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Friday, June 28, 2013

Five Spare Minutes: X

X
(Busy Bodies)

EXercise

Can you clap? 1,2,3
Jumping Jacks.1,2,3
Tap your knee. 1,2,3
Giggle with glee. He he he!
Knees up high. 1,2,3
Hands in the sky. 1,2,3
Run in place. 1,2,3
Pick up the pace. 1,2,3. 1,2,3. 1,2,3. 1,2,3!!!
   
   

X Song
(Teaching, learning, giggling about, or illustrating a song is also a fun way to spend five minutes! The suggested tune for each of these ABC songs is the familiar tune, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Enjoy!)

X-ray pictures, excited,
Excuse me, please, I bumped your head;
Experts explain carefully,
Experiments are great to see.
"X’s"in words are fun to learn

Now you find one, it's your turn!

Five Spare Minutes: W

W
(Wonder what it’s like to be a detective? Activity)
 Who? What? When? Where? Why?

“I am thinking of something,” the teacher prompts.
“What does it do?” asks a student.
“When did you see one?” asks another student.
“Where does it live?” asks another.
“Who would use this or like this or want this?” asks another.
“Why were you thinking of this?” asks another.
This activity will encourage the students’ interest in and ability to ask detective style questions. All questions encouraged.
   
   

W Song
(Teaching, learning, giggling about, or illustrating a song is also a fun way to spend five minutes! The suggested tune for each of these ABC songs is the familiar tune, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Enjoy!)

Weasel, weather, whippoorwill,
Wishbone on my windowsill;
Winter, whisper, wallaby,
Walruses are fun to see.
"W" words, they are fun to learn

Now you find one, it's your turn!

Five Spare Minutes: V

V
(Language Arts Activity)
A Very, very, very, very Big Ongoing Story

The teacher starts telling a story. Each student must add a detail or two in turn, as this story continues and grows from day to day. Write this very big story down as it grows in a very big book so that students can read their own very work in progress story and feel very proudJ    
   

V Song
(Teaching, learning, giggling about, or illustrating a song is also a fun way to spend five minutes! The suggested tune for each of these ABC songs is the familiar tune, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Enjoy!)

Vacuum cleaner, valentine,
Vanilla ice cream’s mighty fine!
Vegetable and vitamin,
A victory will mean you win!

"V" words, they are fun to learn

Now you find one, it's your turn!

Five Spare Minutes: U

U
(Best Work Celebration)
Up and Up

Have a painted ladder in the classroom called the “Up and Up.” Each week (or month) have each student tie his or her favorite or best work on the ladder. “Are you on the Up and Up?”    
   

U Song
(Teaching, learning, giggling about, or illustrating a song is also a fun way to spend five minutes! The suggested tune for each of these ABC songs is the familiar tune, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Enjoy!)

Universe and uniform,
Unicycle, unicorn;
Ukulele’s fun to play,
Umbrella for a rainy day.
"U" words, they are fun to learn

Now you find one, it's your turn!

Five Spare Minutes: T

T
(Communication Activity)
Tie and Tell

Needed for this activity: many 7 X 1 inch pieces of fabric in assorted colors and patterns, and 1 wire coat hanger stretched and shaped into a circle.
Tie a fabric strip on the circle stretched wire coat hanger and then tell a story about whatever season or holiday you are near. Each student will have an opportunity to share a story, memory, project, tradition, or a favorite treat associated with that particular season or holiday and then tie a fabric strip on the circle hanger. Continue to “tie and tell” throughout all seasons and holidays during the school year. The finished project will be a colorful wreath.  
   

T Song
(Teaching, learning, giggling about, or illustrating a song is also a fun way to spend five minutes! The suggested tune for each of these ABC songs is the familiar tune, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Enjoy!)

Tip and tap and two by two,
Teddy bears are good for you;
Twirling, twisting, tambourine,
Turtle, tugboat, trampoline.
"T" words, they are fun to learn

Now you find one, it's your turn!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Five Spare Minutes: S

S
(Service/Kindness/Outreach Activity)
Sebastian Smiles

“Sebastian” is a class character who could be a puppet, a stuffed animal, or other similar inanimate favorite classroom friendJ. Sebastian loves to hear of kindnesses given or received, and hearing such news warms Sebastian’s heart and we know it makes Sebastian smile. Each student shares something he or she has done during that week to help someone at home, at school, in the neighborhood, or wherever they have been. It is very important to encourage students to recognize being kind and being helpful both in themselves and in others. In being deliberate about recognizing kindness, we will be nurturing compassionate behavior. “What have we done to make Sebastian smile this week?” Students are always very eager to share!   
   

S Song
(Teaching, learning, giggling about, or illustrating a song is also a fun way to spend five minutes! The suggested tune for each of these ABC songs is the familiar tune, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Enjoy!)

Simple, saddle, salad bar,
Sandbox, sandwich, shooting star;
See-saw, spaceship, shine, and sheep,
School and snail and sky and sleep.
"S" words, they are fun to learn

Now you find one, it's your turn!

Five Spare Minutes: R

R
(Cooperative Game)
Ready, Set, Pass!

Have students sit in a circle. Have paper plate for them to pass around the circle, hand to hand and very carefully; try not to drop it! Celebrate passing the plate all the way around with no dropping and careful passing. Second time the plate goes around the circle, put one cotton ball on it. Don’t let it fall! Third time add a paper clip. Fourth time, pass it around in the opposite direction. Fifth time, time them; trying to be very careful and yet, very quick! Must work together. Must cooperate!
   

R Song
(Teaching, learning, giggling about, or illustrating a song is also a fun way to spend five minutes! The suggested tune for each of these ABC songs is the familiar tune, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Enjoy!)

Rabbit, raccoon, rooster, row,
Radish, reindeer, radio;
Rainbow, rainstorm, referee,
Riddle, rowboat, run with me!
"R" words, they are fun to learn

Now you find one, it's your turn!

Five Spare Minutes: Q

Q
(Language Arts Game)
Quick Rhyme

I say cat. You say… (rat, sat, hat, bat, etc)
I say pan. You say… (can, fan, tan, man, etc) And so on.
One student at a time shares the “quick rhyme” rhyming word.
   

Q Song
(Teaching, learning, giggling about, or illustrating a song is also a fun way to spend five minutes! The suggested tune for each of these ABC songs is the familiar tune, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Enjoy!)

Quarterback and quarter horse,
Question mark, and quick, of course;
Quiet, quilt, and Queen Anne’s Lace,
Quartet sings with four in place.
"Q" words, they are fun to learn

Now you find one, it's your turn!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Five Spare Minutes: P

P
(Communication Activity)
Puppets

  With the students, make and collect a wide variety of puppets throughout the year. Sock puppets, paper plate puppets, wooden spoon puppets, paint stirring stick puppets, and finger puppets are just a few examples. Use a puppet or two in a five minute window to give a news report about what you have done so far today in your classroom and what you are looking forward to doing after lunch. Each one is able to choose his or her favorite puppet when it’s time to be the reporter.   

P Song
(Teaching, learning, giggling about, or illustrating a song is also a fun way to spend five minutes! The suggested tune for each of these ABC songs is the familiar tune, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Enjoy!)

Popcorn, pizza, pumpkin pie,
Paper airplanes in the sky,
Pandas, parrots, penguins play,
Polar bears can swim all day.
"P" words, they are fun to learn

Now you find one, it's your turn!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Five Spare Minutes: O

O
(Art Activity)
Ongoing Mural

  Have a big sheet of paper with a thematic or seasonal picture drawn on it.  Have the students add coloring, painting,… a variety of detail work to the mural. Then, when it is dry, roll it back up so that it is ready for another day.  

O Song
(Teaching, learning, giggling about, or illustrating a song is also a fun way to spend five minutes! The suggested tune for each of these ABC songs is the familiar tune, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Enjoy!)

Over, out and off and on,
Otters have a lot of fun;
Outside, open, operate,
Ostriches can’t roller skate!
"O" words, they are fun to learn

Now you find one, it's your turn!

Five Spare Minutes: N

N
(Nurturing Writing)
Note Home

  With envelopes and pretend stamps on hand, give each student a piece of paper and have them each create an “I love you” Note to be “sent” (taken) home that day.  

N Song
(Teaching, learning, giggling about, or illustrating a song is also a fun way to spend five minutes! The suggested tune for each of these ABC songs is the familiar tune, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Enjoy!)

Noodle, nickel, neighbor, too,
Nectarines are good for you,
Nap and name and nature sights,
Nest, nose, necktie, northern lights.
"N" words, they are fun to learn

Now you find one, it's your turn!

Five Spare Minutes: M

M
(Maps Are Fun!)

  Put up a huge Map and point out a few easily distinguishable features, such as: water, islands, land, mountains, etc.  Invite students to come up one at a time to find some of these things.

M Song
(Teaching, learning, giggling about, or illustrating a song is also a fun way to spend five minutes! The suggested tune for each of these ABC songs is the familiar tune, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Enjoy!)

Moms and maps and manatees,
Mistletoe and maple trees,
Mouse and moose, mosquito, too,
There’s a milk mustache on you!
"M" words, they are fun to learn

Now you find one, it's your turn!

Five Spare Minutes: L

L
(A Listening and Listing Game)

  Listen!  Listen!  Listen!  Be absolutely silent for about thirty seconds. Then list every little sound that was heard. 

L Song
(Teaching, learning, giggling about, or illustrating a song is also a fun way to spend five minutes! The suggested tune for each of these ABC songs is the familiar tune, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Enjoy!)

Lions, leopards, lizards, look,
Learning lessons from a book,
Lambs and lamps and ladybugs,
Little labs on little rugs.
"L" words, they are fun to learn

Now you find one, it's your turn!

Five Spare Minutes: K

K
(Imagination Game)
 Kettle of Soup
Kettle of Soup
Time to Begin
Kettle of Soup
Kettle of Soup
What are you putting in?

  Kettle’s on! In turn, each student names one ingredient to put in imaginary soup. Teacher writes down ingredient and amount needed on recipe card and student comes up to place ingredient in kettle.  After all students have had a turn to add an ingredient, teacher reads back recipe to students and the class chooses a name for the soup.   

K Song
(Teaching, learning, giggling about, or illustrating a song is also a fun way to spend five minutes! The suggested tune for each of these ABC songs is the familiar tune, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Enjoy!)

Kettle, ketchup, kangaroo,
Kindness shown from me to you;
Kitchen, keeper of the keys,
Kid, koalas up in trees.
"K" words, they are fun to learn

Now you find one, it's your turn!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Five Spare Minutes: J

J
(Physical Game)
 Jazzy Gestures (or Move to the Music)

A rousing game of  Jazzy Gestures is always met with great Jubilation and excellent unbridled free-form moving regardless of the grade level involved; everyone loves to play this! I play snippets of a wide variety of musical styles, tempos, moods and the students have to move the way the music sounds or makes them feel. When the music stops, they must absolutely freeze and wait for the next snippet to start, and so on. The music can be stopped and started many times to encourage attentiveness. The more dramatic the change in musical styles, the more creativity the students will show in their moving.   

J Song
(Teaching, learning, giggling about, or illustrating a song is also a fun way to spend five minutes! The suggested tune for each of these ABC songs is the familiar tune, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Enjoy!)

Jelly beans and jumping jacks,
June, July are back to back,
Jam and joy and jog and jar,
Jupiter is very far.
"J" words, they are fun to learn

Now you find one, it's your turn!

Five Spare Minutes: I

I
(Imagination Game)
 Imagine…

 I  say, “It’s time to imagine. Close your eyes and see this in your imagination. A beach. Imagine a beach on a warm sunny day. Imagine an ocean, huge and full of waves. Imagine a castle made out of sand, a bright colored beach ball, and many very happy people playing. What can your imagination add to this scene? What can you see at the beach in your imagination?”    

I Song
(Teaching, learning, giggling about, or illustrating a song is also a fun way to spend five minutes! The suggested tune for each of these ABC songs is the familiar tune, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Enjoy!)

Icy, itchy, it and in,
Make ice cream cones watch fun begin!
Icicles on igloos grow,
Good ideas, good to know.
"I" words, they are fun to learn

Now you find one, it's your turn!

Five Spare Minutes: H

H
(Helping Activity)
 Help The Janitor

 Have each student find ten things on the floor to throw away. Have each student wipe off desks or tables with wet wipes. Have each student place all stray books and toys in bins and on shelves where they belong. Helping others builds compassion.    

H Song
(Teaching, learning, giggling about, or illustrating a song is also a fun way to spend five minutes! The suggested tune for each of these ABC songs is the familiar tune, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Enjoy!)

Happy, hopping, hippos, hoe,
Holidays they come and go,
Hurry, helping, hoping, hay,
Hero, hearts, hip-hip hooray!
"H" words, they are fun to learn

Now you find one, it's your turn!

Five Spare Minutes: G

G
(Drama Game)
 Gloves

 Gather enough white and/or black sock gloves so that each student can wear a pair. They are inexpensive to buy, magical to wear, and simple for the teacher to bring home and wash each weekend. The gloves are great for copying hand motions, doing finger plays, or enacting simple pantomimed stories. We learned a song in sign language and performed it with white gloves on for our parents at a Kindergarten Program.   

G Song
(Teaching, learning, giggling about, or illustrating a song is also a fun way to spend five minutes! The suggested tune for each of these ABC songs is the familiar tune, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Enjoy!)

Grape and get and goose and grow,
Say “giddy up!” your horse will go;
Grandmas, Grandpas giggle, too,
Giant grapefruit, good for you.
"G" words, they are fun to learn

Now you find one, it's your turn!

Five Spare Minutes: F

F
(Language Arts Activity)
Noun or Verb Field Trip Around The School

Set out to Find specific people, places, or things as you silently walk around the halls of school. These “things” you find are known as nouns. On another Field Trip on another day, set out to find people doing specific activities such as: reading, playing, cleaning, singing, working, listening, etc. These “doing” things are known as verbs.   

F Song
(Teaching, learning, giggling about, or illustrating a song is also a fun way to spend five minutes! The suggested tune for each of these ABC songs is the familiar tune, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Enjoy!)

Fish and frogs and flips and flies,
Friends all sharing fresh French fries,
Fall and feast and flowers all,
Feet and fingers big and small.
"F" words, they are fun to learn

Now you find one, it's your turn!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Five Spare Minutes: E

E
(Science Game of Observation)
Examine An Item

 Eyes Engaged! Choose any item to show to the students; i.e. a flower, a scissors, a coffee mug, a book,… Each student must describe the item with one word. List the descriptive words. Read the words back to the students. Ask them if there are any other words to add to the list.  

E Song
(Teaching, learning, giggling about, or illustrating a song is also a fun way to spend five minutes! The suggested tune for each of these ABC songs is the familiar tune, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Enjoy!)

Elevator, elegant,
Eggs and eels, an elephant,
Escalator, elbows, too,
Eagles fly in skies so blue.
"E" words, they are fun to learn

Now you find one, it's your turn!

Five Spare Minutes: D

D
(Art Game)
Doodle Draw Picture

 Draw a simple, random, non-descript doodle mark on each student’s paper. Have each student put on an imaginary imagination hat and turn that doodle mark into…something we might see outside in the summer, something we might see in your kitchen, something we might see that is fast, something we might see during a certain upcoming holiday, something tall, etc.

D Song
(Teaching, learning, giggling about, or illustrating a song is also a fun way to spend five minutes! The suggested tune for each of these ABC songs is the familiar tune, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Enjoy!

Dogs and doodles, doughnuts, too
Doorbells, drumsticks, morning dew,
Driving, dripping, diving in,
Digging, dropping, dorsal fin.
"D" words, they are fun to learn

Now you find one, it's your turn!

Five Spare Minutes: C

C
(Math Game)
Copy Count

I count to three first, then the students copy by counting to three. I count to four, they count to four. I count to ten in a high, squeaky voice, they copy. I count by tens in a low voice, they copy. I count to seven in a slow voice, then turn 1 circle and clap, they copy. And so on.

C Song
(Teaching, learning, giggling about, or illustrating a song is also a fun way to spend five minutes! The suggested tune for each of these ABC songs is the familiar tune, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Enjoy!

Cotton candy, capes, a cap
Cows and cats and things like that
Clouds and clover, clean cut hair
Clap your hands and always care.
"C" words, they are fun to learn

Now you find one, it's your turn!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Five Spare Minutes: B

B
(Drama Game)

Become a tree statue, a rock, a spoon, a circle, a smile, a cloud, an ice cream cone, a star, etc...

B Song
(Teaching, learning, giggling about, or illustrating a song is also a fun way to spend five minutes. The suggested tune for each of these ABC songs is the familiar tune, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Enjoy!)

Bugs and bags and balls and bats
Big balloons and baseball hats
Bears and buckets, bakery bread
Big blue blankets on blue beds.
B words, they are fun to learn
Now you find one, it's your turn!
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Five Spare Minutes: A

A
(Imagination Game)

Announce that a king or queen might very well pay a visit. How exactly would you stand up and introduce yourself? i.e. "Your Majesty, (with a big bow) my name is Michael Jacob Miller IV, and I am very pleased to meet you." Each student introduces him or herself.

A Song
(Teaching, learning, giggling about, or illustrating a song is also a fun way to spend five minutes! The suggested tune for each of these ABC songs is the familiar tune, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Enjoy!

Animals and applesauce
Apricots are good for us
Airplanes also automobiles
Some have wings and all have wheels
"A" words, they are fun to learn
Now you find one, it's your turn!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Challenging the Treasure...Through Pre-Performance Jitters

Challenging the Treasure…Through Pre-Performance Jitters
“How many are out there waiting for the curtain to open?” hesitantly queried a slightly nerve-stricken first grader.
“Looks like a million, cuz I just peeked,” her not-so-reassuring best friend co-cast member cringed.
“A million or one, it makes no difference as long as you look over their heads and project to the exit sign on the back wall. Just whatever you do, don’t look into their eyes cuz that’s when you forget everything,” sprightly piped in the resident class aspiring Broadway star.
“I feel sick. Really, really sick. Oooooo, my stomach!”  whimpered the friends.
***Pause the story***
This is not an unusual conversation to have or to hear backstage just prior to a performance. The rumbling tightness in a tummy before a show, sometimes called butterflies, sometimes called stage fright, sometimes called the jitters, is just the adrenalin running through the body getting a performer ready to do his or her very best by focusing attention on all that must be remembered. Understanding this and performing through the tummy tightness is very empowering and confidence boosting regardless of the age of the performer. The subsequent uproarious applause is glorious and affirming and is truly a sound everyone needs to hear as a recipient at some point in their lives, for the echoes of applause ripple through one’s memory forever. Thirty years of writing, directing, and accompanying children’s musical plays have given me an excellent glimpse into the power of the performing arts to reach, touch, and transform a child, a cast, an audience, a director. Perfection? That’s never the goal; never even mentioned.  Collaboration, cooperation, full participation, and best efforts all around comprise  the perfectly worthy and always attained expectations.
***Resume the story***
“Deep breath. Think about all of our practices and remember how good you all are together. We’re a team. And we’re fabulous. Your families and friends can’t wait to see all that you all know!”  cheered this teacher.
Just as our rumbling tummy tightness group was focusing on preparing to cast their eyes above the audience heads and in the process forgetting the rumbling, which by the way focusing does, the backstage door burst open and in sprinted a very panicky first grade cast member mother.
“Jane has the chicken pox; the doctor just confirmed it. She’s devastated. And I am so so very sorry. I have to run, she’s in the car,” gasped the mom as she turned and dashed out stage left.
“Send her a hug from us,” we offered to the whoosh that was her mother exiting.
Backstage silence. Ashen-faced cast. Wide-eyed shock. Breathless pause on the brink of tears.  Jane was the lead forest animal and had a solo to sing.
This teacher dared the question, “Who can do Jane’s part?”
Momentary backstage silence filled with dubious anticipation weighed rather heavily on the question, until a soft, unexpected voice in the very back simply said, “I can. I will do my part, and I can do Jane’s, too. I learned everyone’s lines.”  Focus returned. The show went on. Confidence soared. And the chicken pox ran its course.


    



Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Where Does an Idea Start? by Darcy Hill

Inspiring the Treasure.
 A new idea. Creativity. Imagination. Wonderment.
 Deliberation. Contemplation. Boldness.
 Leap of faith. Vulnerability.
 An original thought.
Problem solving.
Confidence.
Time to believe.
Time to try.
A dream.
This absolutely must be the workbench available to each and every student, for within each amazing student mind are dreams and the hopeful promising ideas for making the dreams come true. Unique, original, hopeful, promising ideas that no one else on the planet has ever imagined. How dare we not listen. How dare we not hear.  Standardized lockstep with its metrics-driven timing and content constraints will crush the spirit of wonder which requires thought meandering time and gentle, continual encouragement towards individual and collaborative inquiry. Where does an idea really start?
Where does an idea start? How does an idea grow?
Deep in the mind of a day-dreaming kind, ohhh.
What is the promise of yes? What is the wonder of go?
Time to get started all doubt is discarded, ohhh.
Sing a new song. Write a new story. Make something no one’s ever seen.
Build an invention. Design an experiment. Create something that has never been.
Where does an idea start? How does an idea  grow?
Deep in the mind of a day-dreaming kind, ohhh.
What is the promise of yes? What is the wonder of go?
Time to get started all doubt is discarded, ohhh.
 (lyrics and music by Darcy Hill, sung by students on the youtube clip)
On this topic, please enjoy the musings of giants as shared by elementary students on the youtube clip posted on today’s blog.     http://youtu.be/iv0DXrtOwp8


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tending the Treasure

Tending the treasure.  Each classroom is a miraculous treasure box filled with infinite, marvelous treasure, and that sparkling treasure is the students. Uniquely wired, uniquely gifted, unique in every conceivable way, these precious students enter our classrooms and our hearts unknowingly seeking the unique gifts we possess in order that they might be inspired to reach, stretch, grow, dream, and imagine. Their confidence, their compassion, their success will be their future and ours, as well. Not long ago, I asked an elementary class, “Is love a dessert or a vegetable?” After considerable discussion, the entire class responded, “Both, because desserts are delicious and fun, and vegetables are something you need.” “Okay,” I said, “Is love winter or summer?” “Both,” they replied again. “Winter because it draws you close in hugs to keep warm and summer because it makes your heart feel free and joyful.” We questioned and answered for a lovely long time. Each one fully engaged and bubbling to the brim with clever, divergent responses.  The children never ran out of ideas. They never ran out of enthusiasm for chasing and concocting creative solutions to questions. They never ever ran out of imagination; children don’t you know. Inexhaustible. Boundless.  This is fortunate, for one day these inventive minds will be required to help solve the complexities of life facing us all. So we stir the fire that lights their eyes, their imaginations, and causes them to believe in and use the great gifts planted in the rich soil of their hearts. Treasure. Here is the treasure.   For the duration of but one school year, we are charged with the privilege and immense responsibility of caring for and cultivating the treasure entrusted to our keeping, bravely leading them on captivating and daring adventures through every content area and sometimes simply gathering them all in closely together on the reading rug for a magic carpet ride through the pages of a book.    

Monday, June 17, 2013

Where do I begin?

Where do I begin? Thirty years of teaching have filled my heart and mind with indelible images of hope, despair, success, struggle, epiphany, drudgery, rapturous jubilation, debilitating grief, whimsy, standardization, and every in-between adjective and superlative depicting life in general and life in a classroom specifically. The more you see, the more you learn, the more you know, the more you realize that although life changes, circumstances change, strategies change, and styles change, human nature remains quite the same. The students of whatever age entrusted to our care long to be known with the unique gifts they possess, long to be safe and tenderly cared for, inspired to learn, challenged and held accountable to grow, given opportunities to serve and share, and celebrated when they achieve. Teaching will forever be about this, and anything less would be superficial, meaningless, and sad. Life has indeed become increasingly complicated, complex, and hectic, therefore, now more than ever, we teachers must affirm our students toward confidence and security as we lead them toward new and exciting doors of discovery and windows of wonder. It's an amazing time to be a teacher; the responsibility is immense, the promise is brilliant. Where do I begin? I begin with the students.