There were many FABULOUS presenters, but Cathy Skubik answered my issue with mechanics. I’m going to share her amazing and EASY ways to make mechanics more interactive and effective. The GENIUS part of this is it can work for any grade!!
She referred to Jeff Anderson a lot! I haven’t read any of his books yet, but she is not the first to highly recommend him.
Students work on mechanics 10 minutes a day through a process you can repeat again and again for each skill or area of study. It can fit in during Writer’s Workshop, as a morning warm-up, or as a stand alone.
1. Notice/Label (1-2 days)
2. Collect (3-5 days)
3. Imitate (1-5 days)
4. Apply (1-5 days)
5. Practie Forever (1-5 days)
Put your name on the board! Those words spoken in a very stern voice accompanied by a teacher look was enough to whip the toughest student into shape. Except when it didn’t which for me was enough times to make me wonder. Could my discipline systems really be thrown out and replaced with nothing? Would chaos then reign supreme?
So when my students were first learning this, why did they hate it so much? Well, there were a couple of reasons.
First of all, I can guarantee you that their textbooks didn’t have secret agent viruses, and they didn’t have horror stories. You know, in the communication of science there is this obsession with seriousness. It kills me. I’m not kidding. I used to work for an educational publisher, and as a writer, I was always told never to use stories or fun, engaging language, because then my work might not be viewed as “serious” and “scientific.” Right? I mean, because God forbid somebody have fun when they’re learning science. So we have this field of science that’s all about slime, and color changes. Check this out. And then we have, of course, as any good scientist has to have, explosions! But if a textbook seems too much fun, it’s somehow unscientific.
It took a life-threatening condition to jolt chemistry teacher Ramsey Musallam out of ten years of pseudo-teaching to understand the true role of the educator: to cultivate curiosity. In a fun and personal talk, Musallam gives 3 rules to spark imagination and learning, and get students excited about how the world works.
1. Curiosity comes first
2. Embrace the mess
3. Trial and Error - Reflect, reflect, reflect!