Godzilla Gazette, 38

Week of June 1, 2015


  • From Grace
  • The Reflective Practitioner
  • Weekly Events
  • For Your Information

From Grace

Hello, everyone! Happy last week of school! When we began our journey together last August, this point seemed so far off - our elusive destination without an easy road map to get there. And yet, here we are. Even with the bumps in the roads, the detours we've had to take, the unexpected setbacks, we have made it to the end of our journey together this school year. We have traveled far and I feel so blessed that the joy and and good have been more prevalent than the struggles. I am amazed by each of you and the beautiful work you've done each day, guiding your students through their learning, helping them become problem-solvers and thinkers. You've supported each other throughout and I am the luckiest principal around to have such a strong and dedicated staff. Thank you for this year.

As you wrap up with your students and pack up your rooms, I hope you're also looking to the summer as a time for rejuvenation and fun and opportunities for growth. Many of you are writing curriculum and attending conferences and planning your own professional development - this is a testament to your commitment to life-long learning and growth. Some of you have plans to travel or visit family and friends. Others may just relax around town. Whatever you do, my wish is for each and every one of you to enjoy yourself and take time to do things that bring you joy. Reading is one of those joy-bringers for me so for the final Reflective Practitioner of the year, I thought I'd share a summer reading list. I chose this one as it has a wide variety of literature - from professional to adult to family to classroom. You may not resonate with all of the books, but I hope you get inspired by at least one. :)

Enjoy this last week with your students - cherish the growth and the journey before we say goodbye for the summer. It's been a great year!

The Reflective Pracitioner

By Susan Riley|May 14th, 2015

It’s time for that annual tradition at EdCloset: our teacher summer reading list. That also signals that we are getting close to the end of the school year and that warm summer days and long, cool nights are ahead. What better way to spend them than with a great book?

As always, we’re separating out the list to include books for professional learning and books for pleasure. This summer, we’re also including family-friendly books and books to preview for use in your classroom. After all – we’re not always in the mood for the same type of books all the time!

You’ll find some specific descriptions in the professional learning segment, and then a straight-up list in the other categories (because the product descriptions from the links do a much better job of providing you with an overview). Just click on each title for more information. Time to get our Amazon wish-lists ready!


Teachers are always learners. These books are our top picks to check out in 2015 if you’re looking to grow as an educator!

1. Unshakeable: 20 ways to enjoy teaching every day – no matter what (Angela Watson) Was the year a little tough? When you start to feel down, this book has some great reminders and exercises to do that can help you remember why you LOVE being an educator!

2. The Art of Work: A proven path to discovering what you were meant to do (Jeff Goins) Summer is a chance to re-evaluate our passions and why we do what we do. This book helps provide that clarity to either confirm or uncover your own purpose.

3. Create Your Dream Classroom: Save your sanity, escape the rut, sharpen your skills (Linda Kardamis) One thing I notice each and every September is the struggle of classroom management from all areas of education. Why not save yourself some stress and get a leg-up this summer with this practical and helpful book?

4. Education Nation: Six leading edges of innovation in our schools (Milton Chen) We all claim to want our schools to foster innovation, but do they really have the systems in place to do that? This interesting read dives into the 6 ideas crucial to making innovation a reality in schools.

5. Daily Rituals: How artists work (Mason Currey) Behind each and every artist is a process by which the “magic” happens. This books explores not only visual artists but also the practices of authors, composers, choreographers and more.

6. Fostering Grit (Thomas Hoerr) A big theme in 2014-2015 has been the idea of building mental toughness and grit within our students. But how do you DO that? This is a quick, insightful guide to cultivating that sometimes elusive mindset.

7. SCRUM: The art of doing twice the work in half the time (Jeff Sutherland) This book changed my life in a BIG way. It got me totally rethinking how I approach my work, team-development and delivery of instruction. We are all tasked with doing more with less – this is a great book to help you navigate that conundrum.

8. Mastery (Robert Greene) What does it take to become a master? How can you rise to mastery in your own life and work? This book shares some extraordinary insights into growth, mastery and the pursuit of “perfection”.

9. Overwhelmed: Work, love and play when no one has the time (Brigid Schulte) If you’re like most other teachers I know, the title of this book alone describes your life. This book explores why we are obsessed with working more, why none of us can relax – and what we can all do about it.

10. The Creative Habit: Learn it and Use it for Life (Twyla Tharp) Think that creativity is something you’re born with? Think again. World-renowned choreographer Twyla Tharp contends that creativity happens due to the habits you commit to pursuing.

11. No Permission Required: Bringing STEAM to life in K-12 Schools (Susan Riley) Okay, okay. Yes – this is my own book and I’m including it on this list. That being said, I really do believe this is a book you need to read, if only to reaffirm that you CAN bring back creativity and joy into your teaching. I share case studies of schools actually having success, lessons, assessments, and strategies in all grade levels. Practical, but with a good conversational tone.

And now, for the rest of the story….


What’s summer without a few fun reads that you can lose yourself in for a while? If you’re looking for a great book to take with you on travel (or just to escape the world for a while), try one of these.

1. The Secret Wisdom of the Earth (Christopher Scotton)

2. Eat, Pray, Love (Elizabeth Gilbert)

3. This Much I Know Is True (Wally Lamb)

4. The Mountain Between Us (Charles Martin)

5. Thrive (Arianna Huffington)

6. The Light Between Oceans (M. L. Stedman)

7. Still Alice (Lisa Genova)

8. Inferno (Dan Brown)

9. All the Light We Cannot See (Anthony Doerr)

10. The Signature of All Things (Elizabeth Gilbert)


One of my favorite times in the summer is being able to set aside 20-30 minutes of family reading time. These are books that we pull out to read aloud and enjoy together. It is something that my 5 year old requests every day, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to reconnect. Here are a few of our current favorites.

1. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)

2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (J.K. Rowling)

3. The Greatest Salesman in the World (Og Mandino)

4. To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)

5. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (CS Lewis)

6. The City of Ember (Jeanne Duprau)


Of course, we can’t forget about selections for your classroom library. Here are a few that we’ve picked up along the way that have worked for arts integration and STEAM.

1. Chuck Close: Facebook (Chuck Close and Ascha Drake)

2. Art Lab for Kids (Susan Schwake)

3. The Day the Crayons Quit (Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers)

4. The Dot (Peter H. Reynolds)

5. Jabuti the Tortoise (Gerald McDermott)

6. The Great Kapok Tree (Lynne Cherry)

7. The Composer is Dead (Lemony Snicket)

8. There are No Mistakes in Art (Jennifer McCully)

Weekly Events

Monday, June 1 - C Day

  • MFE Scholarship Award Assembly - 7:45 am - Cafeteria - 6th Grade, Grace
  • ARD - 8:30 am - Learning Lab 1 - Janie, Diana McG., Grace
  • ARD - 10:30 am - Office - Angela, Cindy d., Grace
  • End of Year Celebration - TBD - Diana, Chad
  • ARD - 1:50 pm - Office - Angela, Amanda, Grace
  • 100 Year Planning Meeting - 3:00 pm - Library - Grace

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - A Day

  • Parent Meeting - 8:00 am - Office - Grace
  • Parent Meeting - 9:30 am - Office - Grace
  • ARD - 1:50 pm - Office - Angela, Amanda, Grace
  • Special Education Department Meeting - 3:00 pm - Learning Lab 1 - Janie, Angela, Brett, Michelle, AnneMarie, Grace, Robin

Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - B Day

  • Kinder Splash Day! - 10:30 am - Blacktop - Becky, Carol, Paula
  • Reception for Terrie and Loretta - 1:00 pm - Library - All Invited
  • ARD - 1:05 pm - Office - Angela, Stefanie, Grace
  • 504 Meeting - 2:45 pm - Office - Amanda, Robin, Grace
  • Reception for Amanda - Library - 3:15 pm - All invited!

Thursday, June 4, 2015 - C Day

  • Last day of school!
  • 6th Grade Promotion Ceremony - 8:15 am - Gym - 6th Grade
  • Goodbye Walk - 2:00 pm - Building - Amanda
  • Austin High Graduation - 7:00 pm - Erwin Center - Grace

Friday, June 5, 2015

  • Staff Breakfast - Magnolia Cafe - 7:00 am - All
  • Swap Meet - 9:00 am - Main Hallway - All
  • Teacher Work Day

For Your Information


  • If you need something, ask.
  • Follow Report Card Timeline
  • Complete End-of-Year Checklist with signatures and submit to Susan by June 5th
  • Arrive and pick up your class from special areas on time - respect each other's time.
  • Take attendance every day through TEAMS
  • Ensure 504, IEP, ELL, and Gifted Accommodations are being followed
  • Actively supervise your students - Spread out at recess to monitor each area.
  • Check our calendar for important events
  • Have fun!

Kudos: Do you know of something good? Share it with Grace to be included here or write it in the comments below!

  • To Steve, Amy, Jennifer, and Stefanie for making both Tapestry Dance Workshop and the Discovery Zone a positive experience for all!
  • To Steve, Stefanie, and Jud for dome take down and inflation for Friday's assembly!
  • To Lisa and Jimmy for a beautiful final performance on Friday!
  • To Sicily for arranging for PenPal Schools and Book Around to come to Mathews!
  • To Steve, AnneMarie, Monica, Brett, Jud, and Kellie for a fun and yummy end-of-year blast, complete with Mathews trivia!
  • To everyone for the most magnificent year!

Upcoming Events:

  • 6th Grade Graduation - June 4
  • Last Day of School - June 4
  • End-of-Year Checklist Completed and Turned In - Last Teacher Work Day!

Website to Explore: