I shared this video with my students yesterday, hoping that a wonderful Christmas story might inspire them to sing their hearts out at the Christmas Play. We had a wonderful conversation after watching the video about what had to happen in order for WestJet to be successful in this enterprise. But mostly we all agreed that this was an amazing thing that WestJet managed to pull off. I asked my students to consider one question, and I’ll ask the same question of all of you:
What would you have done? What would you have asked for?
In the future, when someone asks me about my beliefs about education or my personal mission statement, I will simply point them to this video. It says it all…and so much more.
This talk is all the more poignant when you watch it with the knowledge that Ms. Pierson passed away this summer at the age of 61. Education lost a true visionary this year.
Are you as psyched about returning to school as I am?! You will be after you watch this!
Welcome Back to School! And welcome to Seventh Grade!! After only a few days with my new students, I know we are going to have an absolutely, amazingly awesome year! How do I know this? Well, I’m a teacher. I just know. 🙂 If you’d like specifics about how I know it’s going to be a fantabulous year, let’s start with Our Rights and Responsibilities.
To begin our year together, I asked my students to answer the following question: What are your rights and responsibilities in our seventh grade classroom? They worked on their lists individually at first, and then they discussed and added to their lists at their table groups. While they were working in their groups, I started asking students to write some of their ideas up on the ActivBoard to share them with the entire class. I think you’ll agree that, so far, my new students have some great ideas! Here’s what we have so far:
We have the right to…
- learn in our own way
- read what we want to during silent reading
- ask questions
- be creative
- wear anything [that follows] the appropriate dress code
- have recess twice a day
- have water at our desk
- say the Pledge of Allegiance
- choose our own supplies
We have the responsibility to…
- keep our books in good shape
- respect our teachers
- manage good grades
- know right from wrong
- stand up for our friends
- stay safe
- do our schoolwork
- be reverent in church [I know a certain math teacher who will love that!]
- listen to the teacher
- show up on time
- keep our desks and lockers clean
- pay attention in class
- stay organized
- write in our planners
- use our rights appropriately
- assist our classmates
- treat classmates with respect
The idea behind creating these lists was to start thinking about what our three main class rules should be for this year. Yesterday, each group had to synthesize all of these rights and responsibilities into three possible rules. On Monday we will vote for the top three and those will be our class rules that we all agree to abide by this year.
One item worthy of note: I found it amazingly awesome that every single one of the notecards the groups handed me contained the word “respect”!
So, do you agree with me now? It’s going to be a wonderful year!!
P.S. The video at the beginning of this post is a Google Search Story that I created to welcome my seventh graders to a new school year.
Something else I’d like to my students to remember: history is a story that can be told in many different ways. The following video is a beautiful animated short film that documents the history of one of the world’s favorite toys: Lego®.
You can find a bit more information about the video here: Lego Celebrates 80th Birthday with Whimsical Animated Short. For more about the Lego® company, visit their About Us page. You might also like to watch some of their other videos on YouTube here: Lego Club TV.
If you are a teacher, you should also check out Lego Education. They have so many great ideas for use in the classroom, including simple machines, robotics, and renewable energy.
Something I want all of my students to remember is that we are all connected. This applies to our life as a class and as a part of the global community. Each of us has within us the power to positively impact the community. Choose to Matter!
“Adolescence is not a problem. It’s an opportunity.” Now, there’s something you don’t hear every day!
Calling All Sketchup Fans! Google is having a competition just for you! The 2012 Google Model Your Town Competition is currently accepting submissions from anyone who is 13 years or older.
Fame, fortune, and oodles of respect await you. (Ok, maybe just oodles of respect.) All you have to do is use Google Sketchup to create a model of Pleasant Hill. It doesn’t even have to be the entire city; how about just downtown? You might want to begin by seeing what previous winners have created: Previous Competitions. This video shows the 2010 winner talking about the model he created of his town, Barranco, Peru.
This video shows examples from the top five finalists of 2010:
The submission deadline is March 1, 2012, so get started today!
P.S. If when reading the first line of this post you read “Sketchup” as “ketchup,” this competition is probably not for you. 🙂
If you’re interested in making your own flashcards to upload to your iPod, iPhone, or iPad, I found a good video to help you. It explains how to create your flashcards in Keynote and then export them for uploading. I was able to follow it quite easily. Let me know if you try it or if you have questions.
Creating Flashcards With Keynote
Happy New Year to one and all! May 2012 bring you many blessings along with plenty of warm memories!