Jasper Roberts Consulting - Widget

January 13, 2016

Teaching about Martin Luther King Jr. to kinder, first, and second graders

It is no secret that Martin Luther King Jr is important to me. I have blogged about him several times because he is important to all of us. I teach at a very diverse school. VERY. My husband compliments my class every year when he says “Your class is like those gorgeous United Colors of Benetton ads” Make no mistake this is a compliment. My students are so pretty. Their parents hail from across the globe and they are stunning to look at and it a joy to listen to Nigerian, Indian, and every other accent too. Another thing that is stunning is the fact that without the sacrifice of Dr. King and other in the civil rights movement, my diverse students would not be allowed to be together.  My school of 33 languages, native homelands, and faces of every color that shine like the sun,  would not be possible without Dr. King. Gosh I love him and this is how I teach my students about this great man.
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I love starting any unit with a book, and in this case I let LaVar Burton kick off our MLK study with his reading of A Picture Book of Martin Luther King Jr.
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It’s just the color of my skin, not who I am:
I feel like the kids I teach are tender hearted and have not become jaded by bad experiences yet. They have been sheltered and are part of a happily diverse population. They are a bit shocked to learn that long ago the color of your skin decided your value and who you could become. In some cases, no matter how hard you worked or how good you were, you could not do certain things because of your skin color. We show how silly that is with an egg object lesson.
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We get cracking with some eggs all smiling and colorful. We crack one of each color and we talk about what we see.
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I will tell you that I allowed every child to crack open a REAL egg. It was a wonderful experience. The families were asked to send in an egg for their child. As a result the parents very already invested and curious as to what we were doing in class. It was an exciting week!!!! PS. eggs were sent in Ziploc bags and I sat in the office collecting them so they did not break.
My character is what matters most
It really does matter what’s inside, and we are not all the same. We are uniquely gifted, have different degrees of good and “not so good” character inside us.  So, how do we know if someone is filled with good or bad character? Can we look at their outside? Can we decide by their skin color, their clothes, their smile? No you have to get to know the person.
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I have them sort out all the possible character traits.
I put 3-5 slips of paper in each egg and the table group will judge the egg. I usually put at least 1 negative trait in each egg.
It’s important for kids to know that all of us are a mix of good and bad. We have to work hard to show our good character traits and control our negative ones.
Kids are so tender, so you really have to drive this point home! Everyone has a bit of bad inside wanting to take over. Self control and good choices are ways we can show and grow our good character!
This is such an important lesson that I end it with a very concrete way to be a friend and show good character.
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I love to read several books to the kids including my favorite Martin’s Big Words.
Then, I like them to do some reading on their own.
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We also read about Martin in our fluency passage for the week followed by a quiz. I need those informational reading grades in my grade book. How about you?
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OK,  now do you know Kid President? Of course you do because you are amazing. If you are just meeting him today from this post, then I have done my good deed for the day!!!! I love him. He does such a good job making MLK so accessible!
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Speaking of love, how about a little MLK Rap and putting on your dancing shoes!
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But here is the best part!!! The craft. Oh how I love this easy & sweet craft!
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We head back to You Tube to wrap up our week of MLK and watch the very beginning and very end of his speech. I think it’s important for kids to see the march. The peaceful singing, walking, and talking.  I think this helps them understand that MLK really meant “peace”. There was no yelling, throwing of bottles, or hitting. They walked and sang and changed history.
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On Friday, after we have learned everything we can learn, and our brains are tired and we so proud to be together as friends at the table of brotherhood, we sit down and watch this nice long movie. If you want to watch the movie I strongly encourage you to preview it. There are video clips of real events and it is hard to see some of the clips.
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I  hope that this post has brought some new material to your classroom. It’s always nice to teach with something new. It’s like a new shirt or dress… it’s just fun, fresh, and exciting! All my best to you.
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December 5, 2015

An encouragement to be real and build real friendships.

 I want to just share that I am forever in love with these two ladies. 

They have helped me to be the best mom, friend, and teacher-blogger I can by being real with me.  There are no secret lives or claims to perfection among us. This only happened because we were willing to be real with our pains and joys. In sharing our brokenness and disillusionment we heal each other. When we are real, there is growth. If I call them and tell them that I am overwhelmed, they instantly remind me to care for my family and myself first. Everything else is optional. When my sweet son has been wacky, they share their own stories of children gone wild. When I share a major moment, they stop what they are doing and grab the pom-poms and cheer.  We are ready to be there for each other. We  are ready to be real.

I share all of this with you as an encouragement. I'm not bragging or wearing my fancy pants. But I want the very best for you. I want to encourage you to open the gates to your heart with a safe person and share what is really going on. When you are with someone you trust, resist the urge to paint a pretty picture of your life, rather share your worries, heartaches, and joys.  Don't bash your family, but if a family member has broken your heart, tell a friend and allow them to come along-side you with a plan, a prayer, and hug.

November 15, 2015

Great Ideas for your classroom in November and December

Welcome to “The Chalkies” Turkey Trot! We hope you enjoy a jog through our blogs gobbling up freebies, ideas, and recipes for some holiday joy!
Slide1 - Copy This is my absolute favorite time of year! From Halloween right through New Year there is magic in the air. You can feel it ! The magic is tangible in all the music, songs, get-togethers, parties, and the frenzy of shopping. The kids can feel it too! They get very excited and lose their minds a little. We have the super-charged task of teaching them while keeping them from morphing into Santa-crazed kids. #WeCanDoThis
Here is one of my strategies and a freebie for you:
elf You can also use this little happy vs sad tracker to see how the day went and if they have more nice moments than naughty, then they earn an elf.
{see below}
After earning 10 elves or having 10 great days they can earn a reward.
Behavior Management Freebie
A table behaving like angels? Give them a container of “eyes”. Eye like what I see. That table lines up first or gets a candy.
Freebie for behavior management around Christmas
Is there and extra special student you would like to shout out?
Use these little notes to shout out great behavior! There are 4 to sheet.
Download now new
Slide1I know that this is such a no brainer but sun-shine calls during this busy and hectic time of the year can literally make a parent’s day. I make it a point to contact 1-2 parents a day. I keep the call sooooo short that it takes a total of minutes. In class,  I make a big deal about calling Little Liam’s mom. It is really a double dip too. Liam feels great, kids who are naughty know I am calling moms, and it make other kids hungry for their sunshine call. I keep track on this sheet.

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Friends nothing says Thanksgiving and Christmas like Cranberry fluff. Listen, it might look strange. I don’t think so, but my husband’s family thought it was totally weird when I brought it 13 years ago! They each took a teaspoon full of this delicious dish to be polite. They tasted it, again being polite, but asked for the dish to be passed again and again and again! This dish was empty at the end of the meal. Everyone loved it. Sweet from apples, sugar and marshmallows, tart from the cranberries, fluffy from Cool whip. I mean come on! What’s not to love! Plus, you make it the day before!!!! 
You need:
  • 3 apples cut into chunks (no need to peal them)
  • Bag of Cranberries
  • Sugar (1 cup)
  • Small Marshmallows
  • Cool Whip the big tub
The day before:
Zip- zap some apples and cranberries in a food processor, dump into Ziploc bag add sugar and mush around. Put in fridge. Also transfer the Cool Whip from the freezer to the fridge to defrost it.
The day of: Fold Cool Whip, marshmallows, and fruit goodness in a bowl. Then put into the serving dish. HEAVEN
Enjoy! If you want the recipe click the “download” button below.
Download now new
slide 6This winter I am getting my babies ready to ROCK and ROLL. This is what we are going to be doing in for our 2 minute fluency buddy reads, writing, and reading!
Slide2 Some fun supplemental pages to help kids understand how big the changes have been in transportation, communication, cooking, and entertainment.
I am lucky that my admin lets us support Santa. It makes December just a little more fun!
TpT Cover Big
In December we are going to rock out this fluency-reading, writing, and art.
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Here is a glimpse into January!!! January!!!! It will be here in the blink of an eye! I have this prepped and on my desk when I leave for Christmas break, so that I am not stressed about school over the holiday!
Click here for to go to Teachers Pay Teachers.


You are going to want to visit this smart lady! 
Trot on my teacher friend, trot on.

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