My friends and family can let you in on a well-known secret: I am obsessed with coffee with peppermint mocha creamer, Flair pens, Astrobright papers, and Post-it notes. Those moments where I can work on a task that incorporates all four of these things makes me ridiculously giddy. Whether I am grading essays, setting up the family budget, or lesson planning, just give my essential four and we are good to go!
This quirky obsession actually created a delightful morning of grading my 7th graders' rough draft essays of The Giver the other day. Coffee in hand and Flair pen at the ready, I was ready to tackle the daunting stack, but I was missing one thing - my Writing Checklist Post-it notes! I rushed to my desk to print off a set, and let me tell you, it took less than four minutes to run off these colorful little beauties! The wonders of being organized.
Kind: to be generous, helpful, and think about other people's feelings.
Being kind is such a simple notion. Kindness is one of the most rewarding things we humans can do, yet being kind also seems to be one of the most challenging aspects in our society today. Our students are inundated with the outrageous, the obscene, the spectacle, and the drama in almost every media outlet available to them. All too often, this information focuses more on how to roast someone, or ridicule them, than on being gracious and kind. Therefore, I spend A LOT of time focusing on kindness in my classroom. I not only try to model kindness, but I also try to sprinkle examples of kindness throughout my lessons. I embed quotes that feature kind phrases and thoughts, assign short reading assignments that highlight a random act of kindness, show a video clip that illustrates kindness in action, and even assign grammar activities that revolve around "kind" sentences.
The 2016 election and upcoming inauguration have underscored American society's need for an immediate emphasis on respect, honor, and KINDNESS. Thus, I have linked up with some amazing teachers from Secondary Smorgasbord to offer all of our amazing blog followers a set of FREE resources that focus on truth and kindness. Just follow the link at the bottom of this post to hop around and grab a plethora of great resources!
May this new year find you
healthier and happier,
peaceful, content, satisfied,
to fresh, revitalizing interests,
a variety of pleasures,
interesting new people,
material and personal successes
to make this new year
the best one yet.
Happy new year!
Teach on my friends,
30-day challenges! I cannot wait to lead my students in this 30-day challenge. Rather than assign 30 random things for students to do, this challenge requires students to choose one thing they want to add to or subtract from their life and focus on that one thing for 30 days. The simplicity of choosing one goal prevents students from being overwhelmed. Focusing on the goal for thirty days allows for enough time to pass for a new habit to be formed and stored. Grab a FREE copy of this lesson to use with your students from my TpT store.
My students LOVE to use highlighters when we read closely.
They are more engaged with the text simply because they are excited to use a different colored highlighter. Since using Beers and Probst, Notice & Note:Strategies for Close Reading, strategies in my classroom, I have noticed the use of highlighting and annotating text skyrocket, but it drives me cray cray when my students use one color to represent multiple signposts or ideas. It becomes so much more difficult to see the patterns in the text. To keep my kiddos organized and aware, I decided to step up my organizational skills (OCD) a notch and create signpost labels to go on class highlighter sets (the kids also have access to their own labels if they want to secure them onto their personal highlighters).