Monday Message

June 25, 2018

Summer Learning Project

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Teach Like a Pirate

This is the last week of June, as shocking as that may seem, and it's time to post on Part 1 of Teach Like a Pirate. You can find our professional learning blog here:

In order to post, just click on the appropriate chapter, read the short summary, and click on reply. It's easy! If you like what someone else has said, you can reply to their comments as well.

Learning together is what makes us strong!

Challenge Yourself

First Day of School Challenge

In #tlap, Burgess asks the question, "What can you do on the first day of school that has kids beating down the doors to get in on day 2?" This year, I challenge you to toss aside the traditional rules and regulations speech and dive right into to something that will WOW! your kids, while still teaching those same rules and regulations.

What is something you can do that gets the kids excited to be back at school and pumped for the year ahead? How can you get them out of their chairs and learning on the first day? What hands on activities can you do that help you get to know your students better, while allowing them to have a clear understanding of how you are as a teacher?

I can't wait to see your ideas in action!

The Great Homework Debate

For years, we've heard the same thing. There's too much homework! Or, you don't give enough homework! The fact is, you can't please everyone when it comes to this debate.

What I want, however, is to take a look at the "why" behind what we send home with our students. When it comes to homework, I think you should ask yourself some simple questions.

1. Does this allow practice for a skill we've learned in class?

2. Can I give less practice versus more to accomplish the same goal? (5 problems instead of 10)

3. How will I follow up with the students to show that their homework is valuable? (Going over the assignment together in class, allowing students to work with partners to check work, working 1 on 1 with students who have struggled)

4. Will I track who returns homework? How will that be assessed? (A homework grade? A checklist for my own records? )

In general, if you're only giving homework as some sort of punishment for not finishing something in class or "Since you didn't follow my directions, you now have 10 math problems to finish" then you're doing it wrong. Homework is not punishment. Homework should not be the sole basis for whether or not a child passes your class.

What is Homework?

1. Practice skills learned in class

2. A teaser for a lesson coming up the next day.

What does that mean? Maybe you assign students to watch a video that is a teaser for a project you'll be starting in class the next day. Or, you ask students to read a short bio for an author of a book you're starting. Or you assign a math "challenge" problem. Just one problem. You tell students that you're giving them an extra special challenge tonight, but that they shouldn't be stressed if they can't figure it out.

This year, I'm asking you to rethink your homework. I'm not against homework, but I am against time fillers. If you're not following the basic 2 rules above, then you need to revamp your homework.

Check out this podcast on making homework meaningful...

What does Dave Burgess say about homework??

Twitter Challenge

Have you joined Twitter yet? If you haven't, join today! Find people to follow by searching for people who teach what you teach. Start by following me at @kcmon4 and St. Patrick at @StPatrickKc. When you follow me, click on my followers and start following people. You will be amazed how many FREE ideas and resources you can find just by scrolling through Twitter once or twice a day.

When you tweet, tag me and use our Professional Learning hashtag #stpatscollab. This way, we can keep track of the great ideas that we are each tweeting.

If you're feeling overwhelmed, start by following me!

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Meet 'n Greet

You're invited!

What: A St. Patrick Faculty/Staff Happy Hour Meet and Greet

When: Friday, August 3rd from 4-6pm

Where: Paul and Jacks in NKC

You can learn more about Paul and Jacks here: