|General Unit Opener Information:
Unit Opener General Resources Page
Keep Trying Powerpoint by A. Reyes, Harding Elementary
My students make a list, at home, of all things that they say they can't do or have a hard time completing. They bring their lists to school and share the list within their groups. Afterwards, we discuss why some of those things happen. Finally, we put all of the things in a shoebox and go out and BURY it...like a real funeral. We recite a poem about success and then come back to celebrate that the word CAN'T and IT'S HARD have passed on. We have a tombstone that says R.I. P. CAN'T and IT'S HARD. WE WILL NOT MISS YOU and then decorate the board w/balloons and confetti. The kids really internalize it and it's a lot of fun. I suggest you type a letter to the parents and get it approved by the principal.
In addition to the great idea about burying the things that can't be done, one can enrich the students' writing craft along with creating a better sense of the unit by retiring words. All too often in my first graders' writing I see words such as like and good. Try creating jerseys that have the word at the top of the jersey where normally the player's name is and the number with which it was retired, or just the word on the jersey and have a ceremony so that the word has been officially retired and cannot be used.
To open the unit "Keep Trying" all the teachers in first grade create a small skit about something they tried to do more than once and had a hard time doing. Once the skit is developed, each teacher is filmed doing their skit, which is later shown in a big screen using an LCD projector during our unit opener in the auditorium. We gather all the 1st grade classes in the auditorium and all the teachers work together to introduce the new unit. We use all the resources available on OpenCourtResources.com and at the end we show the video of the skits each teacher performed. As a culminating task, the students are asked to create a class book that tells about a list of things that the students couldn't do and how they overcame them. But, the video part is what gets the students excited, they love to see their teachers trying and trying to do something until they finally do it!
Recommended Unit Opener Read Aloud:
Luke Goes to Bat
suggested by G. Hoffman-Ellis
Return to Keep Trying Unit