Monthly Archives: April 2014

What Students Really Need to Hear

I came across this blog post tonight via Facebook and I am SO glad I did. Really powerful messages I wish my young grade 3 students could read and really understand this because it’s how I feel about them. Today was a tough day, it’s been a tough week actually and I just wish that those little people really knew how much I care for them!

It’s 4 a.m.  I’ve struggled for the last hour to go to sleep.  But, I can’t.  Yet again, I am tossing and turning, unable to shut down my brain.  Why?  Because I am stressed about my students.  Really stressed.  I’m so stressed that I can only think to write down what I really want to say — the real truth I’ve been needing to say — and vow to myself that I will let my students hear what I really think tomorrow.

This is what students really need to hear:

First, you need to know right now that I care about you. In fact, I care about you more than you may care about yourself.  And I care not just about your grades or your test scores, but about you as a person. And, because I care, I need to be honest with you. Do I have permission to be…

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I’ll Tell You What I Think – Student Disciplined for YouTube Recycling Video

I came across an article tonight via Facebook tonight that was originally published in the St. Catherine’s Standard on Monday April 7th.  The article shared how a University of Brock student and Residence Don, Travis Lewis was disciplined for making and posting a YouTube video which showcased the amount of garbage that the 900 students who live within his residence area create. Lewis dove into the dumpster to sort the recyclables out of the trash.  His intention was to persuade officials at Brock’s department of residence life to provided tall blue recycling bins in more accessible areas within the Village Residence.  Brock physically has the 12 grey and blue bins but they have not been set into place because of “snow” and not having chains to lock them up.  Really?  We only recycle in optimal weather conditions?  

Anyway I think Lewis’ actions should be applauded.  He has stood up for his convictions and has done so in a manner that I believe is respectful, to the point and makes a really great impact.  Is that not the goal that educator and parents are trying to achieve?  To teach young people to believe in something and take a stand?

I do not agree with the Brock University officials that he was putting himself in an “unsafe situation” by climbing into the dumpster.  He had a mask and gloves on.  As a co-teacher of the Green Team at my school I sort through all kinds of yucky things in blue bins every week to make sure our school is properly recycling before we dump the class bins into the large bins that go on the curbs.  And while I’m not sitting inside a dumpster I am doing what I think is eco-responsible.  I’ve also been working on writing Persuasive Arguments with my grade 3 students and they are creating smore’s to present their arguments.  I think Lewis’ use of Social Media to get his message across is brilliant and I’m pretty sure my students would agree.  In fact I’m going to share the newspaper article with them tomorrow and show them the video and I’m interested in hearing what they have to say.  

What do you think of Travis Lewis’ YouTube video?  Are the Brock Officials correct in taking disciplinary action?  


Travis Lewis’ YouTube Video – Brock University You Tell Me? 






Genius Hour Lego Car

This group worked really hard to get this car to go. They were at a really high frustration point when it finally worked. At that point all you could hear were cheers and hollers they were so proud but it kept moving in circles. Then one said, “Okay we got it to move now to make it go straight”


Isabelle’s Bear

Isabelle's Bear

One of my students sewed this bear for her Genius Hour project. Her plan is to make a bunch of them and then sell them and use the money to buy bubbles, chalk and skipping ropes for the kids at our school for recess!

Genius Day – Best Day Ever!


Yesterday we dedicated the entire day (minus Gym first period) to working on our genius hour projects.  I was a little worried if they would be able to maintain their focus on one thing but the students in 3B did not disappoint.  Not only were they totally focused they were happy and collaborating and talking but on task.  I did not have to behaviour manage a single time.  It was so cool to be a part of these young people creating something with zero or minimal intervention from me.  A super big high was when my group of builders finally got their lego car to move.  They had been struggling all morning to get it to go and when they did the four jumped up and cheered! 


Here are some highlights from our day


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