Monthly Archives: August 2013

Ms. Purdin Gets Ready For Kindergarten!

This past week I began the tough process of getting back into “the routine.” Yes, teachers have to do this too! No more late nights during the week, sleeping in past 8 a.m. (I know – that’s half the day gone already – lol!) and lounging in my pjs til noon. I set my alarm for 5:30 a.m. and tried to get into school at least a few of the mornings to start putting our room back together from summer cleaning.

Here is what I have been working on:



After my reading course this summer, I decided to create a special space in my classroom dedicated to working with small groups. I have always worked with small groups through the day, however, now all my materials will be right at my finger tips! What a concept!

IMG_1085I’ve moved around our work tables and centered the meeting rug to the middle of the room. The rug is not touching any walls or bookcases, which hopefully will make the children sit up better using their core muscles during Morning Meeting!


This closet just had a makeover! I wish I had taken a “before” picture, you’ll just have to trust me when I say it was packed full of stuff with no rhyme or reason. Now we have a literacy shelf, math shelf, games (that are in good condition – I tossed all the ones with missing pieces) on a shelf children can reach and my lifetime supply of bulletin board boarders within easy reach. Let’s hope it stays this clean throughout the year!

IMG_1088Another newly organized area is my treasure box shelves. After 6 years, I have put on labels and made sure all the “treasures” are good ones. The empty box is now filled with a new surprise I bought at Lakeshore Learning! (Ms. Purdin has impulse buying issues when it comes to that store!)

After all that moving and organizing, I took a break on Friday from coming into school and spent the day at the beach in Marblehead with friends. The ocean was freezing! But nothing’s better than your feet in the sand and a good book to read!

Enjoy the weather this weekend!
Ms. Purdin 🙂



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What Does Common Core Mean?

Your child is about to enter Kindergarten. You may have heard the phrase “common core standards” on TV or from a friend, but you are not quite sure what that means. However, common core standards will impact your child’s life as a student. This video popped up on my twitter feed this morning and it explains the “why” behind Common Core State Standards.

Three-Minute Video Explaining the Common Core State Standards from CGCS Video Maker on Vimeo.

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A Summer Filled with Fun, Friends and Phonics

You know you are almost ready to go back to school when you wake up in the morning making your to-do before the kids come list! Another clue could be when you are writing a blog post in your head! This happened to me this morning, maybe because it’s a rainy Friday, or maybe it’s because I just got back from “teacher camp” in Williamstown, MA. (My favorite week in the summer!)

My mentor Ken (professor at MCCC) and I on the RA Floor!

My mentor Ken (English professor at Massasoit Community College) and I on the RA floor in the MA delegation.

But let me back up and tell you about what a fantastically fulfilling summer I have had, both professionally and personally.

While I may not have been “going to work” everyday, I have been really busy working since we got out of school. I started the summer in Atlanta, as a Massachusetts delegate to the National Education Association’s Representative Assembly (known as the RA). The RA brings together over 10,000 educators from across the country and meets in a different city each summer. The best way to describe it is “town meeting for teachers.” It happens over the Fourth of July week since that is the only week in the summer when all schools are out. (Can you believe that?) It’s like going on vacation with 150 friends because the MA delegation hosts several social events throughout the week. I toured the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library, spent the fourth of July at the Georgia Aquarium and even attended a Cyndi Lauper concert! We also debated over 93 new business items pertaining to teaching and our members!

To enhance my instruction, I took a graduate course in reading this summer. It turned out to be a fascinating course. I learned so much more about how the brain learns to read and write. The course taught about how to use explicit phonics instruction that I will put to good use starting in September! I also met some great people, including a couple of Kindergarten teachers who clued me into the Second Edition of Fundations (the phonics program we use at JES) and I will be getting new materials to help our kiddos even more. Exciting stuff!

Mar and I during our senior year at GW. Nice outfits. #whatwerewethinking?

Mar and I during our senior year at GW. Nice outfits. #whatwerewethinking?

At the end of July, I visited my college roommate from GWU in New York City. Mar and her husband Dan live right in the middle of Manhattan and we had a fantastic weekend of sight seeing and enjoying each other’s company. I met Mar when we were freshman and she was trying out for GW’s dance team, The First Ladies. Mar was a member of the team for four years and the only reason I ever went to GW’s basketball games. So when we met in NYC, we went to see Forever Tango on Broadway! We also toured the 9/11 memorial, had lunch in the seaport and visited the Rain Room at the MoMA!

Yesterday, I returned home from the Massachusetts Teachers Association’s summer conference, held every year at Williams College in Williamstown, MA. While you do have to sleep in a dorm, it is a great opportunity to network and learn new things for the classroom. It was my third year going and it has become my favorite summer tradition. (Minus the four hour drive to get there!) It’s also fun to eat in the dining hall where there is an soft serve ice cream machine!

While out at Williams, I received notification I was accepted to participate in the Inaugural NEA / Teach Plus fellowship. They accepted only 50 teachers in the country. (NEA has 3.2 million members). I will get to go to DC three times during the next school year and have the opportunity to connect with national leaders and policy makers, which is both humbling and exciting to be a representative! We have a lot of issues facing public education that affect our students, and I am always mindful of that in whatever situation I am in. I always come back to my classroom in Nahant.

So enjoy the last few days of summer and know I am looking forward to meeting your children. Or if you are a former parent, I am looking forward to seeing all my “old friends” too when we come back together in September. It will be a great year and I have recharged myself and am ready for all the challenges and experiences that lie ahead.

Any questions, don’t hesitate to emai me – I will be checking my email most days from now until school starts.

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