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Monday, July 29, 2013

Teach Like a Pirate- Stand & Deliver, Advanced Tactics, and Around the Edges

We're almost done with Part II of Teach Like a Pirate! These are the final 3 chapters of Part II.

Some reminders-
1. For my CHES people, this book study is voluntary (and fun!). You are in no way required to read this book, but if you participate you may count this on your PD form for next year.

2. There will be discussion questions during the study. Your answers and comments will be the accountability piece of the PD. All you have to do is leave a comment at the end of the post with your addition to the discussion.

3. To quote my Momma, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." Let's not get snarky. (That goes for me as well. I'll keep my sarcasm to a bare minimum. Lord, help me.)

4. Have fun! This book is all about how to become a better, more energetic, more joyful educator. Some parts may resonate more with you than others and that's OK. Take what pieces of information work for you and use them. The rest, you can toss overboard

Stand & Deliver
Did you know that more people are afraid of speaking in public than they are of dying? That means more people would rather die than give a speech!
 The Hooks found in this chapter focus on you, the teacher, and how you present the topics and interact with your class. 
Burgess begins the chapter by asking: Do you consider yourself a public speaker? Do you know most teachers would say that there were not?
I remember having to assist in a presentation in front of my fellow teachers at CHES. It wasn't a big thing, just presenting a list of reading strategies that my small group camp up with. Imagine my surprise when one of my partners absolutely refused to join the group up front. She completely froze and said she hated being in front of people. 

I was in total shock. This wonderful, competent, talented teacher who commands her classroom day-in and day-out was freaked out at the thought of speaking in front of her peers. 
 Well, on the plus side, you became a teacher because, while you might not be fond of speaking in public, you aren't worried about speaking to children! These 6 Hooks are easy ways to improve your performance in front of your captive audience. 

The Storytelling Hook: 5 total 
  •  How would speaking in character, using accents, changing intonations, and varying volume for effect (even whispering) have an impact on the class?
For you elementary teachers, you understand that when reading a story to the class you absolutely must do the different characters' voices. Honestly, you know that you must over-do the voices and make the story larger than life. Mothers and fathers learn the same thing while reading stories to their kids. There is power in a well told story. (Seriously, it worked for Jesus didn't it?)

In my class, I've used a British accent when teaching new "proper" vocabulary to my students. We no longer say 'yes' and 'no'. We use proper words like 'affirmative' and 'negative'. Why say, "We're fixin' to go to lunch", when we can say, "We are preparing ourselves for luncheon"? My students ATE. IT. UP.
They loved it so much it turned into the thing to do with new vocabulary words. Can't do a British accent? Watch the BBC's rendition on Pride & Prejudice. It's 6 hours of awesome. You'll have an accent in no time!

The Swimming With the Sharks Hook: 5 total

  • Can I participate in the activity?
 "Don't get stuck presenting every lesson from the same spot." (Burgess p.119)
 Use the room like a stage. Enter stage right, move to the center, round to stage left... you get the idea. Remember Robin Williams in Dead Poet Society? Oh Captain, my Captain! Carpe Diem! Use the desks, use the chairs, walk to a different beat, a different pattern. 

Mingle with the students during the lesson to let them know that you are coming to them. You're in the middle of the lesson, just like they are.  
As an added bonus- one of my favorite scenes: about conforming (or not!)

The Taboo Hook: 4 total
  •  How can I position my topic so that it seems like a little known secret?
"Obviously, you need to adjust your taboo hook for the age and maturity of your students, but even a kindergartener will be drawn in by the possibility of learning a secret or something their friends or parents don't know." (Burgess p.120-121)

Would you like to know a secret about our Assistant Principal? Mrs. O has a magic mailbox that can send letters to anyone! She uses it every year to send letters to Mrs. Clause. Mrs. Clause then chooses the best letters, and the authors of the letters are invited to attend a hot chocolate and cookie party! It's magic!

So, when we studied persuasive writing, along with letter writing, we used the magic mailbox to get letters to Farmer Brown. Farmer Brown, in turn, wrote back. It went back and forth all week! At the end of the week, Farmer Brown came to us!

The Mime Hook: 5 total
  • Can I use mime techniques and gestures to get my point across?
I purposefully use this technique when teaching different foldables that we use during our lessons. I start by passing out paper, then quietly holding my piece in the air. My students close their mouths and do the same thing. I use my ELMO and Promethean so everyone can see my folds. After every fold I raise my paper in the air. When my students are ready for the next step, they raise theirs in the air too. If a students needs help, he or she will raise a finger in the air and I will come to their desk.  It's all nice and quiet.

The Teaser Hook: 5 total
  • How can I spark interest in this lesson by promoting it ahead of time?
"Promote, market, and sell are three business practices that belong in the classroom." (Burgess p.122)
Burgess states that he will end a lesson by telling his students that the best is yet to come! You must come to class tomorrow to see what comes next!

When I taught counting coins to my first graders, first I introduced them to Miracle Money Grow!

The Backwards Hook: 3 total
  • Can I tell them the end of the story and let them figure out and discover the beginning and middle?
Burgess likens this hook to a CSI episode. Now, I've never seen the show, so I'll liken it to my favorite crime solving team: Castle and Beckett.
In crime dramas we are introduced to the victim, then we have to out together the who, what, when, where, and why. We must work backwards.
Another example I can think of is the Sideways Stories From Wayside School series by Louis Sachar. I can't remember which of the books it was in, but I remember the title of one of the chapters was "Purple". The entire chapter was written backwards. I'm not going to spoil it for you. Let's just say, it was a memorable chapter.

Advanced Tactics: Not for the faint of heart!

The Mission Impossible Hook: 7 total
  • Can they be provided a treasure map or sent an a scavenger hunt through your content?
When I taught 2nd grade, one of my favorite lessons was on the Oregon Trail. My students were lead on a treasure hunt through the school looking for golden tickets with clues on them. At the end of the hunt, all the students had tickets that invited them to a cowboy campfire at the end of the week. 

The Reality TV Hook: 4 total
  • How can I design my lesson to take advantage of the popularity of reality TV?
It helps if students are familiar with reality TV. Truthfully, it would be helpful if I were. I don't watch a lot of reality shows, but I do enjoy Project Runway. When we studies Kwanzaa, I brought in different types of clothing and fabrics to study the culture and celebrations. We had a good time dressing up and modeling!

The Techno Whiz Hook: 9 total
  • How can technology be used to bridge gaps between school and the real world?
Um, hello? Have you ever heard of blogging? My students love seeing themselves through pictures and videos on the blog! We use our ipads to aid in research projects and classrooms use skype to talk to people all around the world! Technology is a wonderful thing!

"When used correctly, technology can enhance the effectiveness of your lesson, increase engagement, and even strengthen the relationships between the humans that comprise your class." (Burgess p.128)

Around the Edges

The Contest Hook: 4 total
  • What type of review game can I design to ramp up the entertainment level of my class?
Burgess writes about many different games he has played in his class, but I'll tell you about something simple. My class loves earning tickets. We play "Review for Tickets" before tests and quizzes and my students love it! The questions are worth different amounts and the tickets can be turned into Cub Cash (our school's reward system) or into prizes from my treasure chest. 
Students love a good competition! Sometimes we play teams, and sometimes we play girls against boys. I have to say, playing girls against boys is always a crowd pleaser!

The Magic and the Amazing Hook: 3 total
  • Is there a magical effect that could help to deliver this message?
I don't think this is what Burgess is talking about, but I do have a bit of magician in me. Well, my Promethean does. If you don't know what a Promethean is, it's a type of Smart Board. Mine can be connected to my laptop or an ELMO (fancy over-head projector). It comes with a remote with a freeze buttton. That freeze button is pure magic... at least until my students figure it out. :)

The Chef Hook: 4 total
  • How can I enhance this lesson by adding food or drink?
I feel the need to point out that any lesson can be enhanced by food and drink. I find that most professional developments can be enhanced with food and drink. Chocolate in particular.
Let me give you some examples from some of my lessons.
  1. At the end of my Oregon Trail lesson, students attended a "camp out" with real cowboy food- cold beans, beef jerkey, and crackers. I've never seen kids get so excited about cold beans. (baked beans out of a can)
  2. Studying Kwanzaa we celebrated a feast of first fruits. We made vegetable soup in my crockpot and my students loved it!
  3. When we studied different countries and cultures, I brought in California rolls to go with our study of Japan. Watching my students eat veggie rolls was hilarious!
 The Mnemonic Hook: 7 total
  • Does a mnemonic exist for the material?
The most famous one I can think of is the one that teaches the planets. 
My Very Earnest Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas.

The Extra-Credit Challenge Hook: 3 total
  • What intriguing mission can I send students on to allow them to extend their learning in a unique way?
The 5th grade teachers at CHES to an excellent job at this every year. It's an Underground Railroad challenge. Students are placed into teams and are to navigate the halls of the school as if they were runaway slaves. There are classrooms set up as stations and each station has clues to get to the next. The students love this challenge and students in other grades look forward to it.

We've made it through Part II! Join next week as we finish this book!

**Discussion Question: Out of all the hooks mentioned in Part II, which do you look forward to implementing in your classroom?**

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