Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Day 151- Children's Miracle Networks and Deep Discussions

I was listening to "What I Cannot Change" by Leann Rimes on repeat last year, and I thanked her for making my day.  Man, I love that song!  I still listen to it on repeat every now and then.  It's in my inspirational/motivational/sensational/all kind of other -ational rotation.  Upon examination of Leann's website, I found that she is a supporter of the Children's Miracle Networks.

Here's what they do:

Children's Miracle Network's mission is to generate funds and awareness programs in partnership with and for the benefit of member hospitals/foundations and the children they are privileged to serve. We raise funds for more than 170 children's hospitals. Countless individuals, organizations and media partners unite with Children's Miracle Network hospitals to help sick and injured kids in local communities. Donations to Children's Miracle Network create miracles by funding medical care, research and education that saves and improves the lives of 17 million children each year.

http://childrensmiraclenetworkhospitals.org/

There's another $5 that have been well spent! :)

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The kids bought in!  The kids bought in!

After we completed all of the activities that I had planned for the day, I had the kids circle up for a discussion.  I was a little nervous that they would think the whole circle business was lame.  It's possible that they did, but they didn't show it.  I was also nervous about them actually discussing.  While the kids looooooove to talk, they sometimes tend to clam up when asked to speak about the things I want them to focus on.  That was not a problem today.

We read the end of the Anne Frank play today.  I really wanted them to think and process and feel something.  I didn't want them to think of this as just another story that we read this year.  We simulated the annex, were "liberated" outside for some writing and reflection, and then got down to business with our deep discussion.

To say this went well would be an understatement.  I just kept thinking as the kids were sharing thoughts and feelings and debating each other respectfully this is so cool.  This was not a group of kids chit chatting.  My students were having a more thoughtful and interesting conversation than many adults I know.  They were discussing their reflections on the quote "In spite of everything, I still believe that people are good at heart."  They were also debating whether or not they agreed with that idea.

I'm so proud.  These kids have been driving many of my peers nuts (and admittedly me at times as well).  They have eighthgradeitis for sure.  However, they showed me a level of maturity that is rare and gave me insightful discussions full of layers today.  We were all so into it that we're going to continue our discussions in most of my classes tomorrow.  Not only did they buy in, but they want more.  I couldn't be more thrilled.  Nurturing these types of dialogues and getting my kids to question and think on the deepest level is exactly the kind of teaching I want to do.

Thank you, deep discussions, you made my day. 

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