Friday, January 18, 2013

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is on Monday and that's right, this girl is going to have to work. I am not too sure the reasoning behind this, but to comfort myself, I like to think that it is because the students wouldn't learn about this man who made a difference by standing up for what he thought was right. Oh and inspired millions to speak up too. 

I plan on taking full advantage of Martin Luther King, Jr. and teaching about a person who was kind, respectful, thoughtful, intelligent and well-spoken African-American male who took pride in finding solutions to difficult problems. I am going to say, I know he wasn't a perfect man and he probably made millions of mistakes, but who hasn't. So now that I got that out of the way, we can give thanks and honor his memory, by focusing on what he accomplished in his short life. 

Martin inspired people to love one another, and to change the injustices of the world through peace and understanding. 

He was one of the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, who helped change the  laws, so that future generations would not be segregated based on the color of their skin. I am not here to claim that the laws helped change the minds and hearts of all, but it helped force some people to face the issues and begin to change.

I think the most important lesson I want my students to learn from his life is that it is important to dream and then figure out how to make that dream happen. 

In years past I have been impressed about the dreams they have shared with me and others. (This is after we discuss to death that I am not talking about daydreams or nighttime dreams, but of what we want for our community/country/or our world's future.)

Most often they dreams revolve around, no more hunger, no more violence, no more pollution. 

If I could help one child realize their dream and help them find a way to pursue it, how would our world change?

This year we will once again identify our dreams, but I think I am going to take it one step further and see if they can figure out one-step that they can do to work towards their dream. 

How are you going to spend Martin Luther King, Jr. day?

p.s. Here are some of my favorite books to teach about Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport

A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr. by David A. Adler

My Brother Martin: A Sister Remembers Growing Up with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Christine King Farris (She also wrote, March On! The Day My Brother Changed the World)

Meet Martin Luther King Jr. by Johnny Ray Moore and Amy Wummer

My Dream of Martin Luther King by Faith Ringgold

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Hello there stranger!

So I know it has been a while since I have posted anything and I plan on being much better about updating my blog! My goal is 3 to 5 times a week, highlighting the ups and downs of teaching and anything that I find that has helped teach different concepts. Now that obligatory phrase was mentioned, here I go!

Life flies by and in a moments notice you can be turned around, flipped on your head and right yourself once more. Maybe that doesn't make sense, but life doesn't make sense. 

One of the reasons why I love teaching is because of... you guessed it the money! Ha! If only that was the case. I never thought my favorite part of going to school day to day is the belly laugh of 25 students. The best thing is when they can make me laugh so hard I start to cry. 

Today was one of those days. I was tired, drained, frustrated (not at my students, at myself because I haven't seen as much progress in my students this year as last year and as a teacher you ultimately fault yourself a hundred-fold before even pointing a finger at someone else) and just plain tired... until one of my fist grade girls was read me one of her creative stories and accidentally nudged my nose with her pencil. I, being one for dramatics, decided to go with it to get the others students out of their funk. I preceded to fake an injury, this started a roll of belly laughs. Amazingly, my students took it in stride and just continued on with their work. 

Sometimes laughing is the answer. 

What I really want to know is it possible to skip without smiling? I would like someone to try it and get back to me. I think I am going to do it with my class tomorrow.