Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Strength in Numbers

On Sunday, the church sermon was about strength and how a piece of wood can break but if you have a bunch of wood together, it is much harder to break.  As I listened I think about how I apply this lesson in my teaching also.

My students know they have a disability and weaknesses. They might not completely understand about the disability but they know they have trouble with academics. This is not something new to many of them because they have struggled with this all their lives.

I try to help my students understand their weaknesses and accept them and also to work their way around them. To do this, they need to find out what their strengths are which is something hard for them to do since they don’t realize that they have any strengths. Since they have failed so often, they feel they lack strengths of any kind which isn’t true. Everyone has strengths and just need to figure out what they are.

Once the students figure out what their strengths are, I try to show them that it is okay for all of us to have different strengths. When we put all our strengths together, we are altogether stronger as a group.

I try to impress upon my students that because we all have different weaknesses and strengths, we need to watch out for each other. Instead of ridiculing each other for weaknesses, we need to jump in and give help when needed. If we all take that attitude, we all can be successful over time. It is too easy to knock someone down when they are already feeling weak but it is another thing to bolster someone up when they need it.

We have many discussions about why it is easier to ridicule someone and point out their weaknesses instead of helping them focus on their strengths. Understanding why they do certain things helps my students see how they can change their behavior.

This may take some time and practice because this doesn’t happen overnight. When students miss the opportunity, I try to talk about it and see how they could have acted differently. The more we talk about it and practice it, the easier it becomes. Then when they are in different situations where I’m not available, they can feel more comfortable acting appropriately.

This is an important job skill to learn and can help students in the future become successful in the workplace.

How do you encourage strength in the classroom? Please share.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Back of the Book Blurb #62 Challenge

From Sioux's PageSioux offers this challenge.

She posts a picture and you need to imagine it as a graphic for a book. You choose the genre and book title, and then write a blurb that might appear on the back of the book.

The blurb should be 150 words or less (not including the title). The genre is wide-open.
Each blogger should include their blurb on their own blog, and link back to this post. Have fun with it. Go to the other posts and comment on the other blurbs.  You can do fancy techy things with the photo.

(Join in if you dare...! It sounds like fun! I think this would be a lot of fun to do with students especially since they would be expected to write 150 words or less!)

Home Decorating

I love hiking and would hike every day of the year if possible. I love hiking in the mountains when everything is green and lush. I also like hiking in the winter when the views are fabulous and there is ice and snow decorating the mountains. Since I’ve hiked so many miles over the years, I’ve gone through many hiking boots and hate to get rid of them. I’ve established a relationship with my boots and we’ve become close friends so I keep them around. They’ve seen me through some tough times and celebrated many victories. My family got tired of seeing these old beat up boots around the house so I’ve found out many ways to decorate my home and yard with these old friends! Read on to see the many creative ways to keep old friends and make your home lovely at the same time! (147 words)

Monday, May 29, 2017

Happy Memorial Day!

Today is a day to remember all those who sacrificed their lives for our country. Many will have cookouts and family gatherings. Others will just relax and enjoy the day off. Whatever you do, I hope you have a safe and memorable day but remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice! 
Happy Memorial Day!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 5/26/17

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

Duck Duck Moose – iPad apps; “Duck Duck Moose apps encourage kids to explore and learn in a safe and fun environment. We work with educators and do lots of play-testing with kids to ensure our apps are frustration free for little fingers and full of whimsy and wonder for all to enjoy.” (L:E; SA:A)

10 Engaging Math Games for Kids – “handy visual featuring some awesome skill-building math games to use with your students in class” (L:E,M; SA:M)

Public Domain Collections – from the NY Public Library, “Did you know that more than 180,000 of the items in our Digital Collections are in the public domain?That means everyone has the freedom to enjoy and reuse these materials in almost limitless ways. The Library now makes it possible to download such items in the highest resolution available directly from the Digital Collections website.”

Poynter – “To that end, we teach those who manage, edit, produce, program, report, write, blog, photograph and design, whether they belong to news organizations or work as independent entrepreneurs. We teach those who teach, as well as students in middle school, high school and college—the journalists of tomorrow. And we teach members of the public, helping them better understand how journalism is produced and how to tell for themselves whether it’s credible.” (L:G; SA:A)

Kids Bowl Free – “Select bowling centers and schools around the country are participating in the first ever Kids Bowl Free program. This program is designed by bowling centers to give back to the community and provide a safe, secure, and fun way for kids to spend time this summer. Children whose age does not exceed a limit by a participating bowling center are eligible to register for 2 free games a day, all summer long, courtesy of the participating bowling centers along with the schools and organizations.” (L:G; SA:A)

Original photo by Pat Hensley