Sunday, September 14, 2014

Today's Golden Nugget from Teach Like a Pirate: Enthusiasm

Well, another weekend approaches. What am I looking forward to? Reading another chapter in Dave Burgess' incredible book, Teach Like a Pirate.

Today's Golden Nugget: Enthusiasm

I can tell after reading the chapter "ENTHUSIASM" that Burgess feels like this is a doozy. If you're like me, by the end of the day, I could just fall on the floor from exhaustion and all that has occurred throughout the school day. However, we have students to teach and engage! I teach 5 classes of fifth graders. There are times when that fifth class walks in that I think to myself, "I don't want to say all of this AGAIN!" "How can I keep the energy that I had this morning all the way into the late afternoon?" I quote Burgess when he writes, "As a teacher, your days comprise enough positive and negative experiences to either make you feel energized and amazing or beat down and depressed. What you choose to attend to creates your reality."  Wow that last sentence is profound! ALL of our students deserve our best (no matter when they see us during the day).

This past week was my first time to hand out vocabulary to my students. Yes, boring vocabulary (but SO necessary to learn). They were to study the 15 Plot/Story Elements Vocabulary words and will be tested on the terms this coming week. Well, vocabulary (to many students) can be quite mundane. I decided to "hook them into studying" by telling them that, "We'll be playing a game with our words tomorrow. You'll need to know the words, their meanings, and be able to APPLY them in order to be a great team player." The next day students came, ready to play. Yes, they studied!

I set up two chairs at the front of the room with buzzers on top of the chairs. I heard a few whisper to one another, "Oh, it's time for that game she talked about." I then numbered off the students into 2 teams (TEAM 1 and TEAM 2). After explaining my expectations, the rules of the game, and reminding them of safety in the classroom, the game commenced. You could feel the excitement in the room. Students were quickly coming toward the buzzers and giving me the CORRECT answers to my questions. For example, I would say, "The part of the plot diagram that's the most exciting and suspenseful part of the movie, play, or story." They had to answer, "Climax."  I also had them APPLY the vocabulary such as, "GIVE me the name of a non-fiction book" (not just the definition, but can they APPLY the terms). We had a blast! I heard quite a few, "Awwwwwwwwws" when the game was over.

I agree with Burgess when he begins this chapter with saying that "excellence as a teacher starts with having a passion for what you do in life."  I owe it to my students to "bring it!" I may not be able to make EVERY single lesson exciting, but I will give my best and exert a passion in my job every day.

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

 If you want to view the Plot/Story Elements Vocabulary terms that I gave my students, with the tests (2 test included- one is modified) along with answer keys, click here: Plot/Story Elements Vocabulary Words, Tests, and Answer Keys

Until the next "golden nugget,"

No comments:

Post a Comment