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Showing posts with label tradition. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tradition. Show all posts

What's Your High and Low?


I have a little tradition in my classroom that I've been doing for years at the end of the day. It's called "High/ Low". (In some circles, it can be called "Rose and Thorn.") It's when we reflect on our day and decide what was the best part of the day and what was the most challenging part of our day. 

What's Your High and Low? This blog post is about a little tradition I've been doing at the end of the day in my classroom and it's always a big hit. It helps me learn about my students and build relationships with them.

I got the idea from an old romantic comedy starring Bruce Willis and Michelle Pfeiffer called The Story of Us.




 It was a cute movie about a married couple with two children who were struggling with their marriage. Every evening at dinner the family would share their high of the day and their low of the day. That got me thinking about ending the day in the classroom the same way. I tried it, and it worked out better than expected!

Sometimes people ask me why I let the kids focus on their low of the day... don't I want them to be positive? Well, yes, of course I want them to be positive, but sometimes they have something that is bugging them, and it makes them feel better to get it out. (Just like the rest of us!) Besides, it helps me know what's going on in the classroom. (And even though they don't mention names, I usually know exactly who they're talking about, and can address it privately later!)

In the beginning, there's usually plenty of modeling on my part. My high might be about a success the class had that day, "I was proud when the class got a good report from the art teacher," or "Everyone caught on to adding hundreds today!"  Sometimes, it's an individual success, "John turned 8 years old today," or "Mary has a brand new baby brother."

I'm particularly careful to model what a low would sound like, since I don't want this to be the focus, and I want them to know I care about them. It might sound something like this, "Fred was out sick today," or "Fran got hurt on the playground today," or maybe "Someone hurt George's feelings." More than anything, it's important to model positive feelings. This is when you learn about your students and build those important relationships.

High/ Low of the Day usually works best at the end of the day. However, it can be used in the morning for special events, such as High/ Low of the month, High/ Low of vacation, High/ Low of a holiday, High/ Low of a test, and so on!

Here's another blog post about how I do High/ Low by having the children hold a Beanie Baby when it's their turn, then tossing the Beanie to the next person: How to Have Them Happy When They Walk Out of the Classroom.

What's Your High and Low? This blog post is about a little tradition I've been doing at the end of the day in my classroom and it's always a big hit. It helps me learn about my students and build relationships with them.



An Easter Warning and an Easter Tradition

Wow, it's almost Easter already! 


An Easter Warning and an Easter Tradition - here are a couple of fun Easter stories - one you won't want to do, and one  you might!

Nowadays I don't do as much as we did when we were kids, but we still do eggs, Easter dinner with family, and the Easter Bunny still gives my daughter a basket. Yes, she's an adult and probably thinks it's dorky, but I love that the Easter Bunny still visits!

I have an Easter story from my past I'd like to share that comes with a warning: Count your eggs before they are hidden!

When we were kids, the Easter Bunny always hid eggs for us to find. This particular spring, my sister and I managed to find most of the eggs, leaving our little brother a few.  After much hunting, we were sure we'd found them all, so we went about our Easter business:  getting decked out in Easter clothes, church, comparing Easter baskets, dinner with the family, lots of Easter candy and general family enjoyment!

We'd long forgotten that spring morning the following November when the first snow came. We dug out last year's snow gear, and got ready for school. When we were leaving, my sister had trouble getting her boots on. She realized there was something in the boot.  Imagine our horror when she pulled out a very old Easter egg. No, not the plastic ones, but a colored, hard boiled egg!

Needless to say, we didn't open it, but we learned our lesson:  Always count the eggs!

I also want to share my family's Easter tradition. We call it the Polish tradition, since it came from my Dad, but we really have no idea where it came from. It all comes from the principle that when two eggs are clicked together, only one will crack! (I've never seen it fail, and I've been doing this for over 50 years!)

At the Easter dinner table, everyone chooses a hard boiled egg. Pairs click their eggs together, and the one who holds the uncracked egg moves on in the competition. Finally, a winner will emerge!

I am a lover of tradition. I don't think Easter would be Easter without the traditional egg cracking contest! Feel free to try this at your Easter dinner!

And don't forget to count your eggs!


An Easter Warning and an Easter Tradition - here are a couple of fun Easter stories - one you won't want to do, and one  you might!


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