Friday, August 27, 2010

Breath In Some Fresh Air

I survived the first week of school! YIPEEEE!

The 2 brighest spots in my day involved breathing. This afternoon I took my students outside to write under a big shady tree. I wish I had a picture of this. It was fun to see kids writing and working but not sitting at desks. (Note to self: do this more.) It was also great to just breath in some fresh air.

After they wrote we sat in a big circle and told a story. It's an activity I call Story Circle. It's my personal take on an activity I heard discussed by Adele Diamond about educating mind, body, and heart. As far as most kids are concerned the oral tradition of storytelling is a dead art form, but I'm trying to revive it. In its most structured form I start a story and we go around the circle adding to it. The first few are always shaking, and some kids refuse to contribute. It's all good because we are trying to ignite a creative spark by rubbing the flint of different people's ideas together. I could go crazy when kids aren't listening to each other, but they're just beginning to learn how to respect themselves and the people around them. Ahh.

I have a little breathing room for the weekend because I stayed late and worked very diligently. I'm trying some new organizational strategies, and they're starting to work for me--instead of the other way around.

Many of my strategies are taken out of the book I'm recommending today: The Cornerstone by Angela Powell Watson. Her webpage is a wealth of downloadable resources, too. I find her approach practical and no nonsense.

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