Friday, April 24, 2015

STAAR Testing is DONE and Student Council

The major STAAR season is complete, besides just a few re-takes in May! We are so proud of our kiddos for working hard, staying focused, trying their best, and toughing out the last few days! We can all take a sigh of relief that testing is over for most kids! I can join them in that sigh of relief because in the last two days I finished packing up all the tests today, organizing all the materials, filling out all the forms, etc. and am ready to deliver the documents on Monday!! I still have a little work ahead in May with those who will need to re-take, but I am over the big hill and gleefully coming down! :-)

Today's assembly was bittersweet as we said goodbye to Dr. Mitchell, as she moves on to Gorzycki Middle School! We will miss her, but are also excited for her to get to start a new journey. Student Council got to announce to the school this morning about all the cool stuff we have gotten to purchase with all the money they have raised this year! They have worked so hard!! Last week I shared some pictures with you of the musical equipment we purchased and here are some pictures of the WOW equipment they purchased to play with outside and a new basketball goal for the younger kids to reach, so they can play basketball, too!

The kids will love playing with all of this new equipment and were so excited to see the pictures in the assembly this morning! A big thanks to all my Student Council members and any parents who have helped run our events or raise money!! :-) 

Next week, I can start getting back to normalcy with STAAR over and will pick up again with my individual counseling sessions and get back in the classroom for lessons soon! Have a great weekend!! :-)  

Friday, April 17, 2015

New Musical Playground Equipment

I have been spending the majority of the week gearing up for STAAR; getting all the test booklets and materials organized and ready for each class! It has been busy and it unfortunately requires me to have to step away from some of my duties as a counselor for a couple of weeks, but I did have a moment this week to celebrate all the hard work my Student Council group has done to raise money for the school! Student Council has worked hard last year and this year to finally raise enough money to purchase two large musical pieces for the playground! They are very expensive items, so it took us some time to get the money, but we did it and the kids have already been enjoying playing with them so far!! I walked out there yesterday and there was a very long line of kids waiting to get to play with it! Student Council also made a large purchase of PE equipment (soccer balls, volleyballs, basket ball nets, kickballs, kickball bases, etc.)! I am sure the kids will also enjoy all of that new equipment!


Special thanks to Shae Williams, a former OHE parent, for hiring someone to come out and do the cement work to get these pieces into the ground permanently! We really appreciate that very generous donation! Also, thanks to Beth Thornton who helped us order the equipment and helped organize the installation of it!! We are so lucky to have such great parents and a supportive PTA!

Below are some "Fortune Tellers" that I have assembled that are fun to use when working with small groups of children or individually. I remember playing with and making these when I was in elementary school; although our version was more like who are you going to marry, what kind of house, how many kids, etc. ;-) Some of the topics on these fortune tellers I use with the kids are feelings, getting to know each other questions, compliments, and teasing choices. Here is the link if you would like to make some of these to use with your kids:

(Even though the website says "autism teaching strategies," it is not just for children with autism. These are great to use with ALL students.)

One final photo to share from last Friday is my Hip Hop group that performed at the assembly! They performed to "La La La" and they did such a great job! For those of you who don't already know, I teach a hip hop class after school and just started this Monday with my last session for the year! We are scheduled to perform May 22 and this one will be super cute. They are dancing to "Don't Wake Me Up" by Chris Brown and will be performing in their pajamas!! :-) 

Have a great weekend and if you have kids in the testing grades, make sure they get plenty of sleep and eat a big, healthy breakfast each day next week! 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Student Council Keep Austin Beautiful Clean-Up of Patton Ranch Rd.

We survived our first round of STAAR this week!! Everything went very smoothly and everyone did such a great job of helping to make sure the campus was a great testing environment. Before STAAR began, though, we got to have some fun last weekend with the Fun Run and a few kids from our Student Council group came out to complete another one of their service projects. We helped clean up all the trash that we could find on Patton Ranch Rd. as part of our commitment through Adopt-a-Street with Keep Austin Beautiful! 





The kids even found some interesting items, such as a pair of crutches and a toilet seat!! Who would've known those would be items someone would just toss on the street in front of a school??
We thought maybe they were Mrs. Baxter's crutches since she had knee surgery of few weeks ago...maybe she threw them out in frustration! ;-) Just kidding! They are not Mrs. Baxter's, but we decided to keep them since they were in good shape. You never know when we might need some crutches! :-)

It was a lot of fun to have us all together and for such a good cause! The street looks a lot better now and we collected a lot of trash!! Thanks to all the kids and parents who helped out with this!!

I hope you all have a wonderful three-day weekend and a happy Easter, if you celebrate it!