Learning Through Leadership

Monthly Archives: October 2014

What a great day at Heritage! We loved seeing all of the kids dressed as their favorite book characters and the teachers had just as much fun getting into the spirit of the day! Here are some pictures of the Heritage staff dressed as their favorite characters!


Fancy Nancy


Emily Elizabeth and Clifford


If you give a dog a donut and If you give a mouse a cookie


Little Red Riding Hood, Grannie and the Wolf


Junie B Jones, A Case of the Stripes, and Pinkalicious


2 Cats in their Hats and Thing 1



All of us together….

And just because she is toooooo cute, here is my little Pinkalicious with me this morning:



We are in full swing for writers workshop these days! Yesterday we spent more time “Priming the Pump” to get ready to write. Students practiced with a partner and then took turns teaching a small group. Once again the students taught across their fingers, using each finger to name a big idea for their topic. I was so impressed by their wealth of knowledge and also by how attentive they were when being the students!





I thought they did an amazing job, and that Writer’s Workshop was going so well…and then today happened! I was TOTALLY unprepared for the AMAZINGNESS (yep that’s a word) of today’s writers workshop.

We spent some time as a class talking about what good information writers do and created an anchor chart to remind us:


Then the kids did a Long Write. This is a chance to write continuously on a topic and get all of their information out. We don’t worry about organization or structure yet, we just get it all out. It is recommended that the first time kids do a Long Write that they write for 7 minutes, or until they are finished. Today these amazing third graders wrote for 26 minutes!!!!!!!!! They just kept writing. I was so proud of them, look at how hard they are working!






I can’t wait to see how tomorrow goes!

Just a few quick reminders for tomorrow and the rest of the week:

Tomorrow is our book fair buying day. We buy at 11:50, so if your child is going to be buying books they should bring their money to school in the morning. We previewed the book fair today so your child should have ideas about the books they want to buy.

Tomorrow night is family night at the book fair. This is a great time to come out as a family and see what the book fair has to offer! We will be collecting new socks at the book fair all week as a part of “Socktober”, so feel free to send some in with your child or bring them to family night.

Spirit week:

Tomorrow is also dress like your favorite book character day. Students are encouraged to dress up as a character from one of their favorite books.

Thursday is crazy hair day.

Friday is mix it up day.

Today we began and exciting 6 week adventure. We dove head first into the topic of informational writing. We discussed how writers of informational pieces are actually teachers, they are teaching their readers about something they are an expert about, something they are interested in, something they are passionate about.

Today I asked the students to choose a topic that they felt they could teach about. Something, ANYTHING, that they could present information about. We had students pick swimming, horses, math, baseball, astronomy… An endless amount of topics came forth. The students then paired up and taught their partner about their topic by teaching across their fingers. Each finger represented a sub-topic of their greater topic. By going through this process the students were actually preparing themselves to write in sections. They chose their topic, created 5 sub-topics (sections for their writing) and then began to develop details for each sub topic. We will continue the process this week. Check out how engaged all of the students were as they listened to their partners.






When we set goals for ourselves, we often have ways to track our progress towards meeting those goals. If we want to lose weight we might weigh ourselves or keep a food journal. If we want to run a marathon we might log the number of miles we run each week. The steps we take to track our progress towards our goals are as important as setting the goal itself. It keeps us accountable and helps us to make sure we stay on track. One of the ways we track our progress towards goals in our classroom is the Leadership Notebook. The other way is through scoreboarding. We put class scoreboards up to track our progress towards individual and classroom goals.

Our first scoreboard is our STAR data board. Each time we take a STAR test we will track how many students increased their STAR score. The stickers are anonymous so we look at numbers not names. Our goal is for everyone to increase their STAR score each time they take the test.


Our next scoreboard is in the hall and is for the whole third grade. We are tracking our math fluency. Each time a student passes a timed test they get to move their clip up the ribbons. The goal is for everyone to master their multiplication facts by the end of the school year. I am so excited because so far everyone has moved up at least one time!



When we don’t reach our goal, or we have a mis-step, this is not a time to get upset or to get hard on ourselves. Failing to meet a goal gives us an opportunity to think about what we did or didn’t do, and how we can change it for the next time. Together we can support one another to make sure that we all meet the goals we set!

We had a great day at Fall Festival today! The weather was great, our FABULOUS PTO planned some great games and activities for us, and we had fun while synergizing and sharpening our saws! I am so proud of the behavior of our students, this class was well behaved, followed directions and worked as a team! They really balanced courage and consideration as they celebrated winning events but also congratulating each other and encouraging one another. The day was a Win Win all around! Check out the pictures below to see some of the fun we had, the friends we made and even the toad we met! Special Thanks to Kim Thrush, Michelle Richardson and Andrea Hooks for filling in at the last minute and walking with our class! We appreciate you!

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Second Grade Smarties

Our Fall Festival will be held on Wednesday, October 15th at Hickory Lakes.

Volunteers are still needed for this fun event.  If you are available to volunteer on Wednesday, please click on the link below to sign up for Fall Festival.  Thank you.


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