Monday, November 2, 2015

Lesson Crashers: Psychology - Functions of the Brain

I wrote up this blog post for my district staff, but decided to share it on my personal blog too.  I am hoping to get more teachers to book appointments with me for instructional technology, rather than seeing me as just their tech support to help them with their gmail and gradebook.  I am hoping that by starting "Lesson Crashers" I will get more teachers interested in incorporating technology into their instruction.


I must admit, sometimes I watch a little too much TV, especially when I should be cleaning my house, preparing a lesson, etc.

But some TV can be a good thing - educators can get some great ideas for lessons based on TV shows.  There are hundreds of Jeopardy style review games and templates on the web.  The Exploratorium Teacher Institute runs an "Iron Science Teacher" web show each summer based on Iron Chef where teachers create science lessons using a secret "ingredient."  Jennifer Kloczko, an administrator from Natomas, got inspiration for the Professional Development she leads from Food Network's "Chopped."

Yard Crashers
This summer, I watched a lot of HGTV and one of my favorites was Yard Crashers.  The main premise of the show is that some home owners are shopping at a Home Depot type store, in the garden section, and the host sneaks up on them, volunteering to design and landscape their yard.  The show provides the designer, supplies, and a construction/landscaping crew, and the home owners pitch in too.

Lesson Crashers
This gave me the idea to create my own spin on the show called "Lesson Crashers."  The idea behind "Lesson Crashers" is that I would help a teacher reinvent a lesson, integrating technology.  I'd meet with the teacher, we'd discuss a lesson or project that they have used before, and figure out what new goals they have or hopes for improvement.  Working together, we'd then brainstorm some ideas on how we can meaningfully integrate technology to enhance the lesson.  When the teacher then teaches the lesson, I can provide support if needed (ex. coteach, observe, etc.).  Then, we'd debrief the lesson, and come up with next steps.

Here is the first Lesson Crasher lesson.  Michelle McKee, a psychology teacher at Carlmont, graciously volunteered to test this out with me, and we wrote up a description of the process.  I am hoping that this lesson will spark some ideas that you can use in your own classes.  

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