Kennedy’s WIG? It was a classroom VICTORY!

WeChooseToGoToTheMoonThere are moments in a teacher’s life when he or she feels like a superhero. We have those moments to make up for all of the others. . .LOL! I had that moment this week. I wanted to share because I am proud of my students!

The 5th grade read excerpts from Kennedy’s speech “We Choose to Go to the Moon.” Students were mesmerized. It was amazing to watch as Kennedy’s words echoed through history inspiring a new generation. The “WOW” moment was when students connected this text selection with the 7 Habits without my prompting. Each and every 5th grade class recognized that Kennedy had set a WIG (Wildly Important Goal) for our nation!

We grabbed on to that the next day and discussed how we had to “Begin with the End in Mind” to reach that goal. We discussed that it took “Synergizing” and a “Win-Win” attitude to achieve that goal. We discussed the impacts of the speech and the goal that was set for America. We watched the first moon landing. We read about our American hero, Neil Armstrong. We brainstormed adjectives to describe what characteristics those first astronauts had to have.

We also wrote down our own “Moon Missions.” We wrote down our goals that are hard to do, but we CHOOSE to do them anyway. We choose to meet our goals because we can! This is a sampling of those “Moon Missions”:

Get a scholarship

Play softball at the University of Alabama

Do well on the ASPIRE test

Become a Marine Biologist

Open my own hair salon

Compete in the Olympics (gymnastics)

Be the first in my family to graduate from college

Today’s children still have dreams! They need us to help them set their goals and figure out a way to achieve it! They need someone to tell them that they can. . .not because it is easy, but because it is hard!

This week’s HW:

EVERY NIGHT: Study Academic Vocabulary, Work on Research Project, and Read for AR Points



The Sunshine Shop Grand Opening & Covered Wagon Projects

Wow! What a week!

DES had the grand opening of its Sunshine Shop. The Sunshine Shop is full of goodies that students can shop for. It takes special money to shop in this store. It takes DES Dollars.  The only way to get DES Dollars is either to display leadership skills or reach a WIG (Wildly Important Goal). Teachers help students set WIGs (WIGs should be measurable, academic goals). When students achieve their WIG they receive DES Dollars to spend on the days the Sunshine Shop is open.20140313_081032

It is hard work to reach a WIG. I had one student who had a WIG to bring her “C” average in my class up to a “B”. She did it in a big way. She brought it up to a 83. She doesn’t plan to stop there. She will be setting a new WIG. . .90! That is what it is all about!

20140313_153715The 5th grade also brought in their covered wagon projects this week. This project was the conclusion to their learning unit on Westward Expansion in Mrs. Smith’s Social Studies class. Their projects are displayed in the main lobby of DES. Take a look if you stop by in the next couple of days.

Good job 5th grade!




Synergy Street & Wigs

20140226_151335In our journey to become a Leader in Me Lighthouse School, all of our halls have been named for a habit. Each grade level painted their “street sign” to proudly display their “street” name. The 5th grade hall is named Synergy Street. The 5th grade teachers and students have synergized to transform the hall into Wonderland.  Teachers are putting the finishing touches on the decorations, while students have decorated top hats and tea cups. Each top hat or tea cup has a writing assignment about the 7 Habits attached to the back.

Students have set new “WIGs” too.  A WIG is a Wildly Important Goal. Students have these goals written down and placed in their Leadership Binder. Many WIGs are based on improving Classworks scores, increasing AR points, or bringing up a certain grade average. The 5th grade students have learned a lot about tracking data by tracking their own progress on Classworks. This data is displayed in the hall as both a sense of pride and a reminder to work toward our grade level goals!

Mr. McKelvey has set a DES WIG for Friday, February 28th. Our WIG is to take 500 AR tests on this day. The students are reading, reading, reading. They can synergize by each student taking at least one AR test. If every student does their part, it will be a Win-Win for DES!