The adorable mess header

The adorable mess header

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Our "UP" inspired Hopes and Dreams

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I have to begin my saying that I work at THE BEST school.  I truly, deeply, love my job and the team of teachers that I work with.  Working at a charter school, in my opinion (and I know there are others out there who disagree, which is fine), gives you the best of both worlds.  We get kids from all walks of life, but it makes a HUGE difference when families choose to attend your school, rather than being forced to attend.  At our charter school, we not only have an academic curriculum, but we also have a social curriculum which is called Responsive Classroom.  

Responsive Classroom has you use the first week of school to really formulate and think about what the students' hopes and dreams are for the year.  We sit down and really think about all of the things that we, individually and communally, would like to see happen for ourselves and for our classroom.  It takes a bit of stretching to help them understand what the possibilities can be, but after awhile they start to roll with the idea.  We then used our hopes and dreams to guide the discussion for what rules we would need in our classroom to make it possible for everyone (including the teacher) to reach their hope or dream for the year.  

Once the hopes and dreams are created, the purpose is to create a beautiful display that will stay up in the classroom for the ENTIRE year.  We'll reference it regularly to help us remember EXACTLY what we hope to achieve this year.  Which, led me to some detailed brainstorming, because there are FEW things I like enough to leave up in my classroom ALL YEAR LONG and that the kids would find inspiring. 

I spent quite a bit of time thinking about how I wanted to display our hopes and dreams.  Now, for those of you who know me...and for those of you who are just now getting to know me through this post, you'll know that I deeply love the movie "UP" from Disney Pixar.  I mean, talk about and hope and a dream...that guy had it going.  So, drawing from my love of UP, I had the students write their hopes and dreams on a balloon template, which I copied in many different colors and then we put them up in the sky with some beautiful clouds to showcase the bright colors.  However, I was left with the decision of what to put on the bottom of the balloons.  In the movie there was a house attached to the bottom, but that wasn't at all applicable.  I mean, this applied specifically to our classroom but drawing a "classroom" was tough to conceptualize in a bulletin board display.  Knowing that our hopes and dreams applied to all areas of school, though, helped me out and I ended up drawing a very tiny display of our school to put up in the room.  

Now, I need you to know that our laminator has been on the fritz and my quote "Never give UP on your dreams" has yet to be added to the display, but I've been DYING to share it with you.  So, here it is.  Drum roll please...........................................................................................................

I hope and dream that you've been inspired!  Thanks for stopping in!

Happy Dreaming,

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