't broken. I got up, inspected the stains on my white pants, then ran to grab my trashcan and a broom to clean up the mess. I did go back to get another tray, and of course I had to explain why I was back... It's not about how you fall,  it's about how you get up... right? 

My week ended with organizing, producing, and publishing the weekly recap. This week's special guests were our fabulous reading teachers, we couldn't make it without them! 

Thank you for reading about my journey each week,  I am having the time of my life! 
Mrs. Hime

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Week 35: Time is Running Out

This week was like all the that each day was different!

The week began with a surprise in Rise & Shine to honor the hard work our principal and assistant principal do each day. The school counselor and I organized it, the whole band (flags and all) marched in playing the school song, the cheerleaders led us in a cheer, we watched a special video made just for the honorees, and we gave them each a gift. It was a fun morning! 

Our campus hosted a group from Putnam City this week. They are beginning the first steps in implementing a Makerspace. I was able to assist in showing them around ours and answering any questions or concerns they have as they move forward. I have loved this part of my job this year! I am able to share the good, the bad, the ugly, what worked, what didn't, and what we learned from it. 

I traveled to Merritt this week with a few of my colleagues to look at the awesome things they are doing! It was a wonderful day of connecting, sharing, learning, and growing. I came away with some new ideas, I can't wait to integrate them! 

I published the last Innovation & Technology News for the year. It included a link for the Ipevo Wishpool, a document for sharing Paper-free day ideas (May 11th), a link for ReCharge, and a Padlet for feedback. 

I had the opportunity to help Pearson setup for a textbook demo. I sat with second grade teachers and examined the series along with them. I can't wait to see which series our campus votes for, I love new books! 

Each week I organize, produce, and publish the Weekly Recap. I have learned something new each week about our faculty/staff, this week I learned that Mrs. Summer Hernandez actually went to Southwest as a little girl! 

Our week ended with an amazing Rise & Shine where each teacher shared why they teach. It was powerful to listen to each teacher and the way they view their profession, their thoughts, was wonderful! 

Thank you for allowing me to share each week as I learn & grow this year, I am having the time of my life! 
Mrs. Hime
14 days to make a difference! 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Week 34: Beginning of the End

It was a wonderful week at SES! We had our last pep rally this  week for our little second graders who were taking their final benchmark of the year. The gym was decorated with banners, we showed our campus motivational videos, and the gym was full of parents. I am so glad our campus decided to do this each Monday of testing season! 

I hosted the last Innovation & Wireless Wednesday this week. The theme was "This year has been a big hit".  I painted white tablecloths to look like the thread of a baseball, played "Take me out to the ballgame", and served Cracker Jacks, popcorn, and Baby Ruth candy bars. I turned the table on everyone this month and asked them to share a favorite lesson or tool they have used this year. It was awesome to see the amazing lessons, ideas, and things that were shared. Each month I share one of my favorite things (Mrs. Hime's Favorite Things), this month I shared sunglasses (because SES teachers are so bright) along with an end of the year poem. It was a wonderful afternoon of connecting, sharing, learning, and growing! 

Sometimes the "small things" make up a large portion of my week.  I published the last ELL newsletter of the year, sent out instructions to complete ELL binders, hosted the Students of the Month in the makerspace, and hosted two ladies from the State Department of Education this week in the Makerspace. They interviewed several students, teachers, Mr. Meget, and myself. I can't wait to see the final article they are writing! 

As always my week ended organizing, producing, and publishing the Weekly Recap, I can not believe we have completed thirty-four weeks of school! 

Thank you for allowing me to share my journey each week as I learn & grow,
Mrs. Hime

We have 19 days to make a difference!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Week 33: Is testing over yet?

Another week of testing meant another pep rally, this week it was SES fourth graders turn to be motivated by our students, faculty, staff, and parents. It also meant my schedule included monitoring a test and helping out in the process as needed. 

April's tech challenge is coming to an end so I spent time in classrooms assisting students and teachers as they made  Gamis using the Tellagami app. Some have used it for book reviews, weather reports, and many other innovative ways. 

I organized, produced, and published Week 33~Southwest Weekly Recap. I have really enjoyed this aspect of my job this year, I have gotten to know a little more about our faculty and staff through this process. 

Thank you for allowing me to share my journey as I learn and grow!
Mrs. Hime 
We have 23 days to make a difference! 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Week 32: Can you say TESTING?

The week started with a campus pep rally to encourage and motivate third grade students as they began state testing. The gym looked awesome! Each classroom (23) made a 6" motivational banner which we hung around the gym. We shared two motivational videos: One had every faculty and staff member in it  and the other was of each classroom saying something encouraging to our campus testers.  We invited families of third grade students to join us as well, it was fabulous!

I monitored five testing sessions this week. I have administered state tests for the past 21 years, and even been a campus test coordinator, so this year was very different for me, a lot less stress! 

I managed to assist two fourth grade classrooms with their very first Mystery Skypes.  Both classes were prepared, used critical thinking skills, and asked great questions to determine their opponent's locations (Colorado and Vermont). 

The week wouldn't be a complete  without organizing, producing, and publishing Week 32 Weekly Recap.

Thank you for allowing me to share my journey as I learn and grow each week! 
Mrs. Hime

We have 28 days to make a difference! 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Week 31: Connecting & Building Relationships

I feel I say this each week, really was a busy week! There just isn't enough time in the day to complete all the tasks that are on my list, so I get to work by 6:45am, and leave most days around 5:00... I am still not able to complete my list, I think that is job security, right? 

I had the opportunity to sit in on meetings at a local counseling center this week. This year has definitely broaden my vision from four walls to the campus, district, and beyond.  Seeing the whole "picture" come together has been quite an experience! 

SES hosted our final Maker Monday of the year. Since January we have opened our Makerspace eight Monday nights for SES families and community members.  It was a wonderful outreach for our campus! 

Our SES faculty and staff have worked together to make an inspirational testing video for our students. This week I recorded the teachers singing a song ,written by one of our teachers, to the music of a very popular song, it has turned out to be the cutest video. We will show it to the students at the Pep Rally next Monday (so I am not posting it on the blog until next week). 

We also collaborated on a video starring each class giving a shout out of encouragement to other classes. We will premiere this video at the Pep Rally too. Each class made banners that I hung in the gym Friday afternoon. Several students came into the gym while I was working, they were so excited! I can't wait until the Pep Rally, I am not sure who is going to enjoy it more, the adults or students! 

A month or so ago our SES Book Club decided we wanted to host an April luncheon, that happened on Thursday. I was happy to get to decorate and organize the food etc. We had four lunch groups and also invited the district maintenance crew.  I also gave the teachers a preview of the video that we will show at the Pep Rally, it was awesome to see everyone smiling and laughing together. Third grade teachers also hosted a baby shower for one our assistants, it was a great week of connecting and building relationships! 

This week I also attended several meetings to discuss Innovation Week (that is fast approaching), state testing, ELL, and  moving  forward into next year. Of course my week would not be complete without organizing, producing, and publishing the weekly recap: 

Thank you for following me this year as I learn & grow, I love my job! 
Mrs. Hime


Friday, April 1, 2016

Week 30: Never a Dull Moment!

What a busy week! Life is good...

My week started with SES Students of the Month in the Makerspace. We collaborated to make a giant piano! The students used Scratch, Makey Makey, foil, duct tape, and banner paper. It was a wonderful learning experience for all! 

We hosted third graders and their parents Monday evening for Maker Monday. This has proven to be a great way to involve our SES families on our campus. 

I hosted SES first Lunch & Learn this week, it was a huge success! I decided to do it in the place of Wireless Wednesday. The theme was testing, but not what you think... stars were hanging from the ceiling, the test fairy had left a motivational note on a poster, we discussed the book "The Big Test" and how reading it aloud would open a discussion with the students to share their feelings about the test. We had a spinning wheel for prizes, pizza, and salad.  Almost every faculty/staff member attended a session! 

March's Tech challenge ended Thursday. I put the  names of the teachers that completed the aurasma project on a spinner app then I used periscope to announce the winner.  

The remainder of my time this week was spent assisting teachers with ELL and technology. I worked on our SES motivational testing video too, I think the teachers may get a bigger kick out of it than the students! 

There is one element about my week that never changes: organizing, producing, and publishing the Weekly recap. 

Thank you for allowing me to share my journey as I learn and grow each week, I am having the time of my life!
Mrs. Hime

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Week 29: True Joy

Just returning from Spring Break, this four day week was spent assisting and helping to organize projects for testing season... 

I am so excited to help SES teachers with a motivational video for the students. This has been   a learning experience for me! I am thankful that others in our district are able to show me how to use a  program that I can use to put the teacher's song onto karaoke music.  The second part of this process is to video adults all over the school and put music on the videos. I can not wait to see to the finished product!

We are also planning a testing pep rally. My part in this was to cut 23 banners so that each class will be able to decorate one  and hang it in the gym for the rally.  I am so excited see how the rally comes together! 

This month's tech challenge, making auras, has been a big hit! Several more classes completed theirs this week. I love seeing student's work displayed all over the school, at first sight it's just artwork, then it comes to life with the aurasma app! Innovation and Technology are on fire at SES! 

I had several ELL meetings this week, mainly just laying out plans for the remainder of the year, but also discussing ways to make next year's program more efficient. We are continuing to move forward, which a good thing! 

As always my week ended with organizing and producing this week's weekly recap, I can not believe this was number 29! I  always learn something about the staff member that I didn't know, I love this part of my week! 

Thank you for allowing me to share my journey as I learn and grow each week,  I am having the time of my life,  

Mrs. Hime

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Week 28: The Week Before Spring Break

Twas the week before Spring Break, when all through the school...

This week I finished all lunch/recess duties that I owed to teachers that had successfully completed February's Lego Movie Challenge.  I was also able to assist several teachers with March's challenge, Augmented Reality. I  am continually encouraged by the enthusiasm that the teachers have to learn and grow, I am so blessed to be able to serve and assist them on their journey! 

Our school district is implementing strategic planning which includes not only our school employees, but our community as well. I attended a few of those meetings this week and also attended the last week of our campus book study. Mrs. Flores and Mrs. Paul led our group through a motivating book by Ron Clark, "Move Your Bus". The book study was a wonderful addition to our campus, I am already looking forward to the next one! 

I worked on several other things this week which included several meetings to analyze ELL benchmark data, making a video to showcase SES March Students of the Month, videoing Rumble's visit to our school, and celebrating one of our awesome custodians birthday!

I organized. produced, and published two recaps this week, one on Monday for Week 27 and one on Thursday for Week 28. This week's was so inspiring, it is a must watch! 

Thank you for allowing me to share my journey as I learn and grow each week, I am having the time of my life! 
Mrs. Hime 


Sunday, March 6, 2016

Week 27: Cale Brady Goad

Week 27 was a short work week for me, two days and a baby...

I was able to assist in the Makerspace while the Students of the Month enjoyed an extra hour of innovation and creativity. This is a special treat for the students that are chosen based on their exemplary behavior. That evening, while teachers conducted conferences, I opened the Makerspace for families to visit with their children, it was a huge success! 

I also covered a few lunch/recess duties Monday and Tuesday for teachers that had completed the February Tech Challenge. I have really enjoyed interacting with the kiddos during this time over the past few weeks. 

Then, Wednesday morning, I became Gram for the second time. Our daughter Bailey, and her husband Brady, had a precious little boy, Cale Brady Goad. He favors his big brother Jason, which brought back so many wonderful memories of his birth three years ago.  Bailey and Brady will celebrate five years of marriage this week, of course Kevin and I said we would be happy to come back and keep the boys so they could go out for awhile. I love being a Gram!  

During the past month I feel as though I have been absent from work as much as I have been at work. I have traveled to Austin, CanCun, Stillwater, and Fairfax. We have had a wedding for our oldest daughter Erika, and welcomed her husband Nick into our family. Then eleven days later welcomed our second grandchild into our lives. So many changes, but change is good! 

Thank you for all for allowing me to share my journey this year as I learn and grow each week,
Mrs. Hime

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Week 26: I Hit the Ground Running

Week 26 was a four day week for me. Monday was spent traveling home from our daughter's wedding, then at about six forty-five Tuesday morning, I hit the ground running...

I organized guest readers for World Read Aloud Day, and even read to two classes myself, I think I enjoyed it as much as the students did! I read my favorite book, "Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon" and a book that looked interesting, "Moustache Baby", they were both big hits! 

We couldn't have World Read Aloud day without an Author Skype! Author Monica Carnesi joined a third grade class via skype to answer questions and encourage them on their writing journey. 

This month's tech challenge reward was one day of duty free lunch and recess (courtesy of me), which began this week. Nine teachers completed the challenge so that is nine duties for me! So far I have watched a "Swing Contest", played in a "Four Squares"game, found the head of a dead animal (not sure if it was a mouse or a mole), observed several students using good manners in the cafe (some even receiving a special prize), AND I witnessed smiles on student's faces as they opened lunch bags with sweet notes inside...PRICELESS! 

I was also able to serve and assist many faculty members this week and play host in the Makerspace to two professors from Northwestern University.  March ELL Newsletter  was published this week as well as Week 26~Southwest Weekly Recap. 

Thank you for allowing me to share each week as I learn and grow, I am having the time of my life! 
Mrs. Hime