Monday, May 31, 2010

Thank You Note

At the end of the school year, I like to post some of the thank you notes that I have gotten.  I think this is a super way for me to remember them.  When I am 60 or 70 years old and have lost all of these notes, it will be great to look back on them.  This one was very sweet and so nicely said.  I appreciate it very much:

Good Morning. Mr. D.,
Our daughter told us that you are sick with vertigo; we are sorry to hear that and we really wish you to get well pretty soon. 
We also want to thank you so much for all your dedication, this has been an awesome school year for our daughter and for us; she learned a lot from your lessons and so we did. We will keep visiting your web site and stay tuned to remain learning something new every day. You are a SUPER TEACHER!!!
May you have a great summer vacation with your wife and your cute son.

I am such a lucky guy to have the very best kids ever.  We had a great year.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Summer Staff Development Project - Teach Like a Champion

I haven't posted in a while, sorry about that.  I have been awfully busy with AVID certification and I'll post on that later this weekend.  But, today I have our summer staff development on my mind.  So I thought I would write a bit about it.

We have a two day, AHS only staff development over the summer.  Teachers have signed up to facilitate it and I've done this in the past.  We have amazing teachers on our faculty and it's really great for them to be able to put a presentation together about something they have learned or what to teach to the rest of the faculty.

In the past I have taught about Grading For Learning.  This year I wanted to do something that touched on a few of those concepts, but I have been really taken by the book Teach Like a Champion.  I would really like to focus on a few of their concepts about Checking for Understanding and also Creating a Strong Classroom Culture.  Has anyone read the Champion book?  Any ideas on how I might incorporate things over an hour?

We met last week and had a meeting about it.  The leadership at our school would also like to tie new technology to each session.  So I am really struggling to figure out how to do this.  I believe we are all getting something called a Mobi.  Has anyone used one before?  Maybe you could help me see how I could tie that device with what I would like teachers to learn from Teach Like a Champion.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Agenda: ACP Class Monday, June 10th, 2010

Tonight was a rare class where I will only see this group one time (hopefully someone will cancel and I can come in again!).  Because of that we rushed through a lot.  So I wanted to be sure to get this power point up quickly tonight.  Also here are a few of the video clips we saw, a link to the book I mentioned, and also a power point about Socratic Seminar - the class room strategy we used at the end.

Please email me: about any kind of questions you might have.  Feel free to give me a call if you'd like to come in and observe.

Classroom Teaching Tips

Socratic Seminar

Classroom Strategy from Youtube, 1st grade:

Classroom Strategy from Youtube, 6th grade:

Teach Like a Champion by Lemov.  Great book.  Highly recommend it.

By D. Lemov - John Wiley & Sons (2010) - Paperback - 352 pages - ISBN 0470550473
Teach Like a Champion offers effective teaching techniques to help teachers, especially those in their first few years, become champions in the classroom. These powerful techniques are concrete, specific, and are easy to put into action the very next day. Training activities at the end of each chapter help the reader further their understanding through reflection and application of the ideas to their own practice.Among the techniques: Technique #1: No Opt Out. How to move students from the blank stare or stubborn shrug to giving the right answer every time. Technique #35: Do It Again. When students fail to successfully complete a basic task?fromentering the classroom quietly to passing papers around?doing it again, doing it right, and doing it perfectly, results in the best consequences. Technique #38: No Warnings. If you're angry with your students, it usually means you should be angry with yourself. This technique shows how to effectively address misbehaviors in your classroom. The book includes a DVD of 25 video clips of teachers demonstrating the techniques in the classroom.

Here is a sample from the DVD: