My Thanksgiving

I’m thankful I work with students who are motivated.  It’s incredibly rewarding when a child likes what they’re doing in school so much that they go home and continue to play, explore, and learn!  This amazing Minecraft parody of Edvard Munch’s The Scream is brought to you by an ACE student who just wanted to do more.  How awesome is that?

parody

I’m thankful I work with students who are curious. Sometimes your kids just can’t help themselves when they see a math problem posted in my room — even if it’s for another class!  There’s a classic math problem in which any number from 1 – 100 can be created using four fours and a few mathematical symbols.  When I hung up a “Four Fours” chart in my room the other day, I intended it to be used by one group, but kids from 2nd to 5th grade have added their own solutions.  It’s been a blast watching them discover factorials, square roots, and order of operations just because they were curious about what I had added to the wall!

fours

I’m thankful I work with kids who make connections.  Take the Word Masters Challenge, for example.  Some might look at it as an exercise in memorizing a bunch of vocabulary definitions.  And, while that’s part of it, lots of my students understand that the words are all around them and constantly make connections between the learning they do at school and the experiences they have outside of school.  Even a trip to the grocery store becomes an opportunity to make a connection!  (Yup.  Glade is a fifth grade Word Masters Challenge word and this pic was sent by a parent with a sharp-eyed kid at the grocery store!)

glade

I’m thankful I work for kids who routinely push their limits.  Nobody forces kids to work on Quizzles or Ken Ken puzzles or Kakuros.  There are just kids who love to try new things and do more than is required.  And I’m lucky enough to work with them!

kakuro

I’m thankful I work for kids who continually strive to improve.  As part of our Critical Thinking unit in 5th grade, we start each session by solving the New York Times Daily SET Puzzle.  The puzzle is timed and when we first started the unit, it often took us more than 10 minutes to solve it.  Some groups have shaved their times down to 3 minutes or less and, even on days when we’re not giving it a go, they still want to try so that they can improve!

SET

In short, I’m thankful for your support, for your incredible children, and for the fun I get to have each and every day (and call it a job!).  Best wishes for a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday!

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