During my first year of student teaching way back in 2005, my amazing mentor teacher gave me the book The Magic Hat by Mem Fox. Her instructions were simple . . . you need to read this book to our first grade class and do a writing activity afterwards. Being the new teacher I was, I was SUPER excited to get an activity together.
I look back on this time and remember how amazing it was to build awesome bulletin boards each month, create memory making activities, and really taking the time to evaluate my performance as a teacher. At the time, all of this just interfered with my college fun, but now that I look back 9 years into the past, I thank myself for taking the time to do this. In fact, I have an entire portfolio of every activity I ever did during this time!
Either way, on that day back in 2005, I had finally decided on an activity. I would read the story and stop the book right in the middle and have the students finish the story. The book has this great page where a wizard comes with a sign that says, “Stop!”
A perfect middle stopping point if I do say so myself. So, these incredibly smart 1st graders were asked to finish the story, using the pattern of the book. Pick the book up and take a read, it’s addicting.
Then we placed them on these cute magic hat cut outs, that took a life-time to build, and hung them around the room. They were adorable. In fact, I loved it so much I did this with every one of my classes until I moved to Texas. 4 years worth of Magic Hats all built up.
In my nostalgic state, I pulled my first copy of Magic Hat off my book shelf and thought how I could use it again as a counselor. Here is what happened:
Topics Covered: Goal Setting, Self-Confidence Development
For my 1st graders, I read The Magic Hat and we discussed why we set goals. We talk about how we set big goals and small goals, but that goals help us stay focused, it gives us something in which to believe.
We brainstormed many things that we could set goals for: school, sports, friendships, our future, etc. Then we talked about what our life would look like if we had a magic wand and could have one of our goals accomplished. This is what we wrote about.
The boys wrote their goals down and cut out a hand and wand to glue to their paper.
The outcome was pretty darn cute, but nothing compares to the memories of your first class and your first overachieving activity. We all have them :).
Either way, I’d give either of these activities a chance . . .
If I had a magic wand, I would be a well-known play therapist here in Houston, TX, maybe even a college professor, maybe even with my doctorate.
What would you do if you had a magic wand? Come on, dream big!