Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Return Visit to Unit Two With a Day in Charles City

On Thursday, March 27th I had a full day of meeting members and seeing the magic they do every day in Charles City. Charles City EA President Lisa Nelson (at left in center) scheduled some great opportunities throughout the day to visit members in all buildings throughout Charles City.

Unit 2 UniServ Director Sandra G. and I met with members for conversaton at the Charles City Middle School cafeteria for homemade cinnamon rolls, juice and coffee.

As the school day began, President Lisa Nelson arranged for us to sit down over coffee with school district administration. We were able to visit with school Superintendent, Middle School principal and assistant principal as well as the Elementary principal. With issues before the Iowa General Assembly that we all didn't agree on as a group, there were many more issues that we do agree on.

My first classroom visit today was in Middle School Language Arts teacher Brenda Bailey's 6th grade room. I did a read aloud of Chris VanAllsburg's Probuditi!

Next we were off to Washington Elementary. As you can see, just a "typical" Iowa spring day! Charles City ended up getting around 3" of snow on Thursday.

We would visit two 5th grade classrooms. The first stop was in 5th grade teacher Erik Hoefer's homeroom. Erik (at left with his homeroom) is past president of the Charles City EA and had also served on the Negotiations team.

The second 5th grade classroom was of birthday girl Cherie Schafer. Cherie (is pictured at right) with her homeroom and birthday balloons.

I had the 5th grade students join me in reading aloud Take Me Out to the Ballgame!, then we sang it together shouting out our favorite team's name when we got to the part, "Root, root, root for the 'hometeam'". I then read aloud the poem Casey at the Bat. Opening day for major league baseball is just around the corner!

We then headed back to the Middle School where we were guests in the room of Marcia DeVore's 7th grade Second Chance Reading class. I was given the opportunity to sit down one-on-one with a student and do a book talk with her, then observed the whole class review of graphic organizers before I was given the chance to read aloud from the class read aloud book, Hoot.

Next we were off to Charles City High School to have lunch in the Family Consumer Science classroom of the "Comet Cafe". Once every two weeks the foods class plans, shops and prepares a meal open to the community for just $6.00 each.

What a pleasant surprise to have a long-time friend and association activist Pat Bode walk into the Comet Cafe for lunch today! Pat (pictured with me) is an associate in the High School Media Center. Following a delicious lunch and great conversation, we were able to visit Pat in the Media Center before leaving for our next appointment.

Our next school visit took us to Lincoln Elementary. Here at Lincoln we were able to visit with Charles City EA building rep Ann Lasher and staff as they enjoyed lunch in the staff lounge.

Our final building visit on Thursday in Charles City took us back to Washington Elementary. Here I had the chance to read to both Jill Janssen's and Tami Hummel's 3rd grade. I read aloud the book 17 Things I'm Not Allowed to do Anymore!

Next I read to all three classes of Kindergarten. The Kindergarten classes are led by teachers Kelly Lechtenberg, Judy Scholbrock, and Carrie Eiklenborg.

Our last classroom visit was to observe "Buddy Reading" with 4th and 1st graders. The students get together every other week to share their favorite read alouds with their buddy. I then was able to share the book The True Story of the Three Little Pigs with the combined group. Cara Ludeman and her 4th graders are pictured below on the left.

Thanks Charles City EA for your warm hospitality and thanks to CCEA President Lisa Nelson for her leadership on Team ISEA!

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