Archive for July, 2010

Classroom Website

On the last day of summer school I recorded all of the students performing their chants. You can see one of the videos above OR you can see all the videos on our brand new classroom website…

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Continue Reading July 31, 2010 at 11:12 pm Leave a comment

Inspired by Professional Development

I am getting ready to attend the KIPP School Summit for professional development in Las Vegas next week. I am sure that I will have a million posts after attending all the different sessions and collaborating with so many enthusiastic and dedicated teachers. I really can’t wait for the opportunity to focus fully on teaching. I explain why in a post that I contributed to the KIPP School Summit blog, which you can read here…

Continue Reading July 31, 2010 at 10:43 pm Leave a comment

How do we get there?

Once I share the big goal on Day One, I wanted to set the expectation for behavior in an interesting way. I decided that reaching our big goal came down to the Two P’s: practicing and participating. You can see on the video how I used student volunteers to demonstrate the importance of the Two P’s to the class…

Continue Reading July 26, 2010 at 6:24 pm 2 comments

Day One = Pure Potential

I know. I’ve been missing for two weeks. That is because you cannot get ready for the first day of school AND keep up with a blog. I’m going to have to streamline things if I’m going to keep this going.

In the meantime, there was Day One.

And on Day One, there’s only one thing that you really have to do – invest students in your classroom’s goal.

I don’t know if these ten minutes inspired the kids, but it’s ten minutes that I’m going to watch when I feel myself getting burnt out in the middle of the year.

July 21, 2010 at 11:06 pm 8 comments

World Cup Connections

One of the greatest things about being a teacher is that you can actually watch World Cup games!

I sat next to a teacher when I saw the US play Algeria. She teaches high school English in a very different part of town than I do, but I discovered our jobs have a lot of similarities. 

For one thing, she has to get creative when it comes to helping students behave and learn.

She told me about one of her students who constantly talked during class. He didn’t mean to talk, of course; he just didn’t realize exactly what he was doing. Luckily he loved to play soccer, and she helped him fix the talking problem by bringing this love into the classroom. She simply cut out yellow and red squares to look like the yellow and red cards used by a referee. Just like on the soccer field, the yellow card was a warning, and the red card meant a time out.

This incredibly personal form of discipline was not only a way of building her relationship with the student; it was a warning system that the student really understood. That simple. Problem solved.

Of  course, there are thousands of ways to bring sports into the classroom (especially the math classroom) if that is what motivates you and your students. The World Cup is a great way to learn about statistics while making connections to the Social Studies curriculum to learn about other countries. A math teacher can write a thousand different soccer problems. I love this applet exploration on the NCTM website:

http://illuminations.nctm.org/ActivityDetail.aspx?id=158

If you’re really excited by math and sports then there is a whole curriculum using fantasy sports in the classroom. It is a lot more sports than I could personally handle, but there are a million ways to teach math (and behavior) so that it will resonate with you and your students. I think I need one of those vuvuzelas.

July 3, 2010 at 4:21 pm 2 comments


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