I started my reading today and decided poolside was a great location! I’m loving this book – a quick and inspirational read! A lot of things are sticking with me from what I’ve read so far, but one that really stands out is the concept of “being awake” (p. 21-23). I feel like it’s so easy to get caught up in the go-go-go of life, and most certainly in our very regimented and packed teacher day. This struck a chord with me because I don’t want to be a zombie in life or in the classroom – our students deserve so much more than that! A quote from the text that I underlined and felt exemplified “being awake”: “It means slowing down, being alert to our environment, and not getting stuck in the mind/heart drain of modern society’s hyper-paced vortex” (p.22). I know I often feel myself getting pulled into a drain when there’s so much to accomplish and (what feels like!) so little time to accomplish it. Reading groups are a great example for me – there are too many times when, instead of really enjoying that time with the kids diving into a book, exploring words, etc., I find myself constantly checking the timer and stressing myself out. Do I have enough time to ask this question? This student isn’t getting CVCe, but I only have 2 minutes left! Read faster, Johnny! I want to make sure I get to word work today! All these thoughts are going through my head when I really need to relax and be present.
Going into the education field, I think we all are aware of the impact we can have on kids, but just how much do they pick up on? I’ve never taken the time to really think about this question until now.
I like how Be The ONE For Kids discusses the little things we can do each day with minimal effort that can completely change the impact we have on our kiddos as well as the school’s environment. For example, simply smiling at those we pass in the hallway or celebrating our students’ successes with high fives. These little moments could be the highlight of someone’s day without us even realizing it, and all it takes is a conscious effort to acknowledge another. I find that I don’t create these positive moments as often when I’m stressed or frustrated, but by increasing my self awareness to this, I think it will not only improve my classroom environment but also my relationships with my students.
How else can we intentionally and routinely bring positivity into our practice, making Sully an exciting place to be for everyone?
Going into reading Play Like a Pirate, I wasn’t sure what to expect. “Gamification” isn’t something I’m unfamiliar with, but this goes in a different direction than I had thought.
For example, Hot Wheels! Who knew they could be used with curriculum? Designing our own Hot Wheels cars gives so many options! Funnily enough my niece just brought home a car that looked like a pizza on wheels!
The first thing that comes to mind is designing a car with adaptations to different environments – behavioral and physical! How cool would that be? Give the students outlines of cars or trucks or other vehicles to draw on, can be used in any grade with adaptations in its curriculum.
What could you use Hot Wheels for in your classroom?