Starting the school year with a theme is a great idea! Not a decor theme, while that can be fun, but something meaningful students can hold onto as the year progresses. Choosing the right theme, may be more important this year than ever.
“Be A Voice, Not An Echo”Albert Einstein
Last year, my theme was “Be A Voice, Not An Echo”. I love this Albert Einstein quote because it can mean different things to different people, allowing each student to connect with it uniquely. What makes this quote even better? The man who said it! I start the year with Einstein because he’s the “Odd Boy Out” and who can’t relate to that?
We read about Einstein together and discovered his quirky differences and celebrated how those differences made him special. They made him great. They made him, extraordinary!
Reflecting on these ideas, we celebrated our own differences. All of the little things that make us unique and extraordinary. It is an uplifting, inclusive, and positive way to start the year with students and to introduce the idea of finding your voice and being uniquely YOU!
My fifth graders really enjoyed hearing about young Einstein. “Big Kids” LOVE to be read to!!!! Many students were inspired to continue reading and learning about Einstein during independent reading, which also led to an interest in learning about the Holocaust. The motion of learning and reading created by this mini unit the first few days of school, lasted months… because it was meaningful. It packed a punch that so many could relate to. It gave us pause at the beginning of the year and allowed for a moment of introspection.
We revisited the quote often and of course it was displayed prominently in the room. It’s a great reminder to be your best self, make good choices, think critically about information you hear, question sources, and celebrate differences.
I hope you have a moment to explore young Albert’s life and find your voice and maybe a bit of inspiration for the year ahead.
Thanks for reading!