Sunday, September 23, 2012

"I Can't" Funeral

Happy Fall everyone!!  It's finally "officially" here and I am happily breaking out the heavier scarves, leggings, and boots.  Mmmmhmmm.  :)  We're heading into the 6th week of school here and WOW has it been a great first six weeks!  I told myself that these first six weeks of school are supposed to be spent getting to know my learners, community, and really focusing on expectations.  I am finally ready to start our book clubs and really dive into some great differentiated groups.  What's your rule of thumb for getting to know your learners at the beginning of the year?

Well I promised to share some more of the fun activities we did at the beginning of this school year.  And here is one of my FAVORITES!!

We had a funeral the second week of school... an "I Can't" funeral.  I was so proud of my little big fifth graders. They came up with things that they felt they weren't very good at or continually struggle with and then wrote them down on a notecard.  Some of them wrote statements like "I can't spell", "I can't do multiplication", "I can't whistle", "I can't sing very well".  And here is the BEST part of it all- Now whenever someone comes up to me and says "I can't _____." or "I don't know how to ______."  I get to say "We buried our "I can't statements," so I know you can do this!"  And IT WORKS!  What?  Why haven't I been doing this for years?  I don't know if it's because they physically buried their statements or whether they just remember getting to be out of our classroom for our funeral, but somehow this stuck with them more than any inspirational speech I could have ever given!  PTL! 

 My fabulous student teacher made this great tombstone! 
 That's right- we put them to work digging the "grave"

I don't have a great picture of it, but nearly everyone wore black and was in mourning for most of the day!  It was amazing!!

I am currently working on a Back to School Unit for 4th, 5th, and 6th graders that will contain all the details of holding your own I Can't Funeral!  Be on the look out for that in my Teachers Pay Teachers store, located here!  

**Update!  I've finished my unit and you can learn more about holding your own I Can't Funeral in my Beginning of the Year Activities for Secondary!**

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