Character Education Discussions and Activities
Tell about a time you told the truth in spite of the consequences. If you could relive that situation, would you do anything differently? Explain.
If you don’t agree with a rule or policy, do you usually voice your opinion? What do you…
Thank you!! About a month ago, I posted about a series of lessons on “Standing Up” for other that I taught. A few days after that, a student brought in a story she had…
Like Edukaition, we too had a Kid President lesson today.
At the middle school level, I really took to heart, “If you can’t think of something nice to say, you’re not thinking hard enough.” It’s something that I see as a problem with my teenagers all the time. They are quick to make a disrespectful comment or a slight to another student, but less inclined to give a compliment to one another.
So each student received a heart sticky note today. On it they needed to write a nice phrase or compliment they could give to anyone. And now they are displayed for all to see.
50 compliments for 50 students.
My favorite – Despite what you think, you DO matter. You are important here.
The first of the color wheels is completed! (Besides my missing red-orange label) I love having students involved in making our class posters and resources. They seem to be more invested in it. Eventually, I’ll have nine of these from fourth and fifth grade. Not sure where they’ll all be going, but I know my room will be colorful!
Underneath, I have lists of color names my students came up with as they have been painting and making wonderful colors. My students, especially the third graders, were coming up with fantastic names for their colors, so we decided to write them down.
Is Technology Killing Your Memory?
Where did I leave my keys? What’s Avogadro’s number? That song I was listening to yesterday, what’s the name of the band again?
We encounter questions like these every day, some simple, some complex. Some are based on experiences, some on detailed information. Unfortunately, the chemical and biological information storage and recall method that we call “memory” is not at all like the digital storage that Google and modern digital entities use to catalog the world’s knowledge and data.
No, our memories are not perfect imprints of a point in time, as nice as that would be. And we do not recall neural information using any sort of logical catalogue, which would be so helpful. It’s just neural networks, firing and refiring, never exactly the same way twice. Memory is more like a walk through a familiar wood, along a well-traveled footpath that is constantly worn and reworn, the forest floor creeping in upon it after we pass and requiring that we stroll along it from time to time lest we lose it altogether.
The imperfection of memory is one of the very reasons we invented digital computing devices. As their capabilities have grown, we have begun to use them to buttress the very cathedral of our mind, making them a truly integral part of our cognitive process. We are, should we choose to be, a hybrid mind, silicon and cellular.
So is Google a crutch that is weakening our brain? Or a new, powerful tool that expands the possibilities for our intellectual evolution? Or something in between?
Posted on FB by a teacher friend, and on the BAT FB page. Couldn’t find the original source, if you know it please share. :)
Unsatisfactory: You don’t know how to cook a turkey. You serve a chicken instead. Half your family doesn’t show because they are unmotivated by your invitation, which…
Another character education idea for you, courtesy of my grade partner!
180 gifts - “Today is a gift, that is why it’s called the ‘present’”
At the beginning of the year she gave each student 5 index cards. They could write an inspiring quote, poem, phrase, song lyric, etc on each one. Now each day, right at the start of class, she pulls one from the pile randomly and reads it. It’s her little way of starting every day with a positive tone. Also, it serves as a count up to the 100th day (or countdown to the end of the year if its that kind of week).
They look forward to it daily! And other teachers, classes, students stop by to get a little uplifting boost in their day!
6 lesser known holidays to inspire lessons
Read more here
Yesterday was Where the Wild Things Are day! I started things off with vocabulary, then after reading the story for the first time we charted some story elements and had a brief discussion of whether the story really happened or not. Only one student thought it really did happen, but his only reason was, “Because he was king!” The arguments for “didn’t happen” were a little more persuasive, as they said things like “forests can’t really grow in your room” and “how could there be a boat with his name on it” but mostly about how much time the story took yet Max arrived back home on the same night he left.
Then we practiced a dramatic reading of the story, with the kids acting out all the parts together. This was SO awesome. I let them come up with ideas for portraying things like Max making mischief, showing how the forest grew, and of course, being Wild Things and roaring terrible roars, etc. They were so adorable! We practiced five times before our high school helpers arrived in the afternoon and then performed for them, and it went perfectly.
We also spent time looking at the wild things and the kids immediately noticed that they were “like mixed up animals”. I drew several wild things on a white board, taking suggestions from the group on what to add (horns, wings, scales, tail). Then I had the kids draw their own wild things, first with crayon and then with watercolors, and wow did they turn out beautifully! There is a writing piece that goes with it, but we ran out of time so that will happen tomorrow.
Finally, when our high school helpers were here, they played a trivia game about the book and kept track of points with tally marks. They loved this, and nearly everyone scored over 100 points (I think the highest total possible was 125).
Oh, and I drew a Max with the face cut out and took pictures of all my students! And wow, I was exhausted at the end of the day, but I also felt good. What a great day.
Educators are increasingly focusing on the ninth grade as the year that determines whether a young person will move on or drop out of school. According to research published in the journal Education, ninth graders have the lowest grade point average, the most missed classes, the majority of failing grades, and more misbehavior referrals than any other high-school grade level. Ninth grade has increasingly become a “bottleneck” for students: A joint report from Princeton University and the Brookings Institution found “in 1970, there were 3 percent fewer tenth graders than ninth graders; by 2000, that share had risen to 11 percent.”
“More and more of us are realizing that it’s the make or break year for many 14- and 15-year-olds,” says Jon Zaff, director of the Center for Promise at Tufts University. “It’s a time when the cognitive, emotional, and physical are all coming together. The schools are likely new environments, and the students have more autonomy and more homework.”
Read more. [Image: Kevin Wolf/AP Photo]
What I use to get students quiet. I talked about this painting on the first day with each class, and now when I say, “show me the Mona Lisa!” they fold their hands, sit/stand up straight, close their mouths, and smile. Sometimes I give stickers to the best Mona Lisas and students who aren’t doing it will catch on and try their hardest to earn a sticker.
I ordered the poster from Amazon for around $3 and laminated it at school. Worthy investment! I picked up the Mona Lisa thing from an in service in Philly last year when a teacher said she used this in her room. It works very well with my k-6 crowd!
"Choose Your Own Art Adventure"- self-guided activities introduced in the beginning of the year that students may use after finishing their projects during studio time. This is such a motivating factor for younger students to use their time productively, and it allows for on-task exploration!