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Showing posts from September, 2013

Character Gifting and Creativity

A recent assignment seemed to foster creativity and autonomy and surprisingly, was a big hit! Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli was our first read aloud of the year. We usually use this novel as a springboard for many other skills including introducing character development and story elements. Growing tired of the usual when reading this novel and toying with the idea to encourage students to "make their mark" and tap into their passions, I wanted something different. Thinking about an earlier discussion we had on passions and talents, I thought it would be neat if students could somehow tie their passions to a character from our book. Hence, the "Character Gifting" assignment was born.

It was simple:  

"If you had to give a pretend gift to one of the characters from Maniac Magee, what would you give and to whom? Choose one character from Maniac Magee. Think about that character’s personality and character traits.

Next, think about what you are passionate about. Vid…

The Same... Only... Different

I've read those articles in the magazines before where people realize they have unhealthy habits and suddenly one day "it's as if a light bulb goes off and change is a must." Whether it's eating better, adding exercise to their schedule, making more time for personal interests, whatever the case may be- one day they just wake up and things seem to click differently for them.

Then there's me.
I will never be one of those people. I know myself well enough to know that when things pile up and the to-do list seems every looming, I become like an Olympian swimmer. The kind with tunnel vision and goggles on; who only comes up for a gasp of air here and there. I start to lose sight of noble ideas and creative thoughts that once seemed so grand in my mind. Because I know these things to be true about myself, I knew that while my summer was without a doubt the best ever, and I would begin the school year feeling more confident and excited than ever thanks to meeting new…