These were the tips I shared with my faculty today. Links are in brackets.
A Few Classroom Management Tricks and Tools
t’s that time of the year when the barometer is dropping, the moon is full (ok it’s not, but it feels like it) and of course we just had our first snow—in November! It’s the perfect storm for the kids to be a little more “enthusiastic” (and by enthusiastic we all know I mean wound up). This might be the perfect time to revisit procedures or introduce some new things that will get your students’ attention and help them manage their own enthusiasm.
First, check out Angela Watson’s post “How to Get Students to Follow Directions The First Time”, on the Cornerstone by clicking [here]. In the post, Watson suggests, 9 ways to get your students to stop and listen to directions. Some of my favorites are “the 3 before me rule” and the “magic word”, which I would likely make sloth or even better the phrase “Goonies Never Say Die” as in: “Goonies Never Say Die!” pause for dramatic effect—”please get out your pencils.”
Here are a few more “Attention Getters” from AtoZ Teacher Stuff [here]. The “Finding Nemo Attention Getter” is probably my favorite on the list. Say “Shark Bait!” when you need to get your students’ attention, and they repeat “Brew-ha-ha” until the class is settled.
An app for that
There’s also a great app called “Too Noisy” for iPhone or iPad. Click [here] to see the website. The app has a noise meter on it, and it allows you to control the sensitivity. When the class is too noisy, the noise meter will point to red and you will see a smiley face turn to a frown. You could share the meter with your class by placing your device under your document camera or by using something like AirServer if your computer and device are on the same network.
Celebrate Picture Book Month with Rosemary Wells
For Picture Book Month, be sure to check out some favorites by Rosemary Wells. The Max books, Bunny Cakes and Noisy Nora are all time favorites.
Be sure to check out the Rosemary Wells website by clicking [here].
Read about why Wells believes picture books are important to a child’s cognitive development, by clicking [here].
Find her on twitter [here].
EdCamp Unconferences, a New Way to Get Professional Development
This weekend I attended EdCampNKY hosted by the Northern Kentucky Education Action Council Team 2. It was three hours of professional development unlike any professional development I have ever been part of. There are no rules and no real formal presentations. It’s all about what you need, and if you’re not getting anything out of a session, you just get up and leave, and find another conversation to join.
When I arrived at Boone County High School on Saturday, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I checked in and got a paper that described the general format, then saw the schedule of “sessions” projected on the wall. Sessions run about 30 minutes, and you create sessions as you go. A few teachers from Ft. Thomas wanted to learn more about RTI, so they created a session, and people showed up and started sharing ideas. A few others asked me to help them with Twitter, so I started a session and sat with three people and helped them get started. There were a few somewhat “planned” sessions where teachers shared technology ideas and presented about apps to use (I learned about Too Noisy in one).
Basically, the experience was awesome because I got exactly what I needed, and it was empowering to know that if I wasn’t getting what I needed I could generate my own session so that I could get it. I love that it embraced the idea that teachers are the experts, and that we have a lot to share, and I really love how teachers from all over the area came together to work together.
Click [here] to see a Smore that describes EdCampNKY, you’ll notice the “Possible Topics” list—we didn’t even get a chance to talk about many of those—but could in future camps. Click [here] to see Erika Bowles Storify from the day (compilation of tweets from the sessions). Also, follow Erika Bowles (Longbranch Elementary Principal) on Twitter by clicking [here].
The next EdCampNKY is going to be at Highlands High School on December 7, 2013. Even if you have all your PD hours, you should try to go to see it in action. And really, you will be surprised at how much you have to share. Be sure to search the hashtag on Twitter #EdCampNKY to see more of what people are sharing.