Don’t judge a book by it’s cover

book judge

Recently, the topic of don’t judge a book by it’s cover seems to be very topical.

Everywhere we turn in today’s world we are judging how much people have and who they are friends with. This is especially true in schools when the latest phone or trend comes out. Sometimes students can feel very judged and often feel misheard as well by their fellow peers.

Thus I feel it’s important to mention in class that each students voice and reaction is important and should be expressed in the classroom.

music

One good example is one class were asked recently to bring in music and songs close to them. There was a huge variety of music chosen and shared within the class. However, one student in particular was reluctant to share for fear her peers would ridicule her due to her taste of music. As teachers we have to embrace all differences in the class and encourage students to be comfortable within the classroom environment.

Top ways to create a safe space in a classroom:

  • Display students work in the classroom
  • Admit when you don’t know something (within reason)
  • Read with your students
  • Follow through with Consequences
  • Smile often
  • Open the door at the end of class
  • Music feeds the soul

 

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Bowka – Mental Health Week

Bowka

bowka images

Exercise improves your mental health.

Music also improves your mental health.

Exercise + Music = Mental Health overload!!!!

Bowka is the new craze of exercise and music combined. Though you may not have heard of Bowka, think Zumba but with numbers and letters and you have a fair idea of what Bowka is. Bowka is as physical as it get’s yet it’s meant to be simple to learn – which is why it’s starting to gain popularity. Additionally, it’s for everybody. The young, the old, the lazy, the high energy!

You will burn any calories or negative feelings you have away I have been told. Seems like a win win situation considering tonight’s #edchatie was about how do teachers cope with stress?

Not one hundred per cent sure what Bowka will bring tomorrow, but I know it won’t be dull considering it derives form boxing and kwaito – African words for a style of South African music and dance.

To give you a test of what is in store for tomorrow – here is a short clip!

#edchatie #mentalhealth #littlethings #bowka #zumba #happymonday #motivation #keepfit #teaching

Mental Health Week

While in class today – I was trying to encourage Mental Health Week and positivity in the Classroom through simple ideas.

One such idea was simply asking students to rate their homework and then simply giving themselves a smiley face or a love heart beside their work and a huge tick on the margin of their copies for trying their best .  The idea worked well as the students responded very positively to the small change in the usual homework feedback.

However, the students shocked reactions and enthusiasm  to this simple tasks makes me wonder when correcting homework are we so focused on the answers and responses that we fail to see the amount of work that they put into the homework?

The students response to the positive feedback has sparked my interest in regards to what are the implications of positive feedback on homework. What have scholars said?

I’m hoping to research this throughout the week and update by the end of the week. Mini research project!

If anyone has ideas or thoughts on the topic or wants to add to please do!


Update currently trawling through peer reviewed journals and shocked by the amount of research and varying opinions!

Can’t wait to share these findings and research!


Update – Mental Health Week

                     Pop Up Cafe

danty tea

The Pop Up Cafe was a huge success with many students showing up for a cup of tea and a few biscuits. It was a good way for students to chat to teachers who were present. It was a lovely atmosphere were students got to talk to their friends while in school. There was no pressure for the students to rush through their lunch or have a test or homework hanging over them as they drank their tea!

Additionally, the seniors helped serve the tea giving the younger students a chance to chat and talk to them. This event has fostered a link between senior and juniors. Also, another positive that has come out of this is the seniors are getting a chance to reflect through their own years at school as they draw closer to closing their chapter at secondary school.

If you are planning to do a pop up cafe a few tips:

  1. Use paper cups – clean up becomes incredibly easier
  2. Have a biscuit or two for the students.
  3. Have an alternative for tea.
  4. Have it well advertised – even send out a text to the parents if this system is available in your school.
  5. Have a small activity prepared – a good one is human bingo were students interactive with people they may not have talked to before.
  6. Use a big space so students can move around without feeling on top of each other.

Overall I would highly encourage schools to try a Pop Up Cafe – try to keep costs minimal as well!

Winter foods

winterr

Today 2pm looked like 11pm. Pitch black darkness.

Winter is defiantly here – the little bit of Indian Summer we had is well and truly over now.

However, how do you keep healthy during these cold darkening months?

Food plays a huge part of our lives – especially when in school. Teachers and students alike are in school usually from half eight in the morning until four or five in the evening depending on how long it takes to return home thus food is important!


Healthy Foods to eat during winter!

greens

Dark Leafy Greens

Dark leafy greens, such as kale, chard and collards, thrive in the chill of winter when the rest of the produce section looks bleak. In fact, a frost can take away the bitterness of kale. These greens are particularly rich in vitamins A, C and K. Collards, mustard greens and escarole are also excellent sources of folate, important for women of childbearing age.

citrus fruit

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits, including lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit, are at their juiciest in the wintertime and can add sunshine to the dreary winter. Citrus fruits are loaded with vitamin C—one medium orange delivers more than 100 percent of your daily dose.

wintersquash

Winter Squash

There are many varieties of winter squash—including butternut, acorn, delicata and spaghetti squash—and they are all excellent choices in the winter. One cup of cooked winter squash has few calories (around 80) but is high in both vitamin A (214 percent of the recommended daily value) and vitamin C (33 percent), as well as being a good source of vitamins B6 and K, potassium and folate.


outside of the classroom learning

In schools we are always encouraging students to learn – but what about outside of the classroom? In a bid to create a holistic education and encourage students to explore talents that they may not know they have I have complied a list of great websites (free) students can explore and use.

 1. Drwaspace

Free website in which students can download free art lessons. They can learn how to draw or sketch. Great little website for students who either want to learn how to draw or sketch or hone in on their talent. Additionally, keep an eye out for tutorials which offer critiques.

2. Duolingo

Free website and downloadable app which offers free language instruction in several languages. It is a great webstie and app as it is very interactive and helps the learning process.  They have introduced a new feature called Incubator in a bid for bilingual volunteers to help translate and moderate – which will in turn see the languages flourish as they become more native.

3. A capella

A capella has recently come into the lime light after the release of the movie Pitch Perfect. A cappella music is specifically group or solo singing without instrumental accompaniment, or a piece intended to be performed in this way. One great example of A Capella can be seen through the group PTX (pentatonix) who are currently on tour with Kelly Clarkson.

Feel free to comment and add more!

I will update this post soon! Just three I have found of great interest and they are free!