Sunday, November 8, 2015

Making Memorable Moments in Middle School 

Dear Readers,

Ever since I read Dave Burgess' Teach Like  a Pirate, I have thought about how to create experiences for students. As I go through my daily routine that question is always at the front of my mind. Here are some (hopefully) memorable moments I have helped create for students. Enjoy!


As I stood and watched the students pile 1,000 socks into the corner of the library, the thought crossed my mind to jump into them, just like a pile of crunchy fall leaves.....they were calling me. I waited until they had a nice tall pile and did exactly that. I dove into the pile of socks and flailing my arms sent them flying everyone. The looks of the students' faces was priceless. I doubt they will forget that moment. (I did help them pick up the socks.)

Ghosts at Ms. Gross' Classroom Door

It was 10th period, the bell was about to ring and I hear knocking at my classroom door. The students who had stayed after with me just looked at me and I knew it was two of my 8th graders. I decided to play a little trick on them. I quietly went through the storage room that connects my room to the one next door and walked out so I was behind them in the hallway. Let's just say, when they turned around and saw me, absolute comedy! The look of surprise was priceless! 

Bubble Wrap Fun

Who doesn't love popping bubble wrap? Beth Hauf introduced me to the idea of using The Book of Awesome for read aloud. Who can read about the fun of popping bubble wrap and NOT be able to do it? My students (and I) enjoyed the selection....... and the bubble wrap.

LEAD like a Pirate

Shelly Burgess and Beth Hauf have helped me take my "compliment cards" to an entirely new level. I started taking their LEAD LAP challenges for administrators and it has become part of my day. I even carry a clipboard with templates in case I see something really outstanding! I started with the "A" challenge and dropped them to all my 8th grade language and literacy students. Then I took the idea to my homebase. One student exclaimed, "Thanks! Ms. Gross." when she saw what it was. Moving into week two I took on the "N" challenge. I dropped them to my 8th grade Language and Literature class while they were working on their journalism writing. It was an excellent and DIFFERENT way of giving feedback. One students excitedly said when she found one on her desk, "Is this one of those anchors?" In hearing about the "C" challenge I can happily say I do this every day. Thank you Shelly and Beth for encouraging me to "step up my game"!

These are just a few of the amazing moments I have had over the past few weeks. Thank you to my PLN for pushing me to think outside the box and try news things. Thank you to my students for making my job so enjoyable.