Friday, May 9, 2014

To wrap up my project, I actually met the students I have been writing to! They were all so sweet, and since many of them had been losing baby teeth, I read them Arthur Looses A Tooth. After I read, they got to ask me questions, which got pretty interesting. The teacher had to remind them to ask appropriate questions (I don't need 30 eight year old kids to know where I live). They all acted like I was some kind of rockstar when they found out that I drive myself to school everyday. I got some pretty great stories about what they would do when they are old enough to drive (McDonald's anyone?). I got to tell them about my high school experience and why I chose the college I am going to in the fall (Go Blue!). I hope that I made a positive impact and that this learning activity was a fun experience for them!

Monday, April 7, 2014

How do you define failure?

  • Failure is being displeased with the effort you've made and the product you've created. In my own life, I've failed at several things - sometimes being a good friend, anytime I'm forced to do anything athletic, and I tend to put off important work until the last minute (so, time management failure?). It's important to remember that you can't let failure make you cynical or feel inferior, because failing at something is part of life. 
    Here's the thing: Failure is always an option! But it's okay to fail because you're a human and that's what humans do. You just have to choose how you react to it. (Thanks,
How do you define success?
  • Success is being happy with the effort you've made and the product you've created. In my own life, I've been successful at many things - my schoolwork, volunteer work, being a leader (whether it's at my church or in marching band) or artistically (glass-work and calligraphy!). Success is achieved through intentional decisions to make an effort. 
    Success is also aimlessly jumping across dangerous gaps in the desert at dusk, apparently. Thanks stock images! 
I am definitely more inclined to be motivated by my successes than my failures. Success leads me to be more confident in my decisions and the things I create. Even though I know it's important to be optimistic about failure, when I fail, I become a little upset. That itself becomes another failure because I that's not the response I want to have. It's cycle that can be broken by the deliberate choice to remember that failing is okay and forgiving yourself. 

My goal for this project is to connect with younger kids to make them like writing and give them an interesting project instead of boring assignments. So far, I have been successful in engaging the students in letter-writing. Lately, I have been failing to respond in a timely manner. It usually takes me almost a week to respond, when I know it should only take a few days. I need to be more consistent with my writing. At the end of this project, I will know I'm successful if I've engaged the kids in active learning that will foster love of knowledge.  

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Recent Letters

One thing I have learned while doing this project is that kids make cute drawings on their letters...they also tend to make HILARIOUS misspellings and sentences when they write. This is three series of letters in one post because I'm lazy and tend to procrastinate! YAY! 
They were to write: 1. Why they were excited for spring. 2. Their favorite book 3. Their favorite book character. Obviously, I'm going to post the gems. You're welcome. 
This young gentleman drew Spiderman "slinging webs"/shooting an arrow? (I've never seen Spiderman). 

In case you can't read this, her favorite character is Jasmine. Which is pretty cool, cause you know, this girl's name is also Jasmine. A bit of an ego, we've got there, huh Jasmine? 
Oh, you can't wait for spring so you can get "semthig"? Well if that something is a mop for spring cleaning, hay fever, and an middle-aged man in a disheveled bunny costume, then you sure are right, Anastasia! #yayspring?

"My favorite book is Horse. I like it because it teck (???) you about Horse. What is your favorite boob?"
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA............Okay! Well, that's a little personal, Lillian.
(Also, everything is a horse.)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Why is she learning about driving? I think maybe I'll stay off the roads for a while. 

I vote Jonn most likely to be writing in Greek without anyone noticing.  
Jacob's style is minimalist. 

Xavier wins the award for most colorful.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Dear Class,

During the school day, I have five classes. My first class is Psychology. In that class, we study what makes people behave a certain way. My second hour is English. Right now we are reading a novel and writing a research paper about the author of the novel. Then I go to Physics. That’s where I learn about motion, like speeding up and slowing down. In Physics, I am learning about graphs, just like you! After lunch, I go to Band, where I play the flute. We are getting ready for a competition right now. My fifth hour is Calligraphy, which is where I learn about fancy writing with pen and ink. I can’t wait to hear from you again!


I have received the latest letter from the class, and they wrote to me about what they are learning in school. Right now, most of them are learning about graphs in math. They asked what I am learning, and that is what will be what my next letter is about. 

I chose this as my genius hour project because I always thought it was cool in elementary school when an older student would come and teach us something. Even though I'm not physically visiting their classroom, I hope that writing these letters will keep them interested in their writing (because we all know that letter form and comma placement are just riveting to a group of 8 year olds) and give them something to look forward to each week. 

The planning for this is rather simple - I email my letter to the teacher on Monday, then on Friday she gives the letters the students wrote to a friend of mine who also works at the school. 

In the three letters I've written so far, I've learned how to explain things to younger kids. Sometimes it's hard to put things in terms a second grader would understand, especially when trying to explain why I'm taking Calligraphy or Physics in school. 

My next letter will be up soon, so be sure to check this blog!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Dear students,
I have some of the same hobbies as you! I like to read, play with my friends, and play card games, just like some of you said in your letters. I also like to bake and decorate cakes. I took a class at JoAnn’s in December so I could learn how to make flowers and decorations for my cakes. I am also taking a class in school called Calligraphy. Calligraphy is a type of fancy writing that uses ink and special pens. I can’t wait to read your next letters!

I included two pictures to show the kids. One is a picture of a cake I made for a New Year's party, and the other is a poem I copied in Calligraphy for a Christmas present.