What you are as a person is far more important than what you are as a basketball player.
Whenever I shake a player’s hand, I’m reminded of how young each of these women is — they are charming girls with busy lives outside the arena. The players are reminded that they are important members of the community. It’s such a personal, positive moment — they thank us one by one for being there, and we get to thank them in advance for all the hard work they will put into the game.
I’ve always loved the concept of “first fruits.” In ancient cultures, it was a tithe of the harvest or income, to give thanks to the gods for abundance. In modern times, the popular “morning miracle” is a chance to start the day with first fruits of a little quiet, reflection, and gratitude. Pausing to connect and be thankful before the start of the day or any event never goes out of style.
We live in an age where life sometimes feels like a bad reality TV show we’re trapped into watching. Sit back, make some popcorn, wait for the predictable drama, and try to enjoy the spectacle. There’s an invisible wall between the performers and the rest of us on the couch. Breaking through that wall to shake hands resets the terms before the game even begins.
I wonder how school board meetings would change if every board member got up before the meeting started, and quickly went through the room to greet as many people as possible? What other opportunities are there to break through the invisible walls at school events and begin with individual greetings? Whatever we can do to remind everyone it’s all about the kids and doing the best we can by them is worth the effort. Life is not a show, and we should be grateful for anyone who cares enough to come out and help us make sure our hard work in schools matters.
This week we look at how to spend our time well in literacy workshops, especially in the early moments of the day. Plus more as always — enjoy!
Founder, Choice Literacy
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Time is precious in classrooms, so Melanie Meehan shares strategies to ensure it isn’t wasted at the start of new writing units by teaching skills students may already possess:
Andrea Smith prepares to say goodbye to students and her teaching partner of many years. If you have a favorite colleague who is retiring, you may want to get a hankie ready before you read this one:
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Bitsy Parks shares how she starts the day with literacy in her first-grade classroom:
Shari Frost finds that the See-Think-Wonder activity is great to use as a “bell-ringer,” as well as throughout the day to promote deeper thinking and engagement:
Melanie Meehan uses focus questions for teaching students to start at the right place in their writing, moving them beyond the bed-to-bed stories that plague so many literacy workshops:
In this week’s video, Katrina Edwards has morning helpers who start each day with a greeting for every child in her first-grade classroom, practicing reading and social skills:
In an encore video, Andie Cunningham leads her kindergartners in multilingual counting activities as part of the morning meeting:
That’s all for this week!