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Help! My classroom is like a barn (LEA Convocation 2013)


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Help! My classroom is like a barn (LEA Convocation 2013)

  1. 1. Help!! My Classroom Is Like A Barn!! Drew D. Gerdes LEA Convocation - 2013 Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  2. 2. It’s Soooooo True…. Teaching isn’t all that easy… Teaching is an art and a science… Teaching takes patience… Teaching takes talent… Teaching takes a toll…. What else could we say? Teaching………
  3. 3. A Comparison Teacher Farmer Up early – works late Deals with many noises Deals with many smells Lots of planning Things can change instantly Kids rely on teachers Cultivates the future… Up early – works late Deals with many noises Deals with many smells Lots of planning Things can change instantly Animals rely on farmers Cultivates the future…
  4. 4. We Are Important!!! Teachers play such an important role… 1. In a child’s life 2. In society 3. In a families life What we do daily effects the lives of sooo many people! What do you remember?
  5. 5. Perhaps A Better Picture… Teachers Can… See everything Hear everything Know everything Sense everything And… Smell everything!!! We are Super Teachers!!!
  6. 6. But…We Are Only Super With Jesus! Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Luke 1:37 For nothing is impossible with God God uses us to minister to His Kingdom! We are Jesus’ disciples! What an honor and responsibility!!!
  7. 7. Why Did God Choose Me? Thankfully…God’s Ways are much better than our ways… Drew’s Story… What’s your story? God chose YOU! YOU are here for a reason!
  8. 8. Okay…Back To The Barn Ryker and Braden Ultimate Investigators
  9. 9. Add To The Madness… Dear, Dear Cheryl..
  10. 10. Then This Happens… Oh, the joys of teaching… Even teachers should keep an extra set of clothes at school!!!
  11. 11. Planning Plan on throwing our your Lesson Plans. Plan on having unplanned disruptions. Plan on rearranging your routine. In early childhood, there is no such thing as a schedule!  Plan on making lemonade out of the lemons you are given!
  12. 12. Speaking of Lemons.. When the chickens squawk, when the cows moo, and when the horses neigh… Start to sing!!! It’s amazing how children will stop everything, look, listen, and then follow along!!!
  13. 13. Back To The Barn Everything has it’s own place – every animal has it’s own place. Teachers need to know the purpose and function of every area and item in their classroom. Purpose & Function The teacher is in ultimate control – the student “thinks” he/she is in control because there is freedom to go places/do things – that have purpose and function.
  14. 14. Physical Classroom Environment The set-up of the physical classroom environment plays such a HUGE ROLE in determining the over classroom learning environment. Does everything have a purpose? Is everything tidy? Is everything accessible that needs to be accessible? Is furniture placement arranged so that children can succeed? Can adults monitor and see from any angle?
  15. 15. Christian!!! The child who is always looking for an opportunity… Tests the limits… Strong-willed… Free-minded… Sometimes we clash…
  16. 16. Make ‘Em Dig Holes! For those kids who are just like Christian… Don’t just balk at them… Don’t constantly nag at them… Play a game – a game where YOU are always the winner!
  17. 17. It’s Their Job It’s a child’s job to test the limits. It’s the teachers job to set them. Clearly. Appropriately. Attainable. A comment I dislike the most… “It’s just this class!” “These kids couldn’t do it to save their life!” “I can’t wait until this year is over!”
  18. 18. Fall In Love! Play the game!! Make sure every child falls in love with you. He/She will then likely do anything for you. They don’t want to disappoint you!
  19. 19. Ask Yourself… What can I do in my classroom to make sure this child is successful?
  20. 20. All About Relationships Parents will never read everything you send home or do exactly what you want them to do. That’s what it’s all about!! Jesus was all about relationships, too! Neither will the kids! So… Get over it!
  21. 21. Brief Discussion Discuss with a neighbor how YOU build strong relationships in your classroom. With students… With parents… With co-workers… We each have our own unique ways. We learn from one another, too!
  22. 22. Are You Surprised? What do you think is the most sought-after topic in early childhood education? BEHAVIOR GUIDANCE!!! Be careful!!! Do not mistake developmental or educational issued for behavioral problems. Understand child development and be patient!
  23. 23. A Case Study Picture the following activity happening in your classroom. Listen carefully to the details and comments. Think about Hayley.
  24. 24. What Are The Problems Here? The teacher did not give specific directions for use of the umbrellas in advance. The teacher was not developmentally clear in her expectations. The teacher shared an opinion – not a directive. The teacher did not keep the children completely safe. The teacher did not follow through with comments. The teacher made empty threats.
  25. 25. Teacher Talk We could talk forever about Teacher Talk. One of the biggest challenges teachers face is how we talk to children. Be clear – use few words. Briefly discuss with your neighbor the importance of using appropriate words and instructions. How do you direct children’s behavior with Teacher Talk?
  26. 26. Quick Resources A must-view website!!! A guide for REAL play!!!
  27. 27. Technology It’s not going away, so embrace it! How do you personally use technology for the benefit of your teaching, classroom environment, and student activities and learning?
  28. 28. Sad But True
  29. 29. Do You…??? “Like” “Tweet” “Friend” “Pin”
  30. 30. Beg, Borrow, & Steal! We all love getting new ideas for our classrooms. The best teachers are constantly evaluating what works, what doesn’t, what new ideas could be tried, and what is best for the children. Professional Development Continuing Education Expanded Learning “Making Myself An Even Better Teacher”
  31. 31. Things To Ponder Please, please never forget. The job of a child is to PLAY!
  32. 32. More To Ponder…
  33. 33. Last one…
  34. 34. Ok…Just One More!!!
  35. 35. Your Assignment What does play mean to you? What does “learning by playing” mean to you?
  36. 36. New Ideas For the remainder of the session, we’ll learn new ideas that you can implement in your classroom right away. If you are familiar with the idea, please share how you utilize it, or variations you have done. Think outside the box – or even in a different box altogether – how can you expand these ideas?
  37. 37. What Is It For? What are some of the things you could do with these items? Briefly share at your table. Be prepared for Large Group Sharing!
  38. 38. Know These Terms Invitation A way to entice and encourage a child to participate in something or engage in an activity. Loose parts Those things you save/hoard because you know that some day you’ll need them and have a use for them.
  39. 39. Playful Explorations Science Sink/Float Color Awareness Texture New Visuals
  40. 40. Playful Explorations Will an egg float? Predictions! Try placing it on a coffee filter!
  41. 41. Playful Explorations What benefit does this have? Motor skills Mathematics Color & Art Capacity Science
  42. 42. Playful Explorations
  43. 43. Use Your Noodle! Use Noodles as Building Blocks Practice Geometry Use shorter and longer pieces. Can you make a circle?
  44. 44. Use Your Noodle! Build a road Physical Activity Straight, turn, stop, left, right – awesome vocabulary learning! Use smaller pieces for a race – color identification exercises – clean up!
  45. 45. Use Your Noodle! Noodle Chains Noodle Blocks Painting
  46. 46. Use Your Noodle! Let the children become engineers and architects!! The coolest thing about real, true, meaningful play is that it costs very little – if any – money! Use things you have around the house – or can purchase very inexpensively!
  47. 47. Artistic Expressions
  48. 48. Practice Visual Arts! Crafts are not art. Crafts are teacherdirected projects that are done following a set of specific instructions, steps, and directions. Art is when one can choose the what and how of creative exploration. Be creative and frugal. Everyday items can make the best medium for artistic expression. Provide guidance – provide thought-proviking questions – watch and listen!
  49. 49. Play-Based Visual Arts
  50. 50. Resources Big Body Play Frances M. Carlson Designs for Living & Learning
  51. 51. More Resources Beautiful Stuff Young Investigators Judy Harris Helm & Lillian Katz
  52. 52. Closing Thoughts Teaching really is both an art and a science. Artists create and learn by exploration and known sciences. Scientists create and learn by exploration and by being creative.
  53. 53. Closing Thoughts Be creative and unique. What is most worthy of your time and effort? Put kids first!!! I hope you learned something new and were reaffirmed in your teaching Stretched your mind into new modes of thinking
  54. 54. Become a NEW Teacher! Teachers who have the most fun… Do things differently all the time! Are constantly exploring new ideas and thoughts! Focus on the children! Don’t spend time cutting, copying, and tracing. Do spend time getting materials and equipment ready. Do spend time guiding, asking questions, and listening.
  55. 55. Contact Me! Drew D. Gerdes Early Childhood Director Messiah Lutheran School Weldon Spring (St. Charles), Missouri