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Showing posts with label workshop. Show all posts
Showing posts with label workshop. Show all posts

Reflecting Upon the Brain Workshop

I'm a naturally reflective person.  As a teacher, I reflect upon every lesson I teach, constantly thinking about how it could have gone better.  That's usually a good thing, but sometimes I make myself crazy thinking about things.  And I do tend to be hard on myself.  That's one of the harder things about being a perfectionist. 

I presented a workshop yesterday on Brain Based Learning to other teachers in my district. It was kind of a rushed day, since I was at DIBELS training at another school in the district earlier in the day. We got out with plenty of time, but I didn't want to get back too early since I din't want to interrupt the substitute. Since the workshop was due to start in my classroom at 3:30, I needed to be in my classroom by 3:10 to set up on time. Unfortunately, several kids are still there at that time, waiting for their bus, so I had no choice but to enter the classroom with all my workshop stuff. 


Of course, the kids that were left gave me a wonderful greeting.  (You'd think I hadn't seen them in years!) Then I needed to chat with the sub, who was also going to be there the next day while I went to the rest of the training. (I was glad about that, she's great!) Needless to say, I was barely ready when the other teachers arrived. 

It was a small group, just 5 teachers. Most of them I knew, and they were from all levels. I had snacks, water bottles, handouts, a selection of books about brain research, and, of course, several copies of my Elementary Matters business cards.


The presentation went very well. The other teachers liked the material (who wouldn't, it's fascinating stuff!) and particularly seemed to like my "Brain Jeopardy". (Based on THIS fascinating article!)


Of course, being a reflective person, there are a few things I'd do to make it better:

  1. I like to have music on when people enter. (I do this for my students often, too.) The kind of music that makes you feel good. Upbeat, with a bounce to it. I had planned to have one of my bouncy Christmas CDs on, but just didn't get to it.
  2. I had snacks, but didn't have anything to put the snacks in. I dug up some cups in the classroom, so they could put Cheese Its into plastic cups. Next time I'll have nice bowls or containers for the snacks, and napkins!
  3. As I do often in class, I had too much material, and didn't finish it all. Of course, it's such a wide topic, and there's so much I want to share. Next time, I'll just pick the most important parts and go into more detail. 
But, all in all, it went well. I got this email this afternoon:


This afternoon a HS teacher came into my office to tell me what an excellent workshop you ran yesterday. She wished more teachers (especially from the HS) had come. She used some of what she learned already today in her classes. Great job!

So, I guess I'm happy about that!

    How to Have Them Ready to Learn When They Walk Into the Classroom

    Everything I've read about brain research and memory tells me that there are strong ties between the memory and emotion. 


    How to Have Them Ready to Learn When They Walk Into the Classroom: Here's a little trick I learned that can be used with any age group. It's great for Open House nights, too!


    As an experienced teacher, it's clear that children will remember events that are associated with emotional events. Personally, I prefer to keep that emotion a happy one while in the classroom. (Although I'll bet everyone reading this remembers events from extremely unhappy times, I'll leave those negative emotions to a power higher than myself... hopefully it's not the principal!)


    I remember, a long time ago, I walked into a workshop after a long day of workshops. It was a long morning, and we were fed a good lunch. This was mid afternoon, the time when many countries like to take a siesta, and the rest of us wish we could. 



    As I walked to the room for my next workshop, I was seriously thinking of sneaking out to find a place I could slip in a little nap. I walked into the room, and I heard music playing. Not your typical "little kid" music, but fun music, the kind you'd hear at a party. Immediately I started smiling and happily found a seat, smiling at the other teachers in the room, who were also smiling. I saw lots of other people do the same... looking around, smiling, moving to the music, chatting happily... can you picture it?


    When the workshop started, we were all in grand moods. I still wonder if I would have enjoyed that workshop as much, or even been able to stay awake, if it weren't for the "feel good" music while we were arriving. 


    I've remembered this moment many times. I've collected a number of classic "feel good" songs that I like to play when the children enter the classroom. These songs always bring smiles to faces. Even though they hate to see it end, they settle right down ready to work after the happy music. 


    I find this music is great for Open Houses, too. It's nice to see those parents smiling. I'm preparing my music for this Monday's Open House... it's their first impression of me, and I want it to be a good one!




    What music makes you feel good? Here is one of mine! I can't help but smile when I hear Aretha!



    HERE's a freebie with a list of many of the songs I use:
     
    How to Have Them Ready to Learn When They Walk Into the Classroom: Here's a little trick I learned that can be used with any age group. It's great for Open House nights, too!

    What music do you like to play that makes people feel good?



    How to Have Them Ready to Learn When They Walk Into the Classroom: Here's a little trick I learned that can be used with any age group. It's great for Open House nights, too!

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