Weekly Memo (September 16-20)

The Three Emotional Modes

This week I had the chance to hear my hero in education speak— Dr. Todd Whitaker. It’s probably a stretch, but I told the class it was like a basketball fan getting to hang out with and learn from Michael Jordan.

Dr. Whitaker has written several books in the educational field, and two of my favorites are What Great Teachers Do Differently and What Great Principals Do Differently. Both of these books are constants on my summer reading list because they get me fired up about the upcoming school year.

Even though I’ve heard Dr. Whitaker speak a few times, I’ve read almost all of his books, and I’ve already heard most of his cheesy jokes ("Why did the man go to the doctor after eating a muffler? He was exhausted.), every time I hear him speak I always learn something new that I can’t wait to start doing in class. This year was no exception.

On Tuesday, I learned all people have three emotional modes— business, parent, and child.

  • If an adult is in business mode, students go into business mode.

  • If an adult is in parent mode, students go into child mode.

  • If an adult is in child mode, students go into child (or parent) mode.

This is true at school, at home, and everywhere in between. For example, when I need my kids to clean up their room at home, here is a totally, this-has-never-happened-before (wink, wink), hypothetical way it might go down:

Me: Carson and Cooper, I need you to clean your room in the next hour. (Parent Mode)

C&C: Ugh, I don’t want to clean room! We hate cleaning our room. It looks fine. (Child mode)

(After a few minutes of hearing complaining, arguing, and gnashing of teeth)

Me: (Angry and frustrated) I’ve told you five times to get your room clean! Get it done or I’m going to be back in here with a trash bag and I’ll help you clean! (Child mode)

(Millie Kate enters the room after overhearing the argument)

Millie Kate: Dad, I’ll help them! (Parent mode)

Me: (Now mad at three people!) No, you won’t help them! I told them THEY would do it, and THEY are going to do it! (Child mode)

Again, totally hypothetical (wink, wink), but how many times has something like this happened at our house? How many times would the parent/child mode be avoided in this situation if I’d simply stay in business mode?

Me: Carson and Cooper, I need you to clean your room in the next hour. (Business mode. Same words, but tone is key.)

C&C: Ugh, I don’t want to clean room! We hate cleaning our room. It looks fine. (Child mode)

(After a few minutes of hearing complaining, arguing, and gnashing of teeth)

Me: Carson and Cooper, I know you’re frustrated, but I need you to clean your room in the next hour. What can I do to help you get started? (Business mode. Tone is key.)

(Millie Kate enters the room after hearing the conversation)

Millie Kate: Dad, I’ll help them! (Business mode)

Me: Thank you, Millie Kate. They may appreciate your help, but that’s up to them. In the end, they just need to have their room clean in the next hour so we can… (Business mode. Tone is key.)

Reading about the modes and hearing them are two different things, but I hope these scenarios help communicate the point.

When I got back to the classroom on Wednesday, I shared with the class the differences between the modes and how when we’re in class learning, from here on out, we’re going to be in business mode— and we’ve been practicing that and it’s written on the board. I explained to them that as an adult, it’s much easier for me to transition from business mode to child mode and back to business mode, but for kids, it’s much harder because they’re still developing that skill. And as their teacher, I have to understand that and provide transition time and guide them from child mode (playing on recess) to business mode (walking back in the building so we can go learn about indirect objects). For me, that’s easy; for a 5th grader, I’m asking them to move a mountain. An easy solution would be to force them to comply, but instead we’re working on developing the personal skill of transitioning from one mode to another.

We just wrapped up day three of identifying the modes and working to stay in business mode— and you can feel it in the classroom. Labeling the modes and being aware of them has already transformed our classroom. Ask your kids about it— they can explain it way better than I just did.

I learned several other things from Dr. Whitaker on Tuesday that I’ll use in class this year, but I’m going to camp out on the three emotional modes for a while.

What We’re Learning Next Week (if all goes as planned)
  • Bible
    • God’s Word is True—Jacob
    • Memory Verse
    • Test— Thursday
  • Reading/Vocab
    • Read-Aloud
    • Journeys— Theme
      • "The Iron Princess"
      • "A Royal Mystery"
      • "The Princess and the Pea"
    • Next AR Test Deadline— Monday, September 30
      • Must be a grade-level book
      • Must be a book that the student has not yet tested on
      • Must be a book read this nine weeks
  • Social Studies
    • Studies Weekly— U.S. States and Regions Test (Tuesday)
    • Studies Weekly #3— American Indians
  • Math
    • Lesson 15— Multiplication (Monday in class)
    • Pre-Test (Lessons 11-15) (Monday in class)
    • Test (Lessons 11-15)
    • Lesson 16— Word Problems about Problem Solving
    • Lesson 17— Multiplying by One Digit Numbers
  • Spelling
    • Week Four list (see below)
    • Pre-Test Wednesday (perfect scores will not need to take Friday’s test)
    • Test Thursday (if necessary)
  • English
    • Words used as nouns, verbs, and adjectives
    • Review Nouns and How they work
    • Test over nouns (for real this week!) on Wednesday
  • Writing
    • Narrative Writing (Revision Process)

Next Week’s Memory Verse
"You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love."
Galatians 5:13

Next Week’s Spelling List
Printable version— Download PDF
Week Five Spelling List
  1. followed
  2. amused
  3. excited
  4. wrapped
  5. tried
  6. lighter
  7. cuter
  8. bigger
  9. earlier
  10. easier
  11. following
  12. amusing
  13. exciting
  14. wrapping
  15. trying
  16. lightest
  17. cutest
  18. biggest
  19. earliest
  20. easiest

Next Week’s Tests & Quizzes
  • Tuesday, September 17
    • Social Studies Test
    • Math Test
  • Wednesday, September 18
    • Spelling Pre-Test
    • English Test— Nouns and Verbs; Nouns as subjects and objects
  • Thursday, September 19
    • Spelling Test (if necessary)
    • Bible Memory Verse Quiz
    • Bible Test (God’s Word as True, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob)

Upcoming Projects
  • No major upcoming projects at this time

Important Dates & Upcoming Events
  • Saturday, September 14
    • 5th Grade Football vs. LRCA Blue (9:00 AM; Mustang Mountain)
    • 5th Grade Volleyball vs. PA (11:30 AM; Mustang Mountain)
  • Thursday, September 19
    • Lights Up will perform after chapel (8:30-9:00)
    • Art will be from 9:00-9:55
  • Friday, September 20
    • 5th Grade will NOT lead chapel (field trip)
    • 5th Grade Field Trip (with NLR 5th grade) to Wyldewood
      • Departure Time: 8:05 AM
      • Transportation: Bus
      • Lunch: Students bring a sack lunch/drink
      • Return Time: 2:45
      • What to Wear: Spirit Wear (shirts and shorts— we’ll be outside playing games) 🙂
      • Cost: None 🙂
      • Emotional Mode: Child (for 90% of the day) 🙂
  • Sunday, September 22
    • Mrs. Cannon’s Birthday!
  • Monday, September 23
    • The Book Fair Begins!
  • Tuesday, September 24
    • Book Fair Dress Up Day— "Chill Out"
  • Thursday, September 26
    • Spirit Wear Day
  • Friday, September 27
    • Grandparents Day (uniform day)
    • Final day of the Book Fair
    • Leo’s Birthday!

Resource of the Week

I’m having a ton of fun with my new class. In the video below, I talk about the first ten picture books that I read them aloud.
I’d love to know the books you’ve been reading your kids. Let me know in the comments below!

The Book of Mistakes: https://amzn.to/2HRsZTl
The Day You Begin: https://amzn.to/34sxuh0
After the Fall: https://amzn.to/2ZMTt3H
Last Stop on Market Street: https://amzn.to/2ZU4v6s
The Very Last Castle: https://amzn.to/34u4BRz
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole: https://amzn.to/2POMl1Z
Be Who You Are: https://amzn.to/312YhOJ
The Story of Fish & Snail: https://amzn.to/313lznF
(Click here to read this post on Colby’s blog)

Helpful Links

Classroom Resource Page (for class schedule, safety patrol rotation, textbooks, etc.)

5th Grade Chapel Plan (full schedule can be found here)

Google Classroom (students may access this from their Google drive account)

Class ShowMe Page (video tutorials)