Mr Watson’s Place on the Web

Mr Watson’s place for ideas, resources and all things teaching!

Posts Tagged ‘learning’

Don’t forget your ‘Hooks’!

Posted by watseducation on September 16, 2009

Hello!

Welcome me back everyone! It has been along time since I have posted anything. I am not sure why – but still perhaps I have just been lazy!

Still whatever the reason here is the latest ‘Classroom Power’ update from Teachmaster-J.

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A short reminder for those using the WBT method already: Do not forget your audible hooks!

By this I mean when you are giving lecture information, or leading up to a Teach-OK activity, make sure you do not forget to use simple audible hooks to keep the students focused on your objective. In most classrooms they sit passively and listen. As you are likely aware, this is not a natural state for students.

When you are speaking and make a point, if it is upbeat, tell them “give me and ‘Ahhhh!’ and have them respond. If it is something that involves work, or that will make them laugh at it, have them give you an “Ohhhh’, or an “Oh, no!’

You can use any audio signal you want, as long as you get them to respond. This keeps them focused on you and what you are trying to accomplish. It has the added advantage of making the lecture more fun for both you and them!

WiBiT, my friends, WiBiT good!

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Remember for those interested in Power Teaching you can check the website – the link to which can be found over here

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Take care now!

Be good, and if you can’t be good, be careful!

Mr W.

Posted in Creative Curriculum, Fun Stuff, power teaching, Teaching Resources | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Another New Power Teaching Review Game – Beachball Baffler

Posted by watseducation on January 12, 2009

Again this one is not my idea but I received it in an e-mail from Classroom Power – it has come from Chris Biffle via Teachmaster J at Classroom Power (See the link on an earlier post).

I just thought this one sounded  fun and would share!

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Guess what, folks! Power Teaching has another new review game. Read on as Chris Biffle explains how to play Beachball Baffler:

“In addition to Mind Soccer, I suggest you try Beach Ball Baffler as a reward that students work for on the Scoreboard. All you’ll need is a beach ball. Here’s how to play …

1. Toss the ball toward the class. One (or more people) bounce it into the air.
2. While the ball is in the air, you ask a short question, “What is 4 times 4?”, or “What is the capital of Brazil?” … any review question you wish (have a list in front of you so you don’t have to think them up!)
3. The class must answer the question in chorus before the ball comes down.
4. Then the ball is batted into the air again by the next person … you ask another question … and so forth.
5. The goal is to see how many times the ball can be batted into the air before either the ball hits the ground or a fair number of the class isn’t answering or giving a wrong answer …

To increase the tension, the class only gets three tries (their goal is to break their previous best class record) … increase the difficulty and interest in the game by posing harder questions or by waiting until the ball is drifting down before posing a question (and thus your students have a shorter time to answer) … or have half the class volley the ball to the other half of the class, etc. Introduce the idea of levels and keep making the game harder and harder. Beach Ball Baffler could last for months!

One final note … if anyone complains about anything, your scorekeeping, a classmate’s failure to hit the ball, anything … that automatically reduces the number of hits earned. So, for example, the class kept the ball in the air for 10 hits … but Jane complained about John’s miss-hit and someone else complained that the ref, you, wasn’t throwing the ball correctly … those two complaints reduce the score to 8 …”

This one should be a lot of fun. I can already see it being effective in nearly any subject area. For additional changeups you might substitute a large balloon if you are in a smaller or younger classroom. Make sure you have spares for either a balloon or a beachball.

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For more information on Power Teaching – there are some links and videos on this blog!

You have to admit, your class will love this, mine will! I’ll let you know how it goes.

Mr W.

Posted in Creative Curriculum, Fun Stuff, power teaching | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Mind Soccer – Power Teaching Game

Posted by watseducation on January 5, 2009

Not my idea but I recieved it in an e-mail from Classroom Power – it has come from Chris Biffle via Teachmaster J at Classroom Power (See the link on an earlier post).

I just thought it sounded great fun and would share!

New Power Teaching Game- Mind Soccer!

The following is an excerpt from a post by Chris Biffle on a fantastic new learning game that can be used at any level:

“Mind Soccer is a hilarious new in-class game, inspired by Fred Jones, a classroom management expert, but souped up with special Power Teaching features.

Use Mind Soccer to review any course material. Your students will love the game so intensely that you can use it as a reward for good behavior (or as a reward that they earn on the Power Teaching Scoreboard.)

Purpose: Like soccer, Mind Soccer is played between two teams. The purpose of the game is to score goals. Goals are scored by quickly answering questions posed by the referee.

Rules: There is only one rule in Mind Soccer. Keep The Referee Happy. You’re the Referee.

Equipment: A blackboard, an eraser and a set of short answer, often one word, review questions that you have created. You will be reading questions from this list; arrange them in groups from easiest to hardest.

The Set Up: Draw a horizontal line, about six feet long, near the bottom of your blackboard. Mark off the line in 11 equidistant vertical marks. The horizontal line stands for a soccer field; each end of the line is a soccer goal; the vertical marks divide the field into units (like a football field). Place an eraser under the vertical mark in the middle of the field. The eraser is the soccer ball.

How To Play:
1. Divide the class into two teams. We’ll use boys against girls, but it could be right side of the class against left side, etc.

2. Each team chooses the other team’s captain.

3. To start the game, the captains stand face to face at the front of the room. You pose one of your review questions and, just as in “Family Feud”, the captains slap their hands down on a desk as quickly as possible if they know the answer. The captain who is quickest, gets the chance to answer. If the captain is right, his/her team gets the ball. Otherwise, the opposing team’s captain gets the ball.

4. Assume the girls’ team wins control. Picking one player at a time, ask review questions to the girls’ team. If the player’s answer is correct, loud, fast and with an energetic gesture, that counts as a “strong kick.” Advance the ball, the eraser, almost a full hash mark down the field toward the boys’ goal.

If the answer is correct but too quiet or slow or doesn’t have an energetic gesture, that is a “weak kick.” Advance the ball a short distance toward the boys’ goal. If the girls’ answer is wrong, shout “Turnover!” and now the boys’ team gets a chance to play. If you like a rowdy classroom, encourage teams to cheer when the ball is going their direction and groan when it isn’t. Thus, every time the ball moves, you’ll have cheering and groaning.

5. Use the following to add excitement to Mind Soccer:

Steal!: Whenever you, the Referee, want to reverse the direction of the game, shout “Steal!” This means the other team has suddenly gotten control of the ball. Of course, you will shout “Steal!” whenever you want to generate an intense amount of excitement … like when one team is very close to the goal and just about to score.

Foul!: Whenever one team or the other misbehaves in the slightest, complains about the ref’s call, anything, you shout “Foul!” As the Ref, you then have three choices. You can award control of the ball to the opposing team; you can move the ball up or down the field, penalizing one team or the other; or, most exciting, you can declare a Penalty Kick. (Encourage teams to cheer or groan as appropriate.)

Penalty Kick!: Move the ball to the first hash mark in front of the opposition’s goal. The attacking team chooses a kicker, usually the team captain. The defending team chooses a goalie, usually the team captain. Goalie and kicker face off in front of the room, like the initial kickoff. You state a question; the player who slaps a hand down first gets first try at the question. If the goalie is first and correct, the penalty kick is blocked. If the goalie is wrong, the penalty kick scores. If the captain is first and correct, the penalty kick scores. If the captain is first and wrong, the penalty kick is blocked. If a goal is scored, the scoring team shouts “Gooooooaaaaalll!!!” like Andres Cantor, the famous Mexican announcer.

Free Ball!
: Often in soccer, neither team is in control of the ball. When you shout “Free Ball!”, anyone on either team can answer. Fire questions at your students; when one side gets several questions in a row correct, point at them and say, “You won the Free Ball!” Then start giving questions to individual players on the winning team.

Read The Ref’s Mind Free Ball!
: For hilarious excitement, say, “I’m thinking of a key concept we covered. Free Ball! Read my mind!” Both teams shout answers at you, energetically covering enormous quantities of review material … give them hints as you wish. Award control of the ball to the team that reads your mind, or, failing that, that has the most attempts at reading your mind.

Your strategy
: You will use an enormous number of review questions in Mind Soccer; thus, it is important to have a list so you can keep the game moving along quickly. Use any question, addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, state capitals, key concepts from science, names of characters in stories, anything.

Keep the ball moving up and down the field. Make the game as exciting as you wish by shouting Steal!, Penalty Kick!, Free Ball! or Read The Ref’s Mind Free Ball!.

Never let one team get more than one goal ahead of the other. Many soccer games end in ties. Give the weakest players easier questions; stronger players get harder questions. If, like many Power Teachers, you believe in the importance of physical gestures that enhance learning, award answers that have a particularly appropriate, descriptive gesture a “very strong kick.”

Play for only a minute or two every few days. Make your class work hard to earn the right to play Mind Soccer. If you use Mind Soccer infrequently and briefly, the game will be a tremendous motivator for positive in-class behavior.

Think about that. Your class is working as hard as possible to earn the right to review course material! That, as we say in Power Teaching, is Teacher Heaven.

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For more information on Power Teaching – there are some links and videos on this blog!

You have to admit, your class will love this!

Mr W.

Posted in Creative Curriculum, Fun Stuff, power teaching, Teaching Resources, Updates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Are you bringing back the Nature Table?

Posted by watseducation on July 14, 2008

The Country Living Nature Table Campaign

I must confess I feel strongly about this one.

As a person who teaches in the city and lives in the country, near a riverside, woodland and farmland. I am still saddened to meet Year 6 children in my school who have never been in woodland, or seen a cow! Milk comes from the supermarket (I have been told so by a bright 11 year old).

We need to get children out side and back in touch with nature. I have taken children to a village in the country, a new experience for many. From where we base ourselves we are  5 minutes walk to woodland, 10 seconds to a field and 5 minutes to the river.

The village farmer takes the children around the farm yard, to see the crops, both growing and harvested, the machinery and the animals. They are always fascinated, and talk about it for ages afterwards, it is such a positive experience for them.

Every year the trip has been a success, every year the children and parents thank me and every year I try do it again.

I have taken this from the Country Living Magazine website – join in, it is a must wherever you teach, town, city, village or rural:

Country Living Nature Table Campaign

country living nature table campaign

It’s important for children to connect with nature, which is why we’ve launched our Bring Back the Nature Table campaign. We want to see one in every primary school and for parents, grandparents and guardians to take children regularly to parks, fields and woodlands.

Can you create a winning nature table?

Country Living online 15.04.2008

While you’re out and about with your children, help them to create a winning nature table at school or to put together a nature project at home

children at nature table Country Living's nature table

The Best School Nature Table (open to primary and junior schools in the UK) will win a Nikon Fieldmicroscope Mini (worth more than £500, see www.nikon.co.uk), plus a Nikon Pocket-type Loupe magnifying glass to help the winning class study their nature finds and a bird-box webcam. Our competition is open to schools that already have a nature table or are starting a new one.

The Best Home Nature Project created by children and their parents, guardians or grandparents) will win a pair of Nikon Sportstar EX binoculars (worth more than £100) to take on nature walks, plus a family (max. six people) visit to Pensthorpe Nature Reserve. Runners-up will receive a Jordans hamper. Children can be as creative as they like – their project could be a scrapbook, a collection of photographs from walks, or even an art installation!

For both categories, the judges will be looking for seasonal changes and an emphasis on native plants. (Remember to follow the Countryside Code). The winning entries will be featured in the December issue of Country Living.

How to enter

For Best School Nature Table, send photographs of the table and an explanation of no more than 200 words, along with the school/class name, address and tel no.

For Best Home Nature Project, send photographs and/or the project, along with the adult and child’s/children’s name/s, address and tel no.

Send all entries to: Nature Table Competition, Country Living, 72 Broadwick Street, London W1F 9EP. Closing date for entries is 1 September 2008.

Click here to find out more about the nature table campaign

Country Living

The Country Living Nature Table Campaign

Posted in Cross Curricular, Nature Tables, Science, Updates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

What do you want to see here?

Posted by watseducation on July 14, 2008

I was thinking tonight about what to post next. I am trying to steal myself some moments to get the blog up and running and get the sort of materials here that people want to see, find and use.

I realised that I could post all sorts of stuff and if it is of no use then people mightn’t come back!

Traffic is increasing daily already and that is great – perhaps you have even added it to favourites! Or perhaps that is wishful thinking?!

Anyway I thought I would ask you – is there something you are looking for that you can’t find or something specific that you think I might be able to help with.

I am, after all, here to help. So if there is something you are after, would like to see or are just interested in then let me know here.

If I can help with resources or with links to places I think might be good, I will.

All that remains to be said is thanks for stopping by, and I hope you like what you see – comments and feedback to help me to improve the site are welcome.

All the best

Mr W.

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