Stingray Staff

Stingray Staff
What a Super(hero) family!!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Teacher Feature: Carrie Preston

If you are new to Sexton this year, you may not know but 5th grade teacher, Carrie Preston, has a mild obsession with Harry Potter in her classroom.  Carrie always insists that I intentionally walk through her room when she is about to go to recess or is indulging in something enjoyable with her students, but I just shake my head at her because I can tell by the student work around the room and outside her door, that plenty of good instruction is occurring in her classroom each and every day. 

 Outside Carrie's classroom, the walls are plastered with student work.  The work is always surrounded by the learning goals that they exemplify as displayed below.

 Harry Potter team points.  Her students really take on the Harry Potter theme eagerly.

 Another Harry Potter detail.  If you are a Harry Potter fan you should check out her classroom.
 Team building/class building activity.

 Always continuing to build on the fundamentals.

These two pictures show student work around independent and dependent variables.  Science showcase season is just around the corner.

Teacher Feature: Gina Broadbear

Gina Broadbear is a fifth grade teacher, who has made teaching and her dedication to each child in her class her life's mission.  Her passion for the profession is palpable and she is a constant champion for students. 

 I know I have featured her concept maps before, but these tools are something that I can tell she is proud of.  It is a tool that I believe she picked up while teaching at an IB school.

 Vocabulary development is also something that Gina values in her classroom.  Her walls are filled with words, and her Language Arts journals have vocabulary building graphic organizers.  I would say it is the strongest aspect of her students' journals.

 The month I started collecting photos, she had won the stingray salute cape for the month.  It was displayed front and center as a point of pride.

Gina didn't have to be told twice to check out the math manips that were available in the resource room.  She found some fraction stackers (enough for each group in her classroom) and put them to good use within a week.  Students had access to one more type of manip to build that concrete understanding and each student had in their possession their fraction manipulative of choice.

Don't forget...we need to have fun

Lisa Cook reminded me last week that the next couple month's is the equivalent of tax season in our schools.  It is easy to get caught up in ensuring that we squeeze in one more thing, often times to our own mental/emotional/physical detriment.  Please, as hard as it is, try and so something fun with your students.  Those are the moments that they will always remember and seeing the joy in their faces is what will remind you why we each decided to work with children in a school setting.  I am going to make it my mission to showcase some of the fun things that are happening around the building between now and spring break. We have to always remember why we are here.

 No questions asked, but in Gina Broadbear's room, the students created these little cardboard creatures to go along with something they were doing.  The students still have them displayed aroudn the classroom. 

 Leanne Lapointe create these sweet keepsakes for her students.  She asked each student to come up with one word for each of their classmates.  Then using wordle, she created something personal to represent each student's personality.

In Kiersten Lund's Kindergarten room, I came across these sweet snowmen.  Fine motor skills hard at work here!!!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Holidays in Kindergarten

Holidays around the world.  The smells, sights, and sounds of many different cultures and traditions rang through the kindergarten pod through the month of December.  Our kindergarten teachers are special people.  At least in my opinion, because I cannot imagine doing what they do day in and day out.  Not only are they brave, but they are patient and smiling and going out of their way to ensure that some of our smallest stingrays experience everything they should, all the things that we remember about being in kindergarten (and no I am not talking about writing an opinion paper about why pets are good for my family).  If you missed the holidays around the world celebration, here is all the sweetness and fun that was had!!!  Thank you so much kindergarten team!!!
 Lisa Cook getting her hands dirty making gingerbread decorations and cookies!!

 Some works of art from Shelby Clark and Kiersten Lund!

 Amanda Baker had a fun home activity where the students worked with their family to make their own Christmas trees.

 Angela Ammons was experiencing some traditions from Mexico with her students. 

 Beverly Meeks and her students were studying the Jewish holidays and traditions.

The PE department

What do you see in this photograph?  Maybe the calm of a peaceful day?  The calm before the grade level storm that many people on campus call planning.  If you look closely at the photo, out on the concrete there are 50-100 specs of color.  They are hula hoops.  Hula hoops strategically placed to teach our little stingrays how to control both their fine and gross motor skills and abilities.  Hula Hoops that will be used to structure a game that will ultimately teach teamwork and maybe even a little compassion and perseverance.  That is what I see when I look at this photo.  All the work that our PE team puts into every 40 minute block every day.

I originally took these photos below during the JDRF.  Two months ago!!!!  Geesh, who am I?  But I am on a quest to make sure that each team, teacher, staff member is recognized in some way.  The PE department helps make our celebrations possible every month.  They help me direct traffic and are the extra set of hands around the organized chaos.  So much of what we do could not be done day in and day out without them.  So while it is better late than never, here is what it means to be enjoying physical activity at school.  Thank you Chris, Jen, Pam, and Tawney!!


Blogging is like....

I think blogging is like anything else that we do outside of our normal 7:00-5:00 (being generous).  Being a good friend; takes effort.  Being healthy; takes a lot of effort.  Being a good spouse/significant other; takes effort.  Being the kind of leader I can be proud of; well that takes a lot of effort that I may have neglected.  Part of that effort is this blog.  This blog is powerful for for us as a Stingray Superhero Family.  Having a kryptonite kuddos or being featured is worth the effort.  So with the new year is my promise to start back with being the type of leader I can be proud of again.  In between the testing and the day to day work has to be the real work.  The recognition of what it means to be part of the superhero family. 

Happy New Year Stingray Superheroes!!!!

Much love,


Monday, October 27, 2014

Kryptonite Kudos

A big thank you to:

Everyone who helped out with the fall festival.  We had an amazing turnout, amazing baskets, amazing family and an amazing team.  I had people coming in early before work, people staying late after work and amazing basket donations.  As I watched Rick work his magic with the decoration, my heart was so happy thinking about how exciting the night was going to be for our families.  I could not have done it without each of you and our amazing volunteers.  I am afraid to even list people because I am afraid that I will forget someone:  Katie Reynard, Frank Robinson, Emily Loggins, Christina Platt, Melissa Grolley, Suzette Almeida, Sheila, Suzette, Gina Broadbear, Nicole Sackett, Tiffany Morra, Jana Bailey, Bonnie Kelley, Mark and his wife, Lisa and Caroline our fabulous face painters, our entire 5th grade team, Becki, Karen, Mick, Rick, Darla, Beth, Jennifer and Pam, Suely, and everyone who brought their children to enjoy the evening.  See I am nervous even pushing enter on this because I am afraid I forgot someone.

Karin Somanath who is working to put together an amazing Great American Teach In.  If you have never experienced a Sexton style GATI, you are in for a real treat because Karin goes above and beyond for our students.  Days like GATI are the moments the students will remember for years to come.  They are the moments that create wonder and spark an interest in our students.  Enjoy that day with them. 

Teri Trudell who has been super flexible and is splitting her day between two classrooms.  If you see Teri, please give her a hug.  She needs one.  It is not easy being in two places at once.  How many times have we misplaced something in our classrooms and that is when we are in one place.  I misplace something daily, so Teri I can totally relate to how you are feeling.  You are amazing.

The entire 5th grade team for the support you are providing Teri as she adjusts this week.