Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Advanced Tactics: From Teach Like a Pirate

I have loved reading the book, Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess. His energy and passion for teaching oozes from the pages and is contagious. If you haven't been following along with this blog book study, visit Rowdy in First or Third Grade Tid Bits to start at the beginning.

Don't have this great book yet? Click the picture to purchase on Amazon.

The section titled "Advanced Tactics" brings us three more hooks: The Mission Impossible Hook, The Reality TV Hook and the Techno Whiz Hook.

The Mission Impossible Hook focuses on getting students hooked by using mystery or setting up a mission for students to accomplish. Webquests could be formulated for this hook. Some other ideas might be using a game that will demonstrate the idea like using the game Settlers Of Catan to illustrate the ideas of needs v. wants and supply v. demand. My husband uses Monopoly to teach accounting. Students have to keep track of all transactions in a ledger and play strategically to win.

The Reality TV Hook is the idea of building activities on popular shows. Divide your class into tribes and give challenges to the teams for a Survivor based hook. This would be great for math task activities. Students work together in their tribes to be the first to come up with a solution. Use the Amazing Race premise to "visit" places you study in your geography/social studies standards. Dave suggests using the idea of Fear Factor to introduce students to various cultures through the foods of that culture. Shark Tank could be used for students to share their Science Fair projects to panels of their peers or guest judges like the janitor, lunch lady and secretary.  This could be used any time students are asked to develop new ideas or their own take on a concept.

The Techno Whiz Hook is focused on the idea of using technology to grab and engage your students. I love using technology in my classroom. Most children are pretty tech savvy regardless of the technology they have at home. Even my students with the lowest socio-economic situations have technology experience. Here are some tech sites and ideas you might want to try with your students:

  • ifaketext.com ~ create a fake text to capture your students interest and/or have them use the site and create a fake text conversation with a historical character or a book character.  Can you guess who this conversation is between?

  • skype.com ~ form a Skype relationship with another classroom within your state/country or within another country. Skype has an educational program you can check into.
  • Google Drive ~ have students use google drive to create and submit assignments, create a form to poll the class, school body or community on a topic, interact with each other and have a book talk or discussion. Sometimes it's not feasible to have everyone discuss something at one time, this way students can interact when they have the time through the day.
  • Blogger ~ create a free class website to communicate home. There are many other educational specific blog hosting sites as well. Check with your district technology team to see what your district will allow students to access at school. It's very inconvenient if students cannot access the blog at school.

There's so many ways to integrate technology into your classroom. Educate yourself on the possibilities and use your imagination to implement them.

I love Dave's ending remarks about "The Power of Live." Developing the talent to adjust your teaching in the midst of a lesson is key to keeping things lively and bringing students what they need. Seeing something live and in person is always a better experience than doing so through a picture or video. Of course, in the absence of the ability to have an experience in person a substitute can be made, but teaching live and in person is so much more powerful than doing so through technology. This thought from Dave led me to think also about how imperative it is for us to develop our plans with our students in mind and keep those plans open enough to adjust them mid-lesson as we need to. We collaborate and share lesson ideas, but the actual plan in how we carry out that lesson needs to be ours with our students in mind.

Have you done anything along the lines of these three hooks? Do you have a plan in mind to use these hooks? We'd love to learn from you too! Share your ideas or links to posts in the comments.  Who do you think the fake text conversation is between?

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  1. I LOVE ifaketext! One of my teammates used Skype a lot last year. I've got to jump on that bandwagon. I know there are lots of authors who are willing to Skype with classes!

    Rowdy in First Grade

  2. Hello Melissa,
    I agree with Jennifer, love the ifaketext. I am going to borrow that idea.

    2 Smart Wenches


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