Write On!

Today I was exhausted, perhaps because we had last week off, and we'd gotten used to sleeping in. Or maybe because we were so busy at Camp Write-Along.

Our fourth graders were treated to a writing experience this week,

tents, flashlights, sleeping bags, campfires, s'mores and all!

We welcomed guest Camp Counselors to the mess hall during lunch, and we sang and danced to camp songs, like I Will Revise by Danielle Lacy-Jackson.

I was honored to be invited as a guest Camp Director
and talk with our Campers about writing intriguing leads to hook the reader and strong conclusions to seal the deal.
One camper even went to the local library after my talk,
to check out my book and work on strengthening her hooks. 
Write on!

This week I was interviewed about my thoughts about character education; check out this post from ProSignDesign to weigh in on the debate over whether it works.

One way to make your core values visible is to wear them. We don our character Ts on Wednesday and we're super excited about our new true colors T-shirt designed by our friend Jamaica at Inked Designs

Character education is a hot topic this week in Texas courtesy of HB 729, which proposes mandating character education in the state. What do you think about that? It would mean taking the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and infusing your school's core values. It could then be tied to accountability.
 Consider this screen shot from the Kindergarten TEKS.

Besides explaining it, how would you teach the difference between wants and needs? What could you do to engage your learners in an experience to enrich their understanding and elevate their empathy?

How about starting with an engaging story about shoes?
For K students, I recommend Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts. 
Did Jeremy just want new shoes, or were they a need?
Are there places where children don't have the footwear they might need?

I had the pleasure of sitting in on an Eleven Principles training facilitated by retired Principal Pam Mitchell yesterday, and she told about how her K classes researched and found a place where the children only have one pair of shoes. So her students suggested collecting their gently-used shoes and donating them to them, turning that wants v. needs standard into a real-life service-learning project. To inject some writing, encourage the students to write a note to the child who will get their pair and tuck it inside the shoes. 

Want a few bonus shoe-themed titles?

Does character education work? 
Let's just say it's not likely that those little learners will forget 
that wants and needs lesson any time soon.

With that, I'll sign off to watch some March Madness.
 Will Wisconsin survive in the swamp against those Florida Gators?
So far we're ahead by a basket. 
Right on!

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