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Monday, October 2, 2017

Day: 47 Infusing Passion Into The Classroom #tlap #iteachmath #mtbos

Started reading Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess again. Full disclosure our staff read this book three years ago but I skimmed most of it.
Chapter one is all about passion. Three years ago I thought this chapter was all about "in order to be a good teacher you need to have passion". Yawn, feel like I have heard that story at every teacher convention. However, Dave states that it is OK not to be passionate about every topic you teach. However, found ways to infuse what you are passionate about into every lesson. Dave breaks down passion into three areas Content Passion, Professional Passion, and Personal Passion.
Content Passion
Topics that I am passionate about teaching in math are:

  • Stats: I grew up going to baseball games with my Dad and stats are a big part of baseball. I also like stat's because I feel that it gives numbers meaning. I like skills that I feel kids can use in everyday life. 
  • Pythagorean Theorem: This is another skill that is very practical. I was at my Uncles house last month and I noticed a sticky with a picture of triangle and the Pythagorean theorem laid out on it. I asked him what this was and he said he was trying to figure out what size ladder he needed to buy for the angle he wanted to use to prop the ladder up against the house. I also love that Pythagorean Theorem looks like a triangle proof but it relates to squares and area. I was with my wife at the play "Curious Case Of The Dog In The Night" and it was explained out of this world by kid with autism. Here is a link of the scene

  • Number Sense: I am new to this concept but I really enjoy teaching this to kids as I think it is so valuable skill for students to have. I find that as I teach this my own mental math ability is improving. 
  • Number Magic Tricks: This might be my favorite lesson of all time. I got this one from Dan Meyer. I love teaching equations as a magic trick. I remember when I was a young kid trying to impress peers by trying to do the following. 
    • Pick any number 1-10
    • Double it and add 1
    • Add 9
    • Divide your number in half
    • Now subtract your original number
    • Let me think for a little bit.......the number you have right now is 5!

Professional Passion
  • Growth Mindset: Want people to value mistakes and the cycle of learning. I want them to learn of the power of YET. When a student says I can't do something I like to add the word YET to the end of it. 
  • Relationships: Love making connections with students. I feel like this one of my most important jobs in the classroom. 
  • Ownership: I want kids to realize what they have control of. Many people focus on things that are out of their control. My favorite is when a student tries to say "Well student X was doing (whatever) too..." my quick response is "Well, I am talking to you and what you can control, I am not talking to student X right now"
  • Character Education: I want my kids to have respect for one another. I want them to have good manors. I have a poster in my room with please and thank you; words I want my kids to use more of. 

Personal Passion
  • Sports: I am a sports junkie. It drives my wife nuts but it pretty much consumes most of my free time. Full disclosure, I am not an auto racing fan, Sorry Jorge (my father-in-law).
  • My Family: Should probably by number one, but I so all the time my favorite title I have is "Dad" and "Husband". More important than anything else I do as a teacher I want to be a good father and leader for our family. I have already used Felix to show how easy it is to use Flipgrid. 
  • Card Tricks: I use to be really into card tricks. I remember watching David Blaine as a kid and just being mesmerized. I don't watch as much as I use to but I still go online from time to time to watch mismag822 YouTube Channel. 
  • Puzzles: When I say puzzles I mean logic puzzles. I spend many nights watching MindYourDecisions Youtube channel. Really want to read more about game theory but love the prisoners dilemma problem. Click here for explanation. 
  • Tech: I grew up with a Father who was a computer engineer and his personal office was a mini Lab and my mother was project manager for a Fortune 500 teach company. It was hard to escape it growing up. 
My main focus after reading this chapter is to find ways to infuse passion into every lesson. I think this help me be a better teacher and be more energetic with my instruction. I think kids can sniff out authenticity. Having passion when I teach is a good way to be authentic. 

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