Friday, December 17, 2010

Final Post For A Whole New Mind

I am also glad that I chose this book. I tend to be more of a right-brained thinker. It was good to read "A Whole New Mind" and be reaffirmed that this side of the brain is important in our world of study to pass the test to prove you “know” that standard.
I look at how education has changed over the years and feel like we are letting our students down by not enhancing their right brain by using love of the arts. In the 80’s when I first started teaching they offered band to fifth graders, and it was a given that you would be in music and art. Most of the students I taught were in band. Recess and physical education were also an important part of each day. I have watched them whittle down the art and music time, plus wait until 6th grade to start band. Recess and PE have been cut down to have more time to drill to the standards. I don’t think this has helped! I think it has hurt. When I taught kindergarten 20 years ago it was a time to learn about letters, learn how to play, and be creative. My students knew a lot of the letters by being creative in centers. Now it has some centers, but they don’t have the time to explore like we used to do. They are busy” learning” to read and write.
I really liked the part about the labyrinth. There is one in the VA hospital in Minnesota. I never thought about it when I was there, but while reading the book I remembered it. I think it would be neat to have one in the gym or on the playground. It think it would be beneficial for all of us, and especially for those students who like to be up and moving to be able to walk it to help focus..

The parts that talked about taking a Sabbath was a reminder that we all need a break every once in a while. I think we can all relate to that during the Christmas season.
I want to end with the quote “Gratitude works. Feelings of gratitude enhance well-being and deepen one’s sense of meaning.” I like the idea of a gratitude visit. Sometimes I think that our school children are expecting a lot and don’t see gratitude modeled as much as they should. There is another great book out there called “Eight to Great”. It is about 8 keys to success. The author goes around to schools teaching eight keys to becoming successful. One of the keys is gratitude. You are to list three things each day that you are grateful for, and they can’t be repeats. It is amazing how much we have to be thankful for and how that can change your attitude for the day.
Overall, I really liked the book, and have passed it on to my husband to read. It was full of good ideas to improve our life in this crazy fast-paced world.

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