7-8 Classroom

Community

October has been a great month for community-building. This makes sense. Academic growth occurs best within a healthy social fabric. One of our primary goals as middle school teachers is to create diverse interactions. In a small school, such a goal seems simple, but the reality of middle school is a tendency to feel very comfortable working in preferred social groups, often in isolation from other social groups, and at the expense of individuals remaining isolated…

Read More

Mindset

Mindset

To start the year, I like to talk with students about thinking patterns. According to Carol Dweck, author of the book Mindset, “What you believe determines what you achieve.” Self-reflection about thinking patterns is an important strategy for improving achievement and self-confidence in both academics and extracurricular interests. Who knows, it might even play out in helpful conversations in your own homes. With this in mind, I have put together a unit of study designed around…

Read More

Olympic Performances

Watching athletes engage in the pursuit of excellence through effort, coaching, failing and trying again, all in the pursuit of achievement is the Olympic story that catches our attention, and our hearts. Audiences love the back stories that put our athletes into the international theater almost as much as we love the performances themselves. Your kids, our students, are creating their own back stories each and every day. My job is to push them just…

Read More

Uphill

Uphill

Why do we hike uphill on Fridays? Many reasons, really. For starters, we live in the mountains, and want to expose our students the outdoors. Their senses are alive, they experience physical fitness, they get to feel the seasons, and it builds an understanding of where we live. Additionally, we want kids to know how to take care of themselves in the mountains. Before heading uphill, we talk about personal care and safety. These uphill…

Read More