Thursday, February 27, 2014

Groovy Groover

Susan Groover!  
That name needs an exclamation point.  I could dedicate a seperate blog to just her and what she does in her classroom daily.  She is a teacher that I look up to greatly.  She loves teaching and it surely shows in everything she does.  Just step into her classroom and the love of learning is evident everywhere! 

I was in her room yesterday, showing her and her 3rd grade counter-parts a tool that I thought they would enjoy, and she showed me something that just made my day.  Her niece Alison is battling cancer, and through Susan, the students in her class have gotten to "know" Alison.  They ask Susan about her all the time and are very concerned for her.  The students created this video message for Alison to make sure she keeps "HOPE" alive and Fight, Fight, Fight.  They are so very proud of this video, so if you recognize any of these singers, tell them you saw their video!!!

I'm so happy I know you Susan, and am thrilled to call you a friend!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


One of my favorite parts of Silver Run is how much student work is displayed for all to see.  Most teachers have rotating displays of student work right outside their classrooms! 

One teacher in particular has students work displayed all over the building!!!  Of course that is Ms. Buono our super-amazing Art Teacher.  She is such a special part of the Silver Run Family.  Below you will find some of her endlessly creative projects she has done with the students.

All of the projects that are displayed are displayed with the lesson that accompanied the project.  It's amazing to see how the students transform what they learned into beautiful works of art!!

Ms. Buono also expands her art classes outside of the school, taking monthly trips to the Riverfront Renaissance Center.  Here, students are allowed to view the Center's current exhibit and also create artwork with a volunteer from the Center.

Besides her duties with the students she also ensures there are many beautiful things to look at and admire in our school building:

Wether it's getting us ready for Spring by the Main Office...

Reminding us that our current focus rule is "Be Safe"....

Giving us hope for future flower season....

Or inspiring us to open a book...

Ms. Buono always makes sure Silver Run is a beautiful place to learn AND work!
Thanks so much Ms. Buono for ALL you do!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Class of 2000WHAT???

Mrs. Barse's classroom

The adoption of the Common Core has sought to bring college (awareness and readiness) to the elementary level. At first glance the two educational levels couldn't be farther apart. Many teachers scoffed at the idea of talking about college to elementary students: they werent sure where to start, they didnt see the relevance, they were just getting them to tie their shoes.
Once we thought about it, we realized that bringing college to elementary school students didn't have to be so daunting. It can be as simple as a bulletin board in your classroom, just like the one I saw in Cheryl Ismail's third grade classroom.

Mrs. Ismail's bulletin board
Another great idea to bring college into your classroom I saw in Erin Barse's third grade classroom.  She had students already thinking college because they had siblings in college (thankfully the idea of college is not that foreign to our students).  She decided to have her students "apply" to the college of their choice and pick their "major".


 With a few simple lessons or even conversations with your students, you can create an atmosphere of college or career readiness. Thanks again to Mrs. Ismail and Mrs. Barse for letting me visit in your classrooms and pass on your ideas.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Do You Want Fries With That?

My answer to that question is always a resounding YES!
So what better way to start this blog than with fries...fact fries to be exact.  Jenn Dragotta and Mindy Fralick came up with a great lesson in their RtI classroom that uses french fries to help 1st grade students with their math facts.  They call the activity "Feed Me Facts", and the kids love it!

Fact Fries

The premise is simple, a student receives a bag of 'fries' each with a number sentence written on it.  The students then deposits the fry into the mouth with the correct answer on it.

A mouth waiting for a Fact Fry.

The greatest part of this fun activity is that Mindy and Jenn labeled the backs of the fries with letters.  Each students' fries has the same letter on the back.  This way, the teachers can easily tell which students are getting the facts correct.  Not only are the students having fun, but the teachers are getting valuable information at the same time!


Here is a 1st grader hard at work.

Jenn and Mindy are always thinking of ways to make the rote activities of RtI a little more enjoyable for the students.  I spied many more great activities while I was visiting in their room that I can't wait to share.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Welcome to the Shark Tank!


I wanted to set up a place to share all the great things that are going on in the classrooms here at Silver Run!  We work in a large building and don't get to see each other often, let alone see inside someones classroom.  There are things that are going on in this school everyday that are worth sharing.  That is what I want this blog to be about: sharing the greatness that is Silver Run School! 

It seems like in any work environment, the bad news makes its way around faster than the good news.  I have a feeling that in a school that is true because as teachers, we are not always comfortable with the spotlight.  No one wants to brag.  So, let me do the bragging for you.  I am in the lucky position that I get to visit many of your classrooms and see first-hand how your lessons are impacting our students, and its time to share it with everyone!

Don't let me have all the fun either, if you see something that should be shared, let me know!  Good lessons, good ideas, and even good news can be shared here!

Stop by and check out the blog every-so-often and see what your colleagues are doing in their neck-of-the-woods.  Lets create our own real-life 'Pinterest' board.  Who knows, you may even steal an idea or two!