Friday, August 28, 2009

Week 1 Day 5 "On Stage" and Clips

Cool sighting of the week:

Periodic table of Text abbreviations. OMG it's TC.

This has been a good week, nice new students, but we are all EXHAUSTED.
We have been in need of a 7th grade learning director at our school for a month. Now we just lost our 8th grade L.D. to a nearby school district. Two colleagues at our school have lost loved ones. We have a paper and money shortage too.

Thank goodness we had the staff social our house. Thanks to my wife for getting all the summer residues cleaned up and out of our house the last few days. We sat outside in 96 degree temperature for 2 1/2 hours. Margaritas were good, but the heat (not noticed at the time) added to the exhaustion.

We are blessed with work.

Without meaning to, I designed my lesson plan today in a way that put me "On Stage" 95% of the period. On Stage means I am in front of the class going over notes and walking the room to verify participation and to offer help. No break. No 5 minute chance to sit and catch up on e-mail, roll, sorting, straightening up my constant messes generated by me.
I am a high energy teacher. But you gotta give your self a little break or a lot of them. Breaks where the students are WORKING and I am not in front ON STAGE.
The first week can have a lot of ON STAGE time due to going over rules, routines, procedures, setting up notebooks, going over homework, etc.
I need to remember to not allow myself to me ON STAGE so much. As I age it is getting more difficult to maintain the OLD HIGH ENERGY BULLDOZER TEACHING STYLE METHODS. Now I have learned some ways to not push through as I have in the past.

Today's Best Practice... Clips: Paper and Magnetic.
I now have to special order the triple extra large paper clips from the Office Depot. I love these big clips. You can connect a stack of papers up to 3/4 of an inch or so. Students are also very impressed with them.
My motto is: It's not Magic, It's Science!
This is true of all things EXCEPT Magnets. They are magic. I mean come on, they even begin the same MAGic and MAGnet.
The photo above shows a very nice magnetic clip holding my very big paper clips at a convenient location near my assignment storage rack. Hey, a drill and screw and screw driver can do wonders for adding convenient hangers, racks, or hooks. Don't be shy about making your room custom fit to your needs. Just make sure they look good, not dingy.
I use all sorts of magnets to hold things to my board to posters on the metal surface of the flame hood . Doughnut shaped Ceramic magnets, super strong rare earth magnets (that I have to wrap in tape so as to remove them from the magnetic dry erase boards in our rooms). You can buy really cool looking ceramic "clattering magnets. When they lose their polish I put them to work as clips. The Harbour Freight Hardware stores, and for much more money at auto supply stores, you can buy metal bowls with a built in magnet base. Way cool and useful as long as you keep them away from electronics.

I hope you can use this.

Love to teach, and Teach With Passion.


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