Focus 2 Achieve

Innovate Create Educate

I blog on Brain-Based Learning, Metacognition, and Social-Emotional Learning. I am the author of "Crush School: Every Student's Guide To Killing It In The Classroom" which is a book that helps students understand how their brain processes information and learns. In the book, I explain why students can learn anything and give strategies on how to learn effectively.

Class Intro Infographic: The Swag Way To Show & Tell

Show and Tell (according to Dictionary.com)

noun

  1. an activity for young children, especially in school, in which each participant produces an object of unusual interest and tells something about it.
  2. Facetious. any informative presentation or demonstration, as to introduce a new product or divulge and explain a special plan.

Show and Tell Infographic (according to Focus2Achieve)

class-intro-poster.png

TRUTH BOMB: Teachers Tend To Overwhelm Students On The First Day Of School.

Guilty. I have done it many times. I know many students are simply freaked out on day 1. It's a natural reaction to the shock of being thrown out of their summer routine, confined to a seat, and being talked at all day in classes they may perceive as dull, difficult, or both.

And hey, while I cannot change what other teachers in the building will do on September 6, I can change. So, I am changing how I approach day 1 and week 1. There! GETTING. IT. DONE.

Why The Infographic?

1. Brevity

I could spend the entire 55 minutes of class time talking at students. Wonder how soon most would "check out"... I could overload them with information they will not remember, that will increase their anxiety, and possibly lead them to hate the class and my guts before day 2, because they had 5 teachers just do the same exact thing.

Or, I could give them information in a one-shot visual way, and then have them create something, stand up, interact with each other. Hmm. Tough choice isn't it?

2. Show & Tell With Swag

Look, I still believe that students want to know what the class will be like. But, I've been teaching teens for the past 14 years and I know they do not need to listen to another speech. I am convinced that most politicians are despised (by me anyway), because they talk too damn much. Oh, and they lie too. But I digress...

I am transitioning to Blended Learning this year. Chromebooks, e-Devices, and lots of brainpower usage every day. More on that below.

Undoubtedly, you have seen the 4 Cs prominently figuring in the infographic above. Skill-building will be my emphasis this and every year beyond. I want the students to see what I value and what I want them to focus on to become awesome learners and later professionals. I will use the Steve Jobs quote above to explain how a large and diverse mind library leads to increased creativity and critical thinking and that is why individuals study science (and all the other subjects) even if they do not plan on becoming scientists.

Communication information and links (email, social media, blog etc.) are all given. I plan to have the district tech people put the infographic on my school district website (MORE SWAG) and thus the information will be available to students and the rest of the community at all times. Unless someone breaks the Internet...

3. Community Building Project

As their facilitator, I will ask my students to make digital posters (Google Apps) about themselves and fill them with information such as who they are, their faves (food, music, show, hobby etc.), their pet-peeves, and their strength. The idea is to have students reflect and realize that they are valuable members of our class community and start recognizing each other as valuable contributors to our mutual growth.

As their collaborator, I will make one for myself too. When done, we will upload all of the digital posters to the classroom blog I am setting up, and email the link to parents and staff as class intro. This way we'll engage the parents and other community members right from the start.

NOTE: I am creating a class blog site now and will add the link and the QR Code to the Infographic as soon as I'm done.

4. Novelty

C'mon. You know most teachers will either do a PowerPoint or talk. Maybe show a video. Hopefully a current one. Maybe they will have a 5 minute ice-breaker before they get down to business... Syllabus, Routines, Rules and Consequences!

Please make it stop!

I am ditching the book for good this year. I've always handed one out and rarely used it. Why bother? All of the curriculum is online anyway and students can interact with the multimedia at their own pace. Popcorn reading? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Let's face it. As sad as it is in this day and age, few teachers allow or know how to have students use their phones in class to create. BYOD? Selfies? And on day one? Forget about it!

I say: Let's do it! Day one is actually perfect for setting the stage for Blended Learning, because we are USING THE TECH TO CREATE. And that is how we will use it every day. I'm starting by having students take selfies of each other and add to their posters. Even in high school many students do not know how to use their smartphone to create. No phone? No problem - I got chromebooks and collaboration (Use your imagination or ask in the comments if you want to know more).

And, most people, students included, do not know what infographics are.

5. Extending Beyond

I will make 1 more Intro Infographic similar to the one above and the Personal Info one. This one will be the syllabus and i will also post it on my website and class blog. No paper, no fuss. I say the Internet was invented by Al Gore (really?) and is here to stay...

Thanks for looking and reading. I hope you can use a few or all of the ideas I ramble about here. If you'd like more or want to see the Personal Info (Teacher Intro) Infographic and the Syllabus Infographic SIGN UP for MY NEWSLETTER as I will feature them soon!

And Never Forget: YOU HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE THE WORLD. USE IT OFTEN.

 

 

 

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