IYou are SO lucky that you have ten minutes of recess every day. Not all schools in the United States have this opportunity. At my school in Kentucky, students did not get any time outside at all in the school day. In Oklahoma, they didn't either. And yep, you're right...not in Virginia. You're the first school I've been a part of since I was in middle school myself that actually allows students to go outside in the middle of the day. I know you may grumble and complain about it, but you really are lucky!
As we begin our argumentative writing unit, I want you to read these two articles. Using the paper I gave you, make a list of how the author uses research and statistical evidence to support her ideas. I want you to decide which author argued their point best. What information do the authors use to develop their ideas? Read the articles and post your ideas here; then we'll talk about it!
Students Who Lose Recess Are the Ones Who Need It Most
School Suspensions Don't Work
Image courtesy of Buzzfeed.com.
It's hard to believe Thanksgiving is here! This school year is FLYING by. I feel like I say that every single year. With all the turkey and family coming our way Thursday, some people are also gearing up for the holiday shopping season.
Below is a news article from TWO YEARS ago talking about how that holiday shopping is starting earlier and earlier every year. I believe Wal-Mart announced they're opening at 6pm on Thanksgiving night!
Tell me: Are you someone who participates in any Black Friday shopping? Do you think it's okay for stores to open early? Give some examples to support your ideas!
Check it out by clicking here!
1. I always wanted a job where I could make a difference in the lives of others.
2. Middle schoolers are the BEST! They change as fast as the weather changes; there is no day that's the same! I love their funny responses to questions and their quirkiness. Their creativity, uniqueness, and zest for life inspires me!
3. Each day has its own set of challenges and no day is ever the same.
4. I am constantly learning. I learn so much each day about my students, myself, and about teaching!
5. The challenge continually pushes me to improve and get better at what I do. I am surrounded by amazing teachers every day and I love learning from them.
6. Who doesn't love chicken nugget day?
7. Each year you get to start fresh. I love that, but I also hate it! I always wonder what happens to my students after they go on to high school and then onto their adult lives. It brings me so much joy to get an email, a visit, or a note from an old student!
8. The ability to be an example for them, to talk about my own middle school experience, and the opportunity to be there when they make mistakes or hard decisions is so awesome. I don't know of many jobs where you can get to know kids so well and SEE them grow as much as we do.
9. School supplies.
10. The opportunity to talk about books and help students rediscover their love of reading. It takes TIME, but it is an absolute joy and pleasure!
It's hard to believe I'm typing this blog post from South Dakota. Never, ever in my wildest dreams did I ever think I'd have the opportunity to teach here. I remember sitting in the old rickety desks at Michigan State in the early 2000s thinking about how I was going to teach in suburban Chicago, just a few hours from my home.
Little did I know that God had another plan!
I met my husband in Virginia where we both moved for jobs. Meeting him changed my life and had a direct effect on the path of my teaching career. His job moves us around, so here we are!
There are so many things I'm enjoying about this new-to-me school. I love the small class sizes. I love the technology available for students and teachers. I love the family feel. I love the beautiful drive I take every day to get here. It's just awesome!
The first few weeks of school in my class is dedicated to establishing routines that are so important for growth as the year goes on. I am a huge advocate of teaching kids how to love reading again, so a good chunk of our time is spent in reading workshop which allows them to self-select their books while I conference individually with them. I love this time we have set aside because there's no pressure to take a test or a quiz on whatever they're reading. All they have to do is talk with me about their books! We spend time targeting skills they are working on in class in addition to helping them learn how to select books that they're interested in. I can't tell you the number of times - in every state I've worked in - that students tell me they've only really read one or two books in their entire school career. I am encouraged to look up at my Shelfie board in my room and see we are almost to 20 students completing books already!
I'm super excited to get them started on their own blogs. Blogging holds a special place in my heart because of the effect it's had on my own writing life. I want to continue to give students authentic writing opportunities and blogging is a great avenue for that. It's fun to watch the kids navigate their blogs, figure out how to customize it to make it fit them, and seeing them talk with each other about how to write a blog post well. It's definitely a work in progress and they won't be perfect at it right away (what writer is?!), but they'll continue to grow and get better as the year goes on.
I hope you're looking forward to seeing their work soon! I'll have links to their blogs posted once we've got them up and running.
What's been a highlight of your school year so far? Comment below!
One of my favorite events in Murray is Bark in the Park; it's an event put on by the Humane Society that happens every summer and in October. I love it because there are "events" for dogs like musical chairs, a costume contest, licking a huge block of ice to get the toy inside, microchipping, and so much more. All proceeds for the event go towards supporting this amazing organization that works to benefit pets in our area. These individuals are making a huge difference - they're UPSTANDERS! Rather than sitting idly by, there are people who are actually doing something to make a change.
Tell about a time when YOU did something to make a difference in the lives of others OR tell about an organization or group you know if in the Murray area that's making a change. Who do you know and what are they doing to be an UPSTANDER?
As we talk about bystanders, most of you are quick to mention being a bystander when students are bullied at school. Let's switch gears and think outside the box. What are other situations you know of or have seen where someone doesn't just sit idly by, but does something? Think outside the box. Give specific examples to support your answer! Your response should be at least two paragraphs long and error-free.
Her eyes pleaded for acceptance. Her body language yearned for someone to pay attention to her. Watching her eat her lunch, head bowed, trying to fade into the crowd, I knew I should go sit by her. My friends continued to banter back and forth about the cute, new student in Social Studies, taking bets on who would get the first date with him. As I listened, I laughed and carried on with them, but my mind was with her. She needed a friend and I knew I should be the one.
My inaction is something that I regret to this day. I knew I should have sat with her at lunch, but what would my friends think? Since I was 14, I let my friends influence my actions and I didn't do what I knew was right.
This unit is titled, "The Bystander Effect." I want you to take some time to think about what the Bystander Effect might mean and how it might apply in your day-to-day life. Think outside the box. Like me, I was a bystander who was affected by others around me who I thought were more important at the time.
So, what's it to you? Tell me.
It feels so incredibly good to be blogging again! Welcome back, guys! I am so excited to be back at school with you, even though in the back of my mind, I'm wondering how my baby girl is doing with her first official day at our babysitter's house. I know she's probably having fun watching the other kids play and I am SO thankful Tanner is there with her, but man, I miss them!
I hope the past week was one that refreshed you. I spent the week soaking in time with my kids and my last official week at home. Taking care of my family is something that refreshes me! My favorite moments included the evenings at the end of the week that we spent on our front porch. Our front porch is one of my absolute favorite things about our house. It's long enough to walk back and forth on it, wide enough to house a hammock, and durable enough for us to play and sit on it for hours on end. The warmer, spring evenings are perfect for us to spend time out there; I feel completely refreshed coming back inside after feeling the warmth under my feet and hearing the laughs of my kids.
In my humble opinion, getting some time to refresh your body and mind during the week is so important. I'm extremely busy working a full-time job, having two children, and a home to take care of. It's difficult to find time for myself, which is why I wake up at 4:30 in the morning to run! While I do sacrifice sleep, running is something I do to refresh my body AND my mind. I always say it's like a free therapy session. Running clears my mind, keeps me focused, and helps me stay healthy. I try to find time to do this a few times a week; without it, I would not be a fun person to be around.
So, how was YOUR Spring Break? What are some things that refresh you? Why do you think those specific things refresh you? Use detail, examples, and development in your comment. Feel free to type your response in Microsoft Word and copy and paste it into the comment section of this blog! Your response should be at least TWO paragraphs long!
Tell the story you see. Write your story in Microsoft Word and then copy and paste it into the comment section of this blog!