- Be - The first step is to help students slow down in their communicating whether it be on paper, in an e-mail, or through the phone. It is important to stop, take a breath, notice the place you are in and how you are feeling before impulsively responding.
- Reflect - The second step is to reflect. Take time to think about what you are writing, the message you are trying to send, the voice and intonation. It is important to reflect on the message, reread it, and imagine how the receiver will feel in receiving it.
- Connect - The third step is to connect. Here, we are ready to hit "send" knowing that we are not responding from an emotional, impulsive place and the message we are sending will be embraced by the receiver in the way that we had hoped.
Monday, April 30, 2012
Monday, April 16, 2012
- Playing with Play-Doh - Students can strengthen their hand muscles by using Play-Doh. When they create with clay or Play-Doh they strengthen muscles in their hands. Students can also combine large body movements with small hand movements to strengthen their core. An example might be squeezing Play-Doh in each hand, while bending knees and trying to stay balanced.
- Creating Large Letters in the Air - When students create large letters in the air by "writing" with their whole arm, they create muscle memory where the whole body understands the shape and movement of the letters. Students can do large writing in the air and then slowly decrease the letter size until they can just use one finger to make the letter as it might be on the paper.
- Gripping - Sometimes students find that using a pencil grip is helpful for holding the pencil in a relaxed way. There are a variety of grips to try - and it can be fun for them to see which one works for them.
- Pinching - When students can use tweezers or can pinch their fingers together, they are strengthening their ability to hold a pencil. Having students pick up cotton balls or pom-poms is a fun way to develop more hand strength.
- Talking - It can be helpful for students to talk about how they feel about writing. This helps them become more objective about themselves as a writer and learner. When they can talk about their successes and frustrations, they have a better sense of what they need to help them. Sometimes with students I also have them talk about their ideas first, while I jot them down, or I have them draw their ideas out. Once students feel that they can get their ideas out, they can relax and focus more on the actual writing.
Monday, April 9, 2012
Amy Tierney shared this resource with me. I thought that the author, Jim Burke did a phenomenal job of pinpointing academic habits that are important for a student’s success in school. I felt that these habits were so crucial that I organized them in a question format in kid-friendly terms. Students can now really think if they are following through on each one.
A STUDENT’S ACADEMIC RESPONSIBILITIES
If a student is not being successful, they need to answer the following questions. It is important for them to self-reflect on their academic responsibilities as a student.
· Do I ask for help when I do not understand a concept, skill or idea?
· Do I bring all the necessary supplies to class each day?
· Do I check my work to make sure all the requirements are included?
· Do I come to class on time?
· Do I complete and hand in all my homework?
· Do I have a particular place where I do my homework that is free from distractions?
· Do I have my cell phone, computer, etc disturbing my study time?
· Do I actively listen to what the teacher and other students are saying?
· Do I keep my notes and materials organized for each class?
· Do I participate in class discussions?
· Do I carefully read all the directions before I begin to work?
· Do I review my tests and assignments in order to learn about my mistakes and how to fix them/.
· Do I study a little bit each night leading up to the test date?
· Do I take notes during class?
· Do I take notes on what I have read?
· Do I have a system to keep track of homework / tests?
· Do I write down specific information to help recall what the assignment is?
· Do I use active strategies while I am studying?
Information based on The Teacher’s Daybook by Jim Burke (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH) 2011
Have a great day,