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November 2008
“Do You Want To Know How To Create Your Ideal Classroom, Motivate Your Students, Maintain Their Attention And Keep Them On Task Without Screaming, Pleading Or Burning Yourself Out?”

ADHD - Resource
November, 2008
You got into teaching for all the right reasons but find yourself occasionally frustrated by problem studentswho have the whammy on you and send you home feeling frustrated, defeated, disillusioned, unhappy, or worse.

Ruth Herman Wells - Teacher/Author
October, 2008
Presents the Quickest Kid Fixer-Uppers all in one place. These eBooks are adapted from Ruth's widely applauded Bright Ideas Newsletters, and now her Quickest Kid Fixer-Uppers ebooks are available organized by problem area.

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Click Here for: …simple teaching tips and simple teaching strategies that are easy to apply to any classroom situation.! 

How To Get Rid Of All Your And Your Students "I Can'ts"

Although this exercise is geared for students, it's also for me the teacher. It deals with the topics of attittude and perspective, and overcoming obstacles. It's a gentle reminder for me to examine my self-talk, my attitudes and perspective when teaching, not just during those good times, but especially during those frustrating times.

This lesson can be used by itself or with the showing of the video of Nick Vujicic at: and at his website:

Imagine being born without arms. No arms to wrap around someone, no hands to experience touch, or to hold another hand with. Or what about being born without legs? Having no ability to dance, walk, run, or even stand on two feet. Now put both of those scenarios together - no arms and no legs. What would you do? How would that effect your everyday life? This is Nick Vujicic's story.

(Please note: You should supervise these plans for appropriateness depending on your class, administration and parents.)

This lesson is based on the story "Rest in Peace: The 'I Can't' Funeral" written by teacher Chick Moorman for the first Chicken Soup book. It's now been updated with a lesson plan, student activities and tips in the book "The Chicken Soup for the Soul in the Classroom Middle School Edition Grades 6-8". (See book resources at the end of this article.)

I hand out a piece of paper to students and tell them to write down all the things they "can't" do. We'll do this for 10 minutes or so, including me.

I take all the papers and put them into a galvanized pail. We go into the field and we cremate the excuses. I read this as part of our funeral ceremony: "Boys and girls, please join hands and bow your heads.

"Friends, we gather today to honour the memory of 'I Can't'. While he was with us on earth, he touched the lives of everyone, some more than others. His name, unfortunately, has been spoken in every public building-schools, city halls, state capitals and yes even on Capitol Hill.

"We have provided 'I Can't' with a final resting place. He is survived by his brothers and sister 'I Can', 'I Will', and 'I'm Going To Do It Right Away.' They are not as well known as their famous relative and are certainly not as strong and powerful yet. Perhaps some day, with your help, they will make an even bigger mark on the world.

"May 'I Can't' rest in peace and may everyone present pick up their lives and move forward in his absence. Amen."

Later we go back to class have a wake with cake and ice cream. I have a student draw a tombstone with the date when we buried our "I Can'ts. When students tell me they can't do something, I point to the poster and remind students that we buried our "I cant's". Most days too, I find myself looking at that tombstone poster and reminding myself some of my own "I Can'ts".

If you have any favourite experiential activities that help motivate you and your students, just e-mail me and I'll include them on my website. Please e-mail me at:

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Click Here for: …simple teaching tips and simple teaching strategies that are easy to apply to any classroom situation.! 


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