Arrr Ye Ready to Make This a Great Year, Matey?

mediocrity

You might think this is a post to remind you about Talk Like a Pirate Day, which is scheduled for September 19th.  But that would be a frivolous use of this blog space, right?  I mean, what does that have to do with education?

So, I am not going to try to convince you to talk like a pirate, but I would like to recommend that you Teach Like a Pirate – at least if you can do it the Dave Burgess way.

I first saw a reference to Teach Like a Pirate, by Dave Burgess, on Vicki Davis’ blog.  She referred to his Play-Doh activity, and I was immediately curious about what pirates have to do with Play-Do, much less teaching.  So, I downloaded it to the Kindle app on my iPad (because I wanted it immediately and Amazon told me I would have to wait 4-6 weeks).  And I have to say that I like this guy, Dave Burgess.  Apparently, I’ve been kind of trying to advocate for pirate-teaching for awhile without even realizing it.  Who knew?

In Dave’s case, “pirate” is actually an acronym for: passion, immersion, rapport, ask and analyze, transformation, and enthusiasm.  Dave asks two questions about your teaching: “If your students didn’t have to be there, would you be teaching in an empty room?”  and “Do you have any lessons you could sell tickets for?”

Hmm.  Excellent questions.

Don’t worry.  If you answered, “No,” to both of those questions, Dave has a ton of suggestions for changing things up.  His book includes 30 “Hooks” for engaging minds, including “The Mission Impossible Hook” and the “Reality TV Hook” among others.

I love Dave’s passion and I can’t wait to incorporate some of his ideas this year.  I even found this great video trailer on YouTube for a school that actually hosted a “Teach Like a Pirate” Day, which I would love to see happen at more schools.

Coincidentally, I happened to recently read Kelly Tenkely’s post about “De-Tox Week” at her school, which referenced this Pinterest board of activities that I also think would help me to Teach Like a Pirate.

I am ready to make this a great year, and to make sure my students don’t ever want to “walk the plank” right out of my classroom.  (Sorry, I know that was bad, but I couldn’t resist.)  What about you?

Imagination Foundation

image from: Imagination Foundation

I’m posting about this a bit late, I’m afraid.  I missed the boat on the Global Cardboard Challenge on October 6th.  But, I still think it’s worth your while to view the video, which is a sequel to the Caine’s Arcade video.  And, there is no saying that you can’t organize your own Cardboard Challenge in your classroom or school on whatever day you like.  Imagination Foundation offers supporting materials, and even has some curriculum aligned with the original Caine’s Arcade video.  The mission of the Imagination Foundation is to “find, foster, and fund creativity and entrepreneurship in kids.”  It’s a relatively new site, but it looks like it has a lot of potential for engaging kids in re-connecting with good old-fashioned imaginative play.  And, if you are interested in sponsoring your own “Day of Play” in your neck of the woods, you might want to take a look at Kelly Tenkely’s description of  such a day recently held at her school, Anastasis Academy.

Secret Mission

Kelly Tenkely from iLearn Technology just posted a link to her Pinterest board of classroom inspirations, and I think I just found my entire curriculum for next year on it!
One of the ideas on her board was this great end-of-the-year activity that was pinned from http://befickle.blogspot.com/2010/03/secret-service-activity-days-activity.html
This is a fabulous way to encourage students to perform some random acts of kindness over the summer.  Or, you could use the idea of a “mission” for other achievements you would like them to work towards:  reading certain books, solving “mysteries”, doing something active, etc…
You have got to head over to Kelly’s board to see the rest of her “inspirations”!  It’s very motivating.
On a side note, we were talking with our principal about using one of our Staff Development days to do a “Pinterest Make and Take”.  Time would be set aside for everyone to make things for their classroom based on Pinterest inspirations.  There could even be groups who might meet to make their products together.  At the end would be a share time.  Doesn’t that sound like a productive (and fun) way to spend a Staff Development day?

An Awesome Book

An Awesome Book was recently featured on the blog iLearn Technology, by Kelly Tenkely.  This book, written by Dallas Clayton for his son, is about dreaming big and dreaming different.  It is about being creative and not restricting yourself to society’s norms.  Clayton originally self-published the book, unable to find anyone to take on the project.  After making an impact around the world, he was finally contacted by a major publisher.  The book is now available for purchase at major retailers.  What is fabulous, though, is that Clayton and the publisher also agreed to make the book available for free online.  You can go here to view the book and a short video of the author.  Kelly Tenkely has a few recommendations for how this resource can be used in the classroom on her blog.  This book will inspire you and your students!

Draw a Stickman, Episode 2

Draw a Stickman” has been one of the most popular posts on this blog.  Now, there is an Episode 2!  You can play it on the web, or you can play it on an iDevice (and get an alternative ending) for free.  Although I found out about the new episode through e-mail, I thought that  Kelly Tenkely’s summary of both of the Stickman episodes and the ways you can integrate them in your classroom was an excellent post.  So, I will direct you to her for a wealth of ideas!