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Why ha-ha leads to Ah-ha
Clean
August 07, 2007 08:34 AM PDT
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(INTRO FIXED)
What is the most underrated tool in a teacher's repertoire? Humor! It might be the most underused, disrespected, most misunderstood tool a teacher possesses. It might also be one of the most effective and easily taught tools. This podcast takes a serious look at humor and is my attempt to convince someone out there to use humor with kids more often this year.

Tell me a joke! If you are reading this I want you to go to the comment section and leave a joke that makes you laugh no matter how many times you hear it.

Also, I am very interested in how other people purposely use humor in their classroom. This podcast went a little long so I left out how I implement the humor tool in my room, but please share how you use it!!
Thanks for stopping by!
Paul

Welcome two guests!
Clean
July 31, 2007 07:29 PM PDT
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I gave my recorder to two teachers who carpool together and had them answer one question. What I learned from their response had nothing to do with their answer to the question...because, and I might have to listen again, they did not really answer it. The question was "What was the most important lesson you have ever learned from your students?" While they stayed on the question for the first minute or two, they quickly went off into another realm. They made connection after connection until they were no longer on the origional topic. Points off? That's what I would do for my kids. Wouldn't you?
The next time I get an off topic response from a student I am going to pause and ask them how they got there. Their answer might be a lot deeper, meaningful, and important than the answer that I was expecting. On a piece of paper or during a class conversation you might not get the entire stream of consciousness that led to their answer. You hear the last thought, which doesn't answer the question, but maybe they already answered the question and moved on to the next more important logical thing.

Music by Runaway Hudson...check em' out!

Why does lecturing sometimes work?
Clean
July 31, 2007 06:00 PM PDT
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Lectures can be very effective...so what do you think about that. At least some can...well at least one or two a year under the right circumstances, or maybe everyday if given by the right person and during the right time and...well...I know that some of my best classes, most memorable classes and teachers, most life changing classes have been lectures. So you can't tell me that lectures don't work. Some do. Why?
This podcast was inspired by Ginger Lewen's podcast http://gingerl.podomatic.com/ It has been on my mind for a couple of decades and just when I thought I ended the rambling podcasts, here comes another!
Peace everyone!

Music by Runaway Hudson...check em' out!

Does anyone have the directions for giving directions?
Clean
July 25, 2007 05:19 PM PDT
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Do we give kids too many directions? Every year I get a class of kids who seemingly cannot operate without very explicit directions. They need to know where to go, when to go, how much, when to stop, quantity, quality, on and on... They are afraid to try something unless they have very detailed instructions which bring them right from the beginning through to the end product. They do not have any faith in themselves...they do not trust themselves enough to take a risk and be creative and innovate with their own imagination. It is a long and purposeful process I use to get kids to trust themselves enough to explore and take a chance to complete something without explicit directions. It is a magical time of the year when it does happen. Go ahead, let go of your preconceptions about how the end product of an assignment should look and give you kids fewer directions this year . Let them try to come to the end on a path that you did not show them. You never know, they might show you a new way of doing something!

Music by Runaway Hudson...check them out!

Connecticut's BEST
Clean
July 23, 2007 05:34 PM PDT
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Second year teachers in Connecticut have to pass in a portfolio of a unit they prepared. These are scored from a 1 to a 4. Get a two or higher and you get your certification...score a one and, well.... For the next two weeks I will be scoring social studies portfolios. I need some help trying to figure out what should be the focus of my podcasts during the next two weeks. Are you from out-of-state and want to learn more about the BEST teacher certification program in the world? What would you like me to focus on? What would interest you? Leave the comment here or email at PBogush@wallingford.k12.ct.us
Thanks!

Music by Runaway Hudson...check em' out!

I need your help!!!
Clean
July 20, 2007 03:58 PM PDT
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If you had one hour to convince your school district to allow you to use Classroom 2.0 tools what would you do? I have a meeting with the assistant superintendent in two weeks and have one hour to demonstrate to him that I should be allowed to use 2.0 tools. Since I am so new at this I don’t really have many student examples. My audience will have no prior knowledge of what a wiki is, probably has heard of a podcast and blog but never used or listened to one. The perception in my district is that the internet is full of predators that are coming to get us. I need help planning my presentation. How do I first overcome the fears? What would you do first, second, etc…I will be setting up my agenda on www.morecowbell.wikispaces.com . I will be starting to post some ideas there starting July 21, 2007. Please visit and leave me some suggestions, comments, stats to use, examples of student work, etc… I think it would be super if it could turn into a turnkey site for anyone in my shoes who is looking for help on convincing their district to go 2.0. Thank you!

Music by Runaway Hudson...check em' out!

Will more connections outside of the classroom lead to fewer connections inside the classroom?
Clean
July 15, 2007 04:29 PM PDT
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In my push to utilize all the classroom 2.0 tools everyday and connect with every part of the globe will I forget to connect with my kids? Will I forget to continue to forge the class bonds that I work very hard to create each year? In this push to connect with the rest of the world I wonder if we are forgetting to first focus on getting the kids to connect with the person next to them. How can a classroom that does not have respect, camaraderie, and love have meaningful relationships and collaboration online? I have been hearing a lot of people say that we should not ban things like myspace because the kids need to learn how to use the social network tools. I think this call might be coming from the teachers of the 2.0 movement that have that spirit in their class that would lead to meaningful "myspace" usage. I am afraid of allowing it on all of the classrooms that do not have good relationships in the classroom and with teachers that do not have any understanding of respect for kids, or are classroom 2.0 illiterate. Does collaboration need to first happen in class and then move online, or will collaborating online lead to better face-to-face relationships in the classroom? Someone help me out here....

Music by Runaway Hudson...check em' out!

Parent Conferences 2.0 -- Using wikis and Flashmeeting
Clean
July 12, 2007 06:24 PM PDT
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Do you think it would be be a good idea to offer parents the chance to have a conference with their child's teacher from the comfort of their own home? Is there a way to have parents sign-up for conferences on our class wiki that would not step on the toes of their privacy? What will a parent conference 2.0 look like?
Let me know...seriously...see that word "comments"...click it and just give me a cyberspace thumbs up or down.

Music by Derek Miller

Daddy I peed! or... What words do you not want to hear while teaching?
Clean
July 11, 2007 05:20 PM PDT
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Daddy I peed! Those were the words that inspired this podcast at 2:00 am in a tent on Cape Cod yesterday. They are words that I probably least like to her while camping. What words do you least like to hear in the classroom? Words that let you know you might have a problem or let you know you might have to pause whatever you were planning and go to plan "B." If you are a student listening to this what are the words you least like to hear come out of your teachers mouth?

Music by Derek Miller -- check him out!

Do you listen to your kids?
Clean
July 02, 2007 02:57 PM PDT
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Students evaluating teachers...sounds scary doesn't it. It can be for many teachers. What if we actually asked kids how we are doing? Why don't all teachers do this? I know that the evaluations I give my kids half-way through the year and again at the end have been some of my most cherished pieces of paper, and well...some of the most eye opening. I have changed and grown an incredible amount based on my students' evaluations. It really does not matter how we felt the year went, what matters most is how it went in the minds of the students. In this podcast I was going to reflect on how I have grown over the years by listening to my kids, but I think I got stuck on those few evaluations from students that thought I was just fair, and the couple of kids evaluations that thought I was m m m m m....miserable.

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