Thursday, May 23, 2013

Career Cafe #9: Lawyer and #10: Senior Operations Manager

We had two WONDERFUL guests this week for Career Cafe at WD!

First, we had Rich Ruohonen, a well known and highly accomplished lawyer from TSR injury law (He's the "R"!).  He really did a great job describing to the kids all the different types of lawyers and specifically what his firm does with injury law.  He gave great examples of his cases and really hit home the point that we all need to be careful as we are driving, because a lot of mistakes can be made and lives can be taken--and that's where he comes in.  I think speaking this point to the 'texting age' was really important!

He even showed the kids his commercial which they all got a kick out of!

Thanks Rich!

Our second guest of the week was Dan Grimm--a volunteer parent!  Dan is a senior operations manager for Koch logistics.  I had no idea all that his title encompassed---but he works with a TON of very well known companies and products we use every single day!  It was very interesting for both the kids and ME to hear what Mr. Grimm had to share about his job and the skills he uses daily!   I think he won them all over in the end by giving out his company teddy bears---what kid doesn't want something to cuddle!? :)

Thanks Dan!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Celebrating PI at Weaver Lake!

Today was a fun day!  We got to celebrate our school wide efforts in PI (positive interactions) and pat ourselves on the back for the over 6,000 positive interactions we have had this year!

We were pleased to have a superstar from our district, Kevin Curwick, who started Osseo Nice Things come and talk about the importance of kindness and being positive.  He was a hit!

Then we had our very own students share some positive and kind words with the school in the form of spoken word.

Probably, the most exciting was the staff pie eating contest--which yes, I DID participate in!  How could I not!? :)

We are so proud of the little program we have began at Weaver and can't believe it all started with 5 women, sitting in a living room brainstorming how to help kids make a positive impact on their school--and now an all school assembly!

Positive things are moving at Weaver Lake!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Career Cafe #8: Occupational Therapist

Today's session was so informative and interesting to say the least--I was definitely intrigued by all of the interesting facts that were brought up by our guest occupational therapist!  She had some great videos to show the kids and even let them try out some equipment that she often uses with her clients--very fun!  Thank you Monica for coming in to speak!

Career Cafe #7: Photography

I am so thrilled with yesterday's Career Cafe!  I had a friend come and speak about her career as a professional photographer.  She takes remarkable photos for St. Kates, weddings, engagements, babies--you name it!  She captured her audience by talking about what led her to her career, what a typical day looks like and what equiptment she often uses.

Our favorite part of the session was having the kids experience photography first hand by being photographers themselves!  Rebecca gave each student a chance to use her super nice camera and "be the photographer".  She had them working their skills in directing, communication and creativity.  The kids LOVED it!  They even got to see a glimpse of how she edits her photos and comes up with the final product!

This was a great session!  Thanks Rebecca!

See some of the snapshots from the session below!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Career Cafe #6: Child Protection Investigators

Thanks so much to our guests for coming out today to share about their career as Child Protection Investigators.  Sounds very interesting and the kids had questions non stop!  They did a phenominal job engaging the small group and highlighting every facet their job to them and what brought them there!

Thanks Mark and Lynn!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Career Cafe #5: David McCoy (Sports reporter/producer)

I was so excited when my personal friend David McCoy agreed to come and speak to our small group of 6th graders about his career!  His career meets the Holland Career Interest code in it's Artistic Social and Investigative realms, so it was sure to be a hit!  He recently moved here to Minneapolis after landing a job at our local news station, WCCO in their sports reporter/producer position.  It's so fun to see him on the news!  He was great with the kids and they really had some wonderful questions to ask him!  He really did a great job of speaking about his education, his daily duties, how he puts his stories together and the realities of being a sports reporter/producer.  I am sure he made an impact on each one of them!  Thanks David!

You can see some of his work here :

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Career Cafe #3 & #4: Actor and Auto Mechanic

What knock out guests we had this week!

Thank you Ross Young and Tony Miller for doing such a great service for our students this week!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Career Cafe #1: Sales Manager

I am so pleased to report that Woodland's very first career cafe went off without a hitch!  We had a phenomenal guest that really captured the attention of our small group of 6th grade students!  They had great questions and happily participated in some fun hands on learning.  So thankful for the kindness of our volunteer to come in the middle of his work day and teach students about his career and what it took to get there!  Below are some pictures of our cafe!

Thank you Mr. Casperson for sharing your time and expertise!

Monday, April 8, 2013

6th grade Careers Investigation!

I am so excited about teaching careers to our 6th graders at Woodland this year!  It's one of my favorite things to teach!

Since I am in the building only two days, I wanted to make the most of my time with this unit.  First, I will teach each 6th grade class 4 lessons:

-World of work (After talking about the different career pathways, I used the reality check tool to show them some real life costs, responsibilities and salary need to survive.)
-Investigating careers--based on their Holland inventory
-Career Share
-Having good work habits

Then as adapted from School Counselor Blog, we'll be having a Career Cafe twice a week!  Check out her blog here to see what she does.

I tweaked her method a bit and customized it to fit my time in the building and I am SO very excited for the next couple months of volunteer professionals coming in to speak to our small group of students based on their career pathways!  We have a lawyer, actor, sales manage, teacher, CFO, nurse and sports reporter just to name a few!

Each student will be given a pass for their career cafe session.  It looks like this:


Then they will have a "menu" at their desks to help them in interacting with our guests.

I can't wait to see how it goes!  Pictures of the cafe's to come!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Bully Prevention Resources for March!--Justice and Fairness

March Bully Prevention Resources
Justice and Fairness

(The information below has been taken and adapted from

Pre-teach: Begin by greeting the students and telling them that you will be discussing the traits justice and fairness with them today. Ask the following questions and call on different students for answers. Below each question are examples of the type of responses you are looking for. You may need to rephrase students’ answers or guide them along.

(Ask) What is justice?
1.     Treating everyone fairly under established rules and laws. (You may want to give an example, such as following school rules.)

(Ask) What is fairness?
1. Treating all people with honesty and respect.
2. Giving everyone equal opportunities to succeed.
3. Cooperating with one another.
4. Celebrating the uniqueness and value of everyone.
5. Making sure others are not treated badly.

(Ask) Why are justice and fairness important?
1. To make sure that everyone has the chance to succeed.
2. To make our home, school, community and world a better place for all people.

(Ask) Who are some people that have fought for justice and fairness for others?
1. Martin Luther King Jr.
2. Rosa Parks
3. Abraham Lincoln
4. Susan B. Anthony

(Ask) What are ways we can show justice and fairness at our school?
1. Treat all people equally - the same.
2. Cooperate with one another.
3. Be respectful and listen to what others have to say.
4. Be willing to do what is best for everyone.
5. Play by the rules at all times; be a good sport.
6. Include others in games and activities. Don’t leave people out.
7. Understand that being fair doesn’t always mean the same treatment in every circumstance. For example, you may have an earlier bedtime that you older brother, or your younger sister may not have as many household chores as you.
8. Stand-up for someone you see being treated unfairly – you can make a difference!

Closing comment: Life may not always be fair to you, but you can always be fair in life!

Class activities and book suggestions per grade level listed below!

Justice and Fairness Activities

Fair Treatment (Suggested for all grades)
Materials: Sack of candy
Bring a sack of candy containing 5 less than the total number of students in the class. Pass the sack around and tell everyone they can take one. When the students discover the unfair situation and that there is not enough candy for everyone, discuss the following questions:
1. How did those students that did not get the candy feel? How about those that did?
2. What would be the fair solution to the problem?
3. Can you think of another situation when people might feel left out or rejected?

You Be The Judge (Suggested for grades 3 -6)
Materials: Slips of paper
Before your lesson, write down on slips of paper different “crimes” such as, cheating on a test, disobeying a teacher, fighting in the hallway, and stealing a cookie from the cafeteria. Have the students role play a scene where the “criminal” picks a crime from the hat and the “jury” (the class) decides his sentence. How harsh should the punishment for each crime be? Should the punishment for some crimes be worse than others? Discuss the justice and fairness of the punishments decided by the jury. (The Best of Character, by Duane Hodgin)

The Fair Eggs-periment (Suggested for all grades)
Materials: Clear drinking glass filled with one cup of water, fresh egg, ¼ cup salt, a permanent marker, and tablespoon.
Carefully place the egg in the glass of water. Tell the students that the egg (You may want to give it a name like “Eddie”) “represents someone who is not being treated fairly. Sinking to the bottom represents how someone who is left out or mistreated would feel - sad, depressed, defeated, unappreciated, and unloved. Remove the egg from the water and set it aside. One tablespoon at a time, add salt to the water. As you stir in each spoonful, explain that the salt represents different ways to show fairness towards others. For example: following the rules when playing a game, taking turns and sharing, treating others with honesty and respect, and taking action to help someone being treated unfairly. After you have added all of the salt, put the egg back in the water. (If you want, you can put a smiley face on the egg with the permanent marker) and it will now float. Explain that now “Eddie” is being supported with kindness and “held up” by the fairness and acceptance of others. (10-Minute Life Lessons, by
Jaime Miller)

Sing About Justice and Fairness (Suggested for grades K-2)
Materials: None
(Sing to the tune of “You Are My Sunshine”)
Justice and Fairness, Justice and Fairness,
Treat others kindly, respect the rules.
Stand up for people who are mistreated,
Make a difference in the world.

Fair Cents (Suggested for all grades)
Materials: ten pennies, two nickels, and one dime Stack the pennies on top of one another, stack the nickels next to them and place the dime beside the nickels.
Begin by discussing the fact that although each set of coins looks different, they all have the same value. This is the same with people, we may look different on the outside – short, tall, blonde, etc., but we are all of equal value and deserve to be treated fairly. When you share, take turns, and treat others equally and with respect, you are showing fairness.

Ponder This… (Suggested for grades 4 -6)
Materials: None
Write this quote on the board: “It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt~
Discuss with the class the meaning of this quote by a former first lady who dedicated her life to improving the quality of people’s lives around the world. Have students brainstorm situations they see as unfair and then come up with some solutions together. If time permits, help the class write their own quote about justice and fairness to post in the classroom. For example, “Always be fair and square” ~Mrs. Johnson’s Class

The Fairness Jar (Suggested for grades 2 -6)
Materials: Container and strips of paper
Label a container and place it in a location in the classroom where everyone can reach it. Cut strips of paper and put them in the container. When a student experiences an unfair situation, encourage the student to take out a slip of paper and write a note about what happened and place it back in the jar. Throughout the month, ask the classroom teacher to read the notes and talk about ways to make things fairer. (Being Your Best, by Barbara Lewis)

Book Suggestions for Justice and Fairness

 It’s My Turn, David Bedford
Miss Spider’s Tea Party, David Kirk
The Greedy Python, Richard Buckley

First Grade:
It’s Not Fair, Carl Sommer
The Doorbell Rang, Pat Hutchins
Jamaica Tag-Along, Juanita Havill

Second Grade:
Everett Anderson’s Friend, Lucille Clifton
Alexander Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday, Judith Viorst
Rosa Parks: Fist Biography, Lola M. Schaefer

Third Grade:
Picture Book of Anne Frank, David Adler
The Sneetches, Dr. Seuss
Teammates, David Halberstam

Fourth Grade:
Fairness: The Story of Nelly Bly, Spencer Johnson
Minty – The Story of Harriet Tubman, Alan Schroeder
Baseball Saved Us, Ken Mochizuck

Fifth Grade:
 Fair is Fair – World Folktales of Justice, Sharon Creeden
Picture Book of Sojourner Truth, David Adler
The Cow of No Color, Nina Jaffe