Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Start Today

In Today is the best day from Seth Godin's Blog , Seth Godin shares,

“You don't need more time, you simply need to decide.”

The hardest thing to do is to get started. That is the biggest decision I have to make.

It is easy to put off things.
  • Tomorrow I will start my diet.
  • Tomorrow I will clean the house.
  • Tomorrow I will weed the flower beds.
  • Tomorrow I will exercise.
  • Tomorrow I will balance the checkbook.
  • Later this week, I will wash clothes.
  • Later I will wash the bathrooms.

And on and on it goes.

I could make a list of what I will do in the future that is a mile long.

But it doesn’t help me accomplish anything.

Yet, once I get started, the task becomes easier.

I started out thinking about why I don’t like doing a specific task. It might be overwhelming, or it might be boring. Sometimes I just forget to do something and think about it later. Once I figure out why I don’t want to start, I can try to find ways that will help me get started.

I started developing a routine that helps me get my exercise done. My husband and I do this every morning after we have breakfast and before we start on other things in the day. This routine keeps us doing this even when we don’t feel like doing it.

I started setting a timer for cleaning my house. I will spend at least one hour each day in one particular room. This keeps me from looking at the whole house needing to be cleaned and becoming overwhelmed. I’m always surprised when that hour is up and I continue to do a little more.

Sometimes I trade tasks and make myself do one thing that I NEED to do before I do something that I WANT to do.

Sometimes I make an appointment with myself on the calendar to do a specific task and hold myself to do it.

I have started to listen to podcasts or music when I’m doing something boring. This helps pass the time.

These are all specific decisions I make to get started. Once I get started, the task isn’t that bad or at least I’m getting it done. Sometimes I wonder why I was so reluctant to do it in the beginning.

I feel that my students have the same problems sometimes with their classwork and their homework. Sometimes that is why things don’t get completed. Helping them find the best way to make the decision to start may help them be more successful.

Together, we can brainstorm different ways that will help them. Each situation may need a different strategy. Once the student decides on a strategy, I encourage the student to try them out and keep a record for a month to see whether it helps or not. If after a month it doesn’t work even after sticking to the strategy, it is time to look for another strategy.

How do you help students get started? Please share. 

Photo by Serghei Trofimov on Unsplash

Monday, September 24, 2018

First-Class Seats

In Skiing out of bounds from Seth Godin's Blog, Seth Godin shares,

“A different feeling with a similar boundary issue is the magic of a first class seat. It doesn’t matter that first class seats are often smaller than they used to be. What matters is that they’re better than coach.”

I feel that I need to make my class like a first-class seat. I want my students to feel like our class is the best thing around. I want them to feel proud to be in my class and proud of the things they accomplish in my class.

One year I wrote a grant for us to do some landscaping around the school for beautification. Our class came up with a plan after a lot of research and then checked with people with landscaping experience to make sure our plan would work. Next, the students did a lot of price checking and ordering materials. When everything arrived, we got our hands dirty (and blistered) as we did the actual hard work. When it was all done, the school grounds looked fabulous! We planted pear trees, azaleas, holly, and juniper. As we worked throughout the year, my students were excited and engaged in all aspects of this project. The best part was when other students not in our class wanted to know how they could enroll in our class! My students were beyond ecstatic at the school support of our project.

It doesn’t matter if you are in first-class or coach, there are certain things required before a plane can take-off. There needs to be time for everyone to get seated in the right places and safety information needs to be given. So, even though you have an exciting lesson, sometimes you have to get through the basics before you can get to the fun.

If I can get my students excited about what they are going to learn next, I can keep engaged in the activities.

It doesn’t matter what subject I teach, I need to make my students believe that there is no better place to be at that point in time than where they are.

I want my students to feel that learning is relevant to their lives. The skills they are learning are things that they will be able to use outside the classroom. The skills they are learning can be built upon and expanded if needed in order for them to be successful in life.

Photo by Andy Pearce on Unsplash

Friday, September 21, 2018

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 9/21/18

Here are some interesting sites that I’ve found this week, thanks to my PLN. As a teacher, I feel we have to keep up to date concerning research in our field and current issues in the education system. I hope some of these inspire you, inform you, and even have you asking questions. Thank you for coming by and visiting!

Note: Each resource is labeled with a level and subject area to make it easier to use.

Levels:  E: Elementary; M: Middle; H: High; G: General, all levels; SN: Special Needs; T: Teachers

Subject Areas: LA: Language Arts, English, Reading, Writing; M: Math; S: Science; Health; SS: Social Studies, Current Events; FA: Fine Arts; Music, Art, Drama; FL: Foreign Language; PE: Physical Ed; C: Career; A: All

Toy Theater – “Make learning a blast! Toy Theater is an online game website for kids, chock full of interactive art games, fun reading games, and cool math games. Designed with the needs of kindergarten, first grade, second grade, and third grade classrooms in mind, these free online educational games for kids are trusted by teachers around the world to provide real educational value for their classrooms.”  (L:E;SA:A)

Why Do Some Animals Eat Poop? – “Animals eat their own poop in order to gain extra access to nutrients or to microbes that help digest those nutrients.” (L:E;SA:S)

YoTeach – a platform for backchanneling in the classroom (L:T;SA:A)

Poetry 180 – “Welcome to Poetry 180. Poetry can and should be an important part of our daily lives. Poems can inspire and make us think about what it means to be a member of the human race. By just spending a few minutes reading a poem each day, new worlds can be revealed. Poetry 180 is designed to make it easy for students to hear or read a poem on each of the 180 days of the school year. I have selected the poems you will find here with high school students in mind. They are intended to be listened to, and I suggest that all members of the school community be included as readers. A great time for the readings would be following the end of daily announcements over the public address system.” (L:G;SA:LA)

Chronicling America – “Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present.”

Original photo by Pat Hensley