Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thursday, May 31, 2012

With all the work we are doing on using our 5 selected character strengths, I am hoping that the students will be able to see and understand that life is full of up and downs.

Over the final weeks of this school year, we will explore how to cope with some challenges and how to use their character strengths.  At the same time I want the students to see that it is important to be happy.  I know this seems very obvious, and that should be one of the goals of teaching, but one of the keys to ensuring that one is resilient rests with being able to tap into the emotion and feeling of being happy.

I have to films in mind that will explore happiness.  The first is named Happy.

 Here is the trailer from Youtube:

I would like to see the SBR work really make a connection for the students so they can realize they have character strengths and talents they may use.  It may help them create a project at home, help a friend, or complete an assignment in class.  But life happens.  Next week's work will begin to look at specific challenges the students may have (spelling or arguing with a sibling or parent) and how those character strengths may assist them in challenging situations.  The documentary film I plan to screen next week will look at the highs and lows, and everything in between, of living in a family.

**UPDATE:  After the screening of this film, I was deeply moved.  I will be curious to see the type of responses I receive from the students for homework.  I created three journal questions about being seeking happiness; 2 were based on life experience and 1 was from the film.

Some of the students were still having some difficulty completing Wednesday's homework.  I pulled up my 5 strengths and illustrated how you could apply those strengths to specific scenarios.
Like all things, this kind of work and thinking needs to be regularly discussed because the ideas are new to a number of students.  I imagine it is like trying to use a second language, other than your own, that you are learning so you familiarize yourself with it.

The homework on probability was handed out on Tuesday night.  We spent a lot of time reviewing it today and will have a short quiz on Monday.  We will then continue to pursue the subject a little more, weaving in some experiments along the way and using our SMARTBoard.

HOMWORK:   Math quiz on Monday and 3 journal questions on being happy.  Have a great weekend!

Here are 2 late posts for the SBR Strength poster.  I anticipate Lia submitting her poster on Monday!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I seem to have my challenges with using the Interactive White Board in my class but I wanted to give you a sense of where we are with our work around the Strength Based Resilience program.  I would have to say that we are at the most important part of training because we are beginning to think about how we apply our strengths in different areas of our life.

While the students have not proceeded to this part of the page yet, I asked several students to share how they might use  a specific strength in the domains of the home, the community, or at school.  Here is what we came up with:

I managed to post up the posters in the class.  I think this will help the class complete the above assignment and allow them to see the strengths in others.  I think the sharing this morning was a start of showcasing some of the talents and strengths of the class.

Here is the complete (minus Johnson's, Lia's and Sandro's) set of posters that are now up on the walls of Room 52:

In the afternoon, I continued with my reading of The Hunger Games, doing our cursive and reviewing the homework for tonight.

 The students have to come up with 2 examples/ domain of how they would use or apply their strengthsThe examples illustrated above may help with completing this.  Before signing off on the agendas, each student had to complete one example to illustrate that they knew what to do.

Jack working with his partner during Reading Buddies

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Here are a few random images from around the school I wanted to post.
Spring afternoon

Humber Jazz concert: May, 2012

Nick taking in the Jazz

Tracking Chart

The last photo is important.  This is a chart that is up in the class as a visual reminder for students of the work they need to complete.  In addition to using the agenda, this chart provides students with at-a-glance ability to figure out what they have and have not done. 

I would like the students to get in the habit of asking other classmates what they missed rather than me.  This encourages a sense of ownership and satisfaction for the other students who have completed their work and being asked for help and guidance.  It also develops, I hope, a sense of responsibility and accountability for the person who needs to catch up on something they did not do.

I have used this method for over 10 years and found it very useful.  Students cannot use the excuse that they did not know what to do because it is listed on the chart.  I also encourage them to ask others in the class about the work, in case they are confused.

One note that was erased from my earlier post today concerned the film and work on our mini-unit on the Titanic.  We are watching James Cameron's epic film as a bit of a back drop to the comprehension work we are doing.  Today, each member of the class read a short portion from the article handed out last week.  In terms of the possible writing we will be doing, I had the students write down 15 words that were related to the article.  The template looks something like this:
 The exercise comes out of The Canadian Reader publication from Montreal.

Once I take a look at the selected words, the students will work in pairs to decide the top 15 words that will go on a sheet and then proceed to cut them out to create a timeline of events related to the sinking of the ship.  After that, they will work on writing a summary of the events, according to their timeline.

In Math, the students are working on learning about probability.  From a few nights ago, the students had to think of examples of things that ranged from "impossible" to "certainly" might happen.
More accurately, I think the range of options should have been the ones I had the students record in their notebooks today, along with the percentages of events occurring. 
I have downloaded some excellent, interactive lessons to use with the SMARTBoard for this unit.  We will explore those more tomorrow and some games that can be found on the computer.  If you would like to get a head start, take a look at this link with many online games

HOMEWORK:  Introductory Probability sheet #1-10 both sides.  Half of the questions are already done.  Here is a sample of one of the questions, correctly done:

 This will be reviewed with everyone tomorrow.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Monday, May 28, 2012

I have more details to add to this post but wanted to post a series of images from a portion of the SBR work.  The following are a collection of posters outlining each student's top 5 strengths.

The students used their tally chart to narrow down their strengths. 

Mr. P's Top 5

This is the second edit of this page.  My computer crashed and I lost all the work I posted this morning.

We are viweing James Cameron's production of Titanic.
Viweing the film, allows for a pop culture entry into the academic work that I would like to do on this subject.  The article the students were to read last week will be revisited today (Tuesday) and the movie, I hope, will make the transition into doing some reading comprehension work a little easier and more enjoyable.
The work around this subject began with doing a KWL (what I know, what I want to know, and what I learned) chart on the Titanic.  I may have posted this image already but here is a sample:

I went through all of the charts submitted by the stuents and came up with a list of questions that each group -- for the most part, they worked with partners -- generated.

I would like to compare some of these questions to the chart we used for the Health assignment from Term 1.  This will be used to compare the different level of questions that can generate higher and more critical levels of thinking (Level 1 v. Level 3/4).

In the area of Art, we are now working on doing drawings from a 2 point perspective.  Here is a sample I shared with the class that is a Level 4.  I will also add my interpretation of a 2 point perspective pieve that is, at least, a Level 3.

Ernesto:  Grade 7

Mr. P

A fun video from Youtube, involving the creation of a 2 point perspective piece may be seen here:

My apologies for the late post.

HOMEWORK:  Health quiz on Tuesday morning