3H's and an F strikes again

We all have those days. You know the ones where you wonder if what you're doing makes impact? If the things you learned and shared are making things better for anyone? I have a lot of those days~ and honestly, it can be quite discouraging.  So, when a simple little lesson using a graphic organizer reminds you that you matter~ it's cause for a celebration! 

A little backstory. Earlier this year, I shared about attending a workshop on Reading Wellness with Burkins and Yaris. I returned to work energized and motivated. There was one activity on introducing children to biographies. Using a graphic organizer with head-hands-heart-feet (#HHHF) of a person, students work through a person's life to identify key information. 

It was only a short time before this simple organizer started to show up at school. I shared it with one teacher, then it caught on like wildfire on her grade level. Success! I was able to help teachers right away. But wait, it's better....

Fast-forward to November- I'm in a post observation conference. I made a comment about the #HHHF~ and my AP said, "I see that in all the third grade classrooms. They're using it with the students as they analyze characters." Success again! The teachers are using it this year too. 

This week, I pulled out the #HHHF I had for each student. You see, in September, I had my 2nd-5th graders complete the #HHHF activity on themselves. On the back, I asked them to write what came to mind when I said the word "Books".  While the students were working, I read over one of my new student's shoulder~ and saw that he liked art, wanted to be an artist or graphic designer some day, and loved to read.  I walked to the shelves, and grabbed a stack of 5 books, and kept them to the side. 

After the students finished writing, I shared my purpose: this #HHHF would help me to help them find books. I pulled the pile of books and placed it in front of the student- who quickly found 3 of them to take with him! Quickly, it was "do mine! do mine!"

And so yesterday, I pulled out the #HHHF for 6 students who seemed to be abandoning books frequently. We talked about what their passion and interests were, we talked about their dreams- and we found some books. 

So today, I celebrate. I celebrate great PD. I celebrate Burkins and Yaris' passion for helping us help kids. I celebrate that one tool can help so many teaching topics. And finally, I celebrate knowing that I could pass on a great lesson.  

Thanks for the training Jan, Kim, and Barbara. 


  1. Mary Alice, I'm reading your blog posts because I was wishing that I had attended your session this morning. Or kicking myself because I didn't. I do now have your blog in my Feedly and will continue to follow you. Your words make me want to pass you a note asking if you'll be my very best friend. Thanks for your passion.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts