Saturday, March 2, 2013

#2 of 31 Of Tiny Tim and Root Beer Bears

It's March! And not too late to join the
Slice of Life Challenge at Two Writing Teachers

It's one of my favorite weeks of the semester. Demonstration speech week. My kids must choose an activity that they love to do and show the rest of us how to do it.  I learn a lot during this time. In the past I have learned:

  • to change tires (never have had to do it, but I think I could if forced)
  • throw a perfect spiral (if the NFL ever calls, I am ready)
  • saddle a horse
  • fish braid my hair (if it was long enough)  
  • dig fence post holes (a life skill in this rural area
  • the proper techniques for LOTS of sports  (I doubt I'll ever have to run the high hurdles or throw a dicus, but I'm ready if called)
  • how to fold a wide variety of origami objects
  • tips for wrapping presents
  • great scrapbook pages
  • tied blankets
  • diapering babies (I don't think anyone loves this, but it has been done several times)
Thursday and Friday were rehearsal days. I'm exhausted after these days because I have kids EVERYWHERE in the building--the wrestling room, the auditorium, hallways and empty classrooms. I'm always running around the building. In the fall, I'm often outside too.

Anyway

It's winter in Iowa. And sometimes, we take rehearsals to the streets, as they say. So when one of my students was practicing with his partner on the proper way to put on the A&W bear costume

It takes a village to get the bear costume ready

Final touches



Well, we decided to brighten a winter day in the high school with a little walk around the building. Kids and teachers came out of classrooms to see what was going on. There were a lot of sad faces when they realized he wasn't handing out root beer floats!

My Friday started off with a student treating me and the hallway to a song while he played his ukelele


He gathered quite a crowd and made 50 cents in the process. Later in the day, we took his show on the road too. He sang and danced his way around The Fountain's Spanish class! Here's a little taste of his campy "TipToe Through the Tulips" ala Tiny Tim (he really does sing better than this. But it will bring a smile to your face)






And how was your week?




33 comments:

  1. You week wins "Most Fun"!! Thanks for a window into your world of high school speech. You've got some talented kiddos!

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  2. Wow, this sounds like such a fun, but tiring week! It sounds like your kids are very talented and have a lot of different skills to teach!
    --jee young

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  3. I love this type of post. You've made me wonder about what I would get if my students prepared "how to" speeches. And I completely understand how such an activity could be fun and tiring. I will never understand teachers who claim that projects and group work are a time for the teacher to get things done--those are my most active times as I field 26 different questions and help solve at least that many issues by asking guiding questions or offering a word of advice.

    Thanks, Deb!

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    1. I agree Chris. Last week a colleague was amazed at how teachers used "computer time" in the media center to check out and do their own things (instead of working sid-by-side with students). I love the fun you captured, Deb. How wonderful for your students that you enable and encourage them to share and explore beyond your classroom. What's the oddest "how to" speech you've gotten? Have you ever taped one? I'd love to see one and use it as a model perhaps. Sounds like an engaging project.

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  4. So fun, Deb! I love, love, love how you allow your kids' voices and passions into the classroom. And like always, pretty much every single time I read one of your slices, I wish my kids could have you for a high school teacher!

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  5. I loved reading the things your students choose to demonstrate as somethimg they love to do. Diaper changing, that was surprising. Your comments made me chuckle. There are things because of them you are on standby to perform. Your two captured examples really illustrated the interest and fun. Delightful.

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  6. Liked your week better than mine! (the week before state testing, which means this next week is testing... trying not to think of it over the weekend!)

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  7. Demonstrations are such a great idea, especially seeing the different topics your students choose.
    I love that you have an ukelele player in Iowa- having lived in Hawaii I miss the unique music it can make.

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  8. Once again, I am in awe of your teaching skills and how you relate to your kids, even though it is tiring for you. These are the things they will remember in later years. Thanks for sharing your week!

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  9. These kinds of weeks do put a smile on everyone's face. Such a fun video! I noticed that you didn't mention you were on stand-by status for digging fence post holes. :-)

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  10. I love this and the positive spin you place on a few days that probably feel quite hectic. It sounds like you have learned quite a bit from your students and I am sure they enjoy the opportunity to share their talents.

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  11. Oh, I love that clip! It says so much for the environment you have created for your kids, Deb. I want to be your student! Also I'd learn a lot - like all the stuff on that list....

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    1. Tara, Demonstration speeches are a blast. And they do connect us as a class. Kids are amazed at the talents of some of the others in class. I have a snake coming in next week. I'm not sure how I'll handle that one!

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  12. I am wondering if you ever run out of energy? It would be wonderful to be a student at your high school! Thank you for sharing your week, and commenting on one of my students' poems on our class blog!

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    1. Jaana, I am trying to stop by some of the student blogs and read and comment. I'll never get to them all, but I know it means a lot to kids when someone other than their teacher comments!

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  13. It feels serendipitous that I looked at this post. My 19-year-old son just told me yesterday that his next piece of writing for his English class is supposed to be a "how-to." He is worried about being good enough at something to be able to write for three pages about it. We were brainstorming during the car ride home. This will help inspire him, I know.

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    1. The key, as I tell my students, is to write/speak about something you know how to do well. Too often I have students who try to learn something new and that just doesn't work. If they are passionate about it, it seems to just write itself.

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  14. This is a terrific activity for thinking about precise language. Going to steal as we teachers do, if that's okay!

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    1. Feel free to steal away. I always do. It's how I get my best ideas!

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  15. No wonder this is one of your favorite times at school! No doubt the students love it too. Thanks for sharing it so well! This one sounds especially useful, too: "dig fence post holes (a life skill in this rural area)"

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  16. Oh, in my 2nd teaching life I want to teach those wonderful kids in high school, Deb. So much energy & enthusiasm! I love what you do with them. It just sounds like so much fun, and the learning of course is there too. You made me smile all the way through!

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  17. That sounds delightful, Deb! Demonstration speeches are so much fun -- I remember really enjoying them in my Spanish class my senior year of high school! The fence post one cracked me up -- nobody around here would be sharing that one! :-)

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  18. Hi Deb,
    Glad you had the power to offer your student s an alternative to a dreary day... I loved the media mix of text, images and video...
    Great post. I'm smiling
    Bonnie

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  19. I wish my kids had been in your class in high school! It sounds like a wonderful week!!

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  20. What fun! I want to join in too, but what would I share . . .

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    1. Hmmmm. Maybe how to get kids to sleep in their big kids beds! Or how to write poetry or Being a lit coach or if all else fails, I'm sure you could do the diaper speech!

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  21. Oh my! I am definitely positively absolutely going to do this project with my 7th graders! What fun! It does sound like a lot of work, but your list of things you've learned over the years is so inspiring. Thanks for this, Deb.

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  22. Thanks for the post! It's linked in my post about your root beer bears and singing students! Always love the visits from your students!

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  23. You had me at the title and I got a video to boot!? The energy you cultivate in creative writing class is contagious. I want to be there!

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  24. What??? Are they having FUN in school? I didn't think we allowed the "F" word.

    Thanks for the video...it was the cherry on top. ;)

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    1. Shhhh. Ruth Don't tell anyone. High school is where the love of learning is supposed to go to die.

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  25. What a hoot and a joy for the winter months! Thanks for sharing your excellent week, Deb!

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  26. I love how you inspire your kids to be themselves and share. You have created an environment for risk taking. So love it!

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