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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

I Want My Students To Take Risks


I know there are beginning of the year reads that many teachers use-Chrysanthemum, The Kissing Hand, First Day Jitters. If you know me at all, you know I'm a bit of a rebel and I don't want to repeat the same stories-I want to give my students a new experience. My focus the first week is teaching my students about being creative and taking risks. I am very specific with them that I do not mean skateboarding off a roof into a swimming pool kind of risk. But raising your hand when you are not sure you know the answer, or to ask about something you don't understand. To write an answer that is completely different from what everyone else wrote.

Because I believe that literature is the best model, I introduce them to characters who are who they are without any apologies. They take risks and it go against the grain and it pays off for them.


                 
We have a TA who draws a character for us on a chalkboard in front of our classrooms. This year I think I will ask him to draw Molly Lou Melon for me. I love her spunk. When someone says she talks like a duck, her response is to say "quack". She is who she is and we love her for that.


                            Elmer just wants to be like everyone else, but he discovers there are benefits to being unique and being true to yourself.



I think all teachers should read this book. Oddrey's teacher didn't get her. But again, she takes risks and it pays off for her in the end.


When Olive was born she was the loudest baby in the nursery. Luckily she has parents who support her extraordinaryness.



   

                                          Monique goes through her mother's trunk and accessorizes her school uniforms in ways that make her unique. Fashion decisions can be taking risks as well.





Woolbur does everything in the opposite way from his fellow sheep. My favorite part of the story is the end where his parents tell him he has to be like everyone else-so everyone else starts acting like him.



Ferdinand takes a big risk to remain true to himself. I mean a bull who loves to just smell flowers?


Getting out on that dance floor can be a big risk for those of us with no rhythm. Giraffe proves once again that being true to yourself pays off.





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