Monday, August 17, 2015

Lunch & Snack Boxes

Because we eat snack earlier in the morning, I find it is important that Safari Adventurers have a separate snack box/bag from his/her lunch box. Please discuss with your student which is which so that we can avoid the accidental sandwich snacking. We take our snacks and lunches out in the morning so I will help on the school end. Also, we snack for about 15-25 minutes depending on the day (and time of year). Please plan accordingly. Our snack drink is water from our classroom fountain. More information about lunches to come! Thanks so much for helping us!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Safari Welcome

Dear Newest Adventurer,
    Welcome to our Kindergarten Safari! This year you will take chances, explore new things, and learn a lot along the way. I wanted to take the opportunity to welcome you and introduce myself. In this packet you will find a list of tools you will need on our Kindergarten Safari. You will also find something special to help give you courage for the night before kindergarten!
    This is my second year at Pond Cove Elementary School. I have been teaching kindergarten for four years and before that I taught special education. I am so excited to learn all about you and grow together as a team.
    While getting prepared for this awesome safari adventure, I have really enjoyed this summer. Mr. (Kevin) Marsden and I recently bought a house so I have been painting, mowing the lawn, and doing things around our home. We also went on a trip to Boothbay Harbor! It has been a busy summer but I have found time for reading new books, spending time with family, running, and laying on the beach.
    During kindergarten we will learn a lot but what is most important is that you will grow into a brave and courageous adventurer! I can not wait to meet you at our meeting in September. Enjoy the rest of the summer and don’t forget to keep reading with someone you love at home!

    Love, Mrs. Marsden

Your Safari Bravery Badge

Safari Supplies

Please bring your Safari Supplies with you to your scheduled appointment.

1/2 inch binder with plastic sleeve front (labeled)
8+ glue sticks (Elmer’s purple)
1 box of dry-erase markers (Expo, low odor, thin)
1 pocket folder (with brass brads inside - labeled)
1 “stuffie” for quiet time (optional)

Girls please bring: 1 box quart-size baggies,
2+ containers Clorox/Lysol wipes
Boys please bring: 1 box gallon-size baggies,
2+ boxes of tissues

Headphones compatible with iPad & iTouch labeled on the head phones and inside a gallon size baggie, labeled.  *While the earbuds are cheaper they are not always best for little ears.*

Donation Dreams:
-Post-it Easel Pads
-Glue sticks (see above) 
-Egg cartons
-Yogurt containers

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

About the Safari Driver

My wonderful husband, Kevin and I on our wedding day.
Family First! My sisters and I before the Beach to Beacon 2015!
This is my second year at Pond Cove School and I am so excited to embark on a year that will bring great professional growth. This year I will be the Instructional Team Leader for the awesome kindergarten team. The six of us have made a commitment to exceptional instructional methods through active collaboration. I am honored to help facilitate that learning this year.

A little bit more about me. I am a South Portland native (Go Riots!!) and recently bought a house in Westbrook with my wonderful husband Kevin. The house has been our biggest undertaking yet through various projects big and small. It is a true test of character! Kevin is a native Caper and his parents still live in Cape. I feel very fortunate to be so connected to the community already in such a short amount of time. I love the Red Sox and Boston in general. I am a coffee and ice-cream-a-holic. I also love shopping (guilty) and lifting/running (I have to so I can eat all sorts of ice cream). I am also a huge fan of my Crockpot!! I am an early to bed and early to rise kind of lady so I am best reached in the morning.

Professionally I have been very hungry early on in my career. I feel blessed to have come into the world of education at a changing time and have had really amazing mentors along the way. In 2009 I graduated from Western New England College (now University) where I received my BA in sociology and education. I accepted a job in Southborough, MA at The New England Center for Children, a private school/residence for children with severe Autism. It is here I learned a lot about Applied Behavioral Analysis and positive reinforcement. I moved back to Maine and accepted a position at The Margaret Murphy Center for Children (MMCC) in Auburn. I continued working with students with a variety of Autism Spectrum Disorders and learned more about ABA and how that applied more tightly to the world of public education. It was in my time at MMCC I decided I had an interest in special education and individualized instruction. I earned my Masters of Education from New England College in 2012 in Special Education. During that time, I accepted my first kindergarten job at Memorial School in New Gloucester. At Memorial I learned the true meaning of collaboration, team effort, Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports, and Standards Based education. In 2013 I began my administrative path and began the Assistant Principal Certification program through the University of Southern Maine. Through this cohort I have learned the dynamics of teaching and education through an administrative lens. I continue to pursue this goal at a leisurely pace. In 2014 I accepted my position at Pond Cove Elementary School where I am fortunate to be a part of a collegial and passionate group of educators and professionals. This will be my fifth year teaching kindergarten!

My personal philosophy of education is quite simple: Every student can learn through unique and individualized learning experiences that are meaningful and memorable. I strive to know my students both personally and academically and create a learning plan that is both comprehensive and rigorous. With the collaboration of families, students feel successful and challenged everyday. I use a Responsive Classroom approach to learning/teaching where students feel like a community and I constantly foster a high level of independence and achievement.

I look forward to my second year at Pond Cove and continuing to grow and learn as a professional and create meaningful learning experiences for all students.

2014-2015 in Review

The first year of the KinderSafari at Pond Cove was a huge success! Through a great collaborative effort between the wonderful families and school, the students were able to harness achievement at multiple levels and through many different avenues. The sun wasn't always shining on our Safari and we had to often get out and push our Safari Van through the muddy waters, but always reaching our individual goals through dedication, positive reinforcement, and a love for learning!

A few of the greatest accomplishments our KinderSafari experienced were through writing, literacy and reading strategies, and mathematical inquiry. While tightly aligning to The Common Core State Standards, we had a clear road map for our adventures while never losing sight of growing and fostering independence through our Shared Vision, Jungle Code, and transparent expectations.

I am very eager to meet the new members aboard the 2015-2016 KinderSafari and embark on a unique journey of our own. I will miss my prepared first graders, but know they are always welcome back to board the adventure!