Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday Favorites

So I'm trying something a little different.  As I've been learning more and more about blogging and all of the great teaching resources that are out there in the blogosphere, I'm realizing there is just SO much to see and so little time to really dedicate to exploring. This, my friends, is a great problem to have!  I'm adding more and more items to my Pinterest boards, but I also want to share with you some of my REALLY favorite finds and keep them in one place for you.

Each Friday I plan to share a link to a favorite blog post or resource that I happen to come across.  I'm hoping that you may also be inspired by my lucky finds.

To start, this week has been an unbelievably difficult one for so many of us.  Whether we are experiencing for ourselves the devastation that is occurring as a result of Hurricane Sandy, supporting friends and family who are in the midst of the disaster, or looking for a way to help as we see image after painful image of the desperate situation unfolding in the Northeast - many of us are physically and emotionally exhausted.  Courage is just one of many character traits that we are seeing so much of these days...and many are digging down deep to find it within ourselves.

With this in mind, I was so happy to stumble upon:

This blog, written by Maria Dismondy, is filled with all kinds of resources, including book trailers and teaching guides to books that she has authored.  My favorite part of this blog is her monthly linky party.  It focuses on a character trait as a theme for the month...and as luck would have it, November's theme is courage!  Her hope is that each month bloggers will link up ideas on how to teach these traits to children so that, as more ideas are shared, more children will be able to recognize these traits in others and develop them within themselves.

Talk about teachable moments - tons of them have blown in with Sandy!  I find that, in middle school aged students, it helps guide their understanding of concepts like this when they are given a chance to make personal connections.  If it relates to them...then it's valuable to consider it, read about it and write about it!  I love using current events for this purpose, and especially with the shift toward using nonfiction resources with the Common Core State Standards, collecting several news clips of true stories of courage to show as writing starters would be fantastic.  As in any natural disaster that brings communities to their knees, media coverage of Sandy has provided us a plethora of images and true stories of courage.  Gathering a few of these and showing them as a starter for students explaining what courage means to them, or describing an example of courage, would be very helpful.

For another idea, we've all seen the advertisements and billboards that promote character traits like courage.  On their website they have a page dedicated to courage and a space for students to design their own billboards.  Whether you choose to use this resource as it is, or develop a lesson around creating a "Courage. Pass It On." type advertisement, this would be a fun way for students to explore their own definition of courage and to share it with others.

Here is the {LINK} to her post explaining Maria's monthly themes and how her linky party works. You'll find other opportunities to link up as well.  I just couldn't wait to share the link with you as November is starting already and I'm sure that there are so many of you who have ideas that you could use right now.  Be sure to check out Maria Dismondy's Make a Difference Monthly Linky - my 1st Friday Favorite!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for linking up Stephanie! Hope to hear from you again!


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