New Years Is A Time For Change

Promises, Promises!

I’ve never been one of those folks who sit down on Dec. 31 and make all kinds of “promises” about changes I planned to make in the coming New Year.  So why the title?  Wellll…I can explain

As some of you may know, I have a store, Susan Mescall, where I sell lesson ready products.    While I personally may not be making any changes, I have started looking at my store products and noticing that one of my earlier products needed a makeover…in other words…A CHANGE!

Who’s That?

I’m a fifth grade teacher and my students and I often share what books are being read out of school or during independent reading.  Somehow the subject of adventure books were being discussed and I mentioned Kidnapped.  One of my students wanted to know who the author was and when I replied with Robert Louis Stevenson,  no one in my class had any idea of who he was!  Kidnapped was my first experience with a “classic” adventure book when I was a kid and it bothered me that my students had no idea who he was.

What to do? What to do?

It really concerned me that my students had heard of the book, but had no idea about the author.  I decided to introduce my students to people who had impacted the world around them, but because to time, had been “forgotten”.

I began to search for people and their words of wisdom.  I have included such well-known people as Oprah Winfrey, and Mohammed Ali.  I have also included lesser known people as Jaime Escalante and Marva Collins.

Cha-Cha-Changes!

(apologies to David Bowie!)

Imagine my dismay, when I took another look at my early product and discovered errors in grammar and the fact I no longer liked the look of my product.  So I have spent time changing, and hopefully you’ll agree, improving my product.

I changed the name to “Journal Responses for Students”.  I have taken out the clip art and made the pages and font larger.  I have also enlarged the author’s picture and updated information.

  So I guess you can say that Change is in the air today!!!

                    Let me know of any other folks you think today’s students should know about!

Journal Prompts for Students

 

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How To Conquer The Early Finisher Syndrome

We’ve all been there…It’s small group and station or center time.  You are in the middle of small group when you hear them!!! Those words of horror… “I’m done!  What can I do now?”  What do you do?  Sweat pops out between your shoulder blades and your mind goes blank.

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Be The Change!

If you have been on any social media in the past few weeks, you know there’s been a lot of tears shed.  It’s left me feeling helpless and wondering what I can do.  How can I, one person, make a difference?  I have three kids and six grandkids and I worry about their future.

Well, I found my answer in a most unexpected place…FACEBOOK!  Say what?  Yup, I was kind of surprised myself.  I was rolling through my feed this morning and there it was. I am friends with a neat lady who has a Facebook page titled, “Read Like A Rock Star”.  She, too, was shocked and upset with what has been happening AND she had a plan!

Her plan is simple and yet so powerful that I felt that I needed to let everyone know about it.  Here it is… Acts of Random Kindness… with a twist.  Read Like A Rock Star has a plan and I want all of us to get on board with it…that’s why I am writing about it.  She has a store on Teachers Pay Teachers, but this won’t cost you anything more than a moment of your time.

She has created a ARK  board of ideas that each of us can implement on our own!  You could cut the board apart and hand the individual cards out to people or simply choose an act to work on each day.  I have already downloaded my own copy and I plan on starting today!  You DON’T have to be a teacher but you will need to make an account…doesn’t cost a dime!!!  You also don’t ever have to download any thing else from her store.  As she says in her description,

“It’s time to take action. I am a strong believer in being the change you wish to see. One of the happiest times in my life was when I printed A.R.K (Acts of Random Kindness) cards for myself that said, “This act was performed by me, but inspired by God. All I ask in return is that you perform a random act of kindness for someone else.”                                     be the changeHere’s her link…https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Be-the-Change-2639829

BE THE CHANGE WITH ME!!

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Do You Need to Engage and Excite Students? Use these words!

The words are, “Shall we play a game?“, which  is a throw back to an old 1980’s movie…”War Games”.  Sometimes trying to get our students excited about class work can be like a battle.  I have a very competitive group of students this year. They really love to outdo each other but I also want them to pull together as a team.

I tapped into that competitive streak to get them excited about doing classwork earlier this week.  I have a game I call “Captain and the Crew”.  It takes nothing more than a worksheet, white boards, markers, and erasers.  This game really appeals to them as it pits the class against me!!

As the teacher, I am the “Captain” of my class and my students are my “Crew“.  I handed out the worksheet and then wrote the words “Captain” and “Crew” on my whiteboard at the front of the room. The students work a problem independently.  When the lid is on the marker of all the students, we are ready to share our answers.

Students hold up their individual white boards to show the answer.  If everyone is correct, the students earn 2 tally marks.  If even one student is wrong, I earn 5 tally marks.  That’s not fair, you say? The students were more excited about beating me and me not being “fair” then really had them fired up!

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How did I use the worksheet?  I had the students use the worksheet problems as the questions for our game.  See the results of our first game below…

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I already have my students begging for a rematch!  Who knew a worksheet could be so fun?

Let me know what you think and if you use it in your classroom!Signature

 

 

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