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Posts Tagged ‘heroes’

Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres invites us the celebrate each week. Click over to her site Discover. Play. Build. to read more celebrations.

Last week I celebrated the hard work of planning a new learning community, our 6th grade enrichment project. We call these special Wednesdays, “WOW” as in “Way out Wednesdays,” and this week was WOW! We have an amazing group of students who enthusiastically mingled and became fast friends. One of our teachers had the brilliant idea of grouping them by what they like to do (computer, art, writing a play, building/crafting), and these groups built their own super hero. One group did a Powerpoint, another a play. The art group created a poster, and the craft group built a costume. This was one of those situations a teacher dreams about. All the students on task and completely self-directed. I celebrate this new learning community and have high expectations for the products they will create.

Super Hero costume: Cop Copter!

Super Hero costume: Cop Copter!

My classes are becoming places of safety, learning, and fun. Yesterday we celebrated two birthdays. It delights me that the wish that my students have for their birthday celebrations is the apple peeler. I have an old turn style apple peeler. They each get a turn to peel their own apples. Kielan brought in cookies to share. She created a scavenger hunt that included book titles. And she chose a poetry writing activity from Laura Purdie Salas’s book Catch Your Breath. This is what I call a literary birthday celebration.

Kielan's birthday

While every other day of the week is focused on reading and writing, Fridays are fun! In my other classroom (I teach at two schools), we celebrated completing the week’s assignments with game day. Don’t tell my students, but the games are all educational. They don’t know that. They just think it’s fun. As it should be!

Game Day: Building with the game Brain Builders, challenging and fun!

Game Day: Building with the game Brain Builders, challenging and fun!

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Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres invites us the celebrate each week. Click over to her site Discover. Play. Build. to read more celebrations.

Jack interviews Martha via Google Hangout.

Jack interviews Martha via Google Hangout.


My nephew Jack, a nine-year-old 4th grader, had a class assignment this holiday to interview his hero. He chose my youngest daughter Martha. Martha is a social worker in Chicago and couldn’t be with us for Thanksgiving. (She is coming home for Christmas! Yay!) I had the privilege of listening in on his conversation with her in a Google Hangout. He had a list of 9 questions.

Martha is a Community Support Specialist with Thresholds, a nonprofit organization that works with the those living with mental illness. What struck me most about the interview were her convictions about being a good listener and giving voice to people who have been silenced through society. She spoke with understanding and respect for her clients.

Being Martha’s mother and she being my baby, I haven’t really appreciated her selflessness. As she was growing up, she was the quiet one. She was always well behaved. She did well in school. When she decided to go to Chicago, I worried. I worried about stupid things like will she be warm enough and how will she navigate such a large place. I didn’t tune in the significance of her work. During Jack’s interview, I saw her differently. I saw her as his hero. I saw her as an advocate for the lonely, the homeless, the mentally ill. She became my hero.

Today, I celebrate my daughter. I celebrate special time with my family. I celebrate heroes.

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