Steve Reifman

Steve Reifman

In this Teaching Tip I share the results of the three-week “Putting Happiness First” initiative I concluded with my students this past Friday. The idea was inspired by a TED Talk by Shawn Achor, CEO of Good Think Inc., entitled “The Happy Secret to Better Work.” A central point of this 12-minute presentation is that in our society people tend to believe that we should work hard in order to be happy. Achor suggests that this way of thinking could be backwards. He argues that happiness makes us more productive, creative, and successful. In short, happiness should come first. At the end of his talk, Achor shares some ways for people to focus on the positive aspects of their lives and become happier.

In this Teaching Tip I continue sharing the results of a new initiative I began two weeks ago. The idea was inspired by a TED Talk by Shawn Achor, CEO of Good Think Inc., entitled “The Happy Secret to Better Work.” A central point of this 12-minute presentation is that in our society people tend to believe that we should work hard in order to be happy. Achor suggests that this way of thinking could be backwards. He argues that happiness makes us more productive, creative, and successful. In short, happiness should come first. At the end of his talk, Achor shares some ways for people to focus on the positive aspects of their lives and become happier.

Last week I shared an idea I recently learned from an inspiring TED Talk by Shawn Achor, CEO of Good Think Inc., entitled “The Happy Secret to Better Work.” A big idea in this 12-minute presentation is that in our society people tend to believe that we should work hard in order to be happy. Achor suggests that this way of thinking could be backwards. He argues that happiness makes us more productive, creative, and successful. In short, happiness should come first. At the end of his talk, Achor shares some ways for people to focus on the positive aspects of their lives and become happier.

A few days ago I watched an inspiring TED Talk by Shawn Achor, CEO of Good Think Inc., entitled “The Happy Secret to Better Work.” A big idea in this 12-minute presentation is that in our society people tend to believe that we should work hard in order to be happy. Achor suggests that this way of thinking could be backwards. He argues that happiness makes us more productive, creative, and successful. In short, happiness should come first. At the end of his talk, Achor shares some ways that people can use to focus on the positive aspects of their lives and become happier.

This week I share photographs of some of the Constellation Paintings my students have created over the past few years. In this art-science integration project the kids painted their favorite constellations in the unique style of Vincent van Gogh. I introduced the project and described the day-by-day unit plan last week.

As I mentioned two weeks ago in Teaching Tip #59, I like to integrate art and science during our astronomy unit to address the third grade California Earth science standard: “Objects in the sky move in regular and predictable patterns.” In Teaching Tip #59, I described how my students painted the planets and the Sun in the style of Impressionist Claude Monet. Last week I shared photos of several of these projects. This week I describe the project we do the following week, Constellation Paintings.

This week I share photographs of some of the Planets Paintings my students have created over the past few years during our art-science integration project, in which they painted the planets and Sun in the unique style of Impressionist Claude Monet. Last week I introduced the project and described the day-by-day unit plan.

The California Earth science standards for third grade focus on astronomy. The primary standard reads as follows: “Objects in the sky move in regular and predictable patterns.” The five substandards that develop this idea further mention constellations, the lunar cycle, the definition of a telescope, the planets that orbit the Sun, and the Sun’s position in the sky.

For two of these five substandards, I have created week-long projects that integrate art and science. The first project begins when I present my students with an introduction sheet that contains the following scenario:

This week I share photographs of some designs my students have created over the past few years for our Symbol & Landmark Project, an engaging social studies unit that helps kids make a personal connection with important content. I introduced the project two weeks ago and described the day-by-day unit plan last week.

This week I describe the specific unit plan for the Symbol & Landmark Project, an engaging social studies unit that helps kids find relevance in their work and allows them to make a personal connection with important content. I introduced the project last week, and next week I will share pictures of some projects my students have created.

Here is the day-by-day sequence of activities. The unit typically takes two weeks to complete.