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Why am I Sharing 30 Days of Self-Affirmations?

Happy New Year!
 Yes, you read that right, I'm wishing you a Happy New Year!

Why am I Sharing 30 Days of Self-Affirmations?  For the next 30 days, I will be celebrating my own "new year" with self-affirmations. Won't you join me?

For most of my life, My new year started in September.
That's when each school year started. 

But I'm thinking my new year now starts in June.

I've been doing a whole lot of reflecting lately. I recently marked my "Stroke-a-versary" (Eight years ago I had a stroke: on May 29, 2010.) A new life started then.

But last June, another new year started as well.

I retired after 40 years of teaching.

Yep, that's a total of 57 years of going to school.

For the past year, I've done a whole lot of reflecting.
There are many things about retirement that are really great: 

1. Getting to sleep in.
2. Having a second cup of coffee while watching TV and browsing facebook.
3. Getting to pee whenever you want.
4. Taking a vacation the week after Thanksgiving.
5. No meetings, report cards, testing, or stress!

Oh, there's so much more great stuff about retirement, this is only the beginning.

But it's been tough. After 57 years of going to school, it's been quite a shock to my system.

I definitely can say I've been going through a grieving process, and it's been tough.

There's a whole lot I miss about teaching:
1. Having a purpose.
2. Sharing my knowledge and my experiences.
3. Seeing my wonderful teacher friends daily.
4. Having a daily routine.
5. The kids.

Yep, the kids. 
I really, really, really miss the kids. 
I miss their stories, I miss their reactions to my stories, I miss helping them learn, I miss helping them grow. 
I really, really, really miss the kids.

I've been grieving for the kids since last June.

Retirement is, in many ways, like a death. 
It's when something you love has been a part of your life for a long time, then suddenly it's gone. 

It's a whole lot harder than I thought it would be.

I've gone through all the stages. It was necessary to go through it all, because now I'm ready for the other side!

I had actually had thoughts of throwing myself a retirement party a year late.

But seriously, on a limited income, that's not going to happen. 

I'll celebrate with you instead!

For the next 30 days I'll be celebrating myself with self-affirmations. 
It's a great time to reflect and prepare for the next chapter!

Links to my 30 Days of Affirmations:

Day 1 I am a good person, with a good heart!
Day 2 I do the right thing, even when no one is watching!
Day 3 I always do the very best I can, on all I attempt!
Day 4 I never hesitate to have a good time when I can!
Day 5 I cherish my friendships!
Day 6 I cherish my memories!
Day 7 I don't mind looking ridiculous, if it gets the attention expected!
Day 8 People stay in my heart, even if I haven't seen them in years!
Day 9 I'm a good listener!
Day 10 Exercise is an important part of my life!
Day 11 I am very intelligent!
Day 12 I have a thirst for knowledge!
Day 13 I'm a team player!
Day 14 I prefer to keep the peace!
Day 15 I like visiting new places!
Day 16 I love getting know new people!
Day 17 I have a strong work ethic!
Day 18 I value tradition!
Day 19 I am loyal!
Day 20 I am committed to eating healthy!
Day 21 I am sensitive!
Day 22 I am an introvert
Day 23 I am honest!
Day 24 I am organized!
Day 25 I am polite!
Day 26 I like to laugh!
Day 27 I'm a sap!
Day 28 I tip well!
Day 29 I am strong!
Day 30 I am a passionate teacher!

Here's a summary of them all:



And here are a few pictures I set aside for this project that never made the cut!


Why am I Sharing 30 Days of Self-Affirmations?  For the next 30 days, I will be celebrating my own "new year" with self-affirmations. Won't you join me?





Do You Ever End Up Smarter After Watching Jeopardy?

Have you ever watched Jeopardy

I do love watching, even though I rarely know any of the answers. (Unless they have a musical theatre category, then I usually get them all!)

Did you ever end up smarter after watching Jeopardy? Many times children can learn just by trying to answer the questions provided. Here are some fun digital tools to help them enjoy learning by trying!

Who Wants to be a Millionaire is another fun trivia show to watch. Once in a while I'll know an answer, but I could never get past the first level without Google!

My students have always loved these Brain Quest sets for the same reason. Sometimes they know the answer, but even if they don't, they enjoy them, and learn from them! (Each image is a link to my Amazon affiliate.)


             

What do these all have in common?  After you've watched the shows, or read the Brain Quest sets, you end up knowing more than before! 

This is pretty much the reasoning behind a study strategy known as Retrieval Practice. Retrieval practice includes "practice tests" as a method of seeing what a student can remember, or retrieve from his memory. This strategy helps them know what they still need to study. Check out this link if you want to know more about this strategy: Learn How to Study Using Retrieval Practice.

Remembering what was questioned on game shows or trivia cards isn't quite the same as studying what was already taught, but seriously: if you try to think of an answer, then hear the answer, you are more likely to remember it, aren't you?

Since there is so much knowledge out there that the children just absorb when they're exposed to it, why not expose them to more knowledge?

I've created some BOOM Learning digital task cards that are perfect for learning from trying to figure out an answer!  Here are a couple:

Did you ever end up smarter after watching Jeopardy? Many times children can learn just by trying to answer the questions provided. Here are some fun digital tools to help them enjoy learning by trying!

Canada, USA, or Both? is perfect for July, since Canada Day and Independence Day (USA) are celebrated at the beginning of the month. If you don't teach summer school, That's ok. It's fun to learn about these 2 North American countries any time of year!

Did you ever end up smarter after watching Jeopardy? Many times children can learn just by trying to answer the questions provided. Here are some fun digital tools to help them enjoy learning by trying!

What Landform is This? is a great supplement to any work on Geography. I like to expose the children to this before I actually start working on landforms.  Since the children can  use the BOOM Learning Digital Task Cards over and over, they love to challenge themselves to get more correct each time! They become familiar with the vocabulary as well as the different geographic features of each landform as they practice. Plus, the teacher can easily go into the records to see how well they are getting to know their landforms!

Here are a few more sets of BOOM cards that are "self learning:"

Not familiar with BOOM Learning digital task cards?  Here's more information, plus a freebie: Have You Heard about BOOM Digital Task Cards?

Did you ever end up smarter after watching Jeopardy? Many times children can learn just by trying to answer the questions provided. Here are some fun digital tools to help them enjoy learning by trying!

Did you ever end up smarter after watching Jeopardy? Many times children can learn just by trying to answer the questions provided. Here are some fun digital tools to help them enjoy learning by trying!


Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!

Here in the northern hemisphere, we are enjoying the spring weather!


Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!  There's something special about being outside, and it's a great place to practice important skills.

We still have to teach. but we might as well teach while enjoying the beautiful weather and getting those kiddos outside! Here are some of my ideas!

Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!  There's something special about being outside, and it's a great place to practice important skills.

This one is pretty obvious! They have to read every day.  Why not bring it outside? If you want to go all out, have them bring in towels to sit or lie on while reading. Other options: partner reading, or teacher read alouds!

I do find sometimes a little bribery motivation is necessary. "If you don't stay focused on your books, we will have to bring them back inside."

Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!  There's something special about being outside, and it's a great place to practice important skills.

There are loads of engineering projects that can be done outside!  Children can use sand, grass, rocks or sticks to create all sorts of things! Here are a few ideas:

1. Create a sundial.
2. Make a tall rock tower.
3. Make a shadow creature.
4. Take tubs of water outside and maybe a few classroom materials to create "boats" that float!

This is only the beginning. If you search "Outdoor S.T.E.M." on Pinterest or google it, I'll bet you find a TON of ideas!

Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!  There's something special about being outside, and it's a great place to practice important skills.

You'll need some sidewalk chalk for this. 



Have equal teams, and a list of math facts or math problems they can solve. 



One team member at a time takes the chalk, runs to the other end of the defined area, write the problem with the correct answer, and run back. (It's a good idea to have another adult at the other end to check their math!) 



When they get back, the next person gets the chalk and a new problem.


I suggest making the running area on grass or "soft top," and the writing area on the hard top.

They'll be so busy having fun and burning off steam, they won't even know they're practicing important facts!


Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!  There's something special about being outside, and it's a great place to practice important skills.

Sketching is an important science skill!


Scientists need to notice details, and look for differences!


Direct students to pick a specific spot to sketch. (One with some sort of vegetation is best!)  A week later, they can go back to the same spot. As they re-sketch, hopefully they will notice differences.

Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!  There's something special about being outside, and it's a great place to practice important skills.
3 Seasons of our class tree!
Notice the winter tree was photographed from inside the screened window!


I've had my groups choose a "class tree" in the fall, and we will often go out to sketch the tree. As the year progresses, they re-sketch, and definitely notice differences!
One little secret, I've been very good at convincing the children to choose the tree right outside our class window. That way, they can sketch from inside in the winter! (No one wants to sit in snow and sketch!)

Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!  There's something special about being outside, and it's a great place to practice important skills.

Just like reading, story writing can be brought outdoors easily! They can continue stories they were working on, make up a story about what they see, or write nature poetry. Again, reminding the children this is a privilege helps them stay focused!


If you're interested in a little outdoor Science or Social Studies with reading and writing skills thrown in, check out this: Science and Social Studies for Summer

Most of these activities are designed for the outdoors, and you definitely don't have to wait for summer!

Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!  There's something special about being outside, and it's a great place to practice important skills.

Looking for ways to make it until Summer?

Looking for ways to make it until Summer? Here are some suggestions, including an exclusive freebie and some fantastic bargains!

I know most of you are getting mighty close to the end of the school year. I want to make your life a bit easier!

Here are some fun activities that will keep your students engaged in reading and writing while doing some fun Science and Social Studies activities!

Looking for ways to make it until Summer? Here are some suggestions, including an exclusive freebie and some fantastic bargains!

Click HERE for the freebie!

This freebie has 2 of the 10 activities from the full collection that you can find here: Science and Social Studies Activities for the Summer.

As you may know, there's a sale going on at Teachers Pay Teachers right now!  I often put new resources at 50% off for the first couple of days, but I'm keeping this one discounted through the sale, so you can catch a HUGE bargain on it!

Plus, I've bundled this new resource with 9 others for a year round set of Science and Social Studies fun integrated into reading and writing activities!

Looking for ways to make it until Summer? Here are some suggestions, including an exclusive freebie and some fantastic bargains!

Take a look at the discount on this baby here. Grab it while it's on sale!

Don't forget to add THANKYOU18 on checkout for an additional 5% off!

In case you missed my last post, here's a link to Seven Steps to a Happy Last Day of School.
(Each step has a freebie!)

 Looking for ways to make it until Summer? Here are some suggestions, including an exclusive freebie and some fantastic bargains!
Here's to a happy last few weeks of school!
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