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T.G.I.F. Teacher Newsletter #48
Hello Friends and T.G.I.F.
Winter vacation is near. It's three days away for me, and I'm very much looking forward to it.
This past week was filled with our winter concert, extremely energetic students, properties of matter haiku poems, and a snow day.
Happy Friday - Have a great weekend! 😄
Here are some things I thought were worth sharing this week.
Here are some articles that grabbed my attention.
- Get Moving - It’s just as important for kids to engage in movement as it is for them to do school work. Physical activity increases students’ ability to focus, builds confidence, and improves academic achievement. Getting active acts as a mood booster and also helps children sleep better at night.
- Game On - I’ve read a few articles this week that emphasize the positive impacts of movement and play. Middle school students need recess too. So do adults, but they often have a harder time fitting it in. Activity levels drop as students get older. Many teachers might be afraid that learning time will be lost and that it will negatively affect testing outcomes. It seems the rejuvenating effect of play makes up for the lost time.
- Automation - Adam Abolfazli, a Sacramento high school student argues that allowing too much automation in education has a negative effect. He talks about keeping a balance between technology and hands-on face-to-face work, and how they improve the school experience. I tend to agree. It’s the diversity of experiences and activities that helps capture attention and keep students interested.
- Child Prodigy - As I get older it feels like it takes longer to pick up new skills and information. I look at the students in my school across all age levels and am impressed with how they can learn so much about different topics, all at the same time. It turns out that kids just learn things faster than adults. This data supports the notion that children should be challenged in their education as much as possible. They can handle it.
- Resource - Explore how to use Sketchnotes in the classroom.
Personal Development and Wellness Resources
- Best Of - What made your year? I just read the article “100 Things That Made My Year” by Austin Kleon. What a great tradition. It looks like he’s been making this type of list since 2014. Earlier this year I was inspired by his book, “Show Your Work”, and now this. I don’t think my list will be 100 items long, but I’m starting one. More to come.
- Happy Chemicals - You can naturally increase your production of dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, and oxytocin. These are your "happy chemicals". Try using small achievable steps in your goal setting. Spend time focusing on recent victories. Solidify connections with your friends. Laugh. These will also boost your brain's supply of "happy chemicals".
- Self-Care - Take time to be still and reflect on what you truly need. Make a list. Put the most important need at the top. Commit to trying one small action to meet your biggest need. If that doesn't work, try another small action. Once you find something that works, tackle the next item on your list.
Here is a quote I’ve been revisiting this week:
"You don’t get to pick your family, but you can pick your teachers and you can pick your friends and you can pick the music you listen to and you can pick the books you read and you can pick the movies you see. You are, in fact, a mashup of what you choose to let into your life. You are the sum of your influences. The German writer Goethe said, "We are shaped and fashioned by what we love." -Austin Kleon, Steal Like an Artist*
- ❄ Snow Days - Thursday was a near-perfect snow day. It was called the night before so we were able to celebrate and fire up Harry Potter. The snow blower worked just as it was supposed to as it removed 8-10 inches of wet slushy snow. The whole family was grateful for a relaxing day.
- 📰 Article - We all see colors differently. Here's why.
- 😲 Get the Drift - This truck has a unique snow drift sculpture hat.
- 🛠 Gadget - Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pens, Medium Point* - These classic flair pens are great for both teacher and student use. They're great for map work and grading papers.