Bring Back the Boys

I haven’t used this blog as a platform for my thoughts in a long time.  It has primarily been a glorified baby book for my boys.

But this TED talk really had me thinking this morning–even with the lack of sleep as of late.

Watch this video, especially if you have young, school aged boys in your life.  It’s only 12 minutes.

Here are my thoughts:

 My comic book loving, wrestling enthusiast, nerf gun using boys are wild in a good way–the boy way.  They are 100% boy.  They love to write said topics in comic book fashion.  The books they have written are strewn from room to room here at our house.  One of my sons even spent his own money to copy a comic he wrote at Kinkos so he could sell them–$2.00 for a copy, $2.50 for it autographed.  They want to write all about boy things.  Constantly.  The zero tolerance from schools has not really squelched their desire to write about these topics, as we have been blessed with wonderful teachers who have understood their penchant for action filled writing as just that…writing.  Nothing else.

  The woman giving the TED talk is promoting better gaming ideas to help with keeping our boys involved and excited about learning.  She brings up so many wonderful points about how we as educators are losing boys.

–There aren’t enough male teachers for our boys to look up to as a role model.

–The number of children with special needs is larger with boys than with girls.  (I have a child with ADHD and sensory issues…I live that life, too.  I’m one who sees things through the eyes of an educator AND a mom of special needs.)

  –There is not enough movement in our classrooms. (Teachers ask students to sit and sit and write and write.  I know I often feel like I can’t get everything I need to teach into my day and it stresses me out.  But boys need to move.  If that is incorporated into the day, things get a little bit better because my students are ready to learn.)

— And then she adds the part about better games that teach and entertain.

I do not think gaming is the complete answer.  I think children get enough of that time at home, often without limitations or time constraints.  But it’s hard to get the attention of my students in a world that readily hands them information and entertainment via TV, computer, or device.  There are days when it doesn’t matter how many cartwheels I do in the front of the classroom, they still.don’t.understand the topic or skill.  Teaching has changed so much in the 15 years I have been in the profession.

My point is this:  There are other ways to engage our boys and girls in the classroom.  Having students move, jump, and act out gets children involved in the lesson.  Using music, small groups, and drama incorporated into lessons are also powerful ways of actively engaging students.

I did love this TED talk.  I completely agree that we are losing the boys of our classrooms.

 I just want my fellow teachers to understand that gaming isn’t the one and only answer.

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Drowning

I had a very vivid dream the other night.

I was drowning in a pool, gasping for air.

Next thing I knew, BP was shaking me awake, asking if I was ok.

Apparently my gasps were quite audible.

Coincidence of the whirlwind in which I currently live?

I think not.

A plethora (don’t you love that word?) of thoughts are swimming in my mind lately.

The highlights are the lifesaver I shall grab as I struggle to keep my head above water:

1.  Without BP and his support, I would be at the bottom of my make-believe pool.

2. Frick loves first grade and his teacher.  And so do we.

3.  Frack loves kindergarten and his teachers.  And so do we.

4.  Frog is so funny as he tries to string words together to make sentences that make absolutely no sense.  The older boys say he’s speaking chinese.

5.  Clemson won.

6.  The weather was so beautiful yesterday and it felt so good to be a kid with my kids outside.

” For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.  Plans to prosper you and not harm you.  Plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

Back to School

Image from onecharmingparty.com

As I prepare my own children for their first days of school, I prepare myself for the new year as well.

Will I like my class?

How will I get to know each student?

Will I be able to challenge each one?

Will they like me?

But the most important question for myself is this:

Will I be able to instill a love of learning in my students?

You see, preschool is a springboard into the major grades.  If I can’t foster a love of learning, then I haven’t done my job.  Are the ABCs and 123s important?  Of course.  But these little ones are like the seeds planted in the ground.  They must be cultivated and bathed in sunshine.  My sunshine.

That’s why I high five them, tell them they are fabulous, and encourage them to do more.

That’s why I really get into reading aloud to my students.  They need to know how fun reading can be.  Even though these little ones are barely reading themselves, I want them to be excited to hear the stories I read.

Teaching is a challenge, but I was meant to do it.

My prayer is that my love for learning and children shows to my students and their parents.

Someone Is Always Watching….

I am a list maker.

Grocery lists and to-do lists are constantly on my kitchen counter and desk.

While cleaning this morning, I wandered into the playroom.

There, taped up on the closet door, was this:

Frick reminded himself of a task he wants to complete.

He reminded me that these boys of mine

are watching every move and action I make.

The challenge is remembering this before I say or do something

that will be replayed by three tiny actors

or wind up on the closet of the playroom door.

My New Favorites

-1-

My iPhone has several apps I have downloaded and most of them were free.

I found one that has captivated me beyond others.

The BigOven app has recipes and a place to make a shopping list.

But by far, the best feature is called

“Get Ideas to Use Up Leftovers”.

I spent 45 minutes in my pantry the other day just typing in things I had on hand.

I clicked search and poof!  A list of recipes appeared at my fingertips.

Ahhhhhh

-2-

Pinterest.

According to the about page, Pinterest allows you to catalog all the things you love and browse other people’s favorites.  A virtual pinboard, if you will.  I have already found a lot of ideas for teacher gifts (school is just around the corner), decorating, recipes, and so much more.

I’m still learning about pinning something, but don’t be surprised if my pins wind up here.

-3-

I love how technology adds verbs to our language.  Words like Facebook, Google, pin, text, and email have invaded our language.

Just a random thought.

🙂

-4-

Frog fell asleep in my lap today.  We were watching the big boys play and he simply fell asleep.

Precious.

-5-

I heart The King’s Speech and Colin Firth.

Mr. Firth is certainly not a new favorite of mine (Love, Actually is where my crush began), but I certainly like him even more now.

Have a great weekend!

Land Line vs Cell Phone

We haven’t had a land line since June 28.

And not by choice.

Lightning struck our block that day and wiped out water lines, phone lines, and internet routers/modems.

It’s been an expensive two weeks.

We are thinking of nixing the land line all together.

I posted my thoughts on Facebook last night and got some interesting info:

*some keep a dial tone for emergency use (911) or alarm systems

*most everyone who posted did away with their land line several years ago

*you can still dial 911 without service (this one currently does not apply to us because our line is FRIED and that would require the $200+ service fee we have been trying to avoid)

*alarm systems can be updated to wireless so your cell number can be used

* you can register your cell phone number on smart911 for emergency use

________

But, for me, what it boils down to is this:

That phone number has been our identity since we became engaged.

It was the first thing we shared.

It’s as if my best friend is moving away from me.

It’s hard to just “cut it off”.

sniff sniff

4K Graduation

Frack graduated from 4K on Thursday, May 19.

It’s really unfortunate that the lighting on the stage was not better.  Most of my pictures were very dark, especially the one of Frack receiving his diploma.

Of course, this could totally be because we have a crap camera.

Very frustrating.

The only picture that really turned out well was this one of Frack and his teachers…

…who are and always will be saints in my book.

____

Frack is so excited to be a rising kindergartner.

He’s been doing “homework” ever since the last day of school.

Here’s hoping he doesn’t burn out before August.

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