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January 11, 2014

Dusting Off My Motivation (School and Home)

I'm going to be double dipping in this post - Motivation for my students and for myself!

Linking up with Head Over Heels for Teaching to share something I did this week that worked wonderfully to motivate my students.  I'm going to apologize in advance that I don't have pictures of it - it was a last minute, much needed activity.  We acted out our rules, specifically acted out our rules concerning Silent Reading/Read to Self.  Very early on this week I had HAD it!  I was nit picking with everything - dinging and moving kids back to their seats ASAP as I fought to get them back into the normal wonderful routine of Read to Self.  So soon they forgot their stamina.  

{Side note - I do a different version of Daily 5 in my classroom, we do it altogether directly after lunch recess.  The kids come in, we have our whole class read aloud, and then we go straight into 30 minutes of absolute quiet while I pull kids for intervention.}

So this week I called them off early from Silent Reading.  They headed back to their seats and proceeded to look at me crazy as I had 2 chairs in front of the whiteboard with the words "Yes" and "No" above them.  I told them I needed 2 volunteers, and of course they all raised their hands - so I used my student number sticks to choose.  The "Yes" volunteer was an excellent example of what to do.  I whispered to her to show what reading should look like, she demonstrated it, and the kids brainstormed what made it "YES".  

The "No" example happened to be our class clown.  I whispered for him to do a lot of different random things from wandering around the classroom, to whispering to a friend, to daydreaming, to writing, etc - and the kids were able to pinpoint what made it on the "No" list and what needed to change.  I got to give my spiel that I've done almost every day this year - How reading is so important because it builds comprehension, accuracy, fluency, and vocabulary... that one is not only hurting themselves when they don't use the sacred time to really focus on their books, they are also hurting their friends who become distracted... 

Then they got to go and show me how true reading looks, and of course they did it perfect both that day and the days to come.  I'm really hoping they don't forget over this weekend!!

Okay, my motivation!!  Slim Down Saturday time with Third Grade Tidbits!  
This week I really started on the exercise portion to getting healthy.  I have had this DVD for a couple of years, but I really was trying to figure out WHY I messed up in the past.. messed up meaning I was going good and then hit a roadblock when school started.  I had it in my head that I HAD to exercise in the morning (which doesn't happen during school because I need my beauty sleep).  I also had it in my head that I needed to use my regular TV and DVD player to do it, which of course is used a lot in the evenings by the other members of my family.  

Instead I changed it up to doing the video after dinner this week on our computer.  This new schedule is working for me.  I have some "me" time when the kids are playing and before the nightly routine of baths, stories, prayers, tuck in, and adult TV time (which our TV time consists of me now watching our nightly shows from the exercise bike).  It's working!    
The past 2 weeks I've also been reading the book Made to Crave.  Tara mentioned it over on Instagram, and it's really been helping me get my head on straight.  Between exercise, logging my food into my phone, recording my exercise on a separate calendar in our closet - not just on my phone, using my Active Link on a regular basis (meaning not forgetting it on my dresser), avoiding sugar, and reading Made to Crave I am going into this next week knowing that I did my best no matter what the scale says.    

So without further ado - here are my stats for this week:


Heading off to see the sister in law… and hopefully meeting the baby while we are there!  Have a great day!  


  1. Good for you on both counts! I think acting out the rules is brilliant. I do it at the start of the year but now would be a good time to revisit behavior. On the health are doing great! Keep it up! You can do it! Hope next week is a good one for you. :)

  2. There's a Made to Crave online study that starts January 18th. Here's the link, if you want to join

  3. Yay for focusing on your goals. I get going good for a few days and then I crave a Dr. Pepper. The hubby is starting today to train me for a half-marathon in April, so I'll some major motivation then!

    Keep Calm and Hoot On

  4. Your Slim Down is very motivating! You had a fantastic week and your weight loss shows! 3.6 pounds in a week is great! I have been wanting to read that book since I saw it on instagram too! Thanks for reminding me about it!
    A Tall Drink of Water

  5. Hi Emily - I admire you for avoiding sugar. That is my #1 downfall. This week is was Hershey Kisses that I had leftover in my classroom from before the holidays. Why don't I just throw them away?! It sounds like you had a great week!

    Kate :)
    McDee's Busy Bees

  6. I can't wait to check out your book recommendation Made to Crave! Thanks for sharing!! It looks like you had a fantastic week. Way to go!!! I am with you on using the computer for the DVD work-outs. I TRIED and failed miserably at working out in the morning, but like you found that if I used my computer and worked out while my kiddos were playing in the evening, it was SO much better.

  7. I love these Slim Down Saturdays. I am working on losing weight as well, so it is so nice to get ideas for my classroom as well as get motivation for me personally. Thanks!

  8. Oh my goodness 3.6lbs is amazing! I love it! I packed all my workout dvds away in an effort to declutter before we list our house for sale. Eventually I am going to have to pull a couple of them back out. Do you have posts on how you do daily 5 in your room? It is frowned upon in my school to have kids "just reading" while I pull intervention or guided reading groups, but the business of centers is too distracting.
    Third Grade Tidbits

  9. You did great this week! I should really pull out some of my workout DVDs for the days when I am kept at work late and don't make it to the gym. My tip for drinking more water is to buy a cute water bottle that holds 4 cups. That way you only have to refill it once and you've had all your water for the day. I did that this week and it is totally working!

  10. I love the idea of reinforcing out your rules in such a fun and interactive way. My kiddos were NUTS this week and definitely needed a reminder of our class rules and procedures. I might have to throw in an acting demonstration next week to keep them focused :) Thanks for the tip, Emily!

    Joy in the Journey

  11. Your whole post is MOTIVATING Emily! Acting out the rules is always a great reminder-I like acting out the non-examples! They laugh, but it's an eye-opener to see how they sometimes act/look. You've already made such great progress with your personal go girl!
    Thanks for sharing, inspiring, and linking up!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  12. That's awesome!! I did her Unglued devo and really liked it, but I haven't read "Made to Crave". Thinking I need to move my workout time to the evenings as well. It's SO hard to motivate myself to get out of bed in the mornings, and I haven't worked out in about 2 months because of it. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late
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