Crumb vs. Crust
A Fun Warm-Up Game for Gym Class found on the Internet…. If somebody knows where this originated, please post below… I simply saved the screen capture for future use… and now, I will use it when I am next a Gym Teacher!
In all of yesterday’s sorting and tossing and organizing and recycling and re-piling and filing, I came across my collection of Art Lessons. They were shouting, “Share! SHARE!” and since 1 of my 327 incomplete projects is to actually scan and archive my Art…
Here’s one inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe, a maverick woman artist at a time when women were quite less than welcome in the World of Professional (male) artists…
This lesson was done with a class of third-graders. First, we read a biography about Ms. Okeeffe so we could learn a little about the time she lived in and about the art she made, as well as a little bit about her philosophy as an artist. Then, the students tried blending their pastels on a practice paper. Next, they got to pick from a variety of close-up photos of flowers. Their goal was to emulate Georgia O’Keeffe’s style.
VARIATION… CUT INTO ENOUGH PIECES FOR THE CLASS A LARGE PHOTO OF A CLOSE-UP FLOWER (OR, USE SEVERAL PHOTOS). GIVE EACH CHILD A PIECE… AT THE END, REASSEMBLE THE ARTWORK AND PHOTOS.The lesson (as I see it) of this lesson, besides the artistic curriculum expectations met (see Ontario Curriculum documents, if you so desire), is this:
Take time to notice and tend to the little things in life… Maybe they aren’t so little? And, more than likely, each little thing is part of a bigger thing and its importance is often overlooked until the little thing is gone or broken. And, then, the big thing doesn’t work as it should. I am intentionally speaking in such broad things because it can be applied in most situations.
And, once we accept this, then we may see the importance of every little thing we do, from completing our part of a group project to doing our part to ensure a happy classroom environment; from noticing flowers to friends…
“Nobody sees a flower – really – it is so small it takes time – we haven’t time – and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.”
- Georgia O’Keeffe from Goodreads
Take time to tend to a friend and chat to a flower,
or is it, chat to a friend and smell a flower.
I am usually too over-whelmed on Twitter. I mainly use it professionally, so my connections are either Educators or Local News & Events. Still – I usually find it all too much all at once. And by too much, I mean too much relevant information that has the potential to make me a better educator, and a better person, in general. So, I mark some of it for for later, share some on Facebook, or save inSpringpad… and then loose it… forever.
Not this time! This time, I will share my Exploration into Twitter Chat Land. I have pulled out some examples of Top Tweets (as determined by myself for myself, but also for others in a similar situation). As well as some of the links to Blogs and other resources. In a follow-up blog, I may include these to create The Compilation of Mega-Advice for Successful Job Interviews. Of course, then…
I WILL LAND MY PERFECT FIT TEACHING JOB!I am a Twitter Newbie…. kind of. I’ve been on it for over a year, but I am more of a passive user – for now – I think I might try a chat one of these days, like the New Teacher Chat (#ntchat), moderated by Lisa Dabbs @teachingwthsoul. You can check out the Wiki here.
Also note that I did not notice this wonderful and extremely relevant chat until the end. I scrolled through and was impressed by the succinct, yet helpful comments and links to informative blogs.
So, for all you other Twitter Chat Newbies out there, here’s what seems to happen…
The moderator will tweet the topic details, like this:
Lisa Dabbs Join me in 15min for New Teacher Chat #ntchat Today, Wed. 7/11 8et/5pt Topic:Tips for Performing Your Best at Your Next Interview#edchat.
Next, she introduces herself and the chat (just like if it were a f2f convo!):
Welcome, All!! I’m the founder and moderator of #ntchat Join me for this time of learning and collaboration!! To join the chat you may want to use Tweetdeck, tweetchat or other client that allows columns. Use the hashtag #ntchat to join the convo! We are a small, but mighty chat…dedicated to being practitioner focused and supportive to new teachers! Before we get started…Let’s take a minute to introduce yourselves. Share who you are and where you’re from! Thanks… To be supportive we do a “structured chat” for first 20 min: Q1, Q2, Q3 with A1, A2, A3 to have everyone participate!
And, the chat begins:
QUESTION 1: WHAT’S THE FIRST THING (A NEW TEACHER) SHOULD DO TO PREPARE FOR AN INTERVIEW? LET’S SHARE IDEAS!Participants contribute to Q1:
A Teacher’s Life Have a clear educational philosophy that you can discuss in a few minutes & a prospective discipline plan for your classroom.
Jerry Blumengarten Prepare a portfolio preferably Digital http://tinyurl.com/4btmvrg Have an ed philosophy, Practice answering questions…Must show how you would differentiate learning but also they look for classroom management skills which are very important …
Karl LS Research the school they are interviewing with-the more specifics you can reference about the school the better.
Blanca E. Duarte Read about the community, visit and observe children at the library, the stores, the park. Know your community and it’s children.
Dave Burgess I think it is very important to be able to speak from a place of passion about why you want to be a teacher. Also important to show you are a learner.Talk about what you have recently done to grow and a recent relevant book you have read. One way I got my job (revealed to me later) is because they asked what I had read recently and I knocked it out of the park.
José Popoff The focus needs to be on what you can do for the school not other way around
QUESTION 2: HOW DO YOU PRACTICE FOR THE INTERVIEW TO BE SURE YOU SHARE WHAT’S IMPORTANT?Lisa Dabbs Schedule a day of introspection. Think about your career, your goals, and your past experiences. Organize your work samples!
RT @PrincipalDunlop: RT @cybraryman1: A2 Video your practice sessions and you will see/hear things you can work on.
RT @guster4lovers: #ntchat I’d say make yourself a website with as much work/info as possible. it’s how I got my last job
RT PrincipalDunlop: A1: ask a mentor about possible interview questions. Do a mock interview. Painful but so helpful!
Two Teacherz Make Top 5 List of key words that represent most important items; at end of ALL interviews you get floor. Use them! Be able to express how you can reach, teach ALL learners (differentiated instruction).
QUESTION 3: HOW IMPORTANT DO YOU THINK IT IS TO MEMORIZE THE THINGS YOU WANT TO SAY, BUT STAY CONVERSATIONAL? COULD BE TRICKY?Sue Dunlop instead, organized experiences into themes: literacy, numeracy, assessment, classroom management, PLC’s etc Have a framework to organize your thouhgts, especially if you tend to ramble or if you get paralysed… had an art teacher bring in art pieces done by students. Fantastic!
Lisa Dabbs I think it’s important to have some strong talking points prepared. Then feel confident to go with the flow and SMILE! Know what you want to emphasize but don’t memorize – you’ll have enough on you mind that day! Stay focused on the interview question. Do not ramble. And it’s okay if you do not know the answer. Be honest!
Melissa Edwards Practice speaking slowly and distinctly without saying “ummm”. Know a few things you want to emphasize but don’t sound rehearsed.
Cheryl Morris Try to give a general principle followed by specific example: “I believe in x. In my classroom it looks like y.” Bring water so u can pause to think/drink. ALWAYS ask on the phone beforehand. then bring what they tell you to. if they say nothing, then listen to that.
QUESTION 4: WHAT KINDS OF PRESENTATION ITEMS DO YOU THINK ARE IMPORTANT TO BRING TO THE INTERVIEW?(WE MAY HAVE SHARED THIS, BUT…)RT @Miss_Doig: An iPad if you can so that you can refer to examples quickly. Make sure your digital portfolio is well organised. (I KNEW I was right in proclaiming, “I need one!“
Lisa Dabbs I loved it when new teachers brought in actual artifacts of lessons worked on. Really impressive. I also had a prospective interviewee, bring in a video she had done of herself teaching a class! It was great to see.
Billy Spicer My experiences on interview committees is that you have to embed your portfolio INTO your responses. I’ve interviewed candidates that created websites, infographic resumes (cool!), & @prezi to use in interviews. You MUST stand out.
Jimmy Casas If I were interviewing for job today I would ask permission 2 teach a class so they could see my skill set in the classroom w/kids.
QUESTION 5: HOW DO YOU DRESS FOR THE INTERVIEW?William Gabriel Suit and Tie. I try to wear a tie that matches the color of the school. Subliminal message. It was what my g-father taught in.
RT @dalehancock: Be confident with humility. Most of all, be yourself. That is who you’ll be your first day on the job.
Lastly, the moderator will close the chat with suggestions on “where to go from here” for follow-up:
Wow! Where did the time go!! A HUGH heart felt Thank You to all of you for stopping by tonight! Be sure to follow some of the new friends you met here, tonight at New Teacher Chat #ntchat to continue the convo! Archives of New Teacher Chat will be on the wiki soon http://goo.gl/yLYf See you next week for our chat w/@KleinErin on Pinterest. OK friends…remember we are here for you. If you need a mentor…you need to check out our group! (http://tinyurl.com/8ylavvm) Be sure to check out & LIKE our New Teacher Chat Facebook page!http://goo.gl/kZCPv Share it with your FB buddies! I also have a list of interview questions that I will post to the wiki as soon as @evernote comes back on line!!
There it is, in a nutshell… Do check out the archives because there were many more super contributors. Always remember:
Faige Meller Be true to yourself. Don’t try to impress. Share who you are and why you want to teach.
The clincher testimonial to convince one of Twitter’s potential…
Mary Bertram Hi! Cant stay for the chat today but just wanted to drop by & say all the weekly #ntchat convos helped me get my first job!
SUPER BONUS LINKS THAT I WILL BE DELVING DEEPER INTO:…and this is why teachers should have blogs - George Couros
10 Tips to Help You Break to the Front of the Interview Pack! - Randee Kallison
#MentoringMonday An Article a Day…Might Just Save Your Teaching Life – Lisa Dabbs
10 Mistakes to Avoid In Your “Hire Me” E-mail – Carrie Jackson
http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/ed416/Task4.html – This is an Educational Philosophy Task that is good for Newbie & Not-So-Newbie teachers alike!)
One for the file (Haiku Lesson)
As I whittle away at my paper piles, I have come across many forgotten lesson ideas… Here’s one that is both quick & easy: “A HAIKU for Every Theme”… It covers some Literacy and whatever other subject you or the students wish.
I did these in a Grade 5 classroom. The teacher wanted me to complete the lesson on writing Haiku, plus she also wished for us to discuss Earth Day and combine the two…
The students enjoyed putting their finished poems up for all to see, plus it gave them motivation to do a great job. After I showed them the pattern, and we made a couple all together, they were off, some of them creating 2 or 3 in the short time we actually had to work. They worked on the pictures during their own nutrition break time.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any of their poems or our whole-class creations, but here are some of my attempts…
We care about Earth
We will write poems for HOPE
Others will care, too. S. O. S.
Planet near to death
but (Maybe) it’s not too late.
As ONE, we rally.
And then we want seven more
And five once again
** Alternatively, as an introduction to Haiku (for a class that is not familiar), I think I would show them about three Haiku Poems and have the students working in small groups to figure out the Rules for Haiku.
The Wrong Frame of Mind, Or, The Sad Student's Guide To Not Getting Things Done
I have absolutely no idea where this came from… somewhere in England, I think… I may have used it in my teaching there, or I may have just carried it around with me, who knows?.....
Sad students are full of promises and good intentions. Their favourite expression is, “I’ll do it tomorrow.” Each day is to be a new beginning but always seems to have the same ending. For the sad student, “tomorrow” never comes!
Like the fly wandering into the spider’s web, the sad student falls into a pattern of time wasting and self-deception.
First of all, there is the “getting started” phase. Having decided that tonight’s the night to revise that topic that was postponed from a couple of nights ago, the student gets himself ready to work. This means making sure that everything is in exactly the right place before he starts. A good idea in principle, but after five to ten minutes finding things and tidying his desk, he decides to sharpen all his pencils…
Just as he is about to sit down and begin, he remembers that he was going to telephone his girlfriend and knows that if he doesn’t ring her he won’t be able to concentrate during his revision. The “quick call” takes 20 minutes, not the couple he intended (well, “it’s good to talk” as the adverts tell us!).
The student returns to his desk, opens his file of notes and is just about to start. A glance at his watch to check the time makes him remember that “Glee” is on in ten minutes! As it is obviously not worth starting yet, he goes downstairs again, switches on the television and relaxes for a few minutes “channel surfing” then watching the weather forecast until it’s the time that all Gleeks have been waiting all Summer for!
The programme ends and it featured a song that he loves and hadn’t heard in a while. He feels the need to hear it once more – this time whilst following along with the lyrics. Forty minutes and one playlist later, he is met with silence and the student is suddenly feeling guilty. This makes him realize that he is a little hungry and needs a snack of some sort…
His snack attack lasts twenty minutes – ten minutes to prepare, ten to eat while reading the sports page of the newspaper (again) to avoid having to think about what he promised himself he should be studying tonight.
At ten o’clock he trudges back up to his bedroom to begin at last. After a few minutes reading his notes he starts to feel the effects of his snack and becomes a little drowsy. This causes him to move to a more comfortable spot where he can put his feet up – his bed…
A noise jolts him awake at quarter to twelve. He finds the sad debris of his good intentions – his creased and crumpled notes.
A wave of guilt rises up inside.
At this point, the sad student can make a choice. He can stay up all night or DEFINITELY get the revision done TOMORROW. Yes, he’ll feel like studying tomorrow!
You could use this in the classroom, for sure!
To think about…
A Personal Inventory, Then.
This was an old assignment I have found among my paper piles… It was written when I was only 14 years old, um, that would be 20 years ago, when I couldn’t even fathom ever being 34 years old!
I am Nikki, but really Nicola.
I am exactly 14 years old (plus one day).
I am a student in my ninth year,
at Sir Allan MacNab High School.
At my tallest, I am five foot seven.
My eyes are greyish-blue
And my hair is blond but almost brown.
I am older than Mali, Tara and Darryl,
Younger than Lisa, Shauna, Cindy and Lori.
My birthday is in March,
I love warm weather
and fluffy, white snow
And Christmas and summer.
When I was little,
I watched Sesame Street and cartoons.
I still watch cartoons,
but not Sesame Street- very often.
My room is a mess
Because I like it that way.
Books and clothes are all over the floor,
But what else are floors for?
It’s organized chaos.
I wish I were rich,
And if I were
I’d have a bigger house,
And an expensive sports car.
I’d travel all over the world
in my very own private jet.
But I’m not rich.
Dreams are free.
I love my psycho mother,
My brother, who is my friend,
And Coffee, my cat.
My name is Nikki.
(Written, April 1st, 1991)
This is One for the Files.... What an easy & fun assignment to have students do!
Nicola Schneider, Occasional Teacher, 13 years