Saturday, October 19, 2013

Celebration Saturday


          Link up at RuthAyresWrites.com to share your celebrations.  Light some fireworks or candles, blow a party horn, have a red velvet cupcake, AND tell your favorite way to celebrate!

           I continued to celebrate my son, daughter-in-law and grandson coming in to help me celebrate my birthday last week.  (I wrote about the surprise last Saturday.) They left on Monday evening.  It was a grand weekend!
           I just returned from my staff retreat yesterday.  We go to a mountain resort each year for a Thursday evening to relax and have fun together.  We were in a beautiful place about two and a half hours south of Denver, way back in the mountains.  We had snow in the night, and loved the sparkle in the morning.  Awesome sky, too!



           We spend Friday sometimes as a group for one theme, sometimes doing different activities as we did yesterday.  I spent the morning with a group being led by a botanical artist, giving us ideas in how to enhance our teaching of this kind of art to our students for field journal work.  One page of "practice" is shown here!  The celebration is in the "note-taking by sketch" for future lessons! It was a full morning of good learning!
the leaf, blind contour, rubbing, contour detail, labels

         In the afternoon, I chose to watch the film "The Race To Nowhere, The Dark Side of America's Achievement Culture" and discuss how much the issues shown apply to our school, and if so, what are the next steps to change behaviors in order to alleviate the problems.  It is an alarming film, but I'm glad to have seen it finally, and we had a productive discussion afterwards.  I love that our staff discusses important topics and works hard to use them as catalysts for change in our work with students.

        It was a good week of teaching too, lovely students groups and talks with teachers.  I am celebrating!

        Don't forget to stop in tomorrow where I will share my review of one of the Jacqueline Wilson books being introduced to the US this week!  It is another celebration, too, and this time the publisher, Random House, is giving away an IPad Mini during the blog tour.

32 comments:

  1. Great celebrations! That retreat location is breathtaking!! I love how your celebrations speak to what a learner you are! All the things you wrote about were opportunities for you to grow and learn and reflect. That's great.

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    1. I didn't think of it that way, Dana, but you're right, I think I am always learning! It was a beautiful place, & we had a fabulous time! Thank you!

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  2. I love how you and your colleagues seem to continuously strive to make changes in what you do, only to improve your work with children. Imagine what could happen if all schools were that open to the idea of change and improvement...

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    1. We are ever trying to make our school a better place, that's true. And it isn't always easy. I imagine most teachers think that way, but perhaps not always in a group. Thanks, Leigh Anne!

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  3. What a week! Your retreat can't top the surprise birthday celebration, but it's definitely a close 2nd. Catalysts for change, such important words in our lives as educators. I'm so glad for the community I know through blogging and the encouragement I receive here.

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    1. You're right, Ramona, we are blessed to know and be supported by each other! Hope you've had a great week since your visit back east!

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  4. I think it's great that your school does a staff retreat! What a fun way to learn together! Great celebrations!

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    1. Thanks Robin. We do have a good, good time!

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  5. I love the way your adult birthday turned into a birthday week! That only seems to happen to the kids in our family!
    Thanks for sharing your field journal, we are just beginning to observe the nature changing around us, your journal has me pondering...

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    1. This time it's just one page of our work with this artist, but our school does field work from the youngest to the oldest & we believe the work helps students improve in all other areas. I hope you find a way to at least make small journals for those observations! Thanks Deb!

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  6. Whenever you write about your staff retreats I am always jealous. What a great way to learn and connect.

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    1. Thank you Deb. I'm playing catch-up today, but it was a good time again!

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  7. That sounds like an amazing retreat. Such a beautiful setting.

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    1. It was good to "be" there, Andrea, with colleagues and in a gorgeous setting. Thanks!

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  8. What an amazing thing your staff does with its retreat! First of all, the joy of being at a lodge in the mountains would be wonderful. But what I am most taking away from your post is the ability of your staff to talk about topics that will enrich you as educators, learners, and people. A true gift.

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    1. I wrote more about it for Poetry Friday Karen. We also had choices for the am & pm-it was a delight to see who was going in what group, etc. Small groups talking & learning together really are fun!

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  9. The retreat sounds soooo wonderful. So many different ways to grow and think! I want to do the drawing class!

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    1. It was fun, Carol. This woman used to teach at the Botanic Gardens. Did you know there are classes there? I hope you will check them out!

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  10. Hopping from one celebration to other I feel almost flying. So many good things going on. You have a great mixture of personal and school, fun and work.
    On a different note. I switched to Bloglovin after Google Reader and for some reason your posts don't show up. For a while I thought you were on a break, but then I realizes that you kept blogging and I just missed your posts. Now I know to check in to read.

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    1. Thanks Terje, it was fun to read about so many celebrations, wasn't it? As for Bloglovin, don't know why it isn't showing up. I did change addresses, so try teacherdance dot org. I'm using Feedly-so far I like it, but still miss Google Reader!

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  11. Hi Linda! "Celebrate" is a fun idea for a link-up -- sort of a variation on gratitude, don't you think? I like your leaf drawings :-)

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    1. Thanks Tabatha. It is really a positive meme, & will be fun!

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  12. I saw Race to Nowhere when it first came out. A neighboring high school district hosted a screening. It is powerful food for thought--just like each of your experiences at the retreat was. I love the field notes sketch. In another life, I would've loved to be a botanist. But nothing can beat the surprise visit from family! I missed your birthday in my absence from the blogging world...so Happy Belated Birthday to a wise woman who I am lucky enough to have as a colleague and friend!

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    1. Thanks for all your words, Christy. It was a fine week, beginning to end. I am sorry I hadn't seen the film earlier, but this started such a good conversation, so glad I finally saw it with colleagues. Wish we were closer so we could have other 'good' talks!

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  13. Linda,
    I enjoyed your celebrations. I know how much the time with your family means to you. I also admire how much time your staff spends together learning and having fun. It's a wonderful balance. Your school must be a great place to be. I think I'd celebrate that!

    Cathy

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    1. Yes, I do celebrate it, Cathy, and often! I think one thing that's nice is that we love spending time together, whether in play or work. That's a gift!

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  14. Oh my, that picture (!) -- it is beautiful. I can't imagine how splendid it was in person. I kept thinking about your surprise birthday celebration throughout the week too. It was a special visit, I'm sure. I'm glad to see you continue to have moments to reflect and breathe in the good of the world around you.
    Shine on,
    Ruth

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    1. Thanks Ruth. It has been quite a wonderful week!

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  15. Your love of family, learning, and life are an inspiration and celebration, Linda! Thanks for always sharing a snippet wisdom in your posts. And thanks for the peek at snow! =)

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    1. Thanks Bridget. The snow is gone for now, & we have a warmer week ahead, but know it's coming! I appreciate your words!

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  16. Happy birthday. Sounds like it was wonderful. And a new Jaqueline Woodson book. Woohoo!

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    1. Thank you Jone. It's great to celebrate as long as possible!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!