Kappa Delta Pi Summer 2011 : Page 2

Informing & Inspiring New Teachers a Kappa Delta Pi publication Volume 18, No. 4 KDP Executive Director FAYE SNODGRESS Consulting Editor GINA RILEY Managing Editor KAREN L. ALLEN Assistant Editors KATHIE-JO ARNOFF SALLY RUSHMORE Art Director CHUCK JARRELL NSTOY Liaison PEGGY TORDOFF “Fun Sparkles” Add T to your Classroom! BY JAN RICHARDS lives of students often find themselves in a daze, struggling to understand the mandates and then fulfill all of their expectations. I know this because I talk with them regularly. Creativity and “fun learning” seem to be ideals rather than goals for a lesson. Though economic and educational environment stressors are part of the current climate, they do not have to drive the tenor of your classroom. I believe teachers can counteract the pressure of performance-oriented classrooms with shots—tiny shots of FUN, that is. I call them “Fun Sparkles.” Like the sudden sparkle of a diamond or the iridescent shimmer of sunshine on NTA Advisors BERNARD BULL MADELINE KOVARIK JACQUELINE LYDY GINA RILEY STEPHANIE L. SCHAEFER NICHOLAS J. ULIANO MACK WELFORD MICHAEL P. WHITMAN eachers—no matter their level of experience—feel the tensions and pressures that often come with accountability implementations. As curriculum guides get thicker by the year, with less flexibility in lesson planning and more emphasis on higher student achievement scores, teachers may find themselves wondering how to meet demands and develop truly engaging lessons. New teachers, full of dreams and determination to make a difference in the Dr. Richards is an Associate Professor at National University in Ontario, CA. She has written previously for KDP journals and presented at KDP Convos. Her primary research interest is teacher encouragement. C ALL F OR M ANUSCRIPTS ISSN 1070-7379 published four times during the school year by Kappa Delta Pi, 3707 Woodview Trace, Indianapolis, IN 46268-1158. Send all subscription orders and editorial correspondence to address above, call 1-800-284-3167, or visit KDP Online at www.kdp.org. Subscription rate: $10.00, members, per year, domestic; $12.00, members, foreign; $12.00, nonmembers, do-mestic; $14.00, nonmembers, foreign. Single copies, $3.50 (+s&h). Third-class bulk permit paid at Columbus, Ohio. Postmaster does not return issue to publisher with address change. Subscriber must send changes to: Kappa Delta Pi, 3707 Woodview Trace, Indianapolis, IN 46268-1158. ©2011 by Kappa Delta Pi. All rights reserved. C OPYRIGHT & P ERMISSION Copyrights on all print and electronic versions of New Teacher Advocate are held by Kappa Delta Pi, and all content is protected by U.S. copyright law. One article in any issue of New Teacher Advocate may be reproduced up to 40 copies without permission if (1) duplication is for educational purposes at a nonprofit institution; (2) copies are made available without charge beyond reproduction costs; and (3) each copy fully cites authors and sources, including the sole publisher and copyright holder—Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education. Permission to reproduce more than one article or under condi-tions other than those specified must be obtained in writing from Permissions, Kappa Delta Pi, 3707 Woodview Trace, Indianapolis, IN 46268-1158 or pubs@kdp.org. Fall 2011 — Deadline: May 15, 2011. Winter 2011 — Deadline: August 15, 2011. Spring 2012 — Deadline: October 15, 2011. NTA publishes articles on topics pertinent and practical to teachers new to the classroom that will support them and enable their success. Suggested topics include inquiry learning, integrating technology, blending standards and creativity, seasonal subjects. Length 500–850 words. Send manuscripts, letters, and ideas to karena@kdp.org. Visit NTA Online at www.kdp.org/publications/nta.

Adding Fun

Jan Richards

Add "Fun Sparkles" to your Classroom!<br /> <br /> Teachers—no matter their level of experience—feel the tensions and pressures that often come with accountability implementations. As curriculum guides get thicker by the year, with less flexibility in lesson planning and more emphasis on higher student achievement scores, teachers may find themselves wondering how to meet demands and develop truly engaging lessons.<br /> <br /> New teachers, full of dreams and determination to make a difference in the Lives of students often find themselves in a daze, struggling to understand the mandates and then fulfill all of their expectations. I know this because I talk with them regularly. Creativity and “fun learning” seem to be ideals rather than goals for a lesson.<br /> <br /> Though economic and educational environment stressors are part of the current climate, they do not have to drive the tenor of your classroom. I believe teachers can counteract the pressure of performance-oriented classrooms with shots—tiny shots of FUN, that is. I call them “Fun Sparkles.” Like the sudden sparkle of a diamond or the iridescent shimmer of sunshine on Water, Fun Sparkles light up your classroom in short, unexpected flashes of amusement that bring a smile to everyone. Such moments are crucial to the well-being of your classroom. Remember, when we laugh, our stress levels go down. Laughter lowers anxiety and depression levels (Mayo Clinic 2010). Even the busiest days can spare a few minutes of Fun Sparkles. Here are a few examples you might try:<br /> <br /> 1–5 Minute Fun Sparkles<br /> <br /> • Share a funny story—especially one from your childhood! Show students a picture of you at their age.<br /> <br /> • Tell a joke, riddle, or puzzle. Save the answer for the end of the period or day. One high school science teacher begins every period with a very corny joke. Yes, the students moan and roll their eyes, but every class starts with a smile. Oh, and if he forgets the joke ritual, he is reminded by the students!<br /> <br /> • Share a daily cartoon. Tack a student favorite on a bulletin board. Invite students to create their own cartoons that illustrate vocabulary words.<br /> <br /> Introduce a lesson with a quick game, such as Math Bingo.<br /> <br /> • Display an ongoing art project or map that students can work on at odd moments.<br /> <br /> • Read daily from an entertaining, humorous book. Tickle the funny bone of your age group and promote literacy!<br /> <br /> 10-Minute Fun Sparkles<br /> <br /> • “Character-ize” your lesson. Use props, wigs, hats, or a lab coat when you present! For examples, you might introduce a social or cultural issue dressed as Martin Luther King Jr. Or Cesar Chavez or play the part of a character in a book or story that is assigned.<br /> <br /> • Get dramatic or silly. “Miss Greco waved goodbye to the numbers on the chalkboard before she borrowed and carried them. Sometimes she even pretended to cry as she crossed them out. The whole class would laugh out loud. Suddenly subtraction became far less threatening” (Done 2006).<br /> <br /> • Dance. Take advantage of current trends and curriculum by teaching students a Dance that connects with a social studies topic. Practice with music during any odd bits of time that present themselves.<br /> <br /> • Play classical music while students read— sitting or lying anywhere they choose.<br /> <br /> • Offer small surprises. Work outside on a project or provide a healthy treat during a lesson.<br /> <br /> • Learn the lesson and a creative skill. One 9th-grade teacher places directions and materials for an origami project at an independent-activity table for students to work on when they finish their work early. During a lesson on finding the perimeter and circumference of a circle, she teaches for ten minutes, and then demonstrates one fold of their developing origami birds. She teaches another ten minutes, and then one more fold. Students are fully engaged, learn math concepts, and enjoy a creative learning experience.<br /> <br /> • Create crazy mnemonic devices—the wilder, the better!<br /> <br /> . Remember animal classifications: King Phillip Could Only Find Green Socks Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species<br /> <br /> . Keep straight the order of algebra operations: Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction<br /> <br /> According to a recent study on teacher stress and coping strategies (Richards, forthcoming), a sense of humor is one of the top coping strategies successful teachers use to maintain their enthusiasm. Fun Sparkles are just a start. For your enjoyment of teaching and to increase positive attitudes toward learning, personalize this list and add your own ideas. Look for opportunities to inject a moment of laughter into your school day. Having fun is addictive! Try it and see.<br /> <br /> References<br /> <br /> Done, P. 2006. Make ‘em laugh (& they’ll learn a lot more). Instructor 115(7): 32–34.<br /> <br /> Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. 2010. Stress relief from laughter? Yes, no joke. Available at: www. Mayoclinic.com/health/stress-relief/SR00034. Rochester, MN: Mayo Clinic.<br /> <br /> Richards, J. Forthcoming. Teacher stress and coping strategies: A national snapshot. The Educational Forum 76(4).

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