My Poem: The Creation of TEAM in Schools

First, I wanted to wish you a happy new year!!! I hope everyone’s holiday was a great one! While on a school vacation and thinking back on this past year of 2014, I was thinking about my current school and the previous schools I have been in. I was thinking about personal and professional relationships built in schools and the importance of teamwork. Working effectively as a team or teams towards a common goal would make a school a successful one.

Varying from school to school, district to district, town or city, each school runs differently. Each school has its own staff, administration, politics, expectations and requirements. As a teacher of 14 years, I have been through 4 different administrators all with different expectations and different leadership skills.

Within each school, there are many teams. To name several, some are teacher leader teams, grade level teams and there is the school team as a whole. Just like in any work place, all employees or individuals have different qualities, personalities and skills and it is up to the team to use that to its full potential.

Below is a poem I wrote about the creation of teams in schools.

                       The Creation of Teams in Schools

T: Together, each and every person is on the same page working together effectively completing similar task(s) and ultimately realizing their true potential as a whole.

E: Each and everyone acknowledges and respects others’ opinions and thoughts as they are helping each other achieve a common goal.

A: Asset: Each and every person is an asset possessing his/her own qualities that could lead to generating performance greater than one or few individuals.

M: Mutual respect is given to and received from each and everyone on the team creating an environment that allows each member to freely express and share their skills and valued opinions leading to mutual commitment.


The team is defined by those who are apart of it, creating mutual respect and sharing common goals.

 When each member of a team unites, each and everyone’s ideas and skills make an effective group as a team molds.

 Each individual is committed and dedicated to educating each and every young mind to the highest potential and degree,

 Producing and sharing products, reports and data making a school the best it can be.

 An educational program or school is successful if the team is consistent, productive and dedicated to a common goal throughout the school year. 

 It is filled with unique individuals of who are all leaders, motivators and humanitarians wanting to make a difference showing they care. 

 For everyone involved, the time duration in a school year consists of 180 days of which can be tedious and challenging at times, 

 Facing many obstacles that include political tension, increasing employee requirements and changes and data driven reports making the workplace challenging sometimes.

 But as a team, one of the common goals is to overcome those obstacles, requirements and tension and work together to make the school the best it can be,

 Because reaching and educating each and every child in a school is the ultimate goal that unlocks each child’s potential, that is the key. 

 A team is the best if each and every member believes in and is committed to the common goal,

 Which is feeding each and every young mind with every bit of knowledge adequately seasoned in the educational bowl. 

written by: Mary Tran


My Poem: The Short Story of The Holiday Challenge

The holiday is quickly approaching and we have been so busy at school and at home. At school, we did various holiday arts and crafts, decorated our bulletin board with a winter theme, sang and read about winter and snowmen. At home, my kids wrote their wish lists, decorated our tree, drank hot chocolate and read holiday related stories.

At home, I also mentioned to my children how there are other people who don’t have what we have. They don’t have a tree to decorate and presents under their tree. I mentioned that there are some children at mommy’s school who don’t have enough clothes to wear and food to eat. I also told my children that I have been collecting donations for those in need at the school I work in. Last night, while we prayed before going to bed, we listed the things we were thankful for and we prayed for those families who are in need.

When I write poetry, I am moved and motivated. I usually write from experience and observation. Below is a holiday poem I just wrote that I would like to share with you. I hope you take this poem at heart and take the challenge. Happy holidays to you and your family and may the new year bring you happiness and peace! Enjoy the poem!

IMG_5293       The Short Story of The Holiday Challenge

 As I drive by the homes in my town each day in December, I see holiday decorations galore,
I see lights on the trees outside, child sized electric reindeer and plastic snowmen, and wreaths on each door.
The radio stations play various holiday music from oldies to modern-day,
They play Elvis’s Blue Christmas and Michael Buble’s Jingle All The Way.
My emails are loaded with sale after sale from every business and store,
Publicizing late night holiday hours, discounts, coupons, sales and more.
The parking lots are packed with not a parking space in sight,
Especially on weekends from morning, noon to night.
As I observe, sit and contemplate about the hustle and bustle during this December holiday,
I think about what the real meaning is and asked people what they think and would say.
A few say it is a time for drinks, parties and gifts under the tree,
Several others say it is about Santa, stockings, eating cookies and drinking tea.
For some, it is a time of sorrow, with loved ones who are not present or far away,
Thinking about people in their lives who have passed away or a soldier serving their country they say.
I also spoke to some people who cannot afford gifts, decorations or a tree,
In addition to much-needed furniture, clothes and sometimes food, so sad to see.
I say it is a time to celebrate love and family and doing a good deed,
Having positive thoughts, putting a smile on someone’s face, and helping others in need,
It is a time to celebrate and respect various religions, cultures and beliefs,
To be open-minded, accept, educate and learn other’s beliefs,
Some tend to forget the true meaning as they indulge in their rewards, possessions and material things,
They tend to overlook other’s needs and religions focusing on gifts and diamond rings.
Challenge yourself and find your true meaning of the December holiday,
Look deep down at yourself and others around you, and maybe you will see the true meaning of the holiday.

Written by: Mary Tran

Math: Introducing The Concept of Time in My Kindergarten Class of Students With Autism

The materials used in each lesson taught during a school day is vital to a student’s learning. Once you have the materials, the process of teaching the lesson and incorporating the materials is even more important. In my class, since the schedule of the school day is reviewed each day during Morning Meeting, I thought it was important to include the concept of time and allow the students to know what time each lesson or activity is during the day. Below, you will see my schedule of the day and you will see that the day is split up into 8 periods and next to the periods are the times and picture icon of each lesson or activity. The concept of time is incorporated during the school day on a daily basis. 
During Math, besides teaching counting, one to one correspondence, addition, subtraction and money, I have also been teaching about time. Below, you will see the owl clock I use made by TOMY. I call this clock the “wise owl.” During the day, when a lesson is over and a new one is about to begin, I will take out the clock and tell the students the time. For example, snack time is at 2 pm, and I will control the hands of the clock to make 2 pm and say to the students, “The wise owl says it is 2:00,” then ask my students, “What do we do at 2:00?” They’re answer should be, “It is snack time.” I use the “wise owl” 2-3 times per day. My students now know the routine and when I take the owl clock out, they say “The wise owl says…..” It is wonderful to see that the students know the routine and have a concept of time. 
During a regular math time lesson, I will begin the lesson by reading the black book below called: Time by Kari Jenson Gold. I will read the book to introduce the lesson. The first page of the book asks: How can you tell the time of day? The book continues to give examples about which meals do you eat in the morning and at night? See below for some samples of the pages in the book.
After the book is read, I take out another book called, “What’s the Time?” This book includes various times of the day for children which includes: breakfast, play time, lunch time, dinner time and bath time.. The book displays the a clock which the time is controlled by the reader. As I read each page, I change the hands of the clock to match the time the page of the book says. For example, lunch time is at 12:00. As the reader of the book, I set the clock in the book for 12:00 and have the students imitate me on their clocks. Each student is given a clock. The idea of this lesson is so the students can have an idea of time and how the clock works. See pictures below.



photo 3       photo 1      photo 2

  The book below is read to the students before the time lesson begin. I included some pages for you to view:

photo 3   photo 4  photo 5 photo 1       photo 2

Below is a book that I use with the students called: What’s the Time? I read the book and the students imitate the time the book says on their clocks. For example, the book says that at 12:00, the children eat their lunch. I set it for 12 in the book and the students imitate the time using their own clocks. Each page is a different activity and time of the day (dinner, play time, bath time, bed time).

photo 4  photo 5 photo 2