Saturday, October 29, 2011

Soreness and the Unmotivated

Sitting here watching the USC / Stanford game. All I have is over-the-air tv and I'm a little upset that I have to watch two teams from Cali instead of the Big Ten game of Wisconsin and Ohio State. One, because I really like watching the Wisconsin offensive line do their thing. Two, because I live in Big Ten territory (Indiana). Finally, three, because my Hoosiers are not doing too swell and at lease one team will win the Wisky/OSU game will have a winner wearing the color red. :) Come to think of it though, I am a little interested in this game because my beloved Indianapolis Colts are .........well.........not like my normal beloved Colts this year and Andrew Luck is the projected number one pick next year in the draft. Normally, the number one pick wouldn't have any business being drafted by the Colts, but this year, like I said, it's a not been a typical year for the Colts. Anyway, this past week has really worn me down. Every night this past week, I had something in the evening that wasn't there last week. I am an assistant basketball coach for the 8th grade team in my building and practice started this week. So that's another two hours after school that I have that's new. Side note - I love basketball. I have been an assistant coach for the varsity/jv team in some fashion at the school where I graduated high school from the past 9 years. I am pretty excited about the guys that have made the team. They seem really receptive to instruction and they work hard. I'm trying to get a feel for how the head coach is going to run things in practice and when I can insert my voice in to the conversations. I'm looking forward to a good, productive season based on daily improvement. On Wednesday, I went to a David Crowder Band concert with a good friend. John Mark McMillan, Chris August, and the band Gungor also performed. It was totally amazing and I'm so glad I went. The only problem for me was that it started at 7:30 and ended at 11:30. I got home around 12:45. It made for a late night, but that wasn't the worst part. The worst part was that there weren't any chairs for the fans of the concert. So, yes. 4 hours of standing at the concert + 2 hours of basketball practice on my feet + a full school day as well made for some pretty sore feet, legs, and knees. I was tired, so I decided to go into school on Saturday and get caught up. Plus, I have a sub on Monday, because I have a reading/language arts curriculum meeting. I had to get all of that stuff ready as well. I despise getting sub plans ready. I feel it's necessary, but so time consuming. Plus, our schedule is kind of out of whack on Monday due to Halloween and the kids dressing up like Eerie Illnesses. Other than being really tired and my feet really sore, it was a pretty good week.
I'm still in amazed wonderment of the staff that I get to work with. They make me want to come to school  everyday. Also, my kids are really good and them make the school day go so fast because of their eagerness to learn and do get better. On Monday, my kids will be taking their Acuity diagnostic tests for SS. I'm a little nervous about this, because I feel that some of the questions are too specific about some things. I think in SS, kids need to see the big pictures and not necessarily the small dinky things that mainly just come back to memorization about key things. Anyway, it is what it is, so it be what it be.
Something I'm struggling with is one student who honestly could care less about anything in school. He doesn't want to do anything. Asks questions like "Why do we have to do this?" "Why do we have homework." "Why this?" "Why that?" He really has zero motivation to do anything school related. He really likes skateboarding, so I try to incorporate some of that type of stuff into our conversations. He did do some great work the other day when some of his lit circle group was helping him. I emailed his mom and told him that he had did awesome that day! I figured he would maybe start putting forth a little more effort. Alas, he didn't. Gotta figure out another strategy.......


Saturday, October 15, 2011

We're all Connected

 In band class this week, my students had some trouble focusing on whatever the band teacher had planned for them to do that day. It has been a common recurrence so far this year on Friday when they have that special.  This Friday, before they went, I reminded them about making a change for the better. I went to pick them up from band and when I got there I found out that not much had changed. Apparently, some of them crossed the line from being funny into being more of a distraction to others and because of the distractions they didn't, as a class, get to play their trumpets. When they returned to our classroom we had a good discussion about how our actions always have some sort of reaction. Whether positive or negative there is a reaction to it. The reaction that my class had was that they didn't get to play the trumpets. They were upset about it. Also, the discussion in the band room went over their time in band by 10 minutes. So, what did that end up meaning? It meant that when they got back to go to science they were late by 10 minutes. Which in turn, made my teaching partner's students who come to my class for social studies at this time, late as well. We talked about how everyone is connected in one way or another, and how we are all linked as one. During this time, we should have had a Free-Write-Friday in Language Arts while we watch our student led news show production on our projector. But, we couldn't. I think it really opened some of their eyes to have a broader view than just themselves.
I watched this today. I got inspired. You should too. 


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Monday, October 3, 2011

Review Games

I put together a review jeopardy-like game for the Olmec, Mayan, and Aztec over the weekend. I learned something that I need to share. When doing a game, make sure that each table group is also involved in trying to obtain the answer as well. I was really focused on the table that was trying to get the answer, but the other tables were just chit-chatting about nothing while one table was working to get the answer. So, I'm going to let the other tables score points as well if they get it right.

It worked well. The second class I had went a lot smoother.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Drive Motivation

Interested in motivation? A whole book on what motivates you, Drive by Daniel Pink, summed up in a 10 minute "sketch." Pretty interesting. It all boils down to being a part of something larger than yourself and having a purpose that extends far beyond yourself, more of a giving back to help further mankind. Humans have this thing people want autonomy, or the ability to do what you want. I think this is true. I want control over my life and I imagine you do too. No one really likes being told what to do. People also want to continually get better, AKA, mastery. The way I think is that I always want to get better than the day before. Do I succeed in this every day? Of course not, but I still try.  I have a student who has a "man crush" on the Oregon Ducks football team. Yesterday, he had traced/drew the Win The Day logo that they have incorporated into their football culture. Here it is for you to see.
Oregon's Win The Day
I asked him what it meant and he gave me a pretty good answer to the real deal and I talked to him about it to see how could apply it to his own life. He said it was basically, just doing your best and trying to "win the day" and not let the day beat you. This is mastery in action.  Finally the third thing that motivates individuals is that people want to be a part of something larger than their self and to have a purpose that extends far beyond yourself, more of a giving back to help further mankind. Really interesting. I suggest watching it.

Here's the embedded video for you to watch.