A couple of Hoggatteers have recently taken turns at the front of the class. As we are understanding multi-digit multiplication more and more, I've asked students to lead the class. They are free to use our stage, share call-backs, and call on students to provide steps in the problems. They quickly discover that teaching may not be as easy as they thought it was.
I always get to see alumni from our fourth grade class on Parent Conference days. Last week, a few former students - from fifth graders to high school seniors dropped by with smiles and reports about their interests. This one always leaves her mark:
In my recent reading of The Writing on the Classroom Wall, I found a couple of quotes to be interesting. The first reminded me of a watercolor painting.
The clearer your goal is, the nearer you are to it.
Last weekend, I saw such works of art at Silver Dollar City's fall festival. In one booth, there were large photographs displayed. They were bright and beautiful images of land- and waterscapes. Upon closer inspection, I could see more clearly that these were not photographs at all; the images were painted by an artist using watercolor paints. Up close, I could appreciate the talent and time spent in creating the images. In fact, the artist was working on a new painting nearby. From a distance, we don't see the intricacies of our goals, but as we get closer details become clearer to us.
For our positive behavior celebration for October, today, we will watch one of my favorite movies (perhaps my favorite musical of all time). Part of the appeal of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is its star, Missouri's own Dick Van Dyke.
*My favorite song? That's a tough one. You Two is just about the sweetest song between a man and his children. Hushabye Mountain is a sad and beautiful lullaby. Posh is a silly little ditty. Me Ol' Bamboo is a quick, fun dance number that leaves us scratching our heads. The title song is definitely going to be stuck in my head for a day or two. I am a sucker for a song that has counter lyrics, so the combination of Truly Scrumptious and Doll on a Music Box always makes me melt. But the one that slays me every time is Chu Chi Face, sung by the characters of Baron Bomburst and his wife. The song makes use of some dark humor in which these characters sing about how much they love each other ironically while trying to kill each other.
I wrote about an educator's need to take care of herself in my own book, There's No Busyness Like School Busyness. A likely analogy for this lies in the passenger airplane as the flight attendant gives instructions for unanticipated decompression in the aircraft:
Oxygen and the air pressure are always being monitored. In the event of a decompression, an oxygen mask will automatically appear in front of you. To start the flow of oxygen, pull the mask towards you. Place it firmly over your nose and mouth, secure the elastic band behind your head, and breathe normally. Although the bag does not inflate, oxygen is flowing to the mask. If you are travelling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person. Keep your mask on until a uniformed crew member advises you to remove it.
A caregiver's success at taking care of himself first is more likely to take care of dependents who rely on him for their safety and wellbeing. In my book, I take this analogy a step further in a chapter labeled Lifeguard Training, but for now, the current analogy stands.
In his book, The Writing on the Classroom Wall, Steve Wyborney also takes things another step, telling readers to stay active in the form of exercising creativity.
Wyborney doesn't want readers to get stuck in a rut. He understands the need to change things up from time to time. Is it odd that Wyborney suggests taking risks as a defense against burnout? Perhaps it sounds odd to suggest doing difficult things as a strategy for combating boredom, but it makes sense to many parents and teachers who have experienced it in their own children.
There's a lot to be said for a well-behaved class...but there's more to be said for a student who takes that classroom behavior and makes it a part of his/her character. I know their parents and I want success for the children put in our charge. The video below has some interesting things to say about the science of character.
We tend to focus on our weaknesses instead of delighting in our successes. In the same way, we tend to work on filling our deficiencies rather than increasing our strengths.
The same may be true of weight-lifting. I suppose we don't like to look lopsided.
But sculpting our bodies may not be like sculpting our minds or our skills. Both teachers and students, adults and children, benefit from recognizing our strengths. And we all have things we do well.
Steve Wyborney words it like this:
While I had long believed in the value of improving in my areas of weakness...I came to appreciate the importance of focusing on and improving in my areas of strength. Doing so unleashes the incredible potential to develop true expertise that can be shared with others. As you grow you strengths and reflect upon them, and especially as you share them with others, take note of what happens to the "weaknesses" that you chose not to place your focus on. Notice what happens to your confidence. Then, notice what happens to your "best." I suspect you'll discover that you will redefine your "best" every time you authentically stretch for it.
What better way to teach the concept of goal-setting and revision than to strengthen our strong points? It allows each of us to do the things that we do best, while still focusing on improving.
I'm not endorsing the company, but this commercial for General Electric makes me think.
Take one and a half minutes to watch this video.
Now for some questions:
There is more value in planning units and constructing timelines for our instruction than in submitting ourselves to the menial task of intricately planning lessons for each of our courses. It might be the opposite for certain other teachers, but not for many of us. As educators, we must also be ready to take our classes in different directions as our students reveal to us their needs and interests.
The Hoggatteer Experience,
is our extensive,
for a fourth grade class
of curious and inimitable
at the distinctive
Cecil Milton Floyd
the Arts and Sciences
in beautiful, friendly
Joplin, Missouri, USA.
Our site is described as
"a fantastic site... chockablock full of interesting ideas,
and useful resources."
Like, bookmark, pin,
tweet, and share
...and check in for
(Get it? Cafeteria? Feed?)
7:45 am - 2:55 pm
ENGAGING A COMMUNITY OF LEARNERS THROUGH HIGH EXPECTATIONS, INTEGRITY, EMPOWERMENT,
BUILDING A HIGH-PERFORMING COMMUNITY OF LEARNERS, ENGAGED IN THEIR FUTURE
SOARing as lifelong,
who are compassionate, productive citizens.
If you are considering a contribution to our class,
please browse our
Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
Because of Mr. Terupt
by Rob Buyea
by E. B. White
by D. Ed. Hoggatt
by D. Ed. Hoggatt
Echo by Pam Nuñoz Ryan
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
Holes by Louis Sachar
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Loser by Jerry Spinelli
Love That Dog
by Sharon Creech
by D. Ed. Hoggatt
Out of the Dust
by Karen Hesse
Out of the Wind
by D. Ed. Hoggatt
Petey by Ben Mikaelsen
Ramona the Pest
by Beverly Cleary
by John Reynolds Gardiner
There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom by Louis Sachar
Touching Spirit Bear
by Ben Mikaelsen
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
by Mary Ann Rodman
(Quote selected daily by BrainyQuote)
Dr. Melinda Moss
Dr. Kerry Sachetta
Dr. Stephen Gilbreath
Mr. Chris Bozarth
Ms. Cathi McCombs
Links to external sites
on the internet are for convenience only.
No endorsement or approval of any content, products, or services is intended.
Opinions on sites are not necessarily shared
by Mr. Hoggatt
or Joplin Schools.