Saturday, October 11, 2008

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Keep chasing your Red Rubber Ball and Living the Dream.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

What's your Red Rubber Ball...

As many of you know from reading my blog, I am a HUGE fan of Kevin Carroll's Rules of the Red Rubber Ball. Well, he has truly outdone himself with his new book "What's your Red Rubber Ball". It is absolutely GLORIOUS and I can't wait to implement it into my classroom this fall.

It truly is amazing, I just love the Magic Box activity and the questions Kevin asks..."What makes you laugh or smile, what in life do you find irristable...". I know my students are going to love tackling their dreams and creating their own boxes of magic this year.

I encourage ALL teachers to pick up a copy right now and even if you can't fit it into your curriculum, I think it would be GREAT to make your own box of magic to show your students. You can read more about the book by clicking on the link below.

Well pre-planning is a week away and I am SUPER excited. I hope to write once or twice a week throughout the school year. I would love to hear the exciting things that are going on in your life and if you teach, what excites you about the upcoming school year.

All the best...and keep living the Dream!!!


Friday, May 30, 2008

Finals Week...

So our last week of school has begun. I gave two finals today and will continue the routine on Monday-Wednesday and give make-ups on Thursday. Life is good!!!

I woke up this morning at 2:00 AM with the mantra "I can do better" in my head. For the last 4 years the end of the school year has been difficult for me because I see all of the students I did not reach rather than the ones I did. I am driven to do better next year and have some new ideas, so I am excited about the next bunch of kids.

But I don't want to get ahead of myself. I am just going to enjoy the summer and recharge the batteries. I am looking forward to my first graduation at Sandalwood next Thursday. Should be fun!

BTW, Indiana Jones was VERY disappointing. Not terrible, the Aliens just really took me out of the movie.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Indiana Jones...

Two posts in a week, what can I say things are winding down for this school year. That leaves just one thing, recharging your batteries at the Movie Theater. What better way than to see Indiana Jones 4. I am super excited to see a new installment to the franchise, although the trailers do look a little weak.

So if you get a chance, go check out Indiana Jones 4 this weekend and if you haven't seen Iron Man, what's wrong with you? You can definitely watch two films over the Memorial Day Weekend. Enjoy your weekend, and I will be posting my thoughts on Indiana Jones early next week.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Randy Pausch...

I had an interesting experience a few weeks ago after a challenging day in my classroom and I am still feeling the affects. I ran accross a talk by former Carnagie Mellon professor Randy Pausch. It was an inspiring 1 hour and 15 minutes. GLORIOUS! A couple of take aways that just blew me away...

Brick Walls exist not so that we would stop what we are doing, but to keep those who are not as passionate as we are away. The fact is if people are not passionate about something as soon as they see the brickwall, they will focus their attention and efforts elsewhere. This simple idea spoke right into my current situation...

Don't be afraid to ask. This was also an amazing reminder for me. Sometimes, I get so busy that forget that you can get more accomplished by asking for help. Most people welcome the opportunity to help you. Just ask...

Below is a link of the talk on YouTube. I hope you enjoy! Plus he has a book that covers some of the same ideas. It is just more indepth. I am currently reading it and am thoroughly enjoying it.

Living the Dream,


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Coming down the home stretch...

It definitely feel like we are almost to the end. Just four more weeks left and with MAP Tests, End of Course Exams, and Finals, it almost feels like we are almost done already. I am finding myself getting a lot of ideas for next year and doing a lot of analyzing of what worked and didn't work this year. Here are a couple of my thoughts and the list keeps growing.

Things I plan to keep for next year
1. I loved making READING a priority in my classroom this year and talking to my students about their favorite books and what they are reading.
2. I will definitely do the Red Rubber Ball Journals next year, they were a HUGE success.
3. StrengthsFinder was a lot of fun and will be interested to start that from the beginning of the year instead of January. I am looking forward to my Strengths Night with students and parents later this month.
4. I really enjoyed using the Springboard curriculum and plan to do at least 10 Modules next year.

Things I plan to change for next year
1. Less homework, but more meaningful homework assignments. 1-2 a week.
2. Have 5 BIG experiences for my students. (Guest Speakers/Projects/Movie Clip Day)
3. Incorporate what I learned from Chip and Dan Heath's book "Made to Stick".
4. FOCUS on the value of hard work in my classroom and building in my students what it feels like to do a job well and congratulate them on the small successes they achieve on a daily basis.

It is definitely frustrating towards the end of the year for me because I see more of what I didn't accomplish than what I did but that just gives me more to work at next year.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Moment of clarity...

I had a really rough day with my 3rd Period students yesterday and could not shake it off. I was just frustrated that my students were not putting forth effort and disappointed that I could not motivate them. Then when I woke up this morning I realized why I was so frustrated. It was because I love to achieve and get things done and when people don't have that same drive it frustrates me.

I realized that the sound of my students working energizes me! So I changed up my lesson into 3 mini assignments and my students did well. They worked the entire period and I was able to throw in some encouraging words in the end. A VERY energizing and good day!!!

So what energizes you about your job? How do you recover/refocus after a rough day at work. I look forward to reading your thoughts.