Friday, May 22, 2015

Motivation to Achieve

Who's ready for a three-day weekend?!? Me, me!!! ;-) I had a wonderful week here at school, this week, even though I am now ready for the weekend! This week I was in 4th and 5th grade classrooms for lessons and wrapped up lessons for the year! Can't believe we are already so near to the end! It was harder to say it was my last lesson for the year to 5th grade classes because they won't be back next year, but I know they will do so well in middle school and are excited for that big change. This week I gave a lesson on the motivation to achieve and reaching your goals. We started by watching a very inspiring video about a young man named Richie Parker who was born with no arms, but went on to achieve such amazing things. One of those things being working for Hendrick Motorsports, a company that does work for Nascar, as a vehicle engineer! He is pretty amazing and inspiring, but you can see for yourself.

I then had the students work on a sheet that had a ladder drawn on it and they were to write a life goal they have at the top of the ladder and write the steps it would take to achieve that goal on each step of the ladder until they reached the top, their goal. They then repeated this on the other side, which had another ladder for a school goal. It was very neat to see all the different goals they had! We had a great discussion about not giving up when you get frustrated or make a mistake, but to keep going and achieve all of your goals and dreams. Richie Parker did it with no arms, so we can do it, too!

Today was also an exciting day because my Hip Hop group performed their last performance for the school year! They got to perform in their pajamas for this one because the song was about not wanting to wake up from a good dream. We also shared a video before we began dancing sharing all of our hip hop kids' biggest dreams. They did such a great job and I can't wait to continue with Hip Hop next year and maybe see some new faces!

Serious pose...

...and of course they had to do a silly pose, too! 

I received some beautiful flowers from Pamela, a first grade student in Hip Hop and her mom, who is a custodian at our school, too!! So thoughtful and pretty! :-) 

I hope you all have a wonderful three-day, Memorial Day weekend!! 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Student Council Field Trip to Querencia Retirement Community and End of the Year Celebration

Last Friday Student Council got to have a truly great and meaningful experience by visiting the elderly at Querencia Retirement Community. The students were split up into three groups; two groups went to the assisted living building, while the other group went to the independent living building. I was with the group that visited assisted living and got to partake in some fun activities, such as bingo and balloon volleyball!!! The kids had so much fun doing this with the residents and were so kind in helping them to get the balloon or move their bingo pieces to the correct spot. It was really quite touching to see how they interacted and how nice it was for the residents to receive visitors, as many do not. They all really enjoyed their time there!!

Once we returned from our field trip to Querencia, we had a pizza party, courtesy of the Oak Hill Rotary Club! Students also received certificates for all their hard work on Student Council this year.


Our officers for the year were as follows: RyalJames Weldon-Carroll (President), Ridley Ott (Vice President), Caroline Latham (Secretary), and Raelen Espinosa (Treasurer). They each received a plaque along with their certificate!

It has been another great year with Student Council and they have done so much for the school!! I was happy to celebrate all of their accomplishments with them. Thank you to all of the parents who have helped volunteer in any way with Student Council this year, too!! Sometimes, it definitely takes a village!! :-)

Friday, May 8, 2015

Being a Good Sport, Counselor for the Day, and NPFH Celebration

It has been another busy week getting back to being in the classrooms for lessons, having a student be "Counselor for the Day" with me, and having a pizza party for my No Place for Hate (NPFH) kids!! This week I was in PK, kindergarten, and 1st grade classrooms. We watched "Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Sportsmanship: Winning Isn't Everything."

                                          Image result for howard b wigglebottom learns about sportsmanship

This is an important lesson for all children because they can get too wrapped up in who wins and who loses and lose sight of the fact that games are about having fun. We talked about what being a "good sport" and being "not a good sport" means and why people don't like to play games with those who aren't good sports. A good sport doesn't throw a fit every time they don't win, they don't brag and put down others, they pass the ball to their teammates, they congratulate the winning team, or say something like "good game" to a team that loses, etc.

After watching the video, we played a game where the students acted out different scenarios related to playing board games or sports on a team. They were to choose one scenario from one side of the bucket for me to read and they were to choose a card that would either say "good sport" or "not a good sport" from the other side of the bucket. If they chose "not a good sport" and a scenario that said they lost the game, they would act out something like yelling at the winning team and saying they must have cheated; or something along those lines. If they chose "good sport," they would say something like "Good game. We will try again next time!" Then, the audience each had their own set of "good sport" and "not a good sport" cards they would hold up to guess which one the actor/actress was acting out. They had a lot of fun with this and got to use the puppets while they acted! I will continue this lesson with 2nd and 3rd grade classes next week; slightly modifying it to their level.

In other fun news from the week, Olivia Greene from 3rd grade, Mrs. Grimm's class won the opportunity to be "Counselor for a Day" by winning the bid at our carnival's silent auction. She wants to possibly be a therapist for kids and adults one day, so this was perfect for her. She got to help me teach my guidance lessons all day, she helped me with a couple of "less private" counseling sessions that the clients consented to and even led her own counseling session for one of her friends who had been having issues with a friend. I was honestly amazed at how well she led that session and she gave her some pretty profound advice about a kid being mean to the client. One statement she made that stood out was, "Have you ever met someone who was mean and angry all the time on the outside, but happy on the inside? People who are always mean or angry usually have problems going on within themselves or at home." WOW!!! This all came from her own mouth without my help! We also got to go to Austin Pizza Garden for lunch together and she picked one friend, Emma Thornton, to come with us! She loved the badge I made her that looked just like mine! What a fun day and an awesome little girl to spend it with! 

Finally, I ended the week with a pizza party for my No Place for Hate coalition members! We celebrated all of our accomplishments throughout the year in helping to make our school environment one of acceptance, kindness, non-judgment, and one where there is no tolerance for hate. We should receive our official designation as a NPFH campus for the 2014-2015 school year in the next couple of weeks from the Anti-Defamation League and will receive a banner. 

They did a pretty good job polishing off a lot of pizza!!! I am surprised they left so much fruit behind! ;-)

Have a great weekend!!! :-)