Saturday, April 28, 2012

Someone once said...

"To find out what one is fitted to do and to secure an opportunity to do it is key to happiness."
— John Dewey

Friday, April 20, 2012

Conflict Resolution

So I just taught a lesson to my students about conflict resolution.  We read a fable from Australia about name calling, discussed how name calling made us feel and how we could handle it, wrote a list of sentence starters, and did some role playing with characters like Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf.  Not only have we talked about standing up for ourselves this year but we have also discussed how to stand up for your friends if you see something going on.  I ask the kids to do it...I expect that they will stand up for their classmates and yet....I can't do the same thing.
I was letting my dog out this morning at about 6:45am when my downstairs neighbors decided to bring their argument out to the sidewalk.  Now these neighbors like to smoke illegal substances on the porch and listen to loud music at all times of the night, however, I believe that no one should have been subjected to the yelling that pursued.  The woman sat with her arms crossed just taking it as the man yelled, cursed, and berated her.  He used very few other words besides F*&% and B$%&*. Most of it wasn't even grammatically correct (but that's the teacher in me).  Did I go over and stand up for this woman? No.  Did I approach the situation so he didn't feel like he could gang up on her? No.  Instead I tried to make myself invisible which was hard with my dog barking at this man.  I didn't make eye contact and tried not to look.  I didn't want him to yell at me or worse.  I realize this was the best choice and all my friends would tell me the same thing.  But then I begin to students not feel the same way? 

Aren't 9-year-old bullies just as scary to 9-year-olds?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Testing Superheros

Last testing seasons I posted about EOG Superheroes that my students create to get them pumped up for using all their powers/strategies that they have learned throughout the year.  This year I am amping it up!  Here is what testing season has in store:

1. Bulletin Board
Blue sky, green grass, white cloud, yellow sun, and superhero quotes.  I've taken a collection of quotes from different superheroes and changed them to fit the EOG (NC State Testing) and testing in general.  We are also going to use the quotes for students to act out during Morning Meeting. You can get your own copy below.

2. Power Goals
The students will be taking several practice reading and math EOG tests before May.  As the students take the tests, they meet with me to review the test and set goal areas and a target score.  The focus here is on growth and making sure the students are using all the powers/strategies that they can.

3. Power Buckets
North Carolina has 5 standards for math - Numbers and Operations, Measurement, Geometry, Data Analysis and Probability, and Algebra.  Each standard will have its own review bucket - "Power Bucket."  Students will rotate through these buckets each week completing task cards, games, and practice sheets.  And let me tell you about task cards if you don't know - FABULOUS.  They are just questions cut apart and the kids think its fun and their goal to get them all done.  I don't even feel bad about fooling them :)

4. Teacher Dress Up
If the students make their growth goals, the teachers will dress up as EOG Superheroes.  My outfit is in the brainstorming stage.  I'm thinking a giant calculator on my chest, a SQRRR tattoo, a bag with a complete breakfast, etc.  Stay tuned for pictures. They should be great!!

5. Student Created Superheroes
Now students will get to draw and create their own superheroes.  Students will have the choice to free draw their characters or use free clipart that I found online.  They will to label all their super powers.  Check out last year's post

EOG Superhero Quotes (pdf)

EOG Power Bucket Labels - Math (pdf)

EOG Power Bucket Labels - Reading/Genres (pdf)

EOG Superhero Goal Setting (pdf)