How many of you have a Student of the Day/Star of the Day in your classroom? In the past, I have had a Star of the Week. This would be a student who had a really good week following our PBIS goals of Be Responsible, Be Respectful, and Be Safe. I would choose them on a Friday and tell them that they would be able to make a poster over the weekend that shows all of their favorite things, and the things that make them special. This past year I had them take home a pre-made poster that I purchased from Really Good Stuff, but this year I think I'm going to let them come up with their own creations. I'll give them some guidelines and then the rest is up to them!! I'll talk more about my ideas for Star of the Week tomorrow. This year, in addition to the Star of the Week, I'd like to have a Dragon of the Day. This would involve a few different things. I would choose the Dragon of the Day by pulling a name from a bucket. That student would be the one whose name we would focus on for the day, in order to complete the Name Game. That student would also get to be my 'helper' for the day. He or she would help pass things out, gather materials, or run things to another classroom if needed. They would have their own special spot in line when walking to and from specials and the cafeteria. I found a cute song posted by Laurie Patsalides, nice and easy to learn and set to the tune of 'Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star'. Don't your littles just LOVE singing songs?? Just click on the star and it will take you over there! Since I have yet to try having a Student of the Day, I would love to hear from you all on how you use this in your classroom, including on how you keep your littles enthusiastic!! <star graphic from Ashley Hughes at The School Supply Addict>
On a non-school-related note, today I had an amazing time with my nephew Mason. We took kayaking lessons!! I cannot tell you how SUPER FUN it was!! Mason did such an amazing job, and the instructors told us we were naturals!! I'm slightly more pink than I was when we started out this morning, but it was so totally worth it! We learned the correct technique for paddling forwards and backwards, as well as how to stop, turn, and rotate. After practicing in a small lagoon, we then headed out onto the lake. We glided past several egrets and blue herons, close enough that we could see its eyes. Our paddles sent fish jumping and turtles sliding into the water. We even watched a water snake cruising along. That last part made me glad that I wasn't swimming in the water!! While we floated peacefully near the reeds, my nephew spotted an egret stalking a fish. As we watched, the sunlight sparkled across the water like diamonds. After the egret speared his catch (which my nephew thought was AWESOME) he flew off right in front of us, carrying his catch away. I was thinking how incredibly peaceful it was at that moment, and was looking for a way to express how I was feeling about being so completely surrounded by nature. My nephew nailed it when he turned to me and said, 'Ennie, have you ever felt more alive?' I smiled and said, 'No, I sure haven't.' These are the moments that make life special, sometimes small but always treasured. I am so incredibly glad that I was able to have this experience with my nephew. We spent an hour kayaking and then an hour paddle boating. Needless to say, I skipped the gym today!! We are both looking forward to the next time we can get out there on the water, and I look forward to the next adventure with my nephew! What fun things have you done so far this summer? Anything you would recommend??