Tip of the Week - April 13, 2012
8 Liquid Lessons
by Lori Sabo
I've been attending a water aerobics class at our local gym, and despite the inconvenience of having to shave my legs and the horror of having to wade into a pool of strangers in my bathing suit, this good fit exercise has offered up a myriad of lessons that transfer to the non-liquid classroom. If we are to be teachers of the highest caliber, the following will be mirrored in some way in our own rooms.
Positive Reinforcement: The first thing the instructor does each session is to walk the length of the pool checking for water bottles (I did not have one the first day). She points to each bottle saying, "Gold Star!" "Gold Star!" "Gold Star!" No one is scolded for forgetting or not knowing they should have had one. There were no actual gold stars, but I still wanted one….so I brought a bottle the next time and my inner six year-old swelled with pride when she pointed to mine and said, "Gold Star!"
Modeling: Modeling is explicit, with verbal as well as physical cues. She shows the correct way and the incorrect way, declaring, "Like this, not like this!" in order for us to get the greatest benefit from our independent practice.
Monitoring: Once instructions are given, she vigilantly monitors, providing praise, encouragement, and small corrections as needed.
Differentiation: It is understood and expected that we participants at are different levels, and it is okay. Instruction is given to all, and modified briefly for those who are new and those who are advanced. "If you are new or not a strong swimmer, come to this end of the pool and do it like this, those of you who have been here six weeks or longer, try it like this…"
Purpose: Everything is explained with phrases like, "This is what you are working on, this part of your arm right here" (my dear fellow teachers, we were tightening up the part of my arm that waves at first graders when I am writing on the board).
Element of Fun: After working hard, we play a game that keeps us moving, but energizes everyone. The pool of strangers can't help but giggle as soft, squishy toys are tossed all around the pool.
Celebration: Today you burned 400 calories! Cheers and applause end the class.
Current Research: There are two different instructors. One is a certified water aerobics instructor, and the other….well, she is a sweet, kind, and well meaning, but her class doesn't even begin to compare with the teacher who has the most current knowledge in her schema. This element is especially important I think, because it doesn't matter how nice I am, how fun I am, or how much I like kids; If I don't have a solid, strong foundation based on the most current research, I can not possibly provide what is truly best for my students.
And that's it….except for the lesson to always have your glasses so you can see the numbers on your lock when you get back to the locker room….but that doesn't really pertain to the classroom…so we'll just leave it at that.
We led you astray in last weeks FAQ. Instead of referring you to sandbox.com, we should have sent you to http://www.idea-sandbox.com/ instead. Thanks to Tim Haag and Carmela Elmer for the kind way they let us know.
FAQ: We just got back from Spring Break and my kids are crazy, in particular my barometer students. HELP!
We couldn't help but giggle just a little bit when we got this pleading email. This frustrating phenomenon is a common theme all over the world. Spring has sprung, the end of year is looming, high stakes testing is upon us, and in some classes, hormones are raging. They add up to the perfect storm where we proclaim, "Where did my wonderful well trained class go?"
Book Look: Underground; Finding the Light to Freedom by Shane W. Evans
Sparse, but well chosen words combine with powerful illustrations to recount a moving underground railroad story.
Growing Book by Book (WEBSITE)
This blog is written by Jodie Rodriguez, an excellent teacher who is passionate about cultivating a love of reading in our children. You'll find all kinds of things that pertain to early literacy if you check it out.
Growing Book By Book
Story Snoops (WEBSITE)
These four moms are on a mission to foster a love of reading for voracious readers as well as reluctant readers. The website will help parents and teachers seek out books that match the experiences and interests of children ages preteen and up via a wonderful search engine as well as reviews.
Daily 5 Delight
One of the notes Trish cherishes and will keep forever came from a kindergarten student who also happens to be the grandson of her principal.
UOO Are the Best techr
Uoe ReAD wit icSPResiN
Jackson, we've heard Trish read, and we agree with you completely!
Parent Involvement (VIDEO)
In this refreshed Sisters on the Spot video, Sandy from Connecticut poses two questions in this Sisters on the Spot video: How do you involve your parents in their child's learning? Do you support parents with training?
You may be surprised to hear when Joan and Gail open their class for parent support and what kind of support they request.
We are excited to join wonderful teachers in San Antonio this weekend! Our next workshops will be held in Tacoma, Washington which is close to home, so we have scheduled a few more days there. If you have never been to the Northwest, June is a great time to visit!
New This Week For Members
Interested in becoming a member of The Daily CAFE?
Click here for more information.
Student Supplies (VIDEO)
The move to shared spaces from personal desks requires some thought regarding how to store student materials. Let's peek into Ron Frank's sixth grade room to see how he solved the dilemma.
Spanish Parent Pipeline (DOWNLOAD)
This parent resource will help our Spanish speaking families who want to support their child as they use prior knowledge and context to predict and confirm the meaning of words, thus improving their vocabulary.
Reading Partnerships (ARTICLE)
Kristin Ackerman shares how videotaping her students partnerships helped raise the level of meaningful and purposeful conversation.
Bookroom Tours: Part 2 (VIDEO)
This updated video is the second of a three-part series, where we take you into a primary bookroom to look at different possibilities for organizing, storing, and checking out book collections.
Until Next Week!
Gail and Joan
The 2 Sisters