Thursday, January 7, 2010


Can you be an effective teacher without saying a word? I actually did teach a whole day without a voice!

I had four different activities for Tuesday--Bill of Rights Slapjack, a Bill of Rights Gallery Walk, a short video clip of Melanie Griffith singing about the amendments in a lame 1993 movie, Born Yesterday, and I forget the other, plus how to do that evening's assignment. Anyway, I wrote out all my instructions before school, chose big voiced kids to represent me in each period, and lo, education and instruction!

It helped that I had this Sound Machine from Z Gallerie. It's awesome! It makes all kinds of sounds to use as cues and feedback--laughter, applause, the sound of a lightbulb going on in someone's head, a belch--hey, I teach 8th grade, remember? I wholeheartedly recommend this to secondary educators--at about 15 bucks, you'll get a lot of "smile-age" out of it, and there is no pricetag for that.

My point is, while I had to take the next two days off, there are days when just your presence and presence of mind can carry the day.

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