Friday, May 26, 2017

Diversity is Beautiful

There is so much misunderstanding and prejudice in our world today. A lot of this due to a  fear of people who are different from ourselves.  We seem to get stuck by physical appearance and don’t realize that we all have similar feelings, organs, desires, hopes, and fears, the list goes on and on.  It saddens and angers me to see the KKK and hate groups holding rallies. Not the world that I grew to love.

I have a  lesson to help you add diversity into your curriculum by using old proverbs taken from many different religious, ethnic and cultural groups. Included in this activity is a list proverbs that you’ll be using. To make this activity even more fun and meaningful, have your class ask their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles to share some old sayings and explain how they began.

List of Proverbs
Now, have your students break into collaborative groups of 2, 3, or 4, whichever works best for you. Let them know that they will use their inference abilities to make an educated guess about the meanings of some proverbs/sayings. Pass out the proverb list that I’ve included as a FREEBIE for this month. Give the students time to discuss their meanings with each other. Then have a class discussion to make sure they are correct in their thinking. 

Here are some important points to bring up.
1. The way we feel about others depends on how we see them as people and how well we know them ..
2. Everyone's views are unique due to their own circumstances and background.
3.  You might look at Jason and think he is hot, but  your closest friend Jessica doesn’t agree with you. She has found Jason to be mean and full of himself, making him ugly in her eyes. 
4. Another example might be that Sally is not too cute on the outside but she is beautiful on the inside.  Her attributes are quite positive.
5. Ask the class if they can come up with any other examples.

After you’ve finished your discussion, tell the students that their assignment will be to choose 2-3 phrases and write about how the phrase(s) apply to their lives, and how they can help them  become better human beings.

I hope that this lesson will help your class to understand that Diversity is Beautiful and Everyone is Beautiful in their own way!


Please visit other members of this 3 E Blogging Collaborative to see what they have to say, and don't forget to pick up this month's FREEBIES.


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Monday, May 15, 2017

End of the Year Growth Mindset Award Activity

My teaching partner and I always faced the end of the school year with nostalgia, excitement, and a bit of sadness as our students leave our classrooms.  Kind of like parents whose children have flown the coop. We enjoyed giving out student awards, but instead of us choosing all of them, we decided to let the kids help us. So the class had an opportunity to pick who they felt was most deserving. They thoroughly enjoyed the responsibility. As part of the teacher prep, we set it up so that each reward would be given to two people, one from each homeroom.  For obvious reasons, we chose who is to receive academic awards ourselves. 

The awards that our students were asked to choose were based on fairness, compassion, empathy, kindness. and looking for the good in everyone. For the most part, the students could be trusted to make the right choices.

Around two weeks before school finished, We'd hand out a sheet of paper with rewards written on them and another sheet with each child’s name. The class would write the name of the person that they’ve chosen to receive that particular reward. We'd also fill out a sheet.  Votes were collected and tallied. We'd then fill our each reward.  The kids especially loved this because it felt good to receive positive acknowledgement from their peers.

During the last week of school we would hold an awards ceremony and invite the parents. Of course the awards were distributed with much pomp and circumstance. We'd usually bring in some cider and donut holes to help celebrate. Great PR with the parents there, they were so happy to see their child receive this recognition..

Since I'm no longer on the front lines, I've created a set of 104 class awards, 52 in color and their counterparts in black and white. with thought provoking growth mindset quotes from philosophers, artists, scientists, historians, psychologists and more, for you to use with your 6-8 grade classes.  I really want to help make your lives easier during this tough time of the year.

End of the Year Awards

This is part of our May Teacher Talk Collaborative. Be sure to check our the other posts from these awesome teachers.



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