In our district, middle schools have a schedule that includes “Advisory” (which is similar to homeroom, I think?). The time allotted for advisory varies depending on the school, but most school’s have it first thing in the morning. I really love advisory time and having it first thing in the morning allows for a nice buffer time between greeting students and jumping into a subject. I have seen teachers use this time for a variety of activities such as class meetings, health/career education, current events, etc. Lately, I have been trying out a few different strategies with my current class first thing in the morning and this is what our schedule looks like now:

  • Monday – Goal setting
  • Tuesday – YouTube (funny, interesting or inspirational)
  • Wednesday – Brain Teasers (logic puzzles, sudoku, etc)
  • Thursday – Thought Block
  • Friday – Feel Good Fridays

So far Thought Block has been my favourite because I have been planning activities for this one since my last contract ended and through some inspiration from a blog friend over at Olive to Run. Last Thursday my Thought Block activity was based on this blog post I saw floating around the Facebook world back in the fall. We only have about ten minutes for advisory once we get throught the basics of attendance, announcements, and form collection so I tried to make sure that this activity was as organized as possible.

  1. I wrote this on the board: “You have just been handed a microphone. When you speak into it everyone in the world can hear and understand you at the same time. You are allowed to make three statements. What would you say?”
  2. Every student received a piece of paper to write down their ideas and I gave them some time to discuss with their neighbours if they wished.
  3. At the end I collected their papers and compiled a list of the main ideas to post in our classroom.

20140407-201114.jpg

(Yes, these are the “good ones” and I didn’t write down the comments like “please give me all of the jelly beans.” But most of the students were very thoughtful and there were a lot of overlapping ideas that I was able to combine into one or two phrases).

I posted this in the classroom yesterday and it was so great to see the students’ excitement as they searched to find their phrases and guess who wrote what. I loved seeing how thoughtful they were about what they thought was most important for the world. Some of my favourites: donate to kids in need, use your money to benefit everyone, have fun, be happy, stop the wars and raise the bar.

What’s up this week in Thought Block?

I’m going to be using this picture to see what kind of thoughts we can generate around what the world could be like.

the-world-without-us
Source: Alan Weisman

Do you have anything similar to a “thought block” in your schedule?

Any suggestions for thought provoking ideas?

Meaghan