Earth Afire – Ender’s Game Prequel

Earth_Afire

Earth Afire by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston

I had no idea that this book was part of a trilogy when I started reading it. I just thought it was a one-off prequel to Ender’s Game. I enjoyed the read but it seemed like it took a long time to get to the actual story I wanted to read.

I was already familiar with a bit of the story because I read the graphic novel Formic Wars: Burning Earth and I really enjoyed it.

As I got close to the end of this novel, however, I started to worry that the story wasn’t going to be resolved. Just when the it finally got to the point I’d wanted to read, the story ended abruptly.

I like my novels to have some sort of closure, even in a trilogy. This book didn’t do that for me.

Orson Scott Card is one of my favourite authors but I hate to admit that I really am not interested in reading the final book in this series. Instead, I want to finish reading the original Ender’s Game series. I am currently reading Children of the Mind.

I know that I am not painting this book in the greatest of light, but the original Ender’s Game and its sequel, Speaker for the Dead, are absolutely amazing, fantastic books that I highly recommend.

My 2014 Reading Log - 40 titles and counting

The New Spider-Man, Miles Morales

I’d been wanting to read this title for some time now. I finally got around to it, thanks to the Marvel Unlimited Comics App on my iPhone. They had a one month special subscription price as a special comic-con deal that I just had to take them up on.

I read all of the graphic novels in this series, the original death of Peter Parker storyline in The Amazing Spider-Man, and all of The Superior Spider-Man titles as well. That was well worth with $1.99 subscription.

I’m thinking of buying a yearly subscription as well. It really is worth it to be able to read all of theses great comics anytime on my phone.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol 1

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Volume 1

Miles Morales becomes the new Spider-Man but his powers are a little bit different. He has a venom strike that shocks his enemies much like a tazer. He also has the ability to camouflage himself by blending into the background of his environment. The really surprising thing is that he doesn’t have the ability to shoot webs.

I like the fact that he has a Black father and a Hispanic mother. He also has his own identity and the story doesn’t feel like a retread of the original Spider-Man we all know and love.

Brian Michael Bendis did a great job of relaunching the iconic character for a new generation in the Ultimate Universe. It compelled me to read more immediately.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol 2

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Volume 2

Peter Parker’s Aunt May, Gwen Stacy, and Mary Jane Watson share with Miles their stories and give Miles the encouragement he needs to continue as Spider-Man. They also give him Peter Parker’s web-shooters. Spider-Man is back and swinging from webs once again. Seeing Miles learn how to use them was hilarious and uplifting. I loved it!

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol 3

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Volume 3

The new Spider-Man gets to join The Avengers, despite Captain America’s objections. Miles also finds out that his uncle isn’t exactly the man he thought he was. And even worse, he discovers that Miles is a super-hero and tries to use him to advance his own criminal career.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol 4

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Volume 4

Enter Venom and family tragedy. This was a story that had me on the edge of my seat.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol 5

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Volume 5

This image is so iconic and I’m glad they used it in the new Spider-Man series. It makes sense for Miles to pack it all in. He takes a break for close to a year, but he truly is Spider-Man now and is needed. He gets some great encouragement and finally realizes his destiny as a crime-fighting superhero.

I really enjoyed this read. It was a great series that I would have loved to seen continue. But fortunately, I have this app on my phone and can start reading the other new Spider-Man title, The Superior Spider-Man.

My List of 2014 Reads – My Reading Log for the year

There’s Logic Behind How Our Numbers Look

Number Shapes Explained.jpg-large

This is a fascinating image showing a correlation between the number symbols we use every day and the number of angles in each shape. It’s brilliant!

I’m not sure about the historical accuracy of this image though. It seems like they really stretched the concept to make this work for 7 and 9. That, plus the original way these numbers were scribed looks nothing like the modern way we do it.

It would be interesting to see how the number system evolved over the years to our current state because it may have started this way.

Indian_numerals

Or maybe we could have our students create a new way of representing numbers. This could be a creative project to try out.

Teaching Tip Tuesday Archive (over 200 great tips, tricks, and lessons to try)

John Lawson Trail

John Lawson Park

Let’s explore the John Lawson Park trail in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada.

Lawson Entrance

It starts out fairly nondescript but goes off into the woods for a short period. Unfortunately, my photos of that portion of the trail didn’t turn out.

Lawson Creek

I love running through natural areas and crossing small creeks or rivers.

Lawson trail

The trail opens up and comes to an end at small road.

Lawson Creek (2)

But it does run along this small creek.

This run was a little shorter than I had hoped. I ran it twice to get my 5 kilometers in.

I do love collecting trail runs though. You can see my entire collection here . . .

Photographic Tours Archive

Amazing Spider-Man: Dying Wish

amazing-spider-man-dying-wish-tpb

The Amazing Spider-Man: Dying Wish by Dan Slott, Humberto Ramos, and Richard Elson

Spider-Man swung into our lives in 1963 and immediately became an iconic hero. But all good stories must come to an end. This graphic novel tells the story of the final days of Peter Parker. It collects issues 698-700 of The Amazing Spider-Man.

Spoiler Alert

Doctor Octopus is on his death bed and has merely hours left to live. He manages to cheat death by switching bodies with Peter Parker.

Peter tries his best to beat his nemesis and reclaim his body. Unfortunately, he fails at this task. Yet, in his final moments in the broken body of  Doc Ock, Peter manages to show the doctor exactly why he is Spider-Man. He uses the memory switch to implant his own mission into  his nemesis.

Peter Parker dies in the body of Doctor Octopus. And no one knows that the actual living Spider-Man has been body-snatched with that of a villian.

The twist here is that Doctor Octopus truly buys into being Spider-Man and he tackles it with such vigor, rebranding himself, Superior Spider-Man.

The Amazing Spider-Man comes to a close but a new series, The Superior Spider-Man takes over.

Peter Parker is dead, but in comics, death is never permanent. Hopefully he will return one day. He is a great character.

My List of 2014 Reads – with links to every title I read over the course of the year.

List and the Interpret a Moment

Read a MomentThis is a great idea for a classroom activity.

It involves reading a moment by paying attention to our senses, listing everything that crosses our minds, and then interpreting that list.

Tina Welling explains it all in her book “Writing Wild”

“Readings of the moment are a playful interaction with the natural world, yet revealing, as is anything in life to which we give our attention.

By a reading, I mean a brief listing of the things that attract your attention in your environment. The reading can be done indoors, though prefer outdoors because of the vitality and constant change of the natural world. . .

A reading has two parts: the list and the interpretation. . .

For a moment, close your eyes, then open them and begin a quick list of everything that catches your attention. Include people and animal sightings, bird sounds, fleeting images, thoughts, feelings, colors, smells, body sensations, ideas, weather, Use all five senses to gather your data. Whatever occurs to you, jot down on your page and date it.

Now do a brief interpretation of this list. Respond in writing . . . and pursue any trains of though or emotion that particularly interest you.”

How to Use This for Your Class

I would first demonstrate the activity in the classroom by following the steps above. I would then working together with the class to create a list on the board. Next, I would use my experience to interpret a few of the points. Finally, I would ask a student or two to share some of their personal interpretations. Then we would be ready to go outside and try this individually.

Students could then share their lists and written interpretations if they were comfortable doing so. If not, I think I would just let them keep it in their personal writing (not-to-be-shared) books. These books are very important to have in the classroom. Not all of your writing needs to be shared.

More Teaching Tips?

Come back every week for “Teaching Tip Tuesdays” and don’t forget to check the archive for over 200 great tips, tricks, lessons, and ideas you can use in your own classroom.

Daredevil at Fan Expo 2014

I collected a few more autographs for my Daredevil collection last weekend at Fan Expo Toronto.

Cary Nord autograph

When I asked to get this comic signed, Cary Nord was suprrised to see this book. He said something along the lines of, “Woah, old school!”

DD hardcover autographs

This is Volume 1 of the Hardcover Collection of the second series of the book. It now has three artist autographs on it.

DD David Mack

David Mack signed this one for me a few years ago.

DD Joe Quasada

Underneath his autograph, I got one from Joe Quesada.

DD Dave Ross

And last week, I added one more autograph to this collection.

Dave Ross told me that he really loves these over-sized hardcovers.

I agree, they are so beautiful and this first volume is now even more special with three great autographs inside the front cover.

Want to see more?

Transformers: In the End there is Chaos

transformers-heart-of-darkness-tpb

Transformers: Volume 4 – Heart of Darkness

Galvatron in back and it looks like the on-going series has taken steps towards the second generation. I much admit that I have always preferred Generation One Transformers and I missed having Optimus Prime and Megatron in this issue.

I didn’t have to worry though, the Generation One characters are still alive and well and interact with the newer characters in the rest of this arc.

transformers-vol5-chaos-theory

Transformers: Volume 5 – Chaos Theory

We see biological aliens in this issue. That’s not something we see often in the Transformers universe.

Rodimus has survived and keeps the Matrix of leadership safe from aliens who want to harness its power. He makes it back to Earth and Optimus Prime is reunited with the Matrix.

Transformers_Vol6_Police_Action

Transformers: Volume 6 – Police Action

This issue takes place completely on Earth. Spike is accused of murdering a Decepticon. Political tension is high as the Autobots try to figure out what really happened.

Transformers-Vol7-Chaos

Transformers: Volume 7 – Chaos

I had no idea that the on-going Transformers series was coming to an end with this trade paperback.

The big battle has arrived. Galvatron is really close to opening a portal that would unleash a terrible darkness into the world. The Decepticons become mere pawns in this battle and it looks like things are very bleak for Optimus Prime, the Autobots, Cybertron, and the entire universe.

What’s Next?

Two new on-going series continue the Transformer story. I have yet to read these titles, but I understand that they are really good. A fellow blogger on Tumblr has told me they are even better than the series I just finished reading. That’s good to hear, because these last four issues weren’t that great, in my humble opinion.

I look forward to reading these new titles.

More Than Meets the Eye – Rodimus travels through space in an expedition to find the Knights of Cybertron.

Robots in Disguise – This series is set on Cybertron and has Bumblebee trying to restart a new golden age after the war that ravaged the planet.

My List of 2014 Reads – my reading log for the year (continually updated)

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Avengers

Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 1 – Cosmic Avengers

I read this trade paperback before I saw the film version of Guardians of the Galaxy. I was surprised that much of the backstory of Star-Lord was left out of the movie. But at the end of the film, I realize that it made sense. They have room to explore that in the sequel, which I am sure will happen.

This comic introduction to the team is a great read by one of my favourite authors, Brian Michael Bendis. And it works well as a companion piece if you have seen to want to see the movie.

I have no idea how Bendis is able to consistently come up with so many great comic stories across the Marvel universe. He is brilliant!

Guardians of the Galazy Vol 2

Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2 – Angela

This story ties in to the last Avengers book I read. Starlord seems to be the only person in the Guardians who knows that the last white event just happened. If you aren’t familiar with that story, this one will still make sense for you though.

The white event brought together different dimensions and an angel by the name of Angela suddenly appears. Gamora instinctively fights what she believes to be a menace, but Starlord has a feeling that they just might be on the same side.

This was a pretty good read. I know that it ties in to the Age of Ultron storyline as well, which I think is also the basis for the new Avengers film.

Speaking of films, The Guardians of the Galaxy was  great. I recommend you seeing it.

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-poster-21

My 2014 Reading Log – comics, novels, non-fiction, writing books, and teaching titles

Doctor Who at FanExpo 2014

The last weekend of summer was absolutely amazing. I went to Fan Expo, the biggest weekend of the year for comic book and science fiction fans, and was so excited about all of the Doctor Who happenings.

Chase March 9th Doctor

I arrived in style and parked my TARDIS right outside of The Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

I was very happy with how my costume turned out. Several people recognized me as the 9th Doctor. It was awesome!

DW cosplay panel

First up, I went to the panel on making Doctor Who props and costumes.

K9

One of the panelists even made a fully-functioning K-9. He could control its movements and sounds via remote control. It was very cool!

The Dalek speaks

The Daleks even spoke about how they created their very intricate and detailed working models. They were definitely a hit as they zoomed around the convention centre.

Doctor Who Panel

The highlight of the day was the celebrity panel featuring Matt Smith (the 11th Doctor) and Arthur Darvill (Rory Williams)

We had to wait in line for quite some time to get these seats off to the side and a little ways back.

Matt Smith and Arthur Darvill

Two moderators went through the audience with microphones to field questions for the actors. They were very entertaining.

An audience member asked them to sing and not only did they do it, but everyone in the crowd started clapping along. After that, a young fan mentioned that it was her birthday and at Matt Smith’s beckoning we all sang “Happy Birthday” to her.

It was a magical day and I am glad that I got to see The Doctor and his companion. It was really cool to interact with a bunch of like-minded fans too.

First Day of School Lesson Plan

backtoschoolsignI am really looking forward to this new school year. I am teaching a Grade 2/3 classroom in the afternoon and doing some primary prep in the morning.

As usual, I have over-planned my day. I think it is a good idea to keep things moving on the first day of school to set a tone.

Here is a brief section of my day plan.

11:40 – Set-Up: Set out enough hula-hoops in the room for each student. Inside each hoop, have a piece of cardboard, a can of PlayDoh and the instruction sheet that says something along “Make something and be prepared to share” Make sure that “Grade 2/3 Mr. March’s Class” is written on the door and the board.

11:40 – Independent Work: Please quickly find the hula-hoop with your name, and when you sit down, you will find an activity there. I think you will enjoy doing it. Please begin working on it right away. Thank you.

Any student who does not come in the room correctly, ask them calmly but firmly to return to the door, tell them why, give specific direction, and acknowledge that they understand

I am sorry, but that is not the way you enter the classroom everyday. When you enter this classroom, you walk in quietly, go directly to your seat, and get to work immediately on the assignment that is posted. Are there any questions? Thank you, _______. Now show me that you can go to you seat properly.

Make it routine on how to enter the room and reinforce it everyday.

11:50 -Teaching the Quiet Signal: Introduce the signal.

Students, I am a hip-hop musician and we have a tradition that’s known as “call and response.” Has anyone heard of it? Basically it means that the musician says something and the audience responds.

So, when you hear me call, “Hip-Hop!” you need to respond “Ya Don’t Stop” and then stop.

1. Freeze
2. Turn and face me; pay attention and keep your eyes on me
3. Be ready for instructions. I will have something to say

I expect you to be ready to listen within three seconds.

Ask the students how they listen respectfully and elicit the following . . .

1. Eyes on the speaker
2. Mouth quiet
3. Hands Free
4. Feet still
5. Ears listening.

Tell the class that they have 5 minutes left to finish their Play Doh creations. Remind them that they will be doing a show-and-tell of their creation as well. At this point, make sure that you make a play doh sculpture as well.

11:55 – Quiet Signal: Use the quiet signal “Hip-Hop” – “Ya Don’t Stop” and then praise them if the do it well. If not, reinforce how it works and why. This is not the time to sharpen a pencil, keep writing, or talk. All eyes must be on me. No exceptions. Thank you.

Have the students come to the carpet area and sit in a circle. Instruct them that we will go around the circle, say our name, and then describe what we built.

For example, “My name is Mr. March. I built a Daredevil because he is my favourite superhero” and then pick the students sitting to your right or your left and go around the circle so the students each have a chance to show and tell in turn.

12:00 – Welcome: Welcome to another school year.

Welcome to Grade 2 and 3. I am looking forward to being your teacher this year.

You are going to have a great year. We will study all of the regular subjects, but we will also be creating and performing for each other and online audiences. I will also share with you some life-skills traits that will help you be successful in the world outside of school.

We will have a lot of fun together this year and I hope we are all looking forward to a great year.

We will call each other by our names every time we speak this year.

12:05 – Venn Hula-Hoop: I am now going to have you work in groups of 3, as such. Demonstrate how you want them to move with one group.

The group members will form their hula-hoops into a three-circle Venn for each group. Students talk in their groups about themselves and the things they like to do. After a brief discussion, students must…

– decide on at least three ways in which they are all alike; they write those things on a paper slip and place it in the area of the diagram that intersects all three circles.

– find ways in which they are like one other student in the group and record those ways in the appropriate areas of the diagram.

– determine a few facts that make each of them unique and write those facts in the appropriate sections of the diagram.

Download the PDF of my First Day of School Lesson Plan – it is very detailed and 5 pages in length, I hope you will find it useful.

And check back here every Tuesday for a new Teaching Tip!

Teaching Tip Archive - over 200 great tips, tricks, and lessons to use in your classroom.

Chasing Content – September Past

CC
Photo by Jon Sullivan

It’s time for Chasing Content, that monthly trip through the archives to see what was happening last year at this time right here on Silent Cacophony.

Read all of the posts from last September . . .

or just these favourite ones . . .

Know Your History – Don’t Quit Your Day Job

This is a radio special I did about actors who decided to try their luck in the rap game. These career moves weren’t the best idea, however. Tune in to hear some great stories about how hard it is to make this transition. Other than Drake, not too many people have been able to pull it off. So, don’t quit your day job people!

Basil Grover Skatepark

This isn’t the best skatepark I have ever seen but it is a nice place for an afternoon skate. The grind areas are perfect for someone just starting out or an old cautious guy like me.

Juliet Lives

I love this play that my students and I co-authored. It’s a great spin on the iconic tale of Romeo and Juliet. In our version, Romeo is murdered and Juliet and her friends try to discover who did it and why. It is hilarious and you can download the PDF for free. Enjoy!

Summer’s Gone Lesson Plan

Here is a great lesson plan using the song, “Summer’s Gone” by Buffalo Tom. I adopted the Literature Circle approach for the music classroom. These free worksheets can be used in many different ways too. It’s well worth the click-through.

The History of Radio Broadcasting

I loved this episode of Know Your History. I traced back the popularity of radio to the first on-air woman deejay over one hudnred years ago. Pretty amazing stuff!

Our Classroom Rules Apply to the Teacher Too

I’ve been doing a lot of reading over the past few weeks about classroom management. I think I am going to keep my rules as they are though. I already made these snazzy posters and I like how the are phrased and pictured.

Use Class Rules to Correct Behaviour

These are great tips for handling discipline problems by simply referring back to the classroom rules.

Thanks for Chasing Content With Me!

No sense in letting these great posts get buried in the archives. Make sure to explore the Chasing Content archive for Best-Of posts for every single month I’ve blogged.

Hidden Empire

Hidden Empire

Hidden Empire by Orson Scott Card

I read the first book of this series, Empire, a few years back.

I didn’t even realize that there was more to it. I found this hardcover book at the dollar store and couldn’t believe it. Orson Scott Card is one of my favourite authors. I just had to pick it up.

The first book was really good and I enjoyed it. I’m not much of a gamer but apparently, there is an X-box game that stands between these two narratives. It’s called Shadow Complex. 

shadow complex

The second novel revolves around an epidemic that breaks out in Africa. The president of the United States effectively uses the tragedy to affect change on a world-wide scale.

Certain members of Special Forces start to think that there might be more behind the president’s actions. He could be working towards building an empire and effectively destroying democracy. Or is it merely coincidental?

This is a political thriller that circles around one family. It is well-written and fast-paced but not quite as good as the original, in my humble opinion.

My List of 2014 Reads – My Reading Log for the Year

Grade 2/3 Long Range Plan

I’m teaching a split class this year. That means I have to tailor my instruction to cover two different curriculums. That is a bit of a challenge.

I’ve been working hard on my long range plan so I will know exactly what I have to teach on a week by week basis throughout the entire school year.

Of course, this very detailed document is just a framework. A long range plan should be a living document. It should be adapted throughout the year as needed.

That being said, here is my first draft of my Grade 2/3 Long Range Plan. 

2-3 Long Range Plan

The first section lists all of the curriculum expectations for each grade. Many of the expectations are similar in nature. I have placed them side-by-side for every subject area.

side-by-side

This is a great resource for planning lessons. I can look at both curriculums at the same time and plan my lesson accordingly. It is so much easier than having to look at the large curriculum document and flipping back and forth from the Grade 2 to the Grade 3 expectations.

I also break down the units of study on a week-by-week basis. We operated on a 10-day cycle in my school board. That means that there are only 19 weeks in the year. That is not a lot of time if you don’t plan the entire year out in advance. Trust me!

2-3 week plan

I know that I might not be able to cover everything that I have planned for. There are always things that pop up and disrupt even the best of plans. But this gives me a framework of where I want to be each week.

If we run behind or get side-tracked throughout the year, I will adjust accordingly. That is why an annual teaching plan is really just a framework.

Download my Grade 2/3 Long Range Plan as a PDF file 

Download my Grade 2/3 Long Range Plan as a MS Word .doc

More Teaching Tips – Check right back here for every Tuesday for great tips, tricks, lessons, and free resources.

D-sisive Shout-Out!

I have been following D-sisive’s career since I first discovered him in the 1990s.

I regularly play his music on my radio show. And before I landed on radio, I wrote about him in the university newspaper. 

A few weeks back. I played a fairly old D-sisive track that wasn’t released on an album. It was part of a few tracks he released to get people hyped about his new project.

As such, “Let the Buzz Begin” is quite an appropriate title and a banging track that I wanted to feature on The Word is Bond Rap Radio. 

I like to live tweet my playlist whenever possible. I sent this message on Instagram and Twitter when I spun the track live on 94.9 CHRW. 

Instagram

D-sisive left a comment asking me to send him the track. At first, I thought it was strange. Why wouldn’t he have his own track? But in this digital age, it is easy enough to lose a file, so I sent it to him via Twitter.

twitter

And then a week later, he posted the song on his Instagram account.

Instagram1

with these very kind words about me . . .

D-sisive full

And it seems that I might even have inspired him to write a new song!

How cool is that?

Doctor Who – In Theatres Again!!!

So, the new season of Doctor Who starts today but I won’t be watching it.

Instead, I will be waiting to see in on the big screen on Monday!

Doctor Who_Deep Breath-Poster

I saw the 50th Anniversary special at the theatre and it was a magical experience. I can’t wait to watch the start of the 12th Doctor’s reign in a theatre of super-fans like myself.

I already bought my ticket. If you haven’t done so and would like to see it, go to Cineplex now to order yours.

Let’s Make This a Tradition

I think they should do this every two weeks. I would pay to watch two episodes on the big screen with an energetic and excited crowd all season long.  It doesn’t have to be a big event for this to happen. Let’s make it a regular thing.

And with two episodes being shown at a time, even if they aren’t related, it is a feature-length event.

Come on, let’s make this happen people!

I hope to see you on Monday!

Transform Any Surface into a Touchscreen with TouchPico

I have a Smartboard in my classroom. It is basically a computer interface that lets you write, manipulate, and control things with a simple touch. It is rather limiting though because it is a rather small rectangle and it is fixed in one place.

I would love to have a second Smartboard in my classroom but they are expensive and need to be mounted professionally.

This product would allow me to have an interactive wall whenever I need it. It would be great for a digital centre that students could operate in their own small learning groups.

Isn’t that amazing?

Please visit the Indiegogo Page to learn more, support the campaign, and get your own TouchPico.

*Disclosure Notice – I have been offered a TouchPico for my classroom by writing this post and encouraging 7 people to contribute to the campaign. Please do me a favour and click though. Thanks*

Coyotes and Deer, Oh My!

I wanted to go for a trail run but I stopped short when I saw this sign at the entrance.

Coyotes

It was hours away from dusk but it was overcast and eerily quiet.

I decided to go for my run anyway. I took my phone with me. I figured I could play some music to scare away the coyote if I saw him.

I ran at a fast past, over the very hilly course and I was almost out of breath when I heard something off in the bush ahead of me.

I typed my password in to unlock my phone . . .

And that’s when I saw . . .

Deer in the woods

Deer!

There were three of them in fact.

They were off to the side of the trail. I had to zoom in to get a good shot. My hands were shaky because this was a tough route and I had been pushing myself.

It was hard to hold my little phone steady when the zoom was employed. I got several blurry shots and this fairly decent one.

I have seen deer on about 1/3 of my trail runs this year. Some of them were remarkably close too. I just never had my camera with me to document it.

I’m glad I got that above shot.

Warble Boardwalk

I continued my run, half expecting to come across some more wild life.

But other than squirrels and chipmunks, I didn’t see anything else.

Warbler Woods

This boardwalk is nice though.

I have a more in-depth review with lots of photos if you’d like to learn more about Warbler Woods! 

And you can always check out my Photographic Tour Archive for lots of great trails to run, walk, or stroll.

Classroom Management for Dummies

Welcome back to Teaching Tip Tuesdays!

School starts in two weeks and this video is something you might want to watch before you step back into the classroom. It is full of great ideas on managing behaviour and the challenges that come with being a teacher.

1. Focus on Creating Authentic Learning Experiences

Have a product-based classroom. Something that is based on composition and not just consumption of knowledge. It makes the classroom experience meaningful for all.

2. Only 3 Rules

Build your rules around these three concepts . . .

Lateness and preparation
Respect
Caring for Other

3. Model the Cray Cray

I want to make sure my students know that I have an objective and that it will not be tolerated for the students disrupt that. Model how you might react with a loud yell. This way, the students have heard it and you won’t have to do it again. Ideally, this will be the only time you raise your voice to that level all year.

4. Have a few delivery lines in your toolbox.

Be ready to use simple lines to acknowledge bad behaviour so it doesn’t disrupt your lesson at all.

5. Avoid Punitive Humiliation

When you put a student on the spot, you are essentially elevating the situation to where the student gets some classroom credibility. Take the student to the side and do your best to empower the child.

6. Don’t Interrupt Your Lesson

Bring in the bad behaviour to your lecture. It helps let students understand that your lesson is important and that we are not going to stop because of a small incident.

7. Engage Immediately

You need to have a very specific opening activity. Give them something important to do right away so as to avoid any time for them to be distracted or engage

8. Don’t Be a Tattle-Tale

Whenever possible, try to deal with that kid as a human being and deal with it inside the classroom.

9. Connect with Each Student

Find a way to connect with that specific student.

10. Never Take it Personally

You won’t win the argument. You will lose that battle and it will negatively affect your reputation.

Play the game smart, play to win, and never take it personally.

Please come back next week for another great tip you can use in your teaching practice this year.

The Sometimes Game

“If your work is going to have an impact on the world, that means some people are really going to like it. And some people won’t.”

And in this day and age, certain people feel that they need to express their negative opinions publicly through blog comments, Facebook rants, and other such avenues.

Why just last month, I received this rather negative comment here on Silent Cacophony.

blog comment

Now, I know that people read my work, listen to my radio show, and follow my podcast. I have numbers to back that up as well. But, that comment did bother me for a moment or two.

I considered deleting it. If a comment doesn’t add to the discussion and was just meant to be cruel. I see no reason to keep it on my site. I have the control over that. At least I do here on my personal blog.

Instead, I replied in kind.

blog comment reply

I decided not to be negative and thanked this anonymous reader for not only reading my blog, but for taking the time to leave a reply.

I didn’t let one negative comment ruin my day.

Here’s a tip you can use to help you channel any similar negativity away from you. It’s called . . .

The Sometimes Game. 

“Use the Sometimes Game every time someone says something that pushes your buttons, and you will find yourself becoming a calmer and more gracious person.

To play the Sometimes Game you need to write done something, right off the top of your head, that someone might say about your work that would really, truly hurt your feelings. Maybe it’s something like ‘You are such a fraud’ or ‘Your work is boring.’

Now go back and, rewrite each sentence in the first person (‘I am…’ instead of ‘you are…,’ etc) and add the magic word sometimes to the end of each one:

So now you can read your first sentence as, ‘I am such a fraud . . . sometimes.’

. . .

Now—this is the fun part—we’re going to do the same thing with compliments.”

It’s a simple exercise that I discovered in the book Get It Done: From Procrastination to Creative Genius in 15 Minutes a Day. 

Get it Done book

It’s worth the read and definitely worth your time to try this simple game. Don’t let one negative comment ruin your day or take up any more than a small moment of your time. Reflect, move on, and continue to put it the work. Because some people will appreciate it. That’s who you want to create for!