"Child behavior begins in the home." Raising children is just about the hardest job a parent has. It takes lots of love, common sense, and dedicated consistency. Children learn at a very young age what is expected of them, and they rise to those expectations when given the chance--when praised for good behavior.
We, teachers, easily recognize those children who come from supportive homes, and we applaud those parents. It's not easy to juggle jobs, house and family management, school, and raising kids. We know parents arrive home from work exhausted, overwhelmed, and often stressed beyond belief, but their day is not over. We know because often we are those parents too.
Children are stressed too as they balance playdates, after-school activities, HomeFUN (aka homework), dinner, and bedtime routines, which loom large each evening. Their school day is intense not only filled with learning, but also with juggling both their social and emotional behaviors. So, what's the answer? Well, there is no easy one.
But maybe we should all consider cutting back, slowing down. It might help. I remember doing my homework, then running out to play until dinner--no scheduled events--no dance classes, baseball or soccer, no gymnastics, or martial arts classes. We had more idle time--more time for our minds to be free. I spent hours lost in books--lost in my own mind.
We, as teachers and parents, need to de-stress the lives of our children and students. We need to offer them more time for themselves to learn and discover who they are. We need to provide consistent and safe environments for them so they feel secure and can thrive. Teachers need to do it in their classrooms and parents need to do it in their homes. After all, all learning begins at home.
reposted from Donna O'Donnell Figurski's Blog - 08/13/2013
Did you know your brain is made up of two parts – the right hemisphere and the left hemisphere. Both sides of your brain work together, but they can also act separately.
The right hemisphere of your brain controls the actions on the left side of your body. While the left hemisphere controls your right side. For example, when you raise your right hand to wave to a friend, your left hemisphere is controlling your hand. If you raise your left eyebrow, like Groucho Marx, your right hemisphere is in charge.
Your left hemisphere helps you to process language – reading, writing, and speaking. It helps with reasoning and logic and math skills. It also helps to process scientific knowledge. Left-brain thinkers are critical thinkers.
Your right hemisphere is responsible for creativity. Art and music are two activities that may come easy to a right-brain thinker. Reading emotions and expressing them are also dominant in a right-brain thinker. Folks with a dominant right brain may be out-of-the-box thinkers. They look at things differently. A box is confined space. It’s limited. When someone is thinking out-of-the-box more divergent thinking may occur.
Most people are either dominant right- or left-brain thinkers. Have you ever wondered which you are?
I’m definitely right-brain dominant. I’m a writer, an actor, a jewelry designer, and I’m a teacher – a creative teacher. Most of the activities and projects in my classroom were teacher-made – designed and created by me to lure children into learning. I am always thinking out-of-the-box. I don’t know why – I just do. Guess it’s the darn right brain.
I’m definitely left-brain dominant. I’m a user of language – writing, speaking, reading. I’m logical and love to categorize everything. You should see my Excel and FileMaker Pro Data projects. If it moves, I’ll database it.
I love that my brain switches, constantly, between both my right and left hemisphere. It allows me to be versatile. It encourages my divergent thinking, while still keeping me grounded. But sometimes it’s exhausting.
You may have been wondering why the young woman above is perpetually twirling. She is your test. Take a few moments and stare at her. You are using your right brain, if you see her turning clockwise. If she is turning counter-clockwise, then you are using your left brain. If you can see her switch back and forth, then you are using both sides of your brain – like me. Let me know.
I took a test at Chatterbean to test my left vs. right brain. again I scored a balanced brain. What more could I ask for?
Here’s my evaluation.
Are You a Right-Brain Thinker?
Your quiz score makes you: Balanced Thinker
Now that you’ve completed our enlightening quiz, you probably know you’re a mix of a right-brain thinker and a left-brain
thinker! The best of both worlds!
(Roger Sperry was awarded the Nobel Prize for his brain-related work in 1981. If this topic fascinates you as it does me, you
can learn more at these sites.)
Which Way Do You Spin?
Right Brained Children in a Left Brained World
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I just read some words in TEACH LIKE A PIRATE by Dave Burgess that resounded with me. Those words made me slam down his book and grab my computer. Well, I didn't really slam it. After all, I was reading on my iPad.
Dave told the story of a teacher asking him to let her in on the secret of how he ran his classroom so well—so easily. She said, "It's easy for you. You're creative.” Hmm! That sounds like a compliment—yes! I hear similar words from folks who read my book, PRISONERS WITHOUT BARS: A Caregiver's Tale. And yes, I thought it was a compliment too, and I know it's supposed to be. It obviously means that my book was easy to read. GOOD! That was my intent.
But when I think further on those six words, I cringe. Did my admirers think that I didn't labor over putting words together to make sentences, paragraphs, and chapters? Did they not know that I squeezed blood out of my keyboard to make every word sound like music—like water flowing gently down the stream? No! They didn't see that. How could they? They didn't see my T-I-C (tush in chair) for hours and hours and hours, pushing through each chapter and reliving every moment of my story. They didn't see my frustration while my mind searched, wandered, and searched some more for the exact right word or words. They weren't sitting with me at my desk for the past twenty years as I honed my craft. If I made my book easy to read, that's great. Like I said, that was my intent.
So when Dave Burgess's classroom looked easy to run, when it looked as if it were running like a well-oiled machine, I'm certain it was. But that was his intent, and it took him years to perfect his system too. I realize the hard work that he put in because I did the same in my 1st or 3rd grade classrooms too. They almost ran themselves.
If you were a fly on the wall, this is what you might see. Each day, my kiddles were presented with a multitude of learning situations and were daily engaged in projects of their choosing. My room looked like chaos, but it was controlled chaos. (I challenged anyone, especially my principals and administrators, to visit my classroom and ask any child what they were doing and why they were doing it.) My process allowed me to focus on small reading groups or individual writing conferences. It allowed me to provide extra assistance to any student in need. It was perfect. Did it take a lot of work behind the scenes to organize my controlled chaos? Yes! Absolutely! But it was worth every minute.
You can read about my methods and my madness in my book, IF I RAN THE SCHOOL: How I Made My Primary-Grade Classroom a Play Yard for Learning, when it's published.
And now back to Dave Burgess's book, TEACH LIKE A PIRATE, to find more tidbits of learning.
Warning! I may have to slam his book closed again when I find a new tidbit I can't pass up. But don’t fret, I’ll open it again until the final page.
As I say after each post:
If you enjoy Bookity Blog, please pass it on to all your friends and they to theirs. (I’d like to drive up the readership. Sometimes it feels like I am writing in a vacuum. So go ahead. Send it to 10 of your friends.)
If you hate my blog, go ahead and send it to your enemies. (10 enemies would be good.) I won’t mind.
(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)
I am the author of Prisoners without Bars: A Caregiver's Tale. It's the true story of how my husband almost left me--three times.