Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A MUST read- you will NOT regret it!

I have been starting a lot of posts for about 2 months but am waiting for the finished products to post it. 

However I thought that many of you might be on spring break right now and might need a spring break read.  This book is utterly teacher life changing.  I think that when I learned about Power Teaching (now Whole Brain Teaching) that it completely changed my classroom management and how I teach.  This book is just like that. 

The book is:  Teach Like a Pirate. by Dave Burgess

It was recommended to me by one of my favorite people- my little tech friend. 

The first half of the book is a narrative when the author describes that YOU can be creative but you just have to change your questioning.  As I was reading it- I seriously was laughing out loud on the couch.  My husband gave me the strangest looks and I knew that he probably wouldn't understand.  The first half Mr. Burgess gives specific examples of what he does in his classroom to engage students.  I was instantly "hooked" while reading his book.  If I was a student in his classroom I probably would have actually understood history!  (By the way- he is a high school teacher and uses these techniques.)

Reading the first half would have been enough to inspire me.  However this book took it a second step which also happens to be the step missing from most of the PD sessions that I have attended; he gives MANY (I mean half a book worth) of specific examples of things that you can try in your classroom. 

Once I started reading the second half of the book, I went to my bag and grabbed my notepad (Is it just me that always has a notepad and 3-4 different colors/ sizes of post-it-notes in every purse/ bag?) and instantly started taking notes- college style.  (I bought the Kindle edition) 

I have been working hard on guided reading, word study and comprehension this year (which I am waiting on pictures to share with all of you!)  This book took my okay lessons -to my students favorite time of day.  They BEG for literacy time.  Do I feel silly like I did with Whole Brain Teaching?  Yes.  However the learning and the enthusiasm that occurs is well worth it. 

I now am walking through my house, store or classroom thinking:  How could I use this to engage my students?  What music can I play to set the mood?  I am learning to ask the RIGHT questions.

No matter if you teach elementary, middle or high school- I HIGHLY recommend this book!  I have already pestered half of my staff to buy it and read it. 

I feel that I am fairly good at using data to drive instruction, differentiation, classroom management (Okay not the neat and tidy part of it) but I feel that this is the next step in my teaching career.  Adding the hooks and engagement part to lessons and making my lessons memorable. 

For those of you on Spring Break- yay for you and those almost there- you will probably have nicer weather than I am now!  :)

I am back to working on literacy hooks and also making tons of QR codes!  :)


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