Writing my way through the school year!

Archive for the ‘Back to School lessons’ Category

The “Bad Kid” Label Sticks: Let’s Remove It!

bad kid poster

Sometimes, ok many times, she could be loud.
She rolled her eyes and twirled her neck. Often.

Her behavior was everyone else’s fault, never hers.

But as the school year progressed, she changed.
She evolved.
Was she perfect? By, no means.
Did I require perfection from her?

No, why should I?

But I observed waaaaay less yelling, bullying, eye rolling and neck twirling.

Way less.

In my End-of-the-Year card! ūüôā

I never yelled at her.

I ¬†talked to her, not “at” her.

I listened to her.

I would allow her to lead.

Let her use her voice for good.

I resisted the power struggle.

Had to, because sometimes she would take me there.:)

And we grew together throughout the school year.

We grew to understand each other.

She knew I “didn’t play”, but I loved her anyway.

She knew to grab that Ipad, set the timer for 5 minutes, and go to the buddy classroom because¬†I¬†needed a timeout. ūüôā

I learned there was a girl who needed to know she was more than a loud, bullying, eye-rolling, neck twirling child.

We built a relationship.

As the school year ended, I chose her to be the mayor at JA Biztown.

She was amazing!

Everything ran smoothly, she gave her speech to the “citizens.”

I was so proud. What a leader!

But here’s the thing with the “bad” kid.

Some educators don’t want to let go of the label that has followed that student for years.

“I can’t believe out of all the kids in your room, you chose¬†her¬†to be the mayor!”

Really?

I have this pesky habit of believing in the “bad” kid, just as I believe in all my kids.

I believe in giving kids a fresh start, and not believing the hype that follows them.

I believe educators should stop chasing down the previous teachers to get the “scoop” on a child and then continue to treat that child the same way they were the previous year.

Thre’s no magic wand to change a child.

And sometimes, what is tried, fails.

This year, give the “bad” kid a chance¬†to be viewed as good, or at least as worthy as everyone else.

 

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Beginning of the School Year Activities!

It’s that time.

I’m sad summer is over, but, I am excited at the start of a new year!:)

Besides some of the typical activities I use every year, (e.g”Getting to Know You” Bingo), here are some new activities I will be using.

Two of the ideas I got from Matt Bergman’s blog, “Learn, Lead, Grow.” He created a Google Slides of class expectations and had the class work in groups to complete them. Can you say “student ownership?” I added some of my own expectations that I want them to work on. When they are done, I will print the slides, put them on posterboard and hang up our rules. (I must have rules posted in my classroom.)… READ MORE

Everybody Get Up! Using Brain Breaks in the Classroom!

GoNoodle pop se ko

If you are still teaching in the traditional, “sit down, be quiet, don’t move”method, it is time to let it go!

Research has proven that, just like adults our kids need to move, young or old. The fact that we, as adults, don’t want to sit in one place for hours on end, should give us a clue that we shouldn’t do that to our students.READ MORE

“Techfully Yours” Youtube Series- Sharing My Passion for Tech One Tool at a Time!

I learned about Snagit right before school ended, trying to make up those snow hours. But, it was PD I wish we had more often, something productive that I can use!

Take a peek, or two. Share with friends. Use it. Watch for new episodes. Episode 1 is about the fake tweet generator by Classtools.net. READ MORE…

“Where I’m From” Using Poetry as an Introduction!(Back to School)

ImageA teacher on¬†Edmodo¬†suggested this activity as a way to begin the year. I agree. It’s not only a wonderful way for you to get to know your students, but it gives you insight into how they write without the pressure of a prompt. (Hopefully,”What I Did On My Summer Vacation” writing assignment has gone the way of the dinosaur.)READ MORE

photo credit: Paul Lowry via photopin cc

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