Catching up Quickly
This is our fourth full week of school. We have been through testing, procedures, discipline, eye exams, snowball “fights” to learn names and make friends, worked on independent reading, just right books, and partner reading, our first Rise and Shine assembly, fire, tornado, and stranger drills and the dreaded inside recess. We are coming together learning to trust and love each other; we are becoming a first grade community-family.
In some ways it feels as if we have just started in others it feels as if we’ve been there much more than four weeks. Miss Lindsay started her student teaching the second week of school. We are so happy to have her in our little family she is a shining spot of our first grade routine. The second week Miss Lindsay was with us she shared a book with us she had made about “her.”
I liked it so much I decided to change my family involvement project I do for our writing notebooks. I usually have the kids decorate them with their families with pictures about them, and then add a note about the student. Instead of naming them “writer’s notebooks” I called them “Me Notebooks.” We still discussed how to use them, what heart stories and ideas would fit well in them, and how other writers use theirs. The kids and families did a great job. My favorite part was in the note I asked the parents to write why they were so proud of their child. The answers were heart- warming.
This past week we read Laura Numeroff’s 10 Step’s to Living With Their Monster . It is a great story and one I’ll be adding to my yearly read aloud list. We made mental images after I read the story the first time through without showing the illustrations. Then we read it again (this time with the illustrations). I then gave the kiddos some templates I’d made of “monster parts.” Each one picked their parts, traced, cut out and glued. Their creations were MONSTERLY creative.
This week we read it again (because Miss. Lindsay had missed it the first two) and then wrote a class book “The 10 Step Guide to Living with Your First Grade Monster.” Their responses and ideas were very intuitive and FUNNY!  We will be placing all in the hallway outside our door for everyone to see!
On a personal note Monday night was my daughter’s first Senior night. I had no idea this senior stuff would begin so early in the year, and I have another to go through in the spring. Her brother surprised her by showing up, and of course that made me choke back even more tears….Oh where did my babies go?  
Hadley and us at her senior night. She was the only senior:) 

Snowball fight to learn names.

Miss. Lindsay and her  inspiration for our "Me" notebooks.

Making First Grade Monsters.

Using sticky notes to find sight words.

First Grade Monsters!

Last night in my class we discussed the difference between a manager and a leader. We went through a spread sheet of the differences. It was interesting. Below is a copy so you can go through the list if you'd like. Which one are you in your classroom, your school, your community, your life? Or are you a bit of both? 

Leaders and Managers
Manager Examples
Leader Examples

Attitude toward goals
Goals arise out of necessities rather than desires

Goals arise out of desires

Impersonal, if not passive, attitude toward goals

Personal, active attitude toward goals

Goals are deeply embedded in his/her organization’s history and culture (and are therefore necessities already identified)

Makes own goals

Identifies problem issues and the best ways to achieve results so that people continue to contribute to the organization

Generates and presents fresh approaches to long-standing problems

Aims to shift balances of power toward solutions acceptable as compromises among conflicting values

Is open to new options

Is not a risk-taker

Is a risk-taker

The survival instinct dominates the need for risk

Is disposed to seek out risks and dangers

Works from high-risk positions

Attitude toward mundane, practical work
Tolerates the mundane well

Sometimes reacts to the mundane as if it were an affliction

Toleration for the mundane comes with the domination of the survival instinct over risk

At times is unable to pay attention to the ordinary tasks at hand (because this person is an innovator!)

Job focus/emphasis
Rationality and control are central to the manager’s work

Leaders are intuitive.

Is an organizer who establishes procedures and expectations so that everything runs smoothly

Because this person is innovative, intuitive, open-minded, and always looking for the possible, he/she may at times appear disorganized

Views work as an enabling process involving some combination of people and ideas interacting to establish strategies and make decisions

Leaders change the way people think about what is desirable, possible, and necessary

Aim to shift balances of power toward solutions acceptable as compromises among conflicting values

Is open to contrary opinions

One often says a manager is doing his/her job well when he/she can effectively put his/her feet on the desk and relax

Searches out competence

Is vulnerable to the skills and talents of others

Relationships with people
Prefers to work with people

Avoids solitary activity because it makes him/her anxious

Enjoys, needs, and thrives upon solitary activity

Seeks others with whom to collaborate

Has the ability to break off intense, one-to-one relationships

Relates to people according to the role the person plays

Takes in emotional signals and makes them meaningful in a relationship

May lack empathy or the capacity to sense intuitively the thoughts and feelings of others

Relates to others in intuitive, empathetic ways

Continually needs to coordinate and balance opposing views

Human relationships often appear turbulent and intense

Aim to shift balances of power toward solutions acceptable as compromises among conflicting values

Negotiates and bargains using rewards, punishments, and other forms of coercion

Incites creative problem-solving in others

Communication style
Uses “signals” instead of messages

Uses messages vs. signals

Indirect in his/her communication

Communicates directly

Those under his/her management are “subordinates”

Perceives and interacts with those under his/her leadership as a team vs. as “subordinates”

Communicates easily at all levels

Tells why rather than how

Relation to organization and/or environment
Separates from the environment and/or supports, perpetuates, “upholds” the organization

Breaks with the status quo of the organization in order creatively to solve problems and incite others to do the same

Upholds the existing structure

Not concerned about upholding the existing structure but in creating something new, fresh, and positive to move forward in stronger, better ways than the existing structure allows

Belongs to the organization

Never belongs to the organization in the sense that the organization cannot “own” him/her

Can be a tribal storyteller (imp. Way of transmitting our school’s, classroom’s, or other organization’s culture)

Sense of self worth
Perpetuating and strengthening existing institutions enhances the manager’s sense of self worth

Breaking from the status quo enhances this person’s self worth

This person is a creative problem-solver who incites others to be creative problem solvers thereby enhancing his/her self worth

Other characteristics

Has consistent and dependable integrity


Cherishes heterogeneity and diversity

Hard worker

Understands the concept of equity and consistently advocates it


Leads through serving


Understands and speaks for the school’s, district’s, or even “education’s” value system’s participatory leadership



From Oklahoma State CIED 5183 Dr. Skinner


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