Sunday, February 3, 2019

My One Word 2019: Prudence

Five years ago I stumbled across the One Word Challenge on Twitter, thus was the beginning of a new tradition for me, My One Word. I've always had a hard time getting resolutions to stick with me throughout the year, I have found when I decide on one word, and live by it, it becomes innate. It becomes so ingrained in everything I do, combined with my past words, I feel like I'm becoming a better me! Each year I create small signs, and other little reminders, that I strategically place so that I see them each day. I share my One Word with a few others that I know will keep me accountable. It is so much easier to remember my "One Word" when others know my mission! 

My "One Word" through the years: 
2015: Grow
2016: Diligent
2017: Impeccable
2018: Still

This past December I began to contemplate words, I developed  a short list that I began to pray over and study. One word kept coming back to me...prudence.

  1. pru·dence

    Dictionary result for prudence

    1. the quality of being prudent; cautiousness.

      "we need to exercise prudence in such important matters"

      synonyms:wisdomjudgment, good judgment, judiciousness, sagacityshrewdnessadvisabilitycommon sensesense

Prudence is found throughout the bible, a few of my favorite verses that speak to prudence are: 

"[there is] a time to keep silence, and a time to speak"
Ecclesiastes 3:7

"Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry"
James 1:19

I have always been the type of person to jump in quickly to solve a problem and share my knowledge the second someone calls or text me with an issue. Wisdom is full of prudence, good management, a balance if you will. I am learning that taking a step back, looking at the "big picture", learning to have a good amount of wait time (in some cases twenty four hours or more) is a good thing.  Proverbs 1: 1-4

There have been many trials in my life, several over the past year. In each of these circumstances I have tried to handle myself with grace and dignity, but fell short many times. I am reminded of the verse in Proverbs 12:16, "A fool's wrath is quickly and openly known, but a prudent man ignores an insult". The bible never promises that we will not face adversities, however it does promise the strength and grace to overcome adversity. God has shown himself in so many circumstances over my life, I am so thankful. 

I am continually seeking knowledge to help me grow personally and professionally, Solomon says in Proverbs 18:15, "The mind of the prudent is ever getting knowledge, and the ear of the wise is ever seeking knowledge". I pray I will always have a hunger to grow and learn.  

Some may wonder why I am blogging my one word a month into 2019...that's simple, I was practicing being prudent! A prudent man carefully considers his steps...

Have a Fabulous 2019!
Mrs. Hime 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Academic Vocabulary Tier I, II, III

Academic Vocabulary is important in all subjects, in all grade levels, and to all students. Using common academic vocabulary across grade levels not only benefits EL students, but benefits ALL students. Expanding our student's vocabulary is one of our top priorities at Clinton Public Schools. 

Can you imagine being a Newcomer, 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 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. 

 Academic Vocabulary words are broken into three tiers. Classrooms may have a word wall for each tier, however our district has defined the Academic Word Wall to consist of Tier II and Tier III words. Words that a student may not use in everyday language, words that are specific to a subject area. These words can be found on the OSDE website by following this linkOur district also has stated academic vocabulary words should be placed on the word wall as the word is introduced and taught. 

Having a place for students to keep Academic Vocabulary words so that they can refer back to them as needed is important too. A few ideas are: using the Marzano Method (write, define, illustrate) in a notebook; have an ongoing Interactive NotebookInteractive 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 an app such as Tellagami  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. 

In what ways are you teaching Tier II and Tier III Academic Vocabulary words in your classroom? Share at least one idea below (by September 6th at 8:00am) to enter your name into a drawing for this awesome Pineapple Giveaway package:
Book: Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon
Pencil Pouch
Classroom Awards
Classroom Bookmarks

Please reach out to me if I can assist, clarify, collaborate, or answer any questions about Academic Word Walls.

Stephanie Hime
Extension 2002

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Reflect, Adjust, Move Forward into School Year 2018-19

Last year ended for me on the thirtieth of June.  It was a year filled with some of my favorite things: connecting, sharing, learning, and growing. There are minutes, hours, and days that I look back on and think, "Goodness, I can't believe that happened!". Some of those moments were positive and productive, while others were less than stellar.  A very wise man once told me "You can not control the actions of others, you can only control yours".

This past year, while maintaining the positions of EL/GT Director for my district, I added yet another experience to my resume, Director of Elementary Curriculum.  Essentially, I had two and half jobs. Juggling has become one of my qualities, tricky, yet fulfilling!

There were times during the year that I felt isolated from the world. It was the first time in my career that I felt completely shut down and shut out. At my lowest points, out of nowhere a bright light would shine through. Someone holding a white flag, letting me in their game, valuing my opinion, validating my worth to the district. What is that old saying, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade".

Two words came to my mind quite often: discourage and encourage. These two words have a root/base in common... courage. Having the courage to make changes, to try something new, to step out of one's comfort zone is huge, I think I did it!

Looking back, I see that even though the year was bumpy, amazing things did happened within EL, GT and elementary curriculum.

Moving forward, I plan on continuing to build relationships, breaking down barriers, being in classrooms more and my office less. My position can be an asset in the district; modeling, guiding, and watching the magic unfold. My mission for this year can be summed up in the following scene from Dirty Dancing:

I used to love to blog, I'm hoping to bring that back too!
Mrs. Hime 

Monday, January 1, 2018

My "One Word" for 2018

Four years ago, as I was pondering a New Year's resolution, I came across the "One Word Challenge" on Twitter, so began the journey of my "One Word" focus. It has worked well for me, as I was never good at keeping resolutions, but I have been able to keep my "One Word" close by at all times. Each year I have made small posters, and little reminders, to strategically place so  that I see them each day. I have a few close friends that I share my "One Word" with so they are able to keep me accountable.  It is so much easier to remember "One Word"! 

My "One Words" through the years: 
2015: Grow
2016: Diligent
2017: Impeccable

Several months ago one word continually came to me when I was in trying situations, I knew that would be my new "One Word" for 2018...STILL. This word, when used as a noun, sums up my goal for the New Year: 

  1. 1.
    deep silence and calm; stillness.
    "the still of the night"
    synonyms:quietnessquietquietudesilencestillnesshush, soundlessness; 

There are several bible verses that contain STILL, my favorites are: 

 Ecclesiastes 3:7 A time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak.
 James 1:19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.

The past several months I have been in challenging situations where I began to question myself and the way I communicate with others. With the word Impeccable as my guiding force I was mindful of my words but I could feel my enthusiasm, and eagerness in a few situations, to take over. My goal for 2018 is to simply be STILL, let the conversation flow, take note of things I would like to address, then speak. I am hoping that those that know me well don't take this as though I am not excited, or having no interest, but that I am still growing and learning at fifty-one years old. 

Here I come 2018!
Mrs. Hime 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Lunch & Learn 2017, "Come Fly with Me"!

As I reflect on this year's Lunch & Learn I am reminded that no man is perfect, therefore even though I strive for perfection, I too fall short... 

I have had so many projects going on at the same time that  I was planning on hosting a low key Lunch & Learn this year.  However during a recent PLC (less than a week before the Lunch & Learn) one of our amazing Southwest teachers said she couldn't wait for Lunch & Learn and asked everyone in attendance not to give her student teacher any clues on what it is like because she wanted her to be surprised. That very day I was headed to Denver for a presentation with my CPS team and would not arrive back until 2 days before the Lunch & Learn, but I knew I couldn't let the faculty and staff down, they were expecting spectacular as I was thinking mediocre...

I immediately thought it would be easy to plan around our campus theme, Southwest Globetrotters, how fun would it be to be a Flight Attendant on "Southwest Airlines"!  I knew I could count on two colleagues that were traveling to Denver with me to brainstorm and bounce ideas off of.  I thought about what I would wear... I had Navy pants, shoes, and a white shirt so I ordered a hat and scarf to complete my costume hoping it would all arrive within a few days. I also knew I would need to be extremely organized to pull this off in just a few short days. I created a list of everything I would need to make or purchase. Our Denver crew even made a playlist for the Lunch & Learn on our journey home. 

Monday morning I hit the ground running, ordering lunch to be delivered Wednesday, making signs and banners, boarding passes, laminating, shopping at two Wal-mart stores, creating a Flippity and Bingo Cards. 

The morning of the Lunch & Learn we were without internet, which I knew would put a damper on the learning activity I had planned, but like any good educator I had a plan B so I moved on to the decorating and didn't focus on the negativity that was creeping up. 

I had very detailed plans on how I wanted the room to look when the guests arrived, with the help of two assistants we began to create an airport. The guest entered through the "Southwest International Airway" walked the "runway" to the "Check-in Desk" where they received a "Boarding Pass". From there the guests went through our serving line  and found a seat under one of the seven continents. 

With  three lunches on our campus, I allowed 10 minutes for the faculty to drop their students in the cafe and arrive at the  Lunch & Learn. I knew this would allow me twenty minutes to present a professional development lesson to each group. 

My PD plan had been to engage the guests in a game of Flippity, and encourage them to make one to meet our tech challenge. However, the internet wasn't up so we played bingo. I had generated bingo cards with words that I would use as we played the Flippity game, it's a great way to find out who is really paying attention! I tried to remember the questions from flippity so that I could give them good information. It turned out to be so much fun! The playlist that we had made on the trip was playing in the background, I referred to it several times during each lunch and asked who (out of the people on my trip to Denver, list was on the board) did they think added that song, it was a creative way to break up the game! 

Instructions for Flippity Quiz Show
Lunch & Learn Flippity Quiz Show 
Bingo Card Generator 

 As a classroom teacher my goal was to "make everyday an exciting learning adventure for my students".  I hope that I have been able to carry a little of that goal with me over the past few years and make each creative, innovative, and technology experience an exciting learning adventure for the faculty and staff of Southwest Elementary. 

Thank you for traveling with me!
Mrs. Hime 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Moderating a Twitter Chat, SOLO!

Over the past four, or so, years I have moderated the #oklaed chat  two times, once with two colleagues and once with our #cpsreds team. This past week I moderated the #okelem chat, SOLO! I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to do it all alone, but I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and challenge myself, something I ask my colleagues to do every single day. 

I knew I needed to be organized, so I made a list. At the top was "topic", after looking through my recent blog posts I decided on, "Essentials For a Successful Elementary Classroom". That was just the beginning, next I brainstormed, jotted down ideas, and wrote questions that I was interested in. I thought it would be an ideal time to get opinions and ideas from other elementary educators. 

The previous two times I had moderated a twitter chat, we had simply typed the questions in the 142 character space on Twitter. However, this time I decided to make mine a little "fancier".  I designed the questions in Canva so that I wouldn't have to worry about going over the character limit and I could add a little personality to them. 

After completing all nine questions, a welcome and thank you, I was ready to rock the chat! Then, I remembered learning about scheduling tweets at a workshop or Edcamp, but had never tried it. I decided this was the perfect time, I used Tweetdeck. After spending at least an hour attaching the questions and scheduling them,  I discovered I had not put the hashtag on the tweets! So, I deleted all of them and started over. They were finally loaded and scheduled four days before the chat. 

The chat was to begin last Thursday evening at 7:30pm, I remembered at 6:15pm! I quickly double checked Tweetdeck, my tweets were still scheduled, so I got my laptop and ipad ready. At 7:30pm the first tweet rolled out, and the chat began. It was one of the quickest hours of my life!

I am so thankful that I put myself out there; connected, shared, learned, and grew as an educator. I have always thought that I could not encourage others to learn, grow, and try new things if I don't model it in my daily life. The #okelem twitter chat is the first Thursday of each month at 7:30pm, I would encourage you to join in on the fun! 

Connect, Share, Learn, and Grow Daily! 
Mrs. Hime

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Essential Skills for Today's World

What skills do you believe are essential for our students to learn so that they will be prepared  for today's world? As I pondered this question my list grew long, here are a few of my top essentials...

Building and maintaining relationships is at the top of my list. Students must be able to work along side others, to collaborate with those on their team, to have someone to share with. When students trust educators they begin to flourish, learn, and grow like never before.

Teaching students the life skills of empathy and compassion will allow them to get along in our diverse society. They must be able to understand the feelings that their fellow citizens may experience in order to live and work alongside others in our world.

Listening is a key component to success. Not just listen with an answer or next statement in mind, but really listen. Listening to understand, then formulating a response that is worthy of sharing. Listening so that the person you are speaking with knows you care what they are saying.

Critical thinking is important in today's world. Learning to think critically, to move your thoughts and actions up the Bloom's Taxonomy ladder will empower students to have a voice at the table.

Students need to be given the opportunity to have authentic learning experiences, to choose their path to problem solving. Students learn best by doing, hands on activities. We should facilitate, then get out of the way and let the learning happen.

Creativity and innovation are also on my must teach list of skills. Our world is changing at a very fast pace, students will need to be able to creatively think on their feet. They will need to be innovative in our competitive world.

Our world is changing, the essential skills we must be teaching our students are changing, we must learn and grow as educators alongside our students.

Mrs. Hime