Wednesday, December 28, 2016

GATE Resources

As we are enjoying the break and quickly moving into 2017, I wanted to just provide y'all with a few educational resources to peruse in your free time.  Many are geared toward GATE students and their families but provide great tips and information for all learners.

·       California Association for the Gifted

·       California Department of Education

·       California Gifted Network

·       Central Cities Gifted Children's Association

·       Common Core State Standards Initiative

·       Davidson Institute for Talent Development

·       Greater Los Angeles Gifted Children's Association

·       Hoagies Gifted Education Page

·       Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth

·       National Association for Gifted Children

·       Smarter Balanced Assessment Constortium (Common Core assessments)

·       Summer Institute for the Gifted

·       Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted

·       Twice Exceptional (2e) Newsletter

·       University of California, Irvine- Gifted Students Academy

Friday, December 16, 2016

Thank you!

I am blessed. 
I can't even get over how appreciated my students and their families have made me feel this holiday - and birthday - season! 
I am just in awe of their generosity and so, so thankful for the partnerships and friendships created. To one and all, from the bottom of my heart - thank you for every note and every gift!


We did a very quick writing activity this week. It's funny - the most amazing pieces often come with little direction - just a high-interest prompt.  Check out this very vivid quick write...

Keith Haring

My fourth graders did an amazing job after my quick art lesson on Keith Haring. We used paint, construction paper and colored paper to create these works of art. Next time you're on our campus check out the hallway and I think you'll be impressed! 

Polar Express Day

Polar Express Day was a blast! Kids came in their PJ's and brought blankets, stuffed animals and their favorite mugs. We enjoyed CrockPot cocoa, courtesy of our amazing Room Moms, and had such a great time!


Never have I ever.... had Room Mom's and families do this...
Blown away.

Twinkle's Farewell Friday

Oh Twinkle. Her last day didn't disappoint.  She began the day just hanging out ready for take-off in her sled. But - with rain delays there was time to write me the sweetest note for my upcoming birthday!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Twinkle Tuesdays

That Twinkle and Gumdrop! You just never know what they'll get into next!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Twinkle Monday

Oh that Twinkle. She's a master at cutting paper but it looks like Gumdrop got the worst of it. Ouch! At least she brought us bandaids! 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

National Boards

So Saturday was score release day for National Boards. Some of you may - or may not - know that there is a NEW process for National Boards and it's being rolled out gradually over the course of a few years. New process means: No trailblazers, no history and no mentors or support group. ON.MY.OWN.
It also means this new process - the new expectations - are like the old process on steroids!
Last year I completed Component 3.
I planned and taught and gathered and collected and grouped and reflected and wrote and wrote and video'd and edited and... struggled to hit "submit" on the very first day of the submission window last May. Confident in those owl pellet lessons and the unit on building a business community - and confident I had done my very best.
Since then, the component - my teaching - has been assessed and reviewed with a fine tooth comb by multiple assessors.  
  And, since then, I just tried to put the component out of my mind and plan for the LAST component - Component 4 this year (working on it right now, in fact). Wow! It's been 7 months since I hit that "submit" button! SEVEN!
Score release day was Saturday but I started checking at 9pm Pacific Time on Friday. BOOM!
Toot, toot!
That was my own horn.
In May I'll submit Component 4 and by this time next year I will learn that I achieved National Board  Certification!

THOSE Parents

One of the last things a fellow teacher said to me before I left my Title 1 school to teach at a high performing public school was "Good luck with THOSE parents". I knew what she meant.  And it angered me.  It's the type of assumptive thinking many had about my students at that Title 1 and their parents. THOSE kids have no chance. THOSE parents don't care. How demeaning, biased and damaging. They were fantastic families - full of trust and heart and love. 
Let me tell y'all - parents want the best for their kids. Universally. I want that, too - which means parents and I - we are teammates. Don't you mess with my team!
So let me tell you about THOSE parents I have this year. The ones people call demanding, Tiger, Helicopters... the ones who expect a lot from their kids and their kids'  teachers. Well - they should have high expectations for their kids - and for us as educators. It's our job and duty to do our very best - to not get stale - to try new things - to stay abreast of educational research - to grow in the profession - to make learning fun and rigorous.  They should ask questions that make us think - they SHOULD be involved.  I welcome each and every one.
You know what else my awesome parents - THOSE parents - are doing? They are raising kind and thoughtful children. Kids who donated a huge amount of socks during Socktober - kids who congratulate each other and root for each other. Kids who comfort each other when playground issues bring about tears.
This week we did a Secret Snowflake exchange. Of course I heard a comment or two that's normal for  9-10 year old kids still learning how to be - they are human children after all. But, overwhelmingly, I heard the excitement in their voices and saw it in their faces. Eagerly waiting to give a note or trinket. Excited!  NOT about what they would get, but about giving. My kids are good people, filled with gratitude for gestures and tokens - who think of giving over getting. These excellent humans were raised by THOSE parents.

Friday, December 9, 2016


The perfect treat today from a caring room mom!

Twinkle Friday

Well, Twinkle is definitely feeling better today! She's perched in our room, just hanging around!

Oh Deer!

We're adorning the hall with our creativity! 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Twinkle Thursday

Twinkle is not feeling well. Luckily the students suspected this and brought her the Miracle Cinnamon Cure! 


We are so excited to do coding during media lab! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Twinkle Wednesdays

Yay! Gumdrop retuned! He looked like he was looking on as Twinkle gobbled down a whole lot of whipped cream! They both had the cutest earmuffs on to keep toasty warm!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Twinkle Tuesdays

It took a bit of searching to find Twinkle this morning - and Gumdrop, her reindeer, was no where in sight. We finally found that Cotton-Headed Ninny-Muggins!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Twinkle Monday!

It looks like Twinkle flew in just in time to make her self a necklace with some pony beads!  What a rascal she is!

Later, I found she took some selfies elfies!


We've been busy getting ready for fractions. We've had challenge problems in homework and have been doing lots of journal work during our math block every day. My students are getting to be masters!