Thursday, November 05, 2009

What's In Your Bucket?

Yesterday was one of those days that, as a teacher, I think I might have actually made a difference. No, I didn't review the 8 parts of speech like I had planned. And no, we didn't review a TAKS practice test like I had written in my lessons. What? No TAKSing? I know, I know.

But what we did today, I hope, will be something my students will keep forever and remember even more than prepositions or punctuation, commas or conjunctions.

Today, my students blogged about their bucket lists. Have you seen the movie, The Bucket List with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson? I haven't, but it's on my list of movies to rent. But this morning, as I was searching for a journal topic online for my Pre-DC students, I stumbled across one that said something about writing down 10 things you would like to do before you die. And that got me thinking.

And here we are.

Writing our bucket lists.

I showed them the movie trailer first and explained what a bucket list was. And then sent them to this website to get their minds going.

And then they wrote for 30 minutes. Quietly. Yes, I said it...quietly. And intently. With focus.

I have to admit, I really was expecting lots of questions and misgivings. 

The inevitable, "I don't know what to write," and "Ms., I'm confused, I don't wanna do nuthin'."

That's what I get for assuming.  What they say is definitely true.  

To my pleasant surprise, they began sharing their ideas and thoughts. And by the end of the class they had thirty, forty, and fifty of them written down.

And I can't wait to read each and every one of them.  If you would like to read them, go HERE and look in the sidebar for the class periods.  Just click on any of the names you wish. 

It is days like this that keep teachers everywhere doing what they do; for that one moment every once in a while, where you really feel like you have done something that will make a difference in 5 or 10 years.

I teach for those moments.
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  1. What an awesome idea!! Makes me want to make a bucket list of my own!! Glad it was a great day!

  2. Okay, so I have been reading your blog for a while, but I have never commented...until now. I clicked on your link and started reading some of your students bucket lists. I LOVE that you have them blogging. I don't think anything could be more awesome. I wish blogging would have been around when I was that age and to have the chance look back to see where you were, what you were focussed on, thinking, etc. woulc be pretty neat.

    Anyway, kudos to you for doing what you do. I definitely think teachers like you make a difference more than you will ever know. (oh, and I found your blog through Kimberly H.)

  3. How crazy that you wrote this post. I was thinking that it would make a good for myself. Just hadn't made it there yet. But, for your students in a very fun idea. I love it!! I love to get them thinking. What I love most is that yes, you did make a difference. had nothing to do with grammar or TAKS. I love those moments when I feel like I have made a difference in a student's life. Have a great weekend!!!

  4. What a fun idea, but I am a little disappointed. I thought you would include YOUR Bucket List in this post....Have you already done that? It seems like maybe you have??? I don't remember. If it didn't happen this morning I have already forgotten it!

    It is pretty amazing when for those few moments you see that lightbulb burning in their heads, isn't it!?!?!

  5. It amazes me how at that age kids seem to have dreams and look forward to doing so many things with their lives. We come across people all the time that say 'oh, I wish I did this...but we didn't have the money....we had kids instead...i don't get enough vacation time...we'll do it next year'. i commend you for giving these kids the opportunity to think about their futures (and what fun is potentially in store for them)...i'm sure one day they remember the list and be reminded of your inspiration, not the missed TAKS practice test!

  6. This, my dear friend, is what teaching is all about. The "once in a while" shining moments!!


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