Saturday, September 6, 2014

Today's Golden Nugget From Teach Like a Pirate - TRANSFORMATION

Well, it's been a while since my last post from Teach Like a Pirate. That certainly doesn't mean that I haven't been wanting to get my hands on this well-written book. The first two weeks of school and getting into the groove of things has prevented me from pleasure reading and blogging. So, what did I hop up and excitedly grab this Saturday morning? Yep, Teach Like a Pirate from Dave Burgess.

Today's golden nugget: TRANFORMATION

Transformation? Yes, it's all about questioning ourselves, "How can we transform our lessons and classroom to be exciting and remarkable enough to where our students don't dread coming to our classrooms." Don't we want our classrooms to stand out from the "sea of sameness?"  Don't you want your students remembering and talking about your lessons years after they had you? I know I do!

In order to do this, Dave Burgess suggests asking ourselves two questions. Yes, the answers can be pretty painful!
1. If your students didn't have to be there, would you be teaching in an empty room?
2. Do you have any lessons you could sell tickets for?

Wow! Those are pretty "to the point" questions. Not ALL of our lessons have to be jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring, but we should certainly have many lessons that conjure up excitement and enthusiasm from those sitting in front of us.

Students inquire, "Why do I have to know this?"  If we just respond by stating, "Because it's on the test," this DOES NOT cut it! It has to be relevant to the students and something that they will apply currently or in the future to the REAL world. Now you've got their attention!

Dave Burgess also talks in his book about proper POSITIONING. As teachers, we must position our classrooms to be "outrageously engaging." Add that "fun factor" and see the smiles on your students' faces. They might just line up and pay a pretty little penny for your lesson that day!

CASE IN POINT: This past week, I knew we were playing Context Clues football in my classroom. Therefore to HOOK them before the lesson, I brought in a white bag with a small football inside it. When I tiptoed over to the bag with the "secret" object, I had all my students in the palm of my hand.  I then told them that they could ask 10 "yes/no" questions to try and guess what was in the bag. Oh my goodness, you could hear a pin drop! A few classes did guess the object. When I pulled out that mini football, I HAD THEM! Now why is she pulling out a football in the middle of our reading class? HOOK!!!!! We're going to play Context Clues football!! Yes!! I don't think they even realized that I'm "making" them learn useful vocabulary words; they were just having a "ball."

Could I have handed out a Context Clues worksheet? You betcha! Would that have been a lesson that students would line up to see? I don't think so!

Thank you, Dave Burgess, for causing me to pause and ask myself some VERY powerful and lesson-changing questions.

NOTE: All ideas are from the must-read book Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess.

HOW TO PLAY CONTEXT CLUES FOOTBALL: To play Context Clues Football, divide your class into two teams. Project or place a "football field" onto your board (tape or use magnetic pins). I then used the App TAP ROULETTE to chose the team that would go first. Now you're ready to play. Starting with the winning team, they answer the first task card. If they get it right, they move to the 10 yard line. If they miss it, the other team gets a chance to answer. If students are talking or playing around, it's a fumble, and they move backwards 10 yards.

I just downloaded a football field from the Internet at this site:
Football Field Template and then used my Context Clues Task Cards for the questions. If you want to view the task cards in my TpT store, click here: Context Clues Task Cards or for older grades, check out these UPPER LEVEL Task Cards.

Until our next golden nugget,
Angie @ Positively Passionate About Teaching

1 comment:

  1. Love this! You motivated me to revamp my grammar lesson plans for the week. We will finish off our mini-lessons with a Hot Wheels Sentence Writing Contest. They will use the cars to correctly write simple, compound, and complex sentences with prepositional phrases!!!