Go Out and Be Gritty!

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 11.00.41 AMAfter attended the positive psychology session at the TCA conference this year, I came back and changed the last 6 character traits of the year. I had stuck to the normal 9 respect, fairness, responsibility, cooperation, caring, courage, trustworthiness, dignity, excellence, and citizenship for the last 2 years. Now I changed the traits, not because these 9 traits are bad . . . because honestly they are not at all, in fact if one human could have all 9 of these traits they’d be a hero, but I changed the traits because I teach all boys. Continue reading →

Choosing Friends

I did a more advanced lesson about this in 4th grade a couple years back. The lesson had them think more globally, than my current 1st grade lesson. It wasn’t at all my favorite lesson I’ve ever done and in fact, I don’t think I even wrote about it. But this lesson on the other hand . . . MUCH better . . . maybe just more age-appropriate, but who knows.

I picked this lesson from Puzzle Pieces because I thought it was a good explanation about our responsibility to appreciate others, especially those who are different than us (and as my boys know . . . our differences are what make us special). We know what is special about ourselves. So how do we find what’s special inside each of our classmates? Continue reading →

Mix it up, Fix up!

It’s that time of year again! What time of year you ask? The time of year when the boys start jumping all over each other’s nerves. It’s that time between parent/teacher conferences and Thanksgiving break when the boys are so comfortable with each other that they begin wondering how far they can push each other before someone loses it.

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What’s your decision making personality?

* Newsflash! This is by far my favorite lesson I’ve taught this year. Remember how excited I used to get about Jellybean Jamboree? Well, this lesson is comparable to that same excited feeling. The boys absolutely loved it! And it even taught me a little bit about the people around me and what kind of decision makers they are.Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 10.46.45 AM

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The Misbehaving

Let’s back up a bit . . . let’s say 4 months? Picture yourself back in September (as painful as it might be for educators). You see although we might be deep into January 2014, my lessons are backlogged to September 2013!

In September of this school year, the boys were practicing responsibility. And for Kinders, this applied to responsible school behaviors. It’s a big responsibility jump from 4PreK to Kindergarten and these boys needed a few lessons to remind them of all that they are responsible for at school.

I introduced Responsibility to my Kinders and 1st graders by reading the book Paperboy by Dav Pilkey. It is a good example of doing what you are supposed to do even if you’d rather be doing something else. Continue reading →

The New Bear at School


I know I have mentioned this many times before, but a big skill we’ve been working on in 1st grade is building healthy friendships. More importantly, understanding that what we do and how we act can effect our friendships. Children say what’s on their minds and they act with impulse, they are resilient to the consequences of their actions, which is actually a quality for which we should commend them. Yet, when your behaviors, actions, words are hurtful to others, children must begin to recognize how this effects the relationships they are building or breaking. Continue reading →

SMART Goal-Setting

A while back in 4th and 5th grade, we worked on appropriate goal-setting.

After working with my study skills group for a few months I realized that they had trouble making realistic and appropriate goals for themselves. They either made goals that were WAY too difficult, therefore leading to inevitable failures, or they didn’t trust their own abilities and made goals that were extremely easy. Continue reading →