Thursday, June 20, 2013

Teach Like a Pirate - Chapter 4 & 5

 p-i-r- Ask and Analyze - t -e

Dave begins chapter 4 talking about some myths people have about Creativity.
  • You either have it or you don't
  • It comes like a flash from a camera
  • Creativity is easy for some people
Dave explains the creative process is more about asking the right questions, analyzing the responses, and taking action!  He writes, "Asking the right questions is like tuning the radio to the correct frequency (34)."   If you prepare your mind to be creative by asking the right questions, creative ideas will start to come your way because you are engaging in the process.  You begin to focus on creativity.   Your brain begins to filter stimuli to what you are interested in and need.  Dave makes an analogy of this to buying a new car, a mini van (36).  Here's my version:
        I didn't want a new car, but my daughter needed another one before she ended up on  
        the side of 85 with no transportation.  I had done just a bit of research.  If we had 
to get a new car (I was not dealing with another car with no warranty),
I wanted one fairly cheap and with good gas mileage.  I ended up with a Kia Soul. 
 In the days to follow this purchase, we began seeing them everywhere!  
They now seemed to be the most popular car on the road! 
 Everybody had the same car I did!
 What really happened?  
My brain now saw the Kia Soul as important.

What can you do to work toward being more creative?
  • Ask yourself specific questions about how to make your lessons more powerful and creative.  The more specific and "positive," the better.  Which question is going to lead you to the greatest creative potential?
    •  Can I make this lesson more engaging?
    •  How many different ways can I make this lesson engaging?
  • "...Actively and consistently attempt to create." (37)
    • Look at objects/ideas with fresh eyes thinking what can I use to engage my students more in my lessons
  • Have a quick and easy way to capture and organize your creative ideas when they come to you when you least expect it (in the shower) or don't want it (trying to sleep at night).
    • I love using the notes on my iphone, especially since it sinks with my computer and ipad.  I almost always have my phone within arms reach!
  • Don't be afraid to take risks - safe lessons are going to be boring lessons!
    • Make your lessons memorable!
  • There is no failure - only feedback.   
    • If a lesson flops, figure out why and change it.
    • If your student's are not engage, use that as feedback and make the necessary changes. 
  • Take more time to explore other hobbies and interests.  It can help your creativity.
    • I so needed to hear this.  I know I spend too much time working and not enough time exploring my hobbies except in the summer. 
I will end with this quote from Dave:
"... creativity results from properly directed attention, laser-like focus, relentless effort, and hard work.  Outsiders see the glorious results but know very little about the blood and sweat that happens behind closed doors (38)."
Chapter 5
p-i-r- a - Transformation - e

Is your classroom a brown cow or a purple cow?
Brown Cow Classroom - boring
Purple Cow Classroom - new, exciting, out of the ordinary

Choose to have an exciting Purple Cow Classroom, take a realistic assessment of your current classroom, and set sail on achieving your vision!

Dave suggests asking yourself these 2 questions:
  • If your students didn't have to be there, would you be teaching in an empty room?
    •  Do your students enjoy being in your class?  
    • Would they come on a Saturday if invited?
  • Do you have lessons you could sell tickets for?
    • Are you so entertaining your students forget they are learning something? 
Position your classroom to be the one classroom where the line between entertainment and education is blurred, just as Burger King positioned themselves as the place to go if you want to "have it your way!"
It may be necessary to reframe some of the beliefs of your students.  They may already dislike math or think reading is hard.  It is your mission to present content in a way that makes them change their mind!

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