Stuart's Spectacular Students

This is dedicated to my amazing students. The goal is for each and every one of them to feel unstoppable by the time they walk out of the classroom door for the final time in May. This chronicles their journey; their own Chronicles of Self-Actualization.

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Friday, March 30, 2007

Memories Made on Friday

Congrats to all who made the final class elections, even more so for all those who had the courage to try and didn't make it. Remember how Abe Lincoln lost MANY times before he succeeded. As you study history, really study how successful people achieved their success. It appears the more temporary "failure" one is willing to go through, the greater their long-term success is.

Ryan - You and I talking about my story I'm writing about my father called "I Met a Man". I told you it will make him tear up. Then I confessed it makes me tear up when I hear it in my head.

You allowed words of wisdom to pass from your lips, as you said, "Real men can tear up". Your father must be a real man for you to have said this, and you definitely are in the process of becoming one.

You and I share the ability to feel greatly, to feel deeply. You are very good at your core, and all others around you will feel your "light" (now I know why calling you "The Light of Ryan" came to me. It's even more than just how your eyes shine).

With this wonderful gift you can give to others, making their lives better simply by your presence, please become as marketable as possible, so your skills put you in an influential position in the world. We need people like you.

Have a great weekend my young scholars. Read lots, play lots, and have fun doing both.

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Mad Monkey Locker Mess - Hint

Well, no one's right so far.

But one of you is on the right track.

So before we move on to the next monkey math adventure,

let's return to this once more.

HINT: Look for a developing pattern

I know, not much of a clue, because it makes your hair stand on end when I don't TELL YOU WHAT to do (except learn to think for yourself and ask yourself THE RIGHT questions).

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

IT'S NOT BRIDGET! When the school news asked for applicants for the TV show, I asked you all to raise your hands if you were afraid of applying; either because you were afraid you wouldn't be chosen, or you were afraid you would be.

When the ones who did raised your hands, I suggested you apply anyway. If you didn't "FACE YOUR FEARS" now, it would only get harder to do it as you grew up. I passed along learning I've gained from great people like Plato and Eleanor Roosevelt, and passed it along to you all in hopes of helping you become the greatness I see inside of you. Bridget, you said you would, but only wanted to work behind the camera.

You were chosen, and for the past three mornings have been ON the news, IN FRONT of the camera. I don't know where you got your courage from, but I'm glad you chose to focus on your courage versus fear.

Not only are you becoming more each day by doing this, you are HAVING FUN doing it. You can see it in your smile and your energy literally comes through the camera to everyone watching, making us want to hear what you have to say.

You reminded me of the importance of choosing to be happy, to just "go with it", even when you might be scared to death of what you are doing. Now I think of Plato, Roosevelt, and Frost when speaking on having courage.

Why do I get the strong feeling that Robert Frost, the poet and writer, won't be the only Frost people remember?

And that goes for ALL of you. You can't control your life if you don't control your thoughts.

Remember what the structure was that we came up with together this morning: In your comments include:

1. What you INTENDED to learn.
2. THE WAY you intended to learn it.
3. Have you constructed new learning because of this day and can honestly say, I AM MORE than when the day began? (some may even feel like half the globe is in, or on, their head)

Don't forget to include the resources you used throughout the day. Here Sandeep's Hammer and The Mighty Malcom have to move beyond the limits of their textbook and access resources outside the classroom via the internet. This is also reading, and expanding your mind.

"The size of your world is the size of your heart and mind." - Me. I said that! Yes. Me! (imitating King Julian from Madagascar)

Boys, and you know who you are, I want to know how you felt about me "barking" at you when I caught you playing but not learning. Work hard. Play Hard. There's time for both. There's a way to combine both. But you gotta be strong, man. You gotta be strong to do this, man! (I think I see why my mother said I should be training marines and not kids)

Now everybody be quiet. Shhhh! Who keeps making that noise? Oh, it's me again.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Becoming Independent Learners

I know it was only a day, but being back with you guys feels great. I really enjoy teaching you. I like that you can't help giving me a hug first thing, Kenny, even before I can finish saying good morning to Sofia.

My trip to Illinois was one of tremendous learning and growth for me. So to come back and discover all the learning you have done in my absence lets me know you are truly becoming independent learners.

A few shining examples of students DOING MORE than just what I had the sub ask you to do in class yesterday: (from the MATH QUIZ on Friday)

Summer - you created a terrific PowerPoint on the questions you missed. You recognize you are a visual learner and create more elaborate presentations than I do.

I have much to learn from you, Graphics Master, and need to figure out how to get these on the blog.

Mahrukh - you used the internet to find websites that showed you different ways to learn how to do the problems you didn't understand.

You are our webmaster, correctly using the web to surf for learning resources.

You are now.............Spider Girl!

Ryan & Briana - you both used the FCAT Explorer to find similar questions to the ones you missed. This is excellent! I see you as Great Thinkers.

Serena - you used a word document to quiz yourself on the ones you missed. This is exactly what I do to help me learn what I don't know. I had great success becoming fluent in Spanish this way, and now am applying it to Italian. We both go with what works for us.

*Remarkably, you got an "A" on the quiz but still chose to learn the little that you didn't know. You are truly unstoppable by making these kinds of "growth" choices. I can't tell you how excited I am to watch your future unfold for you, because YOU are conciously choosing what you want and taking action to make it happen.

Belle - although you got a poor grade on the quiz I wanted to take the time to discuss your real ability to "do" math. Many times being able to "do" math is confused with being able to memorize algorithms, or ways to answer problems correctly without really understanding the problem at all.

This is dangerous "learning" since in the real world you won't be given a set of ways to memorize to solve the problems you'll encounter. Those that thrive are those that can solve problems that others can't. To do this you have to UNDERSTAND the problem fully.

YOU CAN DO THIS! You were the first one to solve a college level math problem, meaning your brain operates very well at higher levels. This also means you CAN learn the simpler 5th grade problems, and I expect you to!!!!!!

I was proud to see how hard all of you worked today. MALCOLM you were definitely MIGHTY in your determination to solve the problems that challenged you. We worked hard together and fused our minds in coming up with the right answers!

Remember to try to think in terms of place value versus "columns" and you'll understand the problems better.

The classroom really became a learning playground today. It was so enjoyable. I'm going to miss you all next year (sniff, sniff, no.....I'm not crying......someone must be cutting up onions... =:-)

Click here to see all the pictures from today.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

The Poet in You

There is a poet in you
I know it to be true.

You may hear it in a rhyme
It may sing inside like a song

It could come out as normal talk
You may feel it isn't worth a lot

But to learn to express yourself in words
Is to fill your soul with gold.

*We'll work on this assignment Monday (How prepared and ORGANIZED am I?????)


Birthday and Best Luck Wishes Mrs. Stuart

To my sister-in-law, Kathryn, from the entire class:

on the

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Super Serena

I'm not a gambling man. I don't feel comfortable betting on sports teams because I'm not in there playing and I can't control the outcome of the game.

Serena is one player I would bet on. What I signed in her book says it all.

"To Serena, My first student to ever buy my first book. I have a strong feeling you will be first in many things........FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT???"


The Mad Monkey Locker Mess

Imagine you are at a school that still has student lockers. There are 1000 lockers, all shut and unlocked. Suppose the monkey goes along and opens every locker.

Then he goes along and shuts every other locker beginning with locker #2.

Then he goes along along and changes the state of every third locker beginning with locker #3.

In other words, if the locker is open, the monkey shuts it and if the locker is closed, the monkey opens it.

Then the monkey changes the state of every fourth locker beginning with locker #4.

If this continues until the monkey has followed this pattern 1000 times, which lockers will be open and which will be shut at end?



Monkey Madness Reflection

Belle and Esha were the first to come up with the answer. The least number of coconuts the sailors could have collected was 79.

Belle got it first and then Esha did before Belle was finished showing me how she got 79.

Dallas, Serena and Nick all got "A's" because of their involvement in playing out the possible scenarios.

Remember, the success comes from the struggle. "A+" for the struggle. EVERYONE was involved and engaged. As a result you were also GROWING as you CREATED new thought cells in your heads. You literally GREW SMARTER today, to the degree you were able to stay focused and hang with the problem.

Although this was a college-level math problem, it didn't mean you weren't capable of solving it. Even if you didn't come up with the right answer, you succeeded by holding on to the "weight" of the problem, where before almost all would have put it down.

I simply acted as a mental strength coach, listening to and observing you, diagnosing your levels of comprehension like a math medical doctor.

You are the ones who allowed me to do this by your self-motivation and drive. Thank you!

I'm extremely proud of your efforts. And to show you just how much, I'm turning loose the mad monkey in a school with 1,000 lockers. Will you be able to tell me which ones will be opened and which will be closed when he's done? Look for "The Mad Monkey Sneaks into Southwest Middle School!".

***Before you move on to the next challenge, think about your experience with the coconut problem. How did you feel and what did you learn that you can bring into solving the next problem?


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