Picture it: An orchestra of 20-30 members. Each with their own talent and ability. Each with their own instruments. Each doing their own thing. And just 1 conductor. What do you hear? Beautiful music!
Now, picture those 20-30 members as 5 year olds. With 5 minute attention spans. Each with a unique personality. Each with their own set of strengths and weaknesses. Each with their own set of issues affecting them outside of school (poor nutrition, lack of sleep, hunger, homelessness, abuse…the list sadly could go on for days…)…each with their own need for attention. And still just 1 conductor. Now do you still hear the beautiful music?
I hope so! Dave’s quote is a powerful one to me. If you think about every day in a classroom teachers are conducting a symphony of beautiful music. Our orchestra is made of up 5 year olds and our music is Common Core standards! Teachers are conductors of learning and as conductors we have some tricks we can employ to mold our orchestra into a beautiful sounding symphony of learning!
Dave titles this section “Advanced Tactics” and shares three more hooks with us. These are some of my faves! (Hey Dave, can glitter be a hook???? Just sayin…)
The Mission Impossible Hook!
Think Tom Cruise before he went couch jumping crazy on Oprah (although when I get to be a guest on Oprah…cuz it will happen…I might just jump on the couch!). Use mystery or a secret to get students hooked into your lesson. In my classroom one of my students favorite mysteries is our silly hat of the day or week. Yes, we’re famous for our hats. The ‘staches are riveted to find out what the hat will be. They even try to guess. They love that mystery and that love translates to hooking them into the lesson! Mystery=excitement!
The Reality TV Hook!
Make learning into a game! Now I know there are people who say competition is evil and shouldn’t be used…i’m not one of those people. I think games are fun and I think it’s OK for kids to compete. Now, we have some very big expectations on games in ‘stache land!
Rule #1- We all win because we all leaned something!
Rule #2-We are trying to beat ourselves and beat our own score!
Rule #3-We always cheer on our friends!
Our most favorite game was “Around The World” which is great when you have 10 minutes to spare! We practiced numbers, letters, sounds, addition, subtraction and more! The little ‘staches loved playing! They laughed and squealed and cheered. And LEARNED! BAM!
The Techno Wiz Hook!
You had me at tech. I love technology. I love how it can make our lives and jobs simpler. I love how it opens up a whole new world of opportunities for our students. I love how it engages students. In my classroom we used the following technology:
SmartBoard, iPad, iPod, iPhone, and computers.
At least half of my students could be using technology. I loved watching the students work on their CVC words on the SmartBoard. I loved seeing students working on their sounds and sight words on the iPad.
One of my favorite tech tool is the QR code! I introduced these QR codes to my students a few years ago and they went CRAZY! They beg to use these during centers. They’re engaged and working because they’re hooked!
If you want to try out some QR codes I have several freebies on the freebies page!
Click on the picture to check out the freebies page!
How do you bring mystery, reality tv and tech into your classroom??
And in case you really love QR codes, check out my newest Common Core creation!
If you’re not reading Teach Like A Pirate
, run to the store and get it now! It’s so good and inspiring and motivating!