BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


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Greek Mythology Like Never Before

67a1408b76d203375d97ad21f6a535a9.jpgMy fourth grade students have been studying Greek Mythology over the past few weeks, and it’s been so much fun. I’ve taught this content before, of course, but never quite this in depth, and never with some of the techniques we’ve been using. Boy, what a difference!

Some of the changes this time around:

  • more versions of the same myth (in particular Hercules’ Quest: when we view the Disney film it will be the fourth version we’ll examine)
  • more myths (Psyche & Eros, Arachne, Medusa, and others)
  • incorporating drama into our study (tableaux of various scenes, forcing students to deeply explore the characters’ feelings and actions)
  • incorporating more art into our study (resulting in some wonderful projects)
  • allowing students to not only choose various ways of expressing their learning, but letting them create the various choices (and they were so much more engaged in the activities they designed themselves)

Just spending more time in Ancient Greece has been so beneficial to the students. They’re seeing recurring themes including jealousy, vanity, bravery, and sacrifice. They’re drawing parallels between characters and stories and they’re becoming quite knowledgable.

As an added bonus, the Rick Riordan books (the Percy Jackson series) have been flying off the library shelves, as have the other mythology books. The students are excited!

I’m so pleased with their enthusiasm and their level of commitment to their work. I believe we’re building a strong foundation for future learning as they’re developing a love of these ancient tales. I don’t know if this work will show up in the form of growth on their end of year standardized tests, but I know it’s beneficial. For that reason, I’m feeling successful and yes, a little bit proud. I can’t help but feel a bit like Zeus on Mt. Olympus, looking down at the mortals with affection and feeling pleased with their successes.


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Over the Hump

So this tiniest month is turning out to be sort of a mountain for me. It’s nothing terribly serious, just a bunch of smallish things, not the least of which is a bout of allergies that is bringing me down. In fact the other day my principal took one look at me and sent me home.

allergies_cartoonoptNormally I would have fought this banishment, but I welcomed it that day. I fretted for about three minutes over what would become of my students for the rest of the day (he, and my fabulous teammates, handled it) then I headed home to bed. Ah sleep. Sweet sweet relief from the sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, and wheezing. I wish I could sleep more.

Needless to say, I didn’t get all my steps that day. No dance party on my wrist that day (that’s what I call it when my Fitbit celebrates me reaching my daily step goal).  I fell woefully short and didn’t give it another thought, until the next day when it was too late. I felt like a failure. After all, my step goal isn’t that huge. I could have walked around my house in a sneezy runny nosed fog, right? I suppose, but the more I thought about it the easier it became to forgive myself for missing one day and move on.

I’m still not feeling great. Something in the air is kicking my butt, even with my arsenal of remedies, but I’m up and about again. I’m making my step goals and keeping positive, and looking ahead to March. Why March? Spring break!

How are you doing with your tiniest month challenge? Any obstacles? Hurdles? Road blocks? Keep going warriors! We’re on the downward side of the month, you can do it!


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Go For It!

images.jpegIt sounds like a good idea, right? Identify your goal and hop to it. Go out there and grab hold of your dreams! That’s the American Way, isn’t it? Is it? I’m not sure.

I’m not sure of a lot of things. Like, for instance, what exactly my “goal” is at this particular point in my life.

I have goals, certainly. I have many of them, some large, some miniscule. So I suppose my question is how do I prioritize them? How do I decide WHICH goal is the “go out there and get it!” goal? Or are there multiples of those? In which case, the new question becomes, how on earth do I go out and conquer all that stuff????

Well, I’m a firm believer in divide and conquer, so there’s that. But then we go back to the prioritizing issue. What to tackle first?

When paying down debt there are two main schools of thought. The first states that you should allocate the majority of your efforts to eliminating the debt with the highest interest rate first, then tackle the next highest and so on. The second one suggests that you go after the smallest debt first, then the next smallest amount and so on, leaving the largest debt for last.

Both methods have their pros and cons, and both methods, if applied faithfully, will get you out of debt eventually. So what’s the right answer? I don’t know, but fortunately getting out of debt is one goal that I achieved several years ago, so I don’t have to worry about it. (By the way, I used the small amount first method, it helped me feel successful and empowered by the process).

Maybe I can use the same method with my goals. Maybe I should start with “baby steps” as Flylady says. Or, as my father used to put it, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” For now I will keep stepping to get my daily fitbit steps, I will keep working at revising my novel, I will keep sharing my writing with you all and my writing partners, and I will keep working to tackle the clutter that’s been invading my home bit by bit. I will also keep being the best teacher, mother, daughter, and partner I can be. That’s not too many goals, is it? Wish me luck, and if you have any advice, I’d love to hear it.

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