Monday, August 26, 2013

Morning Meeting: Goal Setting

I love love love morning meeting! I feel like during this 15-20 minute block, I get to teach to change the world, the reason I became a teacher in the first place. This year, I decided to devote a few more minutes to morning meeting and to focus my morning meeting on one theme all week. I even decided to have students keep a "Morning Meeting" marble notebook for our lessons. Focusing on one concept all week has worked out well to develop a better understanding, and I feel like the themes we have touched on so far--kindness, belonging, legacies, compassion, and goal setting--have really stuck with students.

I began with themes that I thought were critical for kicking off our year, use them to piggyback on things we are learning in readers' workshop, and to focus on issues we are having in class. (In comes "conflict" as a theme this week because it became evident that we needed to have a "classroom community" and how to deal with conflict conversation).

Last week, our morning meeting lessons focused on personal goal setting. We discussed how important it is to take our dreams beyond "wishes" by learning how to set goals, develop strategies and plans to achieve them, monitor how we are doing, and adjust course as needed. It is important to remember that goals can be achieved by asking for others to support us (I think we sometimes forget this). It is also important to believe in ourselves and to make sure FEAR does not hold us back from pushing ourselves forward.
We watched the video titled Finish Strong earlier this year. It contains many inspirational quotes and a great message about persevering through adversity and challenges.
During the viewing of Finish Strong, we decided the Anatole France quotation was our favorite.
This quote reminds us that when setting and achieving goals, dreaming is as important as action, believing is as important as planning. Keeping faithful and continuing to work towards our goals is important no matter the adversity we may face.

Each morning meeting focus includes key words. Goal, Accomplish, Strategic, and Intentions are our key vocabulary words for Goal Setting.

To come up with two goals to focus on, we brainstormed ideas for four different categories: academic, character, personal, and behavioral. Students then chose the top two goals that they felt were critical for their success this year.

I believe that in the journey of being human, the true goal of any individual is to work on ourselves to the point that our inner self shines through on the outside--that our actions represent who we believe we are on the inside. I love having morning meeting each day because it gives us time to talk about how to help our true selves shine through. I think goal setting is a crucial classroom conversation that needs to happen on a regular basis. It is embedded throughout my classroom routines and language and we reflect on our goals (just two) once a week. Students write about what they have done so far to work on their goal and their plan for moving forward. I encourage them to believe that just because you did nothing to work on your goal last week does not mean you should quit. (This is true for weight loss, exercising, giving up smoking, and more!--just because we fall off of a wagon for a few days DOES NOT mean we should stay off of it for the rest of our lives. We have to learn to release any guilt so that we can move forward.)

What personal goals are you working on? Can you share your triumphs and struggles with your students so that they can see how a "goal setter" thinks? What strategies help you through the hard times? My students have followed me through the journey of National Boards and my "work-life" balance goal of being more healthy by exercising more and achieving teacher-weight loss!

I am working on a pretty extensive set of morning meeting focus materials. I hope to have these ready soon! Keep following along as I share more of our morning meeting lessons. Our next morning meeting theme is another great one...CONFLICT!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

TPT Back to School and a SPECIAL ELA BUNDLE PACK DEAL's that time of year again. For me, it means progress reports went home today and I am 4 weeks away from FALL BREAK! (For one of the first times ever, I feel like I am counting down.) I can't wait to have some free time to blog about all the amazing learning experiences we have had this quarter, work on my year's worth of morning meeting themes, create a few new sets of Around the USA math task cards that have been on my mind, and read a decent stack of new Holocaust books that we may incorporate into our upcoming book clubs. Wow! I've got plans to be busy over break (and relax a little, too)!

Oh yeah.....and it's time for the TEACHERS PAY TEACHERS SITEWIDE Back to School Sale! Everything in my store will be 20% off on Sunday and Monday. With the TPT code, you can save an additional 10% for a grand total of 28% off of the teacher items you purchase.

I'm linking up for the 2 + 1 Back to School Sale and sharing two of my top wish listed items and 1 item from my wishlist that I plan to buy this weekend.
Teach students to become active readers of nonfiction and guide them in how to glean the big ideas from informational texts, respond personally, question, answer, and summarize what they have learned.

This teaching set contains 14 different nonfiction/informational templates, graphic organizers, reading strategies, and bookmarks.Normally $4, you can get it for 2.88!

Help students access vocabulary for describing characters with these 48 character adjectives definition cards with colorful clip art. The file contains a 50 slide powerpoint with each word, definition, and clip art on individual slides, a word file with 6 vocabulary words on a page that can be cut apart and made into a vocabulary ring and a packet of 9 vocabulary/reading activities and graphic organizers that can be used to help students internalize word meanings, apply character adjectives to their independent reading or class read alouds.

If you love these two products, you might want to consider purchasing my ELA Back to School Bundle Pack. My bundle pack contains 7 of my top ELA items (6 reading and 1 writing). Individually, the products total 27.50, but with this bundle pack marked down to $15, you save over 45%. Add the TPT Code (BTS13), and you get the bundle for $13.50. This download totals over 365 pages. I believe each of these products are "high utility" in the classroom and will benefit you and your students yearlong! 

What's contained in this bundle?
1) 48 Character Trait Definition Cards, Powerpoint, and Graphic Organizers
2) Nonfiction Informational Reading Strategies
3) Theme in Literature Common Core Bulletin Board Labels
4) Building a Reading Life Response Journal Pgs/Quotation Posters
5) Penciling in a Worthwhile Writing Life
6) Love of Language Common Core Vocabulary Acquisition Program
7) Comprehension Minilesson Cards

I've had my eye on these cool 3D animations of situational math problems from Preptoon Common Core Math Animations. Although the animations are based on the 6th grade Common Core standards, I think these would be really engaging and challenging for my students. I think I will grab this baby up to add some extra energy to my math classroom...Keeping math REAL and RELEVANT is always my goal, and I think these situational animations will fit my mission perfectly. (Preptoon has some great freebies that you could test out to see if you like these :) 
I hope you have a great weekend, GREAT new SCHOOL YEAR (I truly mean this--mine is going amazing!), and keep that "love of teaching fire" going ALL THE YEAR LONG.

Linky Button by the talented Diane at Fifth in the Middle!
The wishlist graphics by the wonderful Amelia from Where the Wild Things Learn!  

Monday, August 5, 2013

Carolina {girls} Blogger Weekend in Greenville SC

Friday, I was so excited to bust out of school at 11:30 with my good friend Ashley @ Primary Teacherhood. Have I told you about my work-life balance goal? I'm not sure I have, but I have started calling it my "LIFE-work" balance, and missing a little school time to head to Greenville this weekend for a Carolina Blogger meet up was definitely in line with this goal :) Coming from a teach-a-holic, I hope you also are focusing on some LIFE-work balance along with all of your other goals for this new school year. 

Anyway, Ashley and I left school early so that we could get on the road for our nearly 4-hour drive. I started to go a little nuts in the car, but believe me, it was worth it! Amanda Madden @ Teaching Maddeness put together the meet up, including planning our fabulous itinerary. We were a group of nearly 30 teacher-ladies taking Greenville by storm! We ate at the Lazy Goat and headed to Jack and Diane's piano bar for some ruckus, dancing, and all-out fun! 
Here's me and Ash! Wish we had pictures of us dancing, but it must have been that bad! :) Unless some of my bloggy friends took a secret pic!
After a good night's rest, which was much needed, Ashley and I headed out to explore a little on our own before our fabulous lunch at Chicora Alley. Afterwards, we went on an awesome scavenger hunt around the city created by the awesome Ginger @ Gingersnaps Treats for Teachers. Have you been to Greenville? It's a beautiful city with lots to do and tons of places to eat. I love a city with open green spaces along with all the busy-ness. Just walking around and finding so many surprises was enough to make me want to come back real soon! 

It was a great weekend of teacher-talk. We learned a lot about NC vs SC vs Georgia. Not all good, but I'm thinking this legislature and governor soon will pass in NC and someone will come to their senses. It was also fun to hear about everyone's different school settings and experiences. I felt great to be in the presence of such amazing teachers who truly enjoy the job and go above and beyond all the time. Today, this little saying popped into my head again. (Actually, I think about it all the time, but wanted to share so that you too are reminded.)

I'd like to add, "I teach, dance, inspire, spread love, kindness, literacy, curiosity, perseverance, and aim to change the world. What's your superpower?" Want to catch up with all of the Carolina bloggers (and some from Georgia?:) Check out their amazing blogs. I'm following everyone on bloglovin' so why don't you do the same? 

Brooke from Whooo's in Second?

Heather at Room 4 Imagination

Natalie at Teachery Tidbits
The Poole Pages
Classroom Snapshots

Ginger at GingerSnaps

Elizabeth at Fun in Room 4B

Ashley from Primary Teacherhood
Emily AND Kerry at Third and Goal

The Sweetest Thing

The 2nd Grade Surprise
4 The Love of Teaching
And our host, Amanda at Teaching Maddeness
Teaching Maddeness


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...