Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Habit of the Week ~ Metacognition

The ability to think about your thoughts with the aim of improving learning.

What in the world?  Meta-what?  

Before pondering Chester stories to find that match-of-a-story to connect  this week's habit to the heart ... Well, first I had to visit Google, Mr. B's AACA Blog, and Mrs. Webster, (yes, she still has an honored place on my shelf), for meaning and understanding. Seriously, I had not a clue.

Here, are a few of my metacognition thoughts ~~ Metacognition is a million dollar word, that in my simple language simply means taking time to think about what I am thinking about. Being present in my brain, in the moment, not bouncing around in a kazillion directions &  being tugged by a bazillion distractions.  Truly, being purposeful to take to heart what I am thinking about.

And let me tell you ~~ When Chester is in the classroom, the students ARE
meta-cognitting :).  To the max.  It just happens.  It's one of the reasons we are in the classroom. METACOGNTION!  Who gnu?

Each week, when Chester and I walk through the classroom door, students instantly connect to their furry lovable buddy. When I tell Chester habit-of-the-week-stories, students are with me.  Whether talking about Chester's empathy, or Chester and his 5 senses.  Or Chester and humor. Chester and patience....or not. Chester and concentration. You get the picture. Students from 1st-5th grade, can tell you in d.e.T.A.I.L. each Chester story and how it relates to each habit.

I tested it out this week. The metacognition thing.  I was ahhh-mazed. The memory and connection and heartfelt responses from students in each classroom.

When Chester is in the room. He's just a kid magnet. And a brain magnet. A thought magnet. A learning magnet.

Metacognition!  Woof Woof!

Habit of the Week - Finding Humor

Humor - A quality that makes something laughable or amusing.

Why did Chester cross the road?  To get to the barking lot!      hahahahaha

What part of the tree does Chester like the most?   The bark!!!!!      hahahahahaha

What is Chester's favorite type of story?   A Furry Tail!   hahahahahahaha

What is Chester's favorite vegetable?  Bark-olli  of course!   hahahahahaha

What do Chester and Justin Beiber have in common?  They are both pawpular!   hahahahahaha

Why does Chester always wag his tail?  Because he has such a paws-itive attidude!  hahahahaha

 How long does Chester want to stay at school?   Furrrrrrr-eh-ver!

These riddles are compliments of AACA students....with 2 from me. And my lips are sealed for which is which.


Laughter and humor can certainly lighten a load and brighten a day. One classroom especially needed an extra dose of humor, laughter, and joy this week. Chester and I could feel the sadness and heaviness coming from these little hearts as soon as we walked into the room. Sudden loss and change are so hard. At any age.

Though we've visited this classroom regularly all school year long, I've never told the students Chester stories..... usually we've wandered the room helping with math or writing or projects.

 Today was different .

 Today what was needed was simply Chester, and Chester Stories.  And so we gathered on the reading rug for story time.

After we all groaned and giggled  through some of the above Chester jokes....I began telling warm-hearted Chester Tales. In great detail I shared about Chester and  the chickens in 1st grade.   I explained Chester's silliness and how he went absolutely bonkers each time he heard a tiny chicken peep. BARK peep. BARK peep. Bark peep.

Laughter filled the room.

I recounted the story of  Chester's LOVE for Peanut Butter Girl Scout Cookies and the day he went c.r.a.z.y. after his first taste.  How instead of helping Melissa with her balance and physical therapy, he was obsessed with cookies --- I told them how Melissa literally fell over laughing every time Chester escaped to find the cookies.

Smiles and giggles erupted.

It was time for me to go....one boy raised his hand. "Please Gigi, tell us another story!"  There were echoes of  'please just one more'  like popcorn popping up all over the reading corner.

Okay, one more :).

Laughter IS the best medicine.   ....and happiness is a warm puppy.