Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Week of "Creating Awesome"


This week has been another great week in my classroom.  

A few days ago, my principal emailed everyone at work a link to a video made by the cute little fella in the picture.  If you don't know who that is, go to YouTube and type in "Kid President".  Watch a couple of those videos...your day will become much brighter from doing so.

The particular video my principal sent was called "Pep Talk from Kid President".  You MUST watch it.  It's awesome.  It's so awesome, that I decided my students had to watch it.

This little boy provides a pep talk to everyone about making the world a better place...and in order to do that, they had to "Create Awesome".  He gives some examples of how that is done, and each time I watch the video, my creative juices start going...and I want to do something with them.

This week, after watching the video, I challenged my students to "create awesome" somehow each and every day.  We even did a little writing assignment with it.  For the most part, my kiddos looked at creating awesome by passing their tests, finishing their work, making good grades, etc.  One girl wrote that she created awesome by coming to school.  When I asked her to elaborate, she informed me that she went to an awesome every day that she showed up, she was already creating awesome.  HA! What a great response!!

The positivity helped, and for the most part all of the kids did their work, made good grades, and passed their tests.

On Thursday, my class had it's quarterly testing.  Each quarter, the kids take an online assessment to see how much they've grown.  My class had taken the reading test on Monday and had done pretty well, but the math test is always a little nerve-wracking for my kids.  

I decided to show them a different Kid President video - A Pep Talk for Teachers and Students - before it was time for them to test.  We talked about the video, and the focus which was on "making history". Doing something unbelievable and wonderful that could be recorded down in their very own history books.  The kids all had one focus, and that was to create history on their quarterly math test.

As they were escorted away by the teacher administering the test, I felt confident they were going to do the best they could.

When they came back, an hour later, there was such a buzz in the air.  The kids wanted to know how they'd done.  It's always a little scary for me to pull up test results with the entire class, because I don't want to to make anyone feel bad if they didn't do as well as someone else.  I told the kids I would pull up the results, and let them see them individually.  

I was in total shock when I saw them.  All but two students in my class had MAJOR gains in their math scores.  The two that didn't were pretty high the first time around, so the lack of growth was no concern at all.  History had definitely been made!  All of the kids were so proud of themselves, and so was I.  

Kid President has set a new tone in my room.  One of positivity, challenge, and focus.  My kids want to succeed.  They want to do better.  And as the teacher, it's an amazing feeling to have.

Yesterday, we went on our field trip.  One we didn't think we'd get with the government shutdown.  Thankfully, the government quit their whining just in time for my kiddos to get their day at George Washington Carver National Monument and state park.  

The weather was cool, but nice...perfect for walking around the park hearing the story of George Washington Carver.  A young boy that overcame MAJOR feats to become a famous scientist and humanitarian.  The perfect way to end a perfect week.

The kids did so well, listening and asking questions.  It really sent home the message I had been trying to push all week:  It doesn't matter where you came from, it's where you're going that's important.  

They were able to hear about a boy born in to slavery, being very sickly and surviving, who was nothing more than curious about the world around him.  He craved education, and learning everything he could.  He traveled miles and miles on foot to attend school, and later used that education to help people...becoming a scientist and teacher.  If he could do it, in the times he lived, my kids could definitely do whatever it is they want to do when they grow up.  

Our week ended on a very positive note, once again, and I was able to come home feeling great about my week and what I had been doing in the classroom.  I love weeks like this one.  It helps recharge my batteries and drive home why I do what I do.

This weekend won't be near as busy or stressful as my last couple of weekends.  I have work to do, but not as much.  I have a house to clean.  I have laundry to do.  I have grocery shopping to take care of.  But, my plan is to also get in a visit with P-Momma...hopefully...and spend some time relaxing.

It's a short week next week, so there will be plenty of time to catch up on any work I don't get done this weekend.

If I want to get anything done this weekend, though, I better get to getting....


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