Thursday, August 25, 2016

V is for Value

I believe that what we teach our students must have value. Without value, it is nothing but busy work and a waste of time for me, the student, and the taxpayers.

When planning lessons, I constantly ask myself what the purpose is for each activity. I need to make sure that each activity has value. One way that I do this is to brainstorm all the activities I can do to support a new skill or concept. Once I have the list, I will prioritize them by their value. Which ones will be the most effective? Which ones can be the most meaningful to my students? Then I try to choose the top three to five activities (depending on the time) to use in my lesson.

After I choose my activities, I try to write a procedure for each one. This helps me not forget all the steps involved. Sometimes I take it for granted that certain steps are known but usually find out that some students miss specific steps. This causes the activity to be either confusing or chaotic. By identifying all the steps needed, I can better meet the needs of all the students. I can even display the procedure to help students who need a visual along with the auditory directions. For students who know certain steps, they can move at their own pace without waiting for me to help them. Those students who need help can get it more easily since I will be available.

It is important for students to know the value of the lesson or activity. . Many times students get bored or shut down because they don’t understand why they are having to do something.
When students feel like there is some value to what they are learning, they are more willing to focus and apply themselves

How do you share the value of what you are teaching? Please share.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

U is for Usefulness

I think it is important that students learn that usefulness is important. This is especially true on the job site. If an employer doesn’t see you as being useful, then they don’t need you.

No matter what job you have, an employee needs to find a way to be useful.

If I worked in a fast food place, I would look for things I could do when I wasn’t busy. If there were no customers, I would start cleaning without being told to do it. Employers like when employees take some initiative. If there are things that need to be done and I have time, I would take the time to do it, even if it is someone else’s job. That will make me more useful than the other person.

If I’m in an office, I would pay attention to jobs that other people do and try to learn some of the things that they do. Then if something comes up where I am able to do something without having to get help, it will only make me look better.

If I am a volunteer, I will pay attention to other jobs that I am able to do and offer to do them if I am not busy with something else. Sometimes, volunteers have some down time while new jobs are found. It is helpful if you see a need and offer to help with it.

It is important where ever I am and in whatever job I am doing, I need to pay attention to other people and the things they are doing. The more things I can learn; the more usefulness I will have. If the company plans to downsize, they will get rid of the people who are dead weight and not those who are more useful and can do different things.

What other ways can a person show usefulness in the workplace? Please share.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Big Book of Nature Activities – Book Review

I recently received the book The Big Book of Nature Activities – A Year-Round Guide to Outdoor Learning by Drew Monkman and Jacob Rodenburg.  I am not being paid for this review. The paperback book is for sale on Amazon for $26.14 and the Kindle version for 24.83.
This book is broken into several sections including: basic skills for connecting to nature, key nature concepts for children to learn, Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer, and an Appendix. I really like how this book is organized so that you can flip to the appropriate season in order to find activities to do.
The activities are plentiful and varied. I also like that the activities can be any age person. They may be drawing something or may involve some kind of physical activity. Whichever you choose, something can be learned from any activity. The activities are clearly explained without being boring. I also like the colored photos in the middle of the book that show you about some of results of the activities.
From looking at the sections included, you might think this book is just for children but I think it for children of all ages. I can’t wait to try out some of the activities myself!
I would highly recommend this on every school library shelf and on every teacher’s shelf! I also think many parents would enjoy having a copy in their home library and have fun doing the many activities with their own children.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Back of the Book Blurb #22 Challenge

From Sioux's Page, Sioux offers this challenge.
She posts a picture and you need to imagine it as a graphic for a book. You choose the genre and book title, and then write a blurb that might appear on the back of the book.

·                The blurb should be 150 words or less (not including the title).
·                The genre is wide-open.
·                Each blogger should include their blurb on their own blog, and link back to this post.
·                Have fun with it. Go to the other posts and comment on the other blurbs. 
·                You can do fancy techy things with the photo.

(Join in if you dare...! It sounds like fun! I think this would be a lot of fun to do with students especially since they would be expected to write 150 words or less!)

A New Perspective

Annie had a rough week and was glad it was all over. Everything she touched turned out wrong. Her family was mad at her and so was her boss. It seemed like everything was topsy-turvy today.  Too bad that everything she did wrong couldn’t look right. Then she would be a perfect person to everyone. When she got home she was so tired that she took a nap. When she woke up hours later, no one was home yet so she decided to go for a walk to clear her head. The first thing she noticed was that the house next door was upside down! Her neighbors smiled and waved to her. “Come on in!” they invited. Follow along with Annie to find out what was going on and how having a new perspective can change things. (137 words)