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It's Elementary! Elementary Adventures with Mrs. Craft
Instructor: Craft   
Welcome!  As the Vice Principal of the Elementary Schools, I have the unique opportunity of spending time in each of our four wonderful elementary schools.  Please join me as I share many of the wonderful things happening at Mackay, Maugham, Smith, and Stillman schools! 
Tales of the Traveling Vice Principal
Tales of The Traveling Vice Principal
November 2016

Hello! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with their loved ones. What a busy month November was! I was whizzing around the district participating in grade level team meetings, conferences with individual teachers, meetings with content supervisors for science and social studies, and visiting classrooms in each of the schools. Here are a few highlights from my travels across the district:

Mackay Turkey Trot - What a fabulous event sponsored by the HSA! Every student in grades K-5 participated and we walked, ran, and trotted around the middle school track. It was a glorious day!

I was honored to be invited to the Writing Celebration in Ms. Pita’s 3rd grade class at Stillman School. I was so proud of each and every child for reading and writing such great persuasive essays!

Over at Maugham, Ms. Breakfield’s 4th grade class and Ms. Blagdoon’s 2nd grade class worked together to create Thanksgiving turkey’s. The room was filled with so many wonderful thoughts and conversations about being thankful. Thank you for inviting me!

She SCORES!!!! If you ask around town, I have been secretly practicing my basketball shot during recess and all of my hard work paid off! Thank you to Lucas over at Smith and Aiden at Stillman for helping me with my shot! What a wonderful event sponsored by TEF! Thank you all for your support!

I had the pleasure of attending Thanksgiving celebrations at Stillman and Mackay. The ELL departments and the KPA did a FABULOUS job in providing our student’s with an authentic Thanksgiving feast. Kindergartner’s at Mackay were ADORABLE as they performed Thanksgiving tunes for their parents. I was doing the Turkey Trot right alongside them!

Finally at Smith, I was honored to take part in Thankssharing! Fourth graders at Smith had the unique opportunity to share an area of expertise. I successfully learned how to throw a lacrosse ball, set a Thanksgiving table, tap dance, and play Sudoku (that was trickier than I thought!)

It was a great month filled with many exciting learning experiences across the district. I am looking forward to December! See you around town=)

Greetings! October has certainly been a busy month. I have had the pleasure of experiencing some amazing things throughout the district. I have spent most of my time observing teachers over at Stillman and Maugham and have witnessed some amazing teaching and learning. In addition to observations, I have been meeting with district supervisors across several content areas to discuss best practices across the four schools. I have attended several professional development workshops this month to solidify my understanding of the curriculum and have met with teachers to discuss new teaching strategies.

Here are a few highlights from the month of October:

The month started on the soccer field where my son’s U11 travel soccer team played the Tenafly U11 boys team!! The Tenafly boys brought their “A” game and played a great game. They won 6-2 and were extremely gracious. What a great group of boys!

Over at Stillman, I had the privilege of meeting, Snickers, the therapy dog in Mrs. Agner’s class. The smiles on the children’s faces were PRICELESS.

Also at Stillman, Mrs. Lander and I celebrated Fire Prevention Week with the entire school. With the help of Mr. Gansel, Mrs. Lander and I went up on the fire ladder and were able to see our amazing students lined up in the form of an “S”. The kids were so excited to participate in the day’s events.

At Maugham, I had the privilege of being a part of the Student Government elections! Students in grades 4-5 actively campaigned for over two weeks. The entire school was decorated with beautiful campaign posters and on Election day, each candidate gave a speech to the student body. I was amazed by the creativity of the candidates as they gave their speeches (some of them even sang!) Once the assembly was over, students in grades 3-5 voted for the positions of President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Congratulations to all of the winners!!!

Also at Maugham, Ms. Breakfield and her 4th grade students have been working hard on their own campaign, their COOKIE CAMPAIGN! In the spirit of election season, Ms. Breakfield taught her class the election process by using cookies! Each group of students had to persuade others on why their cookie was the best. For weeks, I witnessed students collaboratively working together to come up with slogans, posters, and speeches to present to the class. After each group presented, students had to vote on which group presented the strongest argument for their cookie. Sugar was the winner! This was such a creative unit. Kudos to Ms. Breakfield and her class!

At Mackay, to celebrate the Week of Respect, each class participated in a number of activities. During Mix It Up Day, each student was asked to sit at a different lunch table and make a new friend. One of my favorite activities, was when each student went out onto the blacktop to write inspirational phrases and quotes. Many of them brought tears to my eyes and I think all of us can appreciate the sincerity and humility of their messages.

Lastly at Smith, Team Makers presented to grades 3, 4, and 5. These high-energy assemblies focused on respect, cooperation, and team spirit. Students engaged in a variety of games designed to stress fair play, critical thinking skills, and fun! Go Smith!!!

I am so proud to have been a part of so many wonderful educational experiences. See you around town=)
Greetings! I hope everyone is enjoying the start of Fall and all the things that come along with the end of September. Hopefully everyone has adjusted to being back in school and enjoying the cool, crisp, weather.

I have certainly been keeping busy in each of the schools. I have spent my days visiting every classroom getting to know your children. I have really enjoyed reading to the kindergarten and first grade students, playing on the playground during recess, opening juice boxes during lunch, and getting to know the dedicated teachers and paraprofessionals in each of the schools. It warms my heart that students across the district now greet me with big smiles and friendly welcomes. Here are a few highlights from my travels across the district:
  • I have been working closely with Mrs. Kathie Treacy, our Math supervisor, and a math committee, comprised of 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade teachers across the district, on the articulation of the math curriculum and assessments district-wide.
  • I have been reviewing the reading and writing curriculum with our staff developer, Lisa Krommenhoek, in order to better support teachers and students with literacy.
  • I had the pleasure of meeting with all of the HSA presidents along with Mrs. Trager, to discuss my role within the elementary schools
  • At Stillman School, I truly enjoyed reading Giraffes Can’t Dance to Ms. DeWitt’s kindergarten class. The students were great listeners and shared that it was one of the BEST stories they had ever heard!
  • At Smith School, I was invited to see a PHENOMENAL science lesson in Ms. Rassam’s class. The students were studying estuaries and were having a blast! I also visited Ms. Shaw’s class, and after reading, we danced and clapped out some syllables. It was so much fun!
  • At Mackay School, I have been meeting with grade level teams. I have enjoyed getting to know the students in the lunchroom and during recess. I was even able to join a fashion club where I received an A+ for my drawing of a ball gown!
  • Over at Maugham, I read to Ms. Sara Kate’s class and we boogied with Gerald the Giraffe. The students LOVED dancing along with the animals in Giraffe’s Can’t Dance. I have been popping into each of the classrooms and truly enjoying all of the smiles I have been getting.
In the upcoming weeks, I will be spending most of my time in the classrooms doing classroom observations. I am looking forward to seeing all of the great teaching and learning going on in each of the schools.

Hope to see you around town=)
+ Craft, Jodie
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