I’ll be the first to admit, I love basketball. Going into college, I’d always pictured myself as a high school social studies teacher and football coach, but it’s funny where life takes you. I coached football in college and really enjoyed it, but in all school expect my current one, they had no football team. Thus, basketball is my sport, because I love that feeling of teaching, just in a different classroom.
Since basketball is my favorite sport, this time of the year, March Madness, is like Christmas for me: the brackets, the stats, all the hot air blown around about which team is better, all of it. Before kids, I’d spend many hours pouring over publications to make sure I had the right picks. This year, I think it was maybe 20 minutes? Priorities change, but that feeling of “go time” never gets old.
March is also that time where school starts to get crazy too. Students start waking from their winter slumber, hormones start running strong, and that idea that “we are close to being done” starts to set in. How do we work with this, channeling that energy? Well, this year, we are really going to hit technology hard. Our students move into a middle school situation, where they are in a 1 to 1 situation, so to start our year out, we’ve introduced and used Edmodo a lot. To finish the year out, I’m planning on some blogging to keep writing sharp, working with their email accounts (rolled out yesterday), and playing with the new Edmodo/Google Docs meshing that was announced yesterday. By keeping my students focused on school through technology, they for the most part, will keep that focus needed. We’ll track in a manner of speaking how focused they are, using ClassDojo (www.classdojo.com), a “real time behavior management” program. We also have a class checkbook activity we do, where students “manage” money earned via positive behaviors, attendance, and “spend” money on goodies, or to pay off “debts” created by negative behaviors.
Does everything work? My nose would grow if I said yes, but it’s a change, something different, and that refocuses everyone, myself included for those final two months!
I love March Madness. The promise of spring is right there, the challenge, our challenge, contain and channel the Madness for good! 🙂