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Lego robotics

Lego robotics club is a new adventure we are starting this year at Mse!  Fourth and fifth grade students are learning how to create and program robots to perform tasks.  Then they will take their finished robot to a competition later in the year to compete against other students in the state. 

It’s an exciting proposition for many reasons. First, it is allowing students who may not excel in other areas to find a passion and knowledge others may not have.  

It is also something relatively new to many students and exposing them to something important and a job-related skill that the country needs more of – that they can possibly (if they find it interesting) continue on into junior high and high school and even to an eventual career in computer coding, engineering or robotics design.

These are possibilities that may not even be considered by many students or even know that they exist so the fact that they’re being exposed to this early on in school is a really exciting thing!  It can only be made possible because parents are willing to support it, the school helps power it through the intermural’s program, and the teachers who are willing to take their time after school to mentor the students in this club.  I’m especially proud of the hard work that everyone’s put into this venture and the kids who are doing some amazing work already early on in the season!

Keep watch for more updates and how this STEM curriculum can empower students to think outside the box and be successful in all things including the SBAC test and beyond!


GLAD journey starts now….

Guided language acquisition design is a great way to scaffold and help students with understanding concepts.  We have started working with kindergarten and moving up the grade levels to incorporate these strategies in our teaching – we’re just getting started and it will be an exciting journey!

Kinder teachers met with esd trainers today to dig deeper in using pictures, charts, graphs, and chants to help with visual and aural assistance – for instance talking about the parts of a fruit and the growth cycle and helping connect the vocabulary with scientific drawings, connecting concepts through colors, and charting the information to help compartmentalize the new knowledge.

Along with looking at apples, their growth and usage, making applesauce, and incorporating those concepts into math and reading, charts like this posted around the room help with writing and speaking about the concepts.

Next steps – incorporating these strategies in all the subjects, adding observation charts, sentence stems,  picture cards, expressive oral language charts, narrative input…. Can’t wait to see how far we can go to help our kids and blaze a trail of exploration!


School has started again and I am very excited to be a part of the best year for our students they could ever have! I’ve been able to see the evolution of our schools getting better and better at inspiring and educating kids every year, and now we are at the top of our game!

One of the best examples of that is the expertise of our staff.  Pictured are sisters Maggie Celaya and Lupe Chiprez, longtime mattawa educators, helping explain the kindergarten language placement test to para pro’s and helpers – having those teachers with the expertise to help guide our less experienced  staff is so important to our success! And getting these assessments out of the way BEFORE the year officially starts is just going to increase the teacher contact hours and increase our kids learning! Teacher and administrator knowledge and expertise is KEY to that!

Sometimes I think we take for granted all the great stuff we do each day because it has become like second nature – every day  I see teachers going above and beyond to excite their students and increase their love of learning!  Sometimes we need to stop and marvel at its awesomeness!  

There is excellence all around us – and our school is poised to change lives this year – and will we have to constantly strive to be the best for our kids- but  I think sometimes we just need to stop and appreciate all the hard work that comes like second nature to many teachers. It’s gonna be a great year!

Admin Training Day 3 – The Laws of Leadership


Another great day of learning with the administration team!  A lot of good info on Leadership, and cultivating leaders in our schools.  At MSE we push for student and teacher leaders, and our “today a reader, tomorrow a leader” district mission is embodied in our school.  Can’t wait to get back to school and start implementing more leadership opportunities.

Biggest Takeaway: Surround yourself with leaders, and help push those who are willing to take on those roles and let them lead.  John Maxwell says to spend time cultivating those top 20-30% of leaders in your organization, and they will help you go far.  Ron Clark says “Feed your Runners.”  With great leaders by your side, you can do great things.  Lets do great things for our kids!

What types of things have you done to push your leaders forward, or what examples of great leadership in your organization have you seen?  Comment on the comment link above!

Admin Summer Training Day 2!

IMG_1241 IMG_1245

Goal Setting, 5D, Year Planning, OH MY!  A lot was accomplished today at our admin training – first of all discussing, planning, and sharing what we will focus on for the upcoming year.  Then a great discussion on the 5 Dimensions of teaching and learning, including getting specific about teacher and student and what a teacher can do to be excellent in various areas – a great activity to bring back to staff.  Lastly, as pictured above, we looked at student data and learned what we need to do to increase student achievement next year – it’s going to be difficult but we are up for the challenge!

Some things listed in the poster pictured above, as MSE’s main focus next year:

  • 1:1 Ipad pilot – use your tech!
  • Ron Clarkin’ It – Relationships and Fun!
  • Teacher and Student Web Logs and Portfolios
  • Google Classroom
  • Teaching with the Brain in mind 🙂
  • Rigor/Vigor/Grit
  • Growth Mindset
  • Engagement, Assessment, Environment


Summer admin training 2015 day 1

Summer is always a great time to reflect and regroup for the upcoming year, and today my enthusiasm just got a shot in the arm!  Ernie Chapin, a veteran educator and speaker was speaking my language – can’t wait to bring it back to MSE #schoolofheroes!

Big takeaways today:

  • Relationships with kids is the most important thing a teacher can cultivate
  • Kids with the most trouble in school are the ones who need those positive relationships the most
  • Unite students and staff around a positive mentally affirming creed for your school
  • Kids who experience aggression at home will not respond well to trying to intimidate or being tough with them
  • You cannot take what kids say personally
  • Kids know when you care, and will respond to it
  • Mse is on the right track!

Championship Year at #schoolofheroes

MSE is prepping for their biggest year yet!  Here’s a teacher produced promo about our Awesome School!