Archive | November, 2012

National Novel Writing Month … because we don’t already have enough to do

14 Nov
We would like to announce that we have accomplished the seemingly impossible.  People said that it couldn’t be done but we have managed to do it.  That’s right.  In the last two weeks, we have managed to speed up time.  Let us tell you our secret.
Right around November 1, we noticed a magazine article that discussed a national writing organization that has a Write a Novel in a Month campaign.  The goal is the write 50 000 words in a month.  We thought it would be a great idea (When we say “we”, it really means the one currently typing who shall remain nameless and blameless. The other one is expressing her thoughts by naming this blog).  We both have full time jobs; small children; some form of lives…but yet we have also had the second book in a trilogy waiting for us to write it for several years.  So we took our skeletal outline and started to write.  Somehow, November 1 became November 14 in the blink of an eye.  We’ve written over 30 000 words so there must have been some real passage of time but that is the only evidence we can find.
Now that we think about it, maybe we haven’t actually changed the time contiuum.  Possibly, we have just changed our own reality of that time continuum.  We’ve heard that sleep deprivation will do that to you.  😉
Either way, there is only 16 more days in this month- Drat them for picking a month with only thirty days- so we have to get back to our real writing.  Sleep well all of you people who didn’t sign up.  We won’t hold it against you…much.
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Finding Ways To Include Everyone

4 Nov

Recently we were extremely fortunate to see Barbara Coloroso present at the Capitol Theatre in Chatham.    As part of a PA Day activity, Barbara spoke to us about her work on the subject of bullying.  Barbara even managed to keep a theatre full of teachers quiet – no easy feat;-)   It was amazing and inspiring.

One thing that Barbara mentioned resonated with us.  She spoke about how students benefit from a variety of clubs and activities.  The more diversity there is in the extracurricular activities, the better.  One of those preaching to the choir moments!  For the most part, we tend to run clubs that we like to call “quirky.”  Neither of us are particularly good at, or even interested in sports, so we tend to create clubs and activities that we enjoy and hope to inspire our students in different ways.  As such, we thought we would offer overviews and outlines of clubs that we have offered as we complete them.

The first one is Friendship Club.  The goal was to have junior level students thinking about friendship and encourage them to reach out to other students.  We usually had a friendship focus followed by a craft that they had to give away to a friend.  After the first week, we made sure they could make 2 of the craft as we noticed the “friend” was often already in Friendship Club – they were partnering to make certain they still got the craft that we made.  (Guess the club also encouraged some students to become strategists!). The weekly outline for the club can be found under downloads; we compiled ideas, we didn’t create and we’re sharing with you as a time-saver.

Since research indicates that one of the most important components in school success is feeling a sense of belonging, clubs such as this one are important.  We might even suggest that they are just as important as the sports clubs- not more important but just as important.  Try it and see what you think.