January 3

Have you noticed how big the moon is right now?

I have noticed the moon for several nights; it is so big and so bright.  When you lie in bed at night, it looks like someone has switched on a light outside.  As I drove to work early this morning, I could still see the moon and it was huge and round.  I can’t remember seeing it look so big. ‘“Supermoons” happen when a full Moon is closest to the Earth, appearing bigger and brighter than normal.’ – CBBC, January 3rd 2018.

Have you heard the saying, “Once in a blue moon”?  I just found out what it means – it means you have a supermoon twice in one month.  The second supermoon of the month is called the blue moon.  It doesn’t happen often, which is what the saying means.  This month however we’re going to have a Super Bluemoon  which is a supermoon and a bluemoon.  Wow!

 

April 5

Perseverance

Perseverance is an important character trait. It means having enough self control and drive to keep trying; without it we would give up too easily and not grow to reach our potential. It is not easy to persevere when things are difficult – perhaps your school work is difficult, or a friendship you’re trying to maintain is difficult, or you want to do a particular activity but it’s difficult. There are lots of things in our lives that are hard and having perseverance means you accept that it’s hard but you keep on trying.

 

April 4

Writing Poetry

Recently we have been writing poetry.  We considered thoughtful descriptions, figurative language, line breaks and punctuation.  It has been fun sharing our poems; listening to each others’ has inspired even more poems to be written.  

Tree

Standing tall
dark green
dappled
with deep shadow.
Glimpses of sunlit boughs
as the wind
stirs your branches;
tickling your leaves
you tremble with great majesty.

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March 9

Building Empathy

Empathy means you can truly understand how someone feels.  It doesn’t mean sympathy – where you feel sorry for someone.  When you feel empathy, it can be hard because you share the feelings of that other person.  If they’re unhappy, you know what it feels like.  However, if they’re happy, you also know how that feels.

Last week a large group of teachers, and high school students, worked together to brainstorm ways to help students in school learn empathy.  In my group, we had lots of ideas which we put together under three categories: Open Communication, Relationship Building and Ownership.  We felt that if you had the first two categories, it would lead to Ownership.

Building empathy in schools will help students to be more successful because in life, we all have to relate to other people.  If you understand how someone feels, you are more likely to be able to resolve difficulties without them growing worse.  Open communication means you can feel that you can express yourself and someone will listen; it means they can speak to you and you will listen.  If someone tells you calmly how they feel, it is much less antagonistic than if they yell at you because you’ve accidentally upset them.  You listen to each other and you respect each others’ feelings.  Relationship Building makes everyone feel valued.  It helps you to understand that no-one is perfect, we all have strengths and flaws and we should share our differences as well as our similarities.  Students and teachers should feel equally comfortable with each other and respect and trust each other.  If these first two categories are in place, then students will feel a sense of Ownership – this means they will feel in charge of their own learning.  I believe that when students feel this, they are motivated and more likely to push themselves to succeed.  They won’t be scared to ask for support or to ask questions.  They will understand why learning will help them and they will have more choices in what they learn and how they learn.

February 16

Shorter and Shorter Stories

Our challenge was to write a story in 50 words – about a time when we had burst out laughing.  The next challenge was to cut the number of words in half!

48 words:

In December, I flew home from Edinburgh. I watched the movie, Me Before You.  I had headphones on and just suddenly burst out laughing.  Ian said, ‘shhh…’ nudging me, indicating the other passengers. But I still couldn’t help it.  I laughed until tears flowed. Until the story changed…

24 words:

December, flying home from Edinburgh, watching Me Before You.  I laughed, loudly.  Ian said, ‘shhh…’  I laughed until tears flowed. Until the story changed…