Sunday, September 20, 2015

Pirate-Teaching in 7 Days

My teaching world is forever rocked
and everyone is benefiting: students and teacher!

BEFORE - desks

AFTER - Table groups + reading nook

From Day 1, students have been empowered to take control of their learning and their learning environment.  No one is hostage to their seat; students are constantly moving around the room to work on assignments, collaborate, peer-edit, ask for help. The guideline is Ask 3, then Me.  They are learning to be responsible for their learning, our learning environment, and our community.

On Day 2, a student felt empowered to move himself to a desk so he could focus. He moved himself back to his table group later in the day - didn't ask me - I LOVE this!

From Day 1, I modeled Give Me 5 and even asked a couple of students if they would repeat what I told them and most did.  Finally, on Day 7, a brave soul called out one after I posted a note on the whiteboard. Over the course of the day three or four more students utilized this empowering tool - all appropriately.  **Tomorrow, I'm planning on reviewing the many ways it can be employed - I reread that chapter today!
**UPDATE 9/21/15 - 6 students did it - I can see for some that they were really being brave, for others they "own" it, now! 8 days!!!!

Give Me 5
On Day 2, emphasizing all 4 C's which are listed in the 21 Century Skills section of Learn Like a Pirate which is linked to the Revised Blooms Taxonomy, I used Popsicle sticks and grouped the students in groups of 3. Using the data from the whole-class bar graph we created, students were charged with designing (=creativity) a pie graph with a title and legend.  LOTS of discussing (=communication & critical thinking) and collaboration commenced - I listened in and moved around the room, checking to see that everyone was in some way participating - very "present" the entire time.  After they completed their rough draft, I asked each group to come up with 3 different ways they could improve the presentation = improvement-focused.  Absolutely blown away by the thoughtful responses: different color choices, using a ruler for straight lines, moving or enlarging the legend. I know it's not rocket-science, but this was accomplished on Day 2 with some not working with their favorite partners!
Math Pie Graphs
Day 6 - students "boarded" a ship bound to America in 1850. I donned a shawl, dusted off my Irish accent, and using a baby doll, marbles, and a miniature of the Statue of Liberty - both 5th grade classes (36 students) crammed together in the middle of the classroom to hear a dramatic retelling of Peggy O'Flynn's (a relative of mine whose story has been greatly embellished!) journey to America as a result of the Irish Potato Famine.  This was part of our Immigration Celebration in which students celebrate the diversity of America by bringing bread to share from their ancestral home. Fun and full tummies were had by all! I put push pins on a world map of all the countries my students' ancestors/parents have immigrated from. Every year, I used this Active Learning strategy - it's nice to know that I've been on track in at least one area.
**Future Active Learning & Peer Collaboration Project- Native American tribe reports using Glogster.

Sharing Bread from Our Cultures

This week, I'll be starting Responsibility-Partners and using Paul Solarz's math lesson model.  I'm looking forward to making one-on-one homework check-in a reality.  In this way, every student is being reached while all students are working on a review lesson.

No comments: