Welcome Back 2019

Explorer Newsletter

Here are 10 things I thought were worth sharing

The first 4 points are classroom related, the rest are just some interesting articles, videos, books, or resources that I wanted to share. The links vary from clips to pictures, if you are interested and have the time feel free to dig deeper by clicking on them but, you can get the main idea from each numbered summary.

1. We started the year with a Breakout Box (think: educational escape room), our box was a collaborative teamwork approach with a task at the end to Save Fred. Thanks to the Big Bang Theory for first introducing me to this idea. It was a fun, hands on way to get the critical thinking back into gear.

2. Did you know that there are only 450 North Atlantic Right Whales left? Our first enrichment unit in GT will be around this topic. Students will be creating an ultra short film (60 seconds or less) around advocacy or awareness related to this topic. I am looking forward to what they create and learn.

3. Have you ever solved a Rubik's Cube? Me neither. But, I WILL! You Can Do the Rubik's Cube has a competition in Maine this year. I would like to take a team to Lincoln on November 17, 2018 to compete. If students are interested, have them look at google classroom to let me know. Once I have a list of students, we will coordinate practice times.

4. The Book Fair at RBMS is running all week! Come and check it out. The fair will be open during the 7th and 8th Grade Open House on Wednesday 9/19/18. I will be helping Mrs. Hafener during this time, come say hi (and while you are there, buy a book)!

5. Does you child say they can never find a book to read? MENSA has a reading program called Excellence in Reading. A PDF list of books is provided for different grade spans and children can work their way through the lists. If a child finishes the list they can send it in for a free t-shirt. This list does not include new releases and is very much built from classics. I am always a little weary when sharing this because the best way to ruin a book is to require that it be read. This list could be a resource for those "book drought" times or is great for those students who love lists and recommendations.

6. The Administration at RSU #22 is reading the book, Emotional Poverty in All Demographics by Ruby Payne, Ph.D. The term emotional poverty is a set of realities that can surface in individuals and in classrooms and that are brought on by home and neighborhood environments. I read her work when I was doing some graduate work in 2002, I'm interested to dive back into her work and see how my thinking/application has changed in the last 16 years.

7. I just reserved a copy of The Self-Driven Child: The Science And Sense Of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives by William Stixrub and Ned Johnson. I'll keep you posted on my thoughts.

8. Have you seen this viral piece, The Rise of the Lawnmower Parent? I liked how the article focused on some actionable ideas on how to let our children deal with some of the "hard edges" that life offers.

9. My favorite fall event is coming up, The Commonground Fair. Children 12 and under are free. The fair is September 21-23, 2018

10. Twice Exceptional Students are students who are identified as gifted and talented with another exceptionality. Here is a quick video from Kelly Hirt who is a veteran teacher, homeschooler, and author of Boost: 12 Effective Ways to Lift Up Our Twice Exceptional Children. Kelly shares some quick and easy tips to help bright and quirky kids succeed in school.