Middle School Posts

April 09, 2014

An Attitude of Gratitude

Hello everyone,

I hope you had a wonderful spring vacation and are enjoying the warm weather.  Thank you so much for the wonderful breakfast this morning – the time and effort you put into preparing the event is so appreciated.

I know several of you attended the DPA meeting yesterday and had a chance to hear the speaker, Sanam Pejuhesh.  I was teaching a class so couldn’t make it, unfortunately, but I heard it was very helpful and a nice complement to Kristen Race’s talk.  I hope to see many of you on Friday for our book discussion on Kristen’s book, Mindful Parenting.

I wanted to share with you an article I read a while ago that struck a chord with me and also aligns well with Kristen’s message.  It’s from a December issue of the Wall Street Journal and discusses how to help our children develop a sense of gratitude.

I remember one of my first years teaching, I attended a two-day workshop on collaborative learning.  As we investigated the benefits of having our students work in groups, we were put into groups ourselves to experience the collaboration firsthand.  The instructor had us go through a particular process for each group initiative.  Essentially, we were given a problem to solve, we worked in groups to solve the problem, and then we debriefed.  The final stage was called the appreciation stage, where we focused only on positive things we had noticed our teammates doing.

After going through the process, we debriefed with the instructor, and several of us mentioned that we felt the appreciation step felt contrived.  We felt silly saying, “John, I really liked the way you made your point during our discussion,” or other such things.  The instructor’s response was that it seemed contrived because we don’t usually take the time to appreciate one another and thus we were not used to it.  She assured us that by carving out time for... » read more

More recent posts

March 24, 2014

The Other "B" Word

Blog 032014    Hello everyone, I hope you are enjoying your week.  I had a wonderful trip to Washington D.C. with Mr. Carter and sixteen eighth grade students.  The trip was filled with memory-making experiences, including visiting the White House, a scavenger hunt... » read more
March 11, 2014

Social and Emotional Learning in Middle School

Hello Everyone, We have only a few more days before Winterim and then spring vacation – where has the year gone? Today at our breakout session, I shared some information on the various ways we incorporate social and emotional learning into the curriculum and culture of the Middle School.... » read more
March 07, 2014

Deeper Learning

Happy Friday!  I hope you have had a wonderful week – I can’t believe we have only a week left before our Winterim trips.  I have one final set of notes from the Learning and the Brain conference to share with you.  These are from a breakout session with Jal Mehta on Deeper Learning... » read more
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