Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A New Beginning

Well, it's been quite some time since my last post.  I know, I know--wrist slap.  In my defense, here's a list of things that have kept me from the Blog World.  I'm not making excuses, just sharing.

1.  I taught a Summer Session I course--it was new to me, so lots and lots of work.
2.  I co-directed a summer program for about 100 readers, writers, scientists and artists; it ended last Thursday.
3.  I taught (and am still teaching) a Summer Session II course--also new to my course load--yikes!
4.  I took our state's mandated SEI endorsement, 3 credit course on sheltering content for English Language Learners which ended last Wednesday evening.
5.  I studied and passed the Early Childhood MTEL (fun teacher tests you take in Massachusetts), so I am now licensed to teach preK and K as well.
6.  Oh, and I packed.  After 15 years in the same school, I moved.  That's 15 years worth of "junk," I mean teaching tools, to move.  Double yikes.  Meet, the Carlton Innovation School.

All and all, I think it's safe to say it's been far from a summer vacation for me, but it's all good.  Moving on to more important things--my new school.  I've been lucky enough to be hired to work as a grades 1/2 teacher at the Carlton Innovation School, still in the same district.  This school, being an Innovation School, has been able to, under the direction of the principal, develop a program that best matches the needs of its learners.  The Carlton School's mission statement sums this up nicely: "The goal of the Carlton Innovation School is to meet the individual needs of our students.  Instruction takes place mostly in small groups through workshops in reading, writing, and math. The use of the Responsive Classroom program helps us create a community of learners while helping students grow socially and emotionally.  Our motto is to 'Try hard and learn a lot!'"

The school's Innovation Plan notes its school, curriculum and instruction structure.  Check it out by clicking HERE.  I'm super duper excited to have this opportunity to join the Carlton team for year two of this model.  Multi-aged classrooms, flexible groupings based on student need (as evident via assessments of course GRIN), project-based inquiry and team-teaching are a few perks that make this move an easy decision for me.  In addition,  I'm excited to join a dynamic staff.  (I've heard they are a bunch of fun-havers!) For more information on this fantastic school, check out Carlton's blog by clicking HERE.

I plan to blog my next few weeks of setting up my new classroom.
It's a tad bit smaller, with a tad bit less storage space--not that I'm
nervous or anything.  There's a storage closet right across the hall,
and I've already been given some shelves to fill.  Here's some 
pictures for you all.

Ah, here is a little glimpse of moving day.  Pictures include my Element, my boxes in the hall and the city's truck.  The city employee was the nicest mover, ever.


Now for my new classroom.  Boy do I have a lot of work ahead of me!  It's good work, though.  My theme is going to be a mixture of three colors: orange (my favorite), blue and brown.  I can't wait to see what it is like to have no desks for the first time in my teaching career.  Any helpful suggestions for me?

For those of you that started school this month, hope you are off to a great start.  For those of you like me who have to set up, good luck with that!


  1. Good luck, Mr. Giso. Sounds like an exciting year ahead. #1

  2. This post made me so excited! It always warms my heart when someone goes to teach at Carlton. I went there when it was a 1 floor school with only 6 classrooms. You are going to LOVE that school! .... Are you the first classroom on the left in the main hallway?! If so, that's where I did my practicum (with my beloved Mrs.Cagney)!

    What did you use to study for the Early Childhood MTEL? I am taking mine Saturday for the 3rd time.. this is my last one but it is giving me the most trouble.

    1. Wow, I didn't know that you went there. Yes. First door in the main hall to the right of the science room. It's Mrs. Cagney's room, so it has very good karma. I'm very excited. To study, I went to the SSU MTEL prep center. They gave me a whole folder with review material. It had power points of the major theorists and content area packets. It also had the objectives and sample test items--it helped a lot. I have the folder still if you want it. Let me know.

  3. Best of luck in your new position! They are very lucky to have you!

  4. Best of luck in your new position! Hope you get a chance for a little r&r before your next adventure begins!

    1. Thanks so much, Nancy. I have been resting this week. I'm going to miss a lot of people. Thanks for all you have done and continue to do for the kids and staff of Bates.

  5. I too just moved schools and I know longer have the student desks I have grown accustomed to. I need to figure out how to make the communal space work for me and my teaching/organization style. We'll see..

    I found your blog and TPT store from a search on the TPT site for other Massachusetts sellers (like me!). I'm so happy to have found you! I follow both your blog and you TpT store! I'm excited to continue connecting with you :)

    Mindful Rambles

  6. Hi ya, Rae!

    Thanks for stopping by. We will have to share tips on "deskless" settings. I'm on my way to check out your blog. Go MA!


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