Friday, January 22, 2016

Magical Feelings and No Name Calling Week

This week in kinder and 1st grade, we got to make some magic happen with The Magic Coloring Book of Feelings! The kids absolutely LOVE this lesson because they get to turn black and white pages on the book to colorful pages, by just "throwing" colors at the book while it's closed! After they have thrown their colors, I open the book and has gone from black and white to color in seconds!! They are always so shocked and you can hear all the ooos and ahhhs. Then I tell them to take the color away and the pages become completely blank! They end up "taking" the color and the pictures, so they have to put the pictures back. Finally, we end with making the book colorful once more! It really is so much fun to do this with them and they are so puzzled as to how it works, but I always tell them, "A good magician does not reveal their tricks!" ;-)

Image result for magic coloring book of feelings

This week was also "No Name Calling Week"! No Place for Hate was promoting a week of kindness toward each other all week and I think we were successful. For more specifics on what we did each day, see my previous blog post from last week. Here are some pictures of our finished products the kids got to show off at our assembly this morning. 

We worked hard yesterday taping down ALL the compliments the WHOLE school wrote this week and made a really cool "Compliment Wall"! We also filled up our "Mean Words are Garbage" bag with mean words kids have said to each other because there is no place but the garbage for mean words! It's been a great, positive, and kind week! :-) 

Have a great weekend!! 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Mahalia Mouse Goes to College and No Name Calling Week

This week I was in all 3rd, 4th and 5th grade classrooms to finish up my lessons on careers. In 3rd and 4th grades, we read the story, Mahalia Mouse Goes to College. This story is about a mouse, who's family does not have much money, but she is still able to persevere and go to college. She doesn't give up and ends up earning her bachelor's degree at Harvard University. This story lead us to a discussion about the importance of receiving a college education and the many different options for how to pay for college. We then discussed what careers they are interested in and how they will probably want to choose a career based on their personal interests.

                                             Image result for mahalia mouse goes to college

In 5th grade, we began our more extensive career unit, where we will be completing a booklet called "Moving on to Your Future". This unit will take 3-4 lessons and involves discovering their interests, so they can choose certain pathways to careers that may be a good fit for them based on those interests. It also has a focus on choosing electives and courses for middle school that might also align with their interests.We also discussed the difference between "jobs" and "careers" and how one is short-term and one is long-term. Our last lesson in this unit will include getting to go on an interactive website where students can look for careers based on the type of lifestyle they want to have when they grow up. They will choose their lifestyles and it will let them know how much money they would need to approximately make to have that kind of lifestyle. The website is called "Reality Check" and that's exactly what they sometimes get when they realize how much money they will need to make to have all the things they want. ;-) The kids have had a lot of fun with this in the past! More to come on that later!

Next week is No Name Calling Week! It will be our second school-wide activity that we are required to complete to keep our designation as a No Place for Hate Campus. The activities for next week are as follows:

Tuesday, Jan. 19- Compliment Day- Write a compliment down on a SMALL piece/strip of paper in your class today and place the compliments in the box that is outside my door. You can decorate around your compliment if you like, but keep the paper very small (no bigger than the size of a post-it note). The NPFH coalition will help to glue the compliments on a big banner that we can display in the school. Try to give compliments to others all day.

Wednesday, Jan. 20-Take a Stand Against Name Calling Day- If you see anyone being put down, made fun of, or called a name today, or any day, stand up for that person. Let the person who is name calling know that you don’t agree with what they are doing and it is not funny. You just might end up making a new friend.

Thursday, Jan. 21- Crumple Up Mean Words Day- Write a mean word you have called someone in the past (this can be anyone; it doesn’t have to be at school) on a small strip of paper. Crumple that paper up and add it to the trash bag that is at the front of the school, labeled “Mean Words are Garbage.” There is only one place at Oak Hill for unkind words and that is in the garbage. Let’s see how many mean words we can get rid of by filling up the bag and make a promise to not use that word again towards someone.

Friday, Jan. 22- Kind Words Day-Let’s spread the love at Oak Hill and forgot all our differences. Bring a nice to note to your friends and to someone who you don’t normally play with or hang out with. You could also give a nice note to your teachers, showing them your appreciation for them. Focus on saying kind and loving things to everyone you come in contact with today! Teachers can participate in this, too! 

The No Place for Hate Coalition and I look forward to spreading kindness next and taking the focus away from name calling an being unkind. 

Have a great three-day weekend!! 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Student Council Clean-Up of Patton Ranch Road and Career Lessons

Last week kept me busy after our nice winter break! I was in Kinder- 2nd grade classrooms last week completing my required career lesson with them. We read the story, I Can Be Anything by Jerry Spinelli and played a career game! I had a bag with career finger puppets and block people and gave clues to the kids about what each career was. They had to guess the career and then I would pull them out and show them if they were correct. If they got it correct, they got to hold it for the rest of the lesson. We then followed our game up by writing about what they want to be when they grow up. It's never too early to start talking about future careers and how they will accomplish those dreams they have. If we instill the value of continuing education, working toward and achieving their goals, and following their dreams at a very early age, that road will be much easier for them when it's time to pursue all those goals and dreams. Preparation helps it to be easier and they know more what to expect. We also discussed how there is no career that is just for men or just for women. A man or a woman can get into any career they choose!

Image result for i can be anything by jerry spinelli

This Saturday we had our Student Council Clean-Up of Patton Ranch Rd. for our partnership with Keep Austin Beautiful. This is Student Council's second service project of the year. Students came out before the Fun Run to clean up trash all along Patton Ranch Rd. It is a very important reminder about making sure we don't litter, especially when they see how much trash people toss out of their cars or walking along the road. It is also an important reminder that even if it wasn't us who littered, we should all pitch in as a society to help our environment whenever we can. A very special thank you to the Bourque and Wallace families for helping to run this event and making sure children were safe as they were picking up trash!


This week I will be in 3rd- 5th grade classes to complete our career lessons. More on those lessons at the end of the week. I will also be meeting with my No Place for Hate Coalition this week to plan for No Name Calling Week next week!

Have a wonderful week! :-)