Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Mouse Squad

Excellent idea, most middle schoolers probably have more experience and expertise than the entire  staff combined, plus the available time.  The next generation Auto Shop?

12 Year Old Tech Support

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New Management

Went to a little seminar, an idea presentation I'd call it, by Rick Morris of  New Management .  Not a fan of the name, sounds too real estate or business, but definitely a fan of his philosophy and methods.  Maybe because mostly they fall right in line with how I want to run my classroom.  I remember one of my Master teachers used some of his ideas, but she ended up yelling often at her loud class, so I'm not sure...

I think a lot of my classroom management focus will fall under a few main tenets --

  • Teachers* waste waaaaaay too much time dealing with classroom behavior, especially waiting for a class or specific students to quiet/settle down.
  • A lot of time is wasted during every school day that could be better spent learning: too long to transition between subjects, classes, lunch & recess; behavior issues; Dairy Association** assemblies that last an hour attempting to teach 1st graders how a cow digests (4 chambered stomach!) when all they want to do is pet the calf and all they will remember is the cow pooping.  And the boy in the second row throwing up.
  • Learning and Teaching are one and the same and everyone in the class is part of the process -- we will all learn together and from each other, and we will have fun doing it. It will be hard, it will be a challenge, it will be a lot of work... but it will be worth it.

I loved Rick's line "Teaching is like a crock pot" or something like that -- it builds, simmering and getting richer as the school year goes. Can't expect the perfect class by Sept 15th, right? And I firmly believe that we are not just teaching our students for our year but for the teacher next year (isn't it embarrassing to pass along poorly behaved students?) and for their future bosses, spouses, and children.

Now my challenge is to see how any of this stuff works out on a crowded noisy playground...

Anyway, check out the site, a bunch of instantly usable FREE stuff there, and the iPhone app is just plain cool -- get rid of those popsicle sticks!  I don't even have a class yet but I want one, I can instantly assess my sons for practice...

* I absolutely 100% include myself in this. Sigh...
** I love milk.

Monday, March 14, 2011

My student she wrote me a letter...

Great idea here -- Sup Teach? -- for getting to know students and their perception of your class/subject.  I strongly believe in a lot of student feedback, and parent input too, especially since what they say usually reveals more about the student then about the teacher, and can help tailor instruction and intervention.