Tuesday, October 8, 2013

All Plans Are Subject to Change

That's my new motto. 

I've heard it said many times that the best teachers are flexible. Great teachers roll with the punches. They identify what's working and what's bombing during a lesson. They gauge how students are responding while they are teaching, and they adjust on the fly.

The Internet and technology are wonderful sources for the classroom. But they can also be big variables. For example, on Monday I planned to teach a geography lesson on Ancient Greece. I had Google Earth all queued up. And then--- KABOOM-- the thunderstorm rolled in and the Internet cut out.

So we rolled with it and focused instead on identifying geographic traits from a wonderful Powerpoint of present day Greece that my good friend Sarah Tisdale provided who lived there for a year. I let the children watch the Powerpoint slideshow and react to it. They called things out that they recognized and discussed their reactions with their classmates. Sure, it was a little chaotic at first. But it got the conversation started. Then we went back through and used the slides to describe Greece's geography.

We discussed that "acropolis" is a Greek word meaning
high city.
We discussed the meaning of the word peninsula. The Greek
mainland is a peninsula but there are many small peninsulas along the coast.

Olive trees grow on the rocky mountainsides. 

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