Monthly Archives: November 2008

Day 57 AIM: How do I properly teach a lesson before Thanksgiving break?

Do Now: Don’t try too hard. You won’t have that many audience members to impress. You can try discussing the historical implications of the first meal between the European settlers of the New World and the denizens of the region. But something tells me your students will instead want to discuss Turkey, why Turkey is called Turkey, and if they eat a lot of Turkey in Turkey.

Take it from us: You’d be better off making a crossword puzzle.

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Day 55 AIM: Why should I never give my students candy in class?

Do Now: Watch the video and remember it the next time you consider handing out pixie stix in your class. Remember, processed sugar is a gateway drug to these kids.

Does this kid know there’s a video game where he can do this for points? He’s going to flip his shit when he does…

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Day 54 AIM: How do I perfect my teacher stare?

Do Now: It’s been a few months, and you’ve been staring down kids for sometime now. They are starting to get used to the usual stare down, and it’s time to add a little gusto. Watch this video and take notes on how the team coordinates the stare down, and especially how the Todd brings his stare to the next level.

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Day 53 AIM: What, exactly, is “gettin’ lite?”

Do Now: Watch the following video and write down three distinct movements/actions of the subjects. Then, free-write a paragraph describing what you witnessed.

What’s fascinating is that in the seemingly chaotic flailing, there’s order and even beauty. Well, maybe not beauty, but definitely order.

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Day 52 AIM: How do I deal with the blistering cold?

Do Now: Unless you’re an Eskimo Inuit or you have anti-freeze in your blood, you’re probably starting to realize how fucking cold it can get in this part of the world. Now I’m no science teacher, but I’m starting to realize the dynamics of the planetary orbit and the cycle around the sun, specifically when I cannot feel my fingers in the morning when I wait for the bus. Pluto must be like this, I think to myself as I blow warm air into my blistered fingers, now useless appendages that allow precious heat to escape through vulnerable blood vessels.

We recommend bundling up in layers. A scarf and hat are a good way to keep in precious body-heat. We also recommend gloves, for the aforementioned reason. Finally, a warm shell or overcoat helps keep the core of your body, where your precious teacher-heart remains, warm and dignified. What we don’t recommend is looking at the weather forecast out west in California, where the weekly forecast is predicting sunny skies in the mid-70s with a chance of cloud cover on Thursday.

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Day 51 AIM: How do I survive a department meeting?

Do Now: Welcome to the department of education. Per your contract, you are obligated to remain at your school one Monday afternoon a month for a faculty meeting and another afternoon thereafter for a department meeting. What do these meetings entail? Nothing more than an examination of the fiscal stability of your school and the effects of the budget cuts. But these shouldn’t affect you, for you’re just a teacher, albeit an untenured one. As far as you’re concerned, you just want to go home ASAP. We’d like to tell you something uplifting about all of this, but we can’t. Simply put, the administration has to gripe, and nobody wants to gripe by themselves. So sit back, drop your stuff, and stay a while. After all, you’re obligated to.

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Day 50 AIM: What should a teacher put on a “teacher pump up” I-pod mix?

Do Now: It’s Monday, you’re exhausted. You sheepishly squat on the train and let the world carry you to your eventual destination, an unnamed inner-city school with a generic name and a school code and number. And whether you need coffee or not to wake up, sometimes you need that extra kick in the balls in order to help get your students’ learn on. We here at the ULOT recommend an i-pod mix tailor made to inspire. Here are some suggestions:

1) Jackson 5: ABC–Yes, this timeless classic had us smiling every god-forsaken morning in institute when those buses took us from St. John’s to our school sites. Hearing pre-pubescent Michael sing about simple mathematics made the otherwise unbearable experience feel less like a truck transporting Prisoners to a Japanese POW camp and more like a truck transporting Prisoners to an inner-city school. And in case you’re wondering, yes, there is a difference, albeit a very minute one.

2) Rockpile: Teacher Teacher–I can’t really sugar coat this song because it just downright sucks, but the chorus has a great message:

Teacher, teacher, teach me love, I can`t learn it fast enough

Teacher, teacher, teach me more, I`ve got to learn to love for sure

3) Journey: Don’t Stop Believin’–There should be legislation in place to make it a law that this song should be on every American citizen’s i-pod. If this song doesn’t make you want to stand up on your desk, a la Dead Poet’s Society, then you have no heart or soul and you should probably do us all a favor and drink a nice big cup of anti-freeze.

4) Bruce Hornsby: The Way it is–You can dedicate an entire day’s lesson to the Civil Rights Movement, or you can pop this song–conveniently placed on your i-pod–on in your classroom and you’ve officially made your classroom experience much more interesting. Just don’t dignify the questions about the name of the dude who covered 2pac’s “Changes.”

5) Billy Joel: We Didn’t Start the Fire–It’s not everyday that we history teachers get an entire Global IV Regents Review in a 4 minute song, but Billy Joel managed to do it. Now, if we could just incorporate Piano Man into our ELA exam preparation…

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