Sunday, December 10, 2017

December 11 - 15, 2017


I hope everyone enjoyed the rare early-December snowfall.   Does this mean we are in for a cold, snowy winter?  I hope so, but time will tell.  Summer weather lovers, you already had your turn! 

From what I can tell listening to various meteorologists, this snow storm in particular was difficult to forecast.  It looks like some of us didn't get as much as the experts thought, while in Pennsylvania, some areas got more than expected.  While I'm not a weather expert (just a fan), there seems to be a bit of science and art involved in predicting the unpredictable.  And that's basically what weather forecasting seems to be - trained professionals taking their best shots at pinning down what nature will do with the tools they have available, and then adding their own two cents on top.  More accurately, weather people are charged with pinning down exactly what nature will do.  That cannot be easy.  Sometimes they get it right; other times, nature does its thing.  One forecaster initially said this wouldn't be a big snow event for us, then all the predictions started coming in for higher amounts.  Reluctantly (at least it seemed that way to me), he raised his own forecast amounts, and even though the computer models and others were calling for more than initially thought, I didn't get the sense he was on board with the higher forecast.  The science said one thing; his instincts told him something else.  When it was over, we didn't get anywhere near the higher amounts, and this meteorologist said something like, "I should have stuck to my gut on this one." His original impressions of not much accumulation turned out to be accurate. 

I say all that to say this - sometimes, we need to go with our gut feelings on things.  Education has a few things in common with the weather.  We can make plans and "forecast" how we think an assignment will go, how a particular lesson will look in the classroom, how quickly our students will master a new concept and what that mastery will look like, and so on.  Sometimes, we get it pretty close. Sometimes, it's a blown forecast.  Ultimately, teachers know their students.  There is a lot of great science to support how and why certain things work the way they do in terms of learning, achievement, engagement, etc.  And while all that is great (and it is), sometimes it comes down to a gut call - a feeling that teachers get when it comes to their own learners.  It's a blending of the science and art of teaching, and this is what makes teaching so wonderful yet so challenging.

Teachers, use good methodology.  Use techniques that are proven to work.  Stay current on trends in education.  We have incredible amounts of research available at our fingertips.  Take advantage of what's out there.  Use every tool at your disposal.  But listen to your gut feelings.  Make those things work for you and your learners.  I believe we all have those instincts for a reason. Don't ignore them.  And if we blow a forecast?  Adjust.  Figure out where it went sideways and compensate.  Move on and learn from the experience. And sometimes, simply know that factors you couldn't have predicted resulted in outcomes you didn't foresee.  What's equally as important as the outcome is what we learn during the process.  And remember - no setback is permanent unless we chose to keep it that way.  Don't let an inaccurate "forecast" of how you thought a lesson would go prevent you from being creative.  Keep pushing yourselves and your students.  Keeping being the best you can be for their sake.  And keep listening in your instincts.     


Mrs. Muhlbaier receiving her mini grant at
 last week's board meeting.
This past week, five of our staff members were awarded mini grants to fund project proposals -- Mrs. Muhlbaier, Mrs. Gant, Mrs. Gandy, Mrs. DeVita, and Mrs. Blithe.  Congrats to you all, and thank you for putting together projects that will help our students excel in areas such as mathematics, science, engineering, coding, and the like.  Well done!  

During Thursday's staff meeting, we'll be breaking into our committees.  More information will be forthcoming on this. Also on Thursday, members of the CSI 3 team (formerly called RAC 7) will be doing walkthroughs in several classrooms.  

Parents, Thursday night will be our Trim-a-Tree event in the Bacon gym.  Please join us for hot chocolate and cookies, and we'll have everything you need to make a few ornaments for your tree.  It will run from 6 - 7:30.   

On Friday, we'll have our final PBIS Pep Rally of 2017.  We have a few surprises in store for our students.  This will be a pm assembly.

Also on Friday, we'll have our Bacon Night Out staff holiday dinner.  See Mrs. Polof by Wednesday if you plan to attend.  Thanks to all who already signed up.  A lot of us will be there, and it should be a fun night!

The Week Ahead
Monday (12/11): C Day -  Lesson plans due

Tuesday (12/12): D day - Learning Management System meeting (1 pm at Culver), LTM meeting (2 pm at Culver) -- both Mike only

Wednesday (12/13): E day - I&RS (morning), Workout Wednesday

Thursday (12/14):  A day - Staff meeting (8 am in the library), CSI 3 (formerly RAC team 7) visit to Bacon, Trim-a-Tree (6 - 7:30 pm at Bacon)

Friday (12/15):  B day - Ugly Sweater Day!, PBIS Pep Rally (2 pm), Bacon Night Out!

Upcoming December Dates:
12/22: pajama day, 1:45 dismissal
12/23 - 1/1: Winter break (school resumes 1/2/18)

Pictures from around the School and beyond

Mrs. Gandy receiving her mini grant

Mrs. DeVita receiving her mini grant

Mrs. Blithe receiving her mini grant

Mrs. DeVita's class building gingerbread houses.  The students were required to follow specific directions and "buy" their materials using a budget.  

Sunday, December 3, 2017

December 4 - 8, 2017

We had a great week here at RM Bacon Elementary School.  Let's jump in...

Weekly Recap

Congrats to our November Students of the Month
Our monthly PBIS Pep Rally was awesome!  We recognized all students who made the honor roll and principal's list, and we also celebrated those students who thus far have perfect attendance.  In addition, we congratulated once again our November students of the month.

This month's game/challenge was simple, but it kept all our Bears on the edge of their seats -- toss two bean bags and two balls onto a large target in the middle of the gym floor.  The closer to the bulls eye, the more points.  The energy was high, the gym was rockin', and all had a great time...especially when the teachers took their turn.

She came prepared!
We also had our Fall Color Run last week.  For $5, our students could participate in the antics and get a healthy shot of color as they ran laps around the field.  The event raised money for our school, and the students had fun and did something healthy in the process.  That's a win/win!  Mrs. Muhlbaier and her crew did a great job in planning and organizing the event, and we'd like to thank students from Millville High School for their help in getting our students colorful.

Mrs. Gandy and Mr. Coyle presenting
On Wednesday night, our district had a strategic planning meeting at the Lakeside cafeteria.  The focus of the evening was to celebrate things we do well as a district.  It was great hearing so many kudos and success stories.  While it can be too easy to get caught up in our day-to-day grind and occasional frustrations, this reminded us all of the big picture at work in our district.  There is plenty to celebrate in MPS, and a lot of great things are happening for our students courtesy of hard working, dedicated individuals throughout the district.  The next meeting is on January 16th at the Lakeside cafeteria.  ALL are invited!


This month's character trait is charity, which can be defined as the following: to think favorably of others and do things on their behalf.  All month long, we will be encouraging our staff and students alike to demonstrate charity to one another, and we'll be on the lookout for behavior that puts others first in thought and deed.  At Bacon, we want to foster a heart and mindset of, "What can I do for someone else today?"  Honestly, at Bacon, I don't think this will be a tough task at all.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT -- As many of you have probably imagined, there is no holiday concert this year.  Mrs. Rohaly has been out on maternity and enjoying time with her new son and husband.  Don't worry - she'll be back after the holidays.  Since there is no concert, we welcome you all to join us for our Trim-A-Tree event on December 14th here at Bacon.  We'll be setting up in the gym.  Join us for cookies, hot chocolate, and the fun of making your own Christmas tree ornaments.

Staff, please take note - our staff meeting this week is on Wednesday, not Thursday. 

The Week Ahead
Monday (12/4): C Day -  Lesson plans due, board meeting for mini-grant winners (7 pm at Culver)

Tuesday (12/5): D day - a great day of learning

Wednesday (12/6): E day - staff meeting (8 am in the library), Workout Wednesday

Thursday (12/7):  A day - another day of fun and learning

Friday (12/8):  B day - wear Bacon gear

Upcoming December Dates:
12/14 - Trim-A-Tree
12/22 - 1:45 dismissal
12/23 - 1/1 - Winter break (school resumes 1/2/18)

Color Run!
New look for Mrs. Markel 

Before the carnage

Pictures from around the School

Parents as Leaders learning about and making SMART goals

Parents As Leaders

Mrs. Gant checking the perimeter

Birthday Selfies!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

November 27 - December 1, 2017


I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  It's hard to believe, but December makes its grand entrance this Friday.  Wow!

Due to the busyness of the holiday weekend, this blog entry is pretty bare bones.  We have some full weeks ahead of us, and some great holiday-themed events coming our way.  Stay tuned for more details.

The one event to which I call your attention this week is Millville Public School's strategic planning session.  All parents, community members, and staff are welcome to attend.  See the flyer below for more details.  The meeting will take place this Wednesday (11/29) at the Lakeside Middle School cafeteria from 6:30 - 8 pm.  Come have your voice heard as the district embarks on planning for our future.  We hope to see you there.

Next week's blog will feature some important dates and events for January.  Everyone have a great week!

The Week Ahead
Monday (11/27): C Day -  Lesson plans due

Tuesday (11/28): D day - a great day of learning

Wednesday (11/29): E day - Workout Wednesday, PBIS Pep Rally (9:30 am), Color Run (2 pm), Strategic Planning Meeting (Lakeside cafeteria, 6:30 - 8 pm)

Thursday (11/30):  A day - another day of fun and learning

Friday (12/1):  B day - wear Bacon gear

Pictures from around the School (and beyond)
Go Eugene!  He took first place in the males under 10 category in this year's Jolly Holly 5k run!

Officer Taylor and our friend Justin

Birthday Selfies!

Friday, November 17, 2017

November 20 - 24, 2017


Welcome to Thanksgiving week!  In all the day-in, day-out busyness that is 21st century life, let's not forget to reflect on those things that matter - the things for which we are thankful.  I know I'm certainly thankful to work in such a fine school surrounded by caring professionals who selflessly give their time, talents, and resources to our learners.  I'm also thankful to be able to walk down the hall and see the smiling faces of our Bears each and every day.  It's an awesome job and an awesome responsibility that none of us take likely.   

So, what are you thankful for?  And maybe more importantly, do you allow your thanks to give way to gratitude?  And do you then turn that gratitude into motivation to give back, give more, be kinder, be more understanding, work harder, enjoy life more?  It could go on and on, but the point is there - thankfulness should inspire us to be better, to be more reflective and appreciative, and to be more gracious with others. 

Our FEAST went off splendidly last week.  See the pics below.  All had a great time!  Special thanks to Candy and the entire cafeteria staff for all their hard work, and a big shout out to Mrs. Muhlbaier for planning and organizing the logistics of the event.  Everything went off without a hitch, and most importantly, our students had a great time.  Also, thanks to all the district administrators and law enforcement officers who joined us.  Let's do it year!   

Our parent/teacher conferences are off to a good start.  We have two more days - Monday and Tuesday (both 6-8 pm).  Parents, while you are at school, please feel free to fill out a survey to let us know how we are doing.  The surveys are computer-based, and they will be set up in the hall near the main office.  Thank you!

Attention all parents and community members -- Your help is needed at the upcoming strategic planning sessions for Millville Public Schools.  See the flyer below for more information. Do you want your voice heard?  Do you want to be a part of planning for the future?  Please join us.  The next meeting is on 11/29 from 6:30 - 8 pm at the Lakeside Middle School cafeteria.  We hope to see you there!

The book fair is in full effect!  Check out the video:

The Week Ahead
Monday (11/20): E Day -  Lesson plans due, 1:45 dismissal, parent/teacher conferences 6-8 pm, NO CLUB 21

Tuesday (11/21): A day - 1:45 dismissal, parent/teacher conferences 6-8 pm, NO CLUB 21

Wednesday (11/22): B day - Workout Wednesday, 1:45 dismissal, No Club 21, No PM Latch Key, NO CLUB 21, NO PM LATCH KEY 

Thursday (11/23):  NO SCHOOL - HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! 

Friday (11/24): NO SCHOOL - Holly Jolly Run and Millville Christmas Parade

Important November Dates:
  • Nov 29 - PBIS Pep Rally, 9:30 am
  • Nov 29 - Color Run, 2 pm

FEAST Pictures

Earning his turkey meal

 Book Fair!

Pictures from around the School

“Cookin’ with Ms. Candy” helpers Ja’tyanna Thomas and Akira Lee helping with last minute prep for the Thanksgiving Feast! 

Birthday Selfies!

Happy Birthday to this Bear's dad - he's an honorary Bear now!