A fifth grade student was amazed that I knew every word on the American Heritage Dictionary’s Top 100 Words Every Middle Schooler Should Know list. She only recognized five.
I assured her that soon she would also know these words, because we were about to begin learning them now.The authors explain why knowing these words is so important:
It’s such a shame that in our culture testing has such a bad name.
The dad of one of my students is a physician; he recalls that:
Medical school is all about being tested. We were constantly quizzing, taking tests, and flipping flash cards (each flash card is a tiny test). We were tested multiple times every day. All that testing made our minds sharp, plus it kept us aware of the areas we still needed to work on. It was a powerful way to learn.
The prompts are listed below; notice how they are all designed to get students writing about their unique identities, character strengths and core values.
Take just a few seconds to consider this question.
OK, now: unless you were too rushed or distracted to actually invest those few seconds, you found that your mind automatically began forming a reply.
Questions can be great for kicking the brain into a productive mode, because:
Last week I said that I see value in having kids (and all learners) memorize a certain amount of factual information.
I also said that I’m not a fan of rote memorization of multiplication “facts.” Kids should also be learning when and how to apply all of the four operations to various situations.
I stopped blogging because my routine had been disrupted. My morning writing time was no longer available, and that’s when my head was in “writing mode.”
Do you practice mindfulness? I try to live “in the moment” as much as possible, every day. There’s something about focusing on the present that keeps me feeling stronger, more grounded, happier, more able to cope. Yet, a big part of being human involves being aware of the past with all its traumas, and the future with all its worries.
In her memoir, The Next Fifteen Minutes, Kim Kircher presents an intriguing and useful version of mindfulness. Kim is a ski area patroller and emergency medical technician. Part of her training involved learning how to cope with crises fifteen minutes at a time, which strikes me as a perfectly practical “chunk” of mindfulness.
-Shakespeare, Sonnet 18
This post is about projection and self-acceptance and those nagging feelings of fatigue.
In this part of the country, kids still have two or three weeks before they start back to school.
Yesterday I sat with one student, Alex, who has been respectfully and dutifully schlogging through his SAT prep work all summer. Alex understands the benefits of all this studying, but his heart’s not in it. He wishes he was doing “something else.”
It’s the perfect time to start, or renew, your gratitude journal.
The concept is simple: There’s beauty and pleasure all around us, but we often don’t notice it or get enough enjoyment out of it, because we’re focused on all our pressures and problems.
Keeping a gratitude journal gets us to:
I began actively retraining my focus in this manner many years ago, so that by now I automatically notice simple pleasures I dare say most people do not.
So, I’m a lot busier, yes.
But what’s getting in the way of my blogging isn’t so much the scarcity of time. It’s the nature of this new job, which is a writing and editing job.