Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Today's Golden Nugget: The Third Circle

Since school started, I've been busy with planning and implementing activities in my fifth grade classroom. Therefore, I haven't been able to read for personal pleasure as often (you know how that goes).

As soon as I got a few free minutes, I once again grabbed one of my favorite professional development/education books: Teach Like a Pirate written by Dave Burgess.

Today's Golden Nugget: The Third Circle

If you're like me...I wondered what in the world "the third circle" was (interesting title). After reading the chapter, I totally agree that so many professional development workshops and meetings focus on the TECHNIQUES such as scaffolding, "think-pair-share," whole brain teaching, etc., and on CONTENT. Yes, these two "circles" are absolutely important. However, too many times no one is talking about the third circle...PRESENTATION.

I was fortunate enough to experience, in person, the man who's on a mission to change this. Thank you, Dave Burgess, for going on a "one-man mission, traveling far and wide" to share this pertinent aspect of the classroom.

So how do we focus (and improve upon on) the presentation part of our lessons? This chapter reminds us to create those "magical moments" in our classrooms by making it so entertaining that students don't realize they're actually learning. What a concept! We must keep the students engaged throughout the lesson; not just at the beginning of lessons (the energy must be maintained). We must "turn up the heat!"

To keep the energy in the room maintained, we must also transition smoothly. Transitions (in Burgess' words) can kill us. Just taking a few extra minutes to make sure all props, gadgets, equipment, etc. is set out and ready to go can make an enormous difference in the flow of our lesson and student engagement. For example, this past Monday, I knew I was going to play a Connect 4 vocabulary game with my students and show a cute video at the beginning of class to "hook them." What if I'd not had the Connect 4 set up? What is my video wasn't ready to show? What if I didn't even have my projector on or my computer hooked up? We've all been there...we know what happens, and it's not pretty. We lose our students and precious time.
Planning like this (and being totally prepared prior to the lesson) takes extra time and effort. However, just like Burgess sees in his classroom, I sincerely believe we'll also observe positive and worthwhile results and "master the art of gaining student engagement AND also master the art of not losing it."

I can't wait to dive into the next few chapters which discuss numerous hooks and ways to get students moving, focused, and engaged.

Thoughts and ideas come from the book Teach Like a Pirate.

NOTE: CONNECT 4 GAME - I had the class play against me simply using the Connect 4 Game. I projected task cards onto the screen and read them one at a time. I went around the room and called on students to answer the cards. If the student got it right, he/she got to put in a Connect 4 chip. If the question wasn't answered correctly, I got to put a chip in (oh boy). Of course the first to CONNECT 4 chips of the same color WINS. I can tell you that all eyes were on me, all students were ready to play, and all students were 100% engaged. When it was time to quit playing, I got quite a few NO's!  Connect 4 can be played with any educational concept. Have fun!

I LOVE using, and creating, task cards. If you're looking for task cards to use in the classroom, you can find many in my TpT Store

Blessings and happy teaching,

1 comment:

  1. Presentation is utterly important--Thanks for sharing! I will have to check out this book.