Showing posts with label New Year. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New Year. Show all posts
Last year, I started a tradition with my first graders on choosing one word to focus for the year...and I fell in love INSTANTLY with this project! {Read about it here!}

But, I was <<<SUPER>>> excited to try making #OneWord2016 Resolutions with my family this year!  Last year, a friend of mine shared that her family made one word resolutions and posted them on their mantel in January.  I loved this idea and although it came a little too late for 2015, I knew it would be perfect for this year!

Each person in our family came up with one word resolutions {okay, okay, I sort of helped my 3 year old, but he understood more than I thought he would!}

Justin's word is MOVE: physically move by exercising and mentally move by making quicker decisions.

I was pretty sure I knew what my word would be back the Sunday before Thanksgiving when God reminded me of one of my favorite hymns in church.... "Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say..."
And even though it may seem like a hard connection for some, it was clear my word should be PATIENT:  patient with my family, patient in my parenting, and patient with the lot I am currently blessed with.

Cooper's word is SERVE:  We used our family rules poster to decide on which one he wanted to work on this year.  While he is a good helper--no a GREAT helper for a 3 year old--our desire is that he begin to help and to serve without being asked first, by asking, "How can I help you?" and by beginning to see needs in others who need to be served.
Then, my hubby used his newest "tool toy" to cut out each of our words!

We spray painted our words white and the husband attached them to the pallet wood frame.

I think this looks perfect hanging in our entry way!  It will be a constant reminder of what we plan to work on in 2016!

And even though it'll be hard to leave my sweet family for work again next week, I can't wait to try my latest version with my sweet students next week too!

Over the weekend, I blogged about my New Year's Resolution.  After hearing about my dad talk about this book...

I decided I had to try it.  And so far, I'M LOVING THIS!  It gives me a great focus for my year and it's easy to remember!  And since I've shared my word and resolution, I've had several people tell me ways they do this with their families, teenagers, etc, and I just can't believe I didn't know about this sooner!!  {Gonna steal my teammate's family's idea of displaying each family member's word on the mantle for next year!}

So, all of this got me to thinking that surely first graders could do this too! they did!!

We beefed up our ole' New Year's writing this year to focus on one word.

First, we talked about New Year's traditions.  We talked about resolutions and I shared how I chose one word for this year.

Then we brainstormed a list of words they would like to choose as goals for 2015.

After that, I model wrote how I would write about my word: ENCOURAGE.  "In 2015, I will encourage..." and then I did a think aloud to model how I would write ways I could be encouraging: writing nice notes to others, giving compliments....  We also brainstormed ideas for some of the other words they came up with.  Lots of focus on sticking to ONE WORD...because these are six year olds after all! :)

I thought they would do okay, but actually I was *floored* at how seriously they took this project.  Their ticket to their desk was to tell me their word.  Kid after kid, the word was just perfect for what they needed!  I was amazed!  While they started writing, I went around and counted out pennants for them to write their word on.  They got to choose whether to do rainbow colors like me or a pattern.  I made my pennants to wide so they could only be used for 5 letter words here are directions for how I made the pennants with adjusted widths!
     *Cut 1x2" rectangles in whatever color construction paper you want to use
     *Cut the flag part out of the bottom, cutting halfway from each corner.

When I cut the flag part out, I just grabbed a stack of 10-12 and cut at the same time.  It sounds tedious, but it really didn't take very long at all!

Once they had their pennants I had them arrange them on their paper first and then write their word with crayon.

For the kazoos...they are made from construction paper:
     *cut one inch strips of construction paper
     *curl half of the strip with a pencil
     *fold the straight end in half and tape together
     *glue to mouth

I was so happy with how this project turned out!  If you want to see me make the 2 versions offered for this craft, check out this video!

Since this went so well, I decided I needed a way to help them remember their word even after we sent the projects home.  I made pennant labels with their words to stick on their nametags.  The font I used was KG A Little Swag {and it's FREE!!}.  I hope this will be the perfect reminder for 2015!

This was such a fun way to kick off the new semester and I think this *ONE WORD* thing is really going to stick with them better this year!  Find this new year's craftivity HERE.
Tomorrow is back to reality!  At least in our district we get to start off with an inservice day so we can slowly adjust to working full time again!

I don't know about ya'll, but my first semester was 50 shades of crazy.  New district initiatives, new literacy AND math units to learn, more new district initiatives, staff changes, and rough situations with kids that I just can't blog about...To say that I needed two weeks off was probably the *understatement* of 2014.  Anyone else out there feel that way!?!

And I soaked up every. last. minute. of my break.  Not much school work got done around here. {Although I did work on some new Sunday School packets for church...} Just a whole lotta playin' with this lil' guy...

Who can complain about that?

But with a new year and a new semester starting, I needed a break.  A refreshing of sorts.  And for only the second time I can ever remember in my life, I made a New Year's and New Semester's Resolution for my personal and professional life...

My dad told me about a book he read that emphasized choosing *one word* to live by instead of a list of goals a mile long.  So, after a two week break to reflect and relax, I've come up with my one word goal for this New Semester...

With all of the ups and downs of last semester, I need to spend more time thinking more on the positive by encouraging my teammates and myself.  And I need to spend more time encouraging my husband and my son after a long day of work... I can't always change the circumstances, but I can change me.

My *ENCOURAGING* prayers for 2015...

"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart, be pleasing to you, Oh, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer." 
Psalm 19:14

"Do not use foul or abusive language.  Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them." 
Ephesians 4:29

"Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up." 
1 Thessalonians 5:11

So here's to an encouraging, productive, fun-filled, and quick second semester.

Happy New Semester, friends!

So I've decided to give this blogging thing a try! I love to journal and write, but usually I do it privately. So blogging and writing publicly is a big step for me. BUT...I love to teach my firsties and I wanted a way to remember all of the fun adventures I'm having.  I totally regret not having my first 8 years documented!

That teacher journal everyone told me to keep and write down cute things kids say? Yeah, I never did one. Should have. But I didn't. 

Those pictures I should've taken of classroom memories, fun projects, or great lesson ideas so I wouldn't forget them? Yeah, I never did that.  Should have.  But I didn't.

Those Common Core standards that everyone says are too hard, have changed teaching too much and are too boring for the kids? Yeah, I'm not perfect at that either.  Should be better.  But I'm not.

Here's to a new year and new projects! I'm going to be better.  Better at finding fun, creative ways to teach the Common Core standards.  Better at taking pictures to document the small moments, crazy moments and {every now and then} brilliant moments! Better at writing down those bits of kid cuteness!

Let's be better together!

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