Friday, September 26, 2014

Persistence is the Key

     Have you ever had a moment in teaching that has made you swell with pride? Today was that day for me. So often, kids who need special education services are thought of students who can't achieve. I can tell you that those who think that way are so wrong. Persistence, and never giving up despite setbacks are the keys to success. The key is letting kids know that you believe in them even when they don't believe in themselves.  This, coupled with building a positive self-image eventually allows kids to believe in themselves. Letting kids know that setbacks are normal for everybody and talking about the setbacks while making goals for change are key to future success.
       One year ago, my student who I will call: Paige, came back to our self-contained classroom in tears from a Technology 7 class because she felt that she would never understand how to measure with a ruler. Paige wanted to quit! After gentle encouragement and a new plan, Paige went back to "Tech class". Our plan included sending a teacher's aide with her to learn along side of her. This way, the aide could re-teach the skills needed in technology class over and over to Paige.  Paige passed technology class but still struggled with measurement.  This year, Paige began in a Technology 8 class. Again the aide was sent with her but this year, three other students from our 7th/8th self-contained classroom joined Paige. Back in my classroom we dedicated one class period during Life Skills to practicing using a ruler and tape measure for measurement. The aide was very patient with all nine students in our classroom and praised them for their great work. In all, nine out of ten of my students are taking Technology 7 or 8 this year. Paige had a new sense of confidence this year that wasn't present a year ago. It has been a pleasure watching her grow more confident.
     Paige took her test on measurement yesterday all by herself. This morning, I was greeted by Paige who had a big surprise for me...a 100% on her "Ruler Identification" test! I swear my heart skipped a beat! I definitely swelled with pride as I hugged Paige and danced around the classroom! Our aide actually teared up with happiness! We hung Paige's 100% on our whiteboard all day for everyone to see! I asked Paige if I could write about her in my blog because I'm just so proud of her! She said "yes"!! So tonight, here it is!
    Paige had it in herself all along to be successful, she just didn't know it yet! All kids can learn. Paige learned a valuable lesson that persistence and practice does pay off! Next time Paige faces a situation that seems insurmountable my guess is that she will face it head on and come up with a way to be successful. Paige earned more than a 100% in Technology 8 class, she also learned that she has what it takes to succeed.

Educator Links:

Common Core in Action Using Digital Storytelling Tools in the ELA Classroom.

How and Why Teachers Should Start using Twitter Right Now

21 Things Every 21st Century Teacher Should Do This Year (high-tech and low-tech)

Maslow's Needs for Students Using Technology for Learning.

Parent Links:
A Simple Way to add Activity to Your Life:The Cross Crawl: A Remarkable Movement

Kids Who Ignore Consequences: 10 Ways to make Them Stick

Mrs. Aubin's Book Review:

     Tonights pick for my book review is: Maps by: Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski. This Atlas is like no other. First, it's huge! The book measures 15" X 11" It is 109 pages of absolute artistic beauty, featuring 52 highly illustrated maps. These maps have everything including: interesting attractions, famous people, native animals and plants and cultural interests and more! Kids love pouring over the colorful maps with so many things to look at. These maps get kids talking and asking important questions. Kids and adults learn without even realizing it!  With this atlas, a picture really is worth a thousand words, so let me show you a few:


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