Won't be able to do the chat tonight-so I am responding online to be accountable to the questions, thinking and sharing of ideas.
Here is my response to the questions:
Response to Teach Like a Pirate-discussion week 2
1. Kids behave better when they are engaged (pg. 19). What are some ways you ensure that your students are engaged?
To get kids engaged, seek their input, discuss the importance of the learning target at the beginning of the lesson so they know the purpose of the lesson (unless doing inquiry-then this won't work), and when possible-if they can show me (this a newer risk for me) they already know how to do what I am teaching, they can move on to something else (letting go of old ways is hard)...because I think many teachers still teach the way they were taught-which is a shift and a huge leap for some.
2. Engagement is difficult when students are bored or overwhelmed (pg. 20). What are some ways you differentiate instruction?
Small group or individual instruction is definitely the best way to reach the kids-it takes planning and knowing what you want the other kids doing so that meaningful learning is taking place for all during instruction. I also like to start with my strongest learners first-which can change depending on the subject/content I am teaching.
3. It's often hard for students to connect with what we are teaching (pg. 20). How do you help your students make connections to their learning?
2 ways-especially found connected to after reading the book-real world connections as often as possible-connecting with books-How Full is Your Bucket? Enemy Pie and The Kissing Hand-Also, keying in on their pop culture world-favorite cartoons or shows or things they like-for example, the boys in my class liked ninjas so I tried to make connections that way or the girls liked make-up kits so I tried to make connections for them-knowing their world.
4. No content standard matters until a safe, supportive & positive class environment is established (pg. 22). How do you build that environment?
Build relationships with students and try to make personal connections with them. Get to know their parents and their backgrounds to understand the walk they walk. Make sure their basic needs are being met-and if not-find a way.
5. Dave describes his first three days of each school year (pg. 22). What kinds of things do you do during the first week of school?
I never thought of doing anything so fun and piquing the kids interests the first 3 days! Having a theme definitely makes it fun for the kids. Teach a lot of routines-learn new rules-I think this is a difficult time of the year especially when you’re new to the building. Seek the support of colleagues (they got me through the past year). Also, connect with the kids from the get go. One thing I wish I’d done more of this past year was spend more time out on the playground during recess…I did this more toward the end of the year and the kids liked when I went out and shot baskets with them at the hoops or went to gym with them (loved the parachute time)…it was another way to connect with them. I know lunch and planning are/were important times but connecting is so much more valuable.
6. Creative genius is partly developed through asking the right questions (pg. 34). What opportunities do your students have to ask questions?
Expect that they will have questions-I say, “What questions do you have for me?” Learned that from my friend Rose Mucci-and put up the Q5A5 sign in the back of the room-a visual-Question and pause 5 long silent-to-yourself taps on your leg leaving time for thinking about the question that was asked and then A5-5 long silent-to-yourself taps after someone responds to allow more thinking after hearing a response-teach students what you are doing-wait time is so valuable. The higher level the question, the more wait time they will need to respond. One of the things I struggled with this year was brighter students were impatient when waiting for other kids to think. Any ideas on how to combat this? They can also write notes and put them in the mailbox to me or each other.
7. Read your audience and adjust on the fly (pg. 48). How do you demonstrate flexibility and responsiveness? Any examples of teachable moments?
Flexibility and going with the teachable moment is valuable-love going with the teachable moment-my question here is-If a principal is doing an observation, would they evaluate on moving to the teachable moment or whether or not you met the learning target suggested at the beginning of the lesson?
Thanks for writing this book @DaveBurgess and causing me to reflect on my philosophies and realities. I want to make next year the best ever. Teach Like a Pirate!