Punk Rock Preschool Podcast
Summary: Welcome to the Punk Rock Preschool Podcast where we are changing the world one classroom at a time -- that classroom is your classroom! You are a rock star. As a teacher, your impact echoes out and creates an impact that can change the world. Together, we are going to reimagine the the perfect ECE classroom because your children deserve the absolute best. In today's world, a child with a passion and a love of learning can grow up to be anyone and anything they want to be. Imagine how much a passionate child can learn with the knowledge available on the internet. Imagine how much a passionate child can accomplish with direction and purpose at a young age. And imagine how much a passionate child can change the world with a head start on discovering what he or she loves. The possibilities are limitless! On the Punk Rock Preschool Podcast, we will discuss the most innovative, inspiring, and empowering strategies for you to create the classroom of your dreams! With incredible guests from every field and outside-the-box thinking, your classroom will be the place to be! Students will be banging down the classroom door every morning and leaving with a FOMO for school every afternoon! Once we allow ourselves to reimagine a classroom that doesn't just instruct or educate, but rather inspires and empowers, we have entered into life-changing territory. Early childhood is the time to dream big, imagine new potentials, and introduce children to the world of possibilities that exists for each and everyone of them. If you can dream it, they can do it. A child's potential is as infinite as their imaginations! The philosophy behind Punk Rock Preschool is simple -- inspire kids to pursue their biggest & wildest dreams. We must reshape expectations so students know that they can do anything they set their minds to, whether it is "developmentally appropriate" or not. On this podcast, we will discuss how to give your students the tools and strategies to discover their passions and achieve their dreams! Through interviews, insights, and intuition, you can empower your students with knowledge, passions, mindsets, habits, and much more to make their big & wild ambitions comes true. A child's potential is only limited by our own imaginations. This is why we must dream big. If students are sponges, it’s time to help them absorb all they can. On the Punk Rock Preschool Podcast, get the most unique perspectives on rethinking preschool, pre-k, ECE, Kindergarten, and education in general so you can challenge and excite your classroom every day. Subscribe now and join me on this adventure as we rethink preschool together!
What is a catch up boy? A catch up boy is a young man who has gone his entire life without guidance of a competent, confident and consistent adult male. And then, something terrible happens. It could be any number of traumas: the death of someone close, addiction, abuse, gangs, crime. And when these events happen — events that no child should experience — Eric helps these boys get themselves back on track. Through the three Cs — Competence, Consistency, and Confidence — Eric shows these Catch Up Boys how to stop haunting the old tracks and how to build an entirely new set to take them anywhere they wish to go in life. Eric turned down the opportunity to become a Head of School in the Bronx so he could focus his time on his true passion, a one-on-one Catch-Up School. In this role, Eric is a mentor (and a rebuilder), a crackerjack reading and writing instructor, a parental ally, and a sports agent. He serves all these roles for his students — advocating, teaching, mentoring, and changing lives. By nurturing and caring for these Catch Up Boys, Eric gives them the tools to become consistent, confident, and competent future husbands and fathers. To learn more about Eric, visit his site, https://www.catchupboys.com/.
At 28, Ed Latimore was stuck. At 33, Ed Latimore is on top of the world. How did he do it? By harnessing the power of momentum and pushing forward to change his life. Ed is an inspiration. In five years he joined the army, thrived as an amateur boxer, graduated with a Physics degree, wrote his first two books, and he has become one of the wisest and most influential accounts on Twitter. For his complete journey, listen to this episode of the Punk Rock Preschool Podcast. Ed combines his unique background of physics, chess, boxing, sobriety, and all of his life experiences into a modern-day philosophy that challenges conformity and conventional thinking. Ed finds meaningful relationships between the physical, emotional, and mental worlds and breaks them down into bite-size pieces of wisdom on Twitter and in his email list. Here are just a few examples: “If you apply force but nothing moves, you didn’t do any work” * “There is no neutral position. Momentum is either with you or against you.” “The more you divide your attention, the less actually gets done. This is like how when a denominator approaches infinity, the output approaches 0.” “Energy cannot be created or destroyed, just transferred. You can’t create money, but you can transfer experiences and life into a book and it comes back as money.” Ed’s motto is to take what he’s learned the hard way and break it down so you can learn it the easy way. And that’s exactly what he does in this episode. Listen now and start moving forward in your life! Links: * Twitter: @EdLatimore * Facebook: @EdLatimoreBoxer * Website: edlatimore.com * Book: Not Caring What Other People Think is a Superpower * Book: The Four Confidences Show Notes: 02:17 – Introduction 05:09 – How to Apply Physics to Social Interactions 11:35 – Conformity is Amoral 21:56 – How to Give Kids the Superpower of Not Caring What Other People Think 27:45 – Did Caring What Other People Think Ever Hold You Back? 35:20 – How to Surround Yourself with Positivity 42:50 – How to Find Your Purpose 54:35 – Why You Should NEVER Apologize for Who You Are and What You Believe 1:07:50 – Where You Can Find Ed
#1. Dream Big I’ve always had a desire to do things people wouldn’t even think to do — KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 24, 2018 #2. Trust Your Intuition Don’t follow crowds. Follow the innate feelings inside of you. Do what you feel not what you think. Thoughts have been placed in our heads to make everyone assimilate. Follow what you feel. — KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 18, 2018 #3. Live in the Moment Be here now. Be in the moment. The now is the greatest moment of our lives and it just keeps getting better. The bad parts the boring parts the parts with high anxiety. Embrace every moment for its greatness. This is life. This is the greatest movie we will ever see. — KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 18, 2018 #4. Be Yourself all you have to be is yourself — KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 20, 2018 #5. Be Yourself don’t trade your authenticity for approval — KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 18, 2018 #6. Spread Love spread love. Put more love into the universe. — KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 26, 2018 #7. Decentralize decentralize — KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018 #8. Be Curious. Be Skeptical. Question Everything. question everything — KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 22, 2018 #9. Tinker and Evolve iterations of ideas are how culture evolves. — KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 20, 2018 #10. How to Start Your Day Right when you first wake up don’t hop right on the phone or the internet or even speak to anyone for even up to an hour if possible. Just be still and enjoy your own imagination. It’s better than any movie. — KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 18, 2018 #11. Vision + Collaboration = Progress it’s not where you take things from. It’s where you take them to — KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 19, 2018 Link to Kanye West’s New Album, “Ye,” on Apple Music
Are we raising kids who are prepared for an unpredictable and changing world? We tell children to follow their heart and go with their their gut, but are we giving kids the tools to even listen? Intuition can’t be taught from a textbook but it can be developed in the classroom. And while this is an area that gets little attention in our education system, it will be getting all the attention it deserves on this week’s episode of the Punk Rock Preschool Podcast with special guest Alexander Juan Antonio Cortes. On this week’s episode, Alexander shares his incredible wisdom on how to find your purpose, strengthen your intuition, and discover your archetype. By developing these mindsets, we will be able to teach kids to be the masters of their own destinies. Alexander is a professional writer, ballet dancer, personal trainer, and a self-made man at the age of 29. He is a role-model for young men and women and provides limitless sagely advice online through his social media channels. Alexander believes that true knowledge is applied knowledge, which can only be learned experientially. This means, we as teachers, must create the conditions where children are allowed to learn, fail, and grow. Right now, we have a system that rewards compliance, playing it safe, and following a linear step-by-step path to an expected life. But life is unexpected. Life throws us for a loop. And when that happens, we need to ask ourselves: are we doing enough? School does not typically do a very good job of helping kids find their purpose and discover who they are. Alexander describes four essential strategies that can shine a light on a child’s internal drive and destiny. By providing kids with opportunities to take on leadership roles, compete with one another, challenge themselves intellectually, and act in service to something bigger than themselves, then through these experiences, something will click and kids will find their purposes. As in Alexander’s case, his ballet and his art fuels and energizes everything else in his life. When you find your purpose, everything in life runs smoother. So of course we want to give that gift to our students! In this episode, find out just how to help your students live their lives congruently. That means giving them the tools and mindsets to to do what they want and feel how they want throughout life. When your actions, capacity, and mental well-being are congruent with one another, life will flow to you. You will feel a sense of contentment with who you are, what you do, and how you do it. These are gifts that more important than any textbook lesson or state standard. Learn how to incorporate these powerful psychological, physical, and spiritual lessons into your classroom with Alexander’s incredible insights! Resources: Alexander’s Email List https://alexanderjuanantoniocortes.com/ Twitter YouTube Podcast * Patreon * Instagram Carl Jung Archetypes Show Notes: 02:48 – Introduction 05:33 – What Does It Mean to Be Healthy 07:29 – What Needs to Be Taught That Isn’t Being Taught 15:40 – How to Find a Purpose
Meet the Black Mr. Rogers! Mr. Dwayne Reed, a first year teacher on the West Side of Chicago, has already made a profound impact on so many students and teachers around the world. And he does so by bringing the positivity, freedom, and cool vibes of being a kid into every lesson in the classroom! Sounds like Mr. Rogers to me! On this episode of the Punk Rock Preschool Podcast, Mr. Reed will give you all of the tips and strategies to generate excitement and build great relationships with your students. Mr. Reed is a first-year teacher but it feels like he has been doing this for so much longer. Last year, during his pre-service as a student teacher, Mr. Reed went viral with the huge classroom banger, “Welcome to the 4th Grade.” The song started as a simple way to connect with his students, but when Mr. Reed woke up the morning after releasing it, he was all over the internet! But don’t think you have to be a musical superstar like Mr. Reed to create these type of connections in your classroom. On this episode, he explains how all teachers have the potential to create their own vibe and set their own tone with the energy they bring into the classroom. When teachers set a tone of joy and exuberance, kids respond with anticipation and excitement for every school day. Mr. Reed gave his students the experience of being on the screen rather than looking at the screen. Mr. Reed’s students aren’t just along for the ride; instead, the kids and Mr. Reed are all on the ride together. Mr. Reed believes in being able to “put yo’ people on,” which means to let them experience what you’re experiencing, to let them have these moments of unfettered, magical learning. On this note, Mr. Reed has used his fame and influence to constantly give back to the communities he serves. Whether it is securing donations of books from around the world, using his social networks to ask for Christmas presents for his students (they received five presents EACH from an Amazon wish list), or even working with an airline company to get kids in private planes for flying lessons (don’t tell his kids yet), Mr. Reed will exhaust every avenue to help his kids until the day he dies! And this is just one reason why he is such an inspiration! On this episode, Mr. Reed tells us how to dream big and establish the best relationships with our students. He goes into how he has become such an influencer and powerful voice in only his first year of teaching and how to be a fearless in your advocacy for your students. Learn all about the incredible opportunities that are available to us by listening to one of the most inspiring episodes of the Punk Rock Preschool Podcast right here. Resources: * Welcome to the 4th Grade * Mr. Reed’s Twitter * Mr. Reed’s Facebook * Mr. Reed’s YouTube * Mr. Reed’s Instagram * John Schumacher (Mr. Schu) at Scholastic Show Notes 02:45 – What Inspired You to Be a Teacher 06:53 – How Mr. Reed Built the Culture in his Classroom 11:30 – Culture around Music 16:20 – Using “Fame” to Do Good 22:56 – Advice to Teachers to Bring Big Dreams into the Classroom
Do you want the playbook to unlock your student’s full potential? Lucky for you, today’s guest is Annie Brock who literally wrote the book on growth mindset in the classroom! She actually wrote multiple books on growth mindset! In this episode, Annie shares incredible strategies and research to help you bring growth mindset into your classroom and into your students’ lives! A fixed mindset is the belief that talents, skills, and abilities cannot be developed; that they are fixed and set in stone at birth. Fixed mindset people think that they are either born with a talent, or they are not — and that’s the end of it. Except the story doesn’t end there! A growth mindset says the these things can be developed with hard work, dedication, and practice. A person’s potential is unknown and unknowable. It is impossible to predict what someone (or you) can accomplish with years of passion, toil and training. When a person puts in the effort, they WILL grow. And we cannot put a limitation on that growth. Annie discusses exactly how to encourage and support this belief in the classroom so kids always see the possibilities of their potential! A key component of growth mindset has to do with process praise vs. person praise. When we praise the person by saying, “You’re so smart, artistic, intelligent, well-behaved,” well, then we are feeding their identity and attaching these characteristics to something innate about them (and therefore, something that cannot change). But when we praise the process, by focusing on a student’s hard work, their strategies, their capacity for improvement — kids see this as things that are within their control and will continue to seek out challenges to hone these skills. On the flip side, if a student sees themselves as brilliant, they aren’t going to put themselves in challenging situations where their “brilliance” may be threatened. With a growth mindset classroom, we should always associate achievement with the work that it took to get there rather than anything internal. Annie provides all types of cultural callbacks to work through throughout the year so kids (and teachers) understand the building blocks of growth mindset. She lays out great culture-building ideas and phrases like “fail forward,” “mistakes help us grow,” “feedback is a gift — accept it!,” “challenges grow my brain” — and these are just a few examples of the framework for building a growth mindset classroom. For the full list, make sure to listen to the full episode here! My favorite moment of this entire conversation had to be our discussion about the power of “yet.” Annie explained that there is a difference between not knowing and not knowing YET. The word “yet” offers a promise of the future. It is not here YET, but it is coming. Some teachers and schools have even implemented this strategy much further, getting rid of failing grades and replacing them with “Not Yet.” Failing has a finality to it. It’s over. But with not yet, students are still given the opportunity to pass and more importantly, learn! This is a strategy I have already implemented in my personal and professional life with great results. For more amazing strategies and to learn more about Annie and her awesome work, listen to this week’s episode of the Punk Rock Preschool podcast! Resources: The Growth Mindset Coach: A Teacher’s Month-by-Month Handbook for Empowering Students to Achieve The Growth Mindset Playbook: A Teacher’s Guide to Promoting Student Success
Teaching is an art form. When you live and teach artistically, magical things will happen in your classroom. Today’s guest is Enrique Feldman, an artist, author, conductor, singer, speaker, composer, musician, and educator. Enrique’s approach to learning is so unique, inspiring, and up-lifting because he gives us tools and mindsets to bring joyful curiosity back into the landscape of education. Listen here to learn about Enrique and his journey in inspiring children and adults around the world. Enrique lives his life artistically and he gives us the tools to do the same. Living artistically means living like a child, embracing laughter and joy in any moment, and finding excitement and novelty in even our most routine experiences. Enrique teaches us not to just keep us young at heart, but also young at mind. By listening and connecting to the world around us and connecting to ourselves, Enrique explains how we can keep our brains young and even scientifically lower our neurological age. He has even developed a series of brain games that give the left and right sides of the brain practice in working together. These actions form new neural pathways and connections that function as warm exercises for the brain that keep our minds sharp, young, and always growing. These are the perfect habits to mix into a morning routine. Not only are they fun and laughter-inducing, they are scientifically proven to literally grow brains! Listen here for the full details of Enrique’s amazing program of brain games. Enrique is also a master of helping students be seen and, more importantly, helping students feel felt. He shares stories of his personal life, including inspiring words of wisdom from his grandmother and the Sam the Ant stories he wrote with his daughter growing up. One of my favorite things about these stories is that Enrique and his daughter wrote these books without any pronouns, so the reader can decide exactly who these characters are. Also, I’ve heard Enrique read these stories over very different types of music and it is amazing how a piece of music during read aloud can affect a different subtext, foreshadowing, mood, and even a different meaning of the text! For the next generation, he offers so many strategies and tips for building incredible socio-emotional and mental health strengths. It’s not about content but about the art of the connection. If learners believe that we are there for them (and we are!) they will come to school with a bigger smile on their face. We can be their teachers, their guides, and their families. For the full story, including thought-provoking discussions on the energy of thought, the difference between magic and science, and reimagining expectations and reimagining ideas of our best selves, listen here! Resources: * Sam the Ant Website * Sam the Ant – Book 1: The Flood * Sam the Ant – Book 2: Glow in the Dark * Sam the Ant – Book 3: The Fall * Live Like a Child and Teach Creatively * Interactive Brainwave Games * The Global Learning Foundation * Enrique as a Speaker * https://enriquecfeldman.com/
What are the stories that you want to share with the world? Telling your story and sharing parts of yourself is how we learn, connect, and build empathy. No matter the context, whether in a personal or professional setting, your story matters. Powerful stories can leave a lasting positive impact on students and teachers because they show us that we are not alone in our struggles. But the trick is — you may not realize the impact that your story can have until you share it. This is just one of the many things I learned this week from my guest Todd Nesloney, author of Kids Deserve It! and Stories from Webb. Todd shared his love of story and how he has leveraged story to create an incredible culture at his school. Listen now to learn all about it! Todd is the principal of Webb Elementary in Texas and he is GREAT at his job. Todd doesn’t just tell his teachers and staff that he appreciates them — he shows them every day. Todd is the master (or maybe sensei would be a better term) of paying it forward. Instead of writing a book by himself about the stories from his school, his staff helped him co-author the book, sharing their own insights and tales. Instead of using his social media fame to promote himself, Todd lives by the mantra, “If you’re ever given a platform, make sure you amplify the voices of others louder than you amplify your own.” And instead of evaluating and critiquing his teachers, he gives them a voice to evaluate his own work. If we had more leaders like Todd in our schools, teachers would surely feel as valued as they truly are. Todd’s own story is fascinating and inspiring. His positivity comes through in every answer, while at the same time, never shying away from his failures and struggles. After all, showing the ups and downs is more inspiring than creating the myth of a perfect teacher or principal with whom no one can relate. In this episode, you’ll get only the raw footage, including a guest appearance by my new (barking) dog Quincy. Todd’s work is so important and he is always coming out with new material to help us benefit. He gives great book recommendations that touch upon different and diverse characters across all races, religions, cultures, orientations, gender, and more. Todd discusses how powerful these diverse texts can be in not just a child’s life, but also for adults to read. And not to mention, his own books are pretty powerful too! Stories from Webb, Kids Deserve It! and the soon-to-be-released Sparks in the Dark all take vastly different approaches to education but they all emphasize the importance of story, literature, and fighting through struggles. If you need a little extra inspiration, this is the episode for you! If you want to your passions loose, share your story, and eliminate any excuses holding you back, Todd gives you all the tools to make it work. One of the most striking things Todd said to me in this episode was “once you know better, you must do better,” and after listening to this episode, I have no doubt that we will all do better in our classrooms! Find out for yourself on this week’s episode of the Punk Rock Preschool Podcast. Resources: * Kids Deserve It! * Stories from Webb * Todd’s Website * Todd’s Ted Talk *
Kids live in a world where they don’t have to wait for anything. But in school, we tell them what they have to do, when they should do it, and how it needs to be done. There are few opportunities for student choice and even fewer opportunities for students to create something of their own. As kids learn to play the game of school, they learn that doing as they’re told is how you win. But what happens when kids get to college and out in the real world and there isn’t anyone telling them what to do anymore? We need to let kids wrestle with choice on what they want to make, create, learn, and explore. We can give our students the opportunities to explore their own passions and discover who they are. This doesn’t have to wait until they’re older. It can start right now – in YOUR classroom! You can go beyond engaging and entertaining students and take it a step further so kids feel empowered and can make their own path in life, not wait for someone to tell them the next step. In this week’s episode, I spoke with A.J. Juliani, who has written four incredible books all focused on inspiring students and teachers to become the future leaders of tomorrow. As the author of Empower: What Happens When Students Own Their Learning, Launch: Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity and Bring Out the Maker in All Students, Intentional Innovation: How to Guide Risk-Taking, Build Creative Capacity and Lead Change, and Learning by Choice: 10 Ways Choice and Differentiation Create an Engaged Learning Experience for Every Student, A.J. created a tremendous collection of ideas, strategies, resources, and experiences that will turn your classroom into a mini-incubator of creativity and passion. If those book titles don’t get you excited, I don’t know what will! Plus, A.J. is a fan of the WORLD CHAMPION Philadelphia Eagles, so between the awesome books and the great taste in NFL teams, A.J. qualified as the perfect guest for the Punk Rock Preschool Podcast. Listen here to learn more about how you and your students can immediately feel the benefits of a more creative classroom. A traditional curriculum just doesn’t do the job anymore. School needs to reassess its own purpose and refocus the attention on helping kids find their passions, understand the wild opportunities that exist for them, and discover for themselves that they can make a difference in the world. It is not empowering to take a test. Instead, we need to give children opportunities to create and actually do something with what they know. Whether that means solving a problem, collaborating together to accomplish a goal, putting on a performance, or any other empowering activity, we need to give kids learning opportunities that are meaningful and relevant. And by expanding your own ideas of creativity, you will soon find all types of ways to be creative in your classroom! Being creative doesn’t mean being Mrs. Frizzle. There are all kinds of creative types – the engineer, the hacker, the geek, the astronaut, and many more – all of whom he discusses on this week’s episode. Creativity is not a recipe to be followed because if it was, we would get the same thing back every time. Instead, A.J. focuses on Design Thinking which is employed by Amazon, IBM, Google, and all the other game-changing companies around the world. He boils down these processes and strategies so you can “boost creativity and bring out the maker in every...
It is time to retake control of your curriculum! As teachers, we must be true to ourselves in everything we do in the classroom. Sometimes this means trying new things, and sometimes this means not knowing if they’ll work or not. But jumping into these new experiences can be so rewarding! When you teach from within yourself, you create opportunities to transfer your enthusiasm and your excitement down to your kids — and THAT can be the biggest driver of learning more than anything that is plainly written for you in a boring, old textbook. Matt Miller, author of Ditch That Textbook and Ditch That Homework, recognized the power in ditching the textbook, and that’s why he wrote an entire book on the subject! Matt joined me on this week’s episode of the Punk Rock Preschool podcast to discuss how ditching the textbook in his Spanish class resulted in huge wins for students and for himself. By utilizing all the technological tools at our fingertips, Matt inspired his students to learn so much more than they would have had he stuck to his school’s standard curricula. Instead, he broke out of his shell and his students broke out of theirs. Matt offers so many incredible solutions and applications for technology in the classroom. And what’s so great about this episode, he makes all of his ideas translatable from high school Spanish all the way down to Early Childhood Education! By utilizing Genius Hour, creating his own lessons, and bringing his own personality and style to his classroom, Matt has seen unbelievable results. Students created their own YouTube channels, started texting one another in Spanish, and brought their own passions to their school projects. And that’s just the start! Listen here to learn all the ways that Matt “freed his teaching and revolutionized his classroom!” In this episode, Matt provides you with so much unbelievable information on how to turn your classroom over to students so they have choices in the direction of their own learning. We all know this can be scary and our first thoughts usually go to, “how can kids abuse this power?” I know this fear well. There’s nothing worse than when you have an amazing lesson planned and everyone loves it, but then one or two students take advantage of the freedom you offer. Matt helps us reframe this fear into hope. By focusing on the amazing opportunities that can come from these moments, not just the horror stories that exist mostly in a teacher’s imagination, you are freed up to try new and incredible things in your classroom. Gone are the days where students have learning imposed upon them. You can help students take ownership of their learning. This is how you create life-long learners. THIS is always the goal. When you Ditch That Textbook, you will see results. And not just you — parents, administrators, teachers, and most importantly students will all benefit. By being your own unique, true self as a teacher, you open the world to your classroom. “Safe” and conventional teaching is actually the riskiest kind of teaching because it doesn’t allow for kids to explore, experiment, and understand themselves and their place in the world. Risky teachers, maverick teachers, the ones that try something new and get outside of the box and outside the standard, traditional, old day-to-day — these are the teachers that become the influential and im...
Welcome back! I know it’s been a long time since our last episode but the Punk Rock Preschool Podcast is returning in spectacular fashion! This week, I am thrilled to share with you my interview with Linda Simensky, the VP of Children’s Programming at PBS. Linda is one of the most impressive human beings on the planet — not only is she in charge of children’s programming at PBS, she is also responsible for green-lighting and developing some of the most iconic and memorable children’s television shows of the past 20 years! In the 90s, Linda was the second employee at NickToons and helped bring shows like Rugrats, Doug, Rocko’s Modern Life, Ren & Stimpy, Hey Arnold, and Angry Beavers to your television sets. Then, she moved to Cartoon Network where she developed hits like Dexter’s Lab, Johnny Bravo, Cow & Chicken, Ed, Edd, and Eddy, Powerpuff Girls, and Samurai Jack. Since moving to PBS in 2003, Linda has continued to churn out children’s classics for a whole new generation with shows like Wild Kratts, Odd Squad, Daniel Tiger, Nature Cat, and much more! I was so excited to interview Linda and learn about her experiences, but also what lessons we, as teachers, can take from someone who has consistently produced incredible educational content for kids. Listen here for the full scoop on what makes a great children’s show, what the process is like, and what the future of educational TV looks like! In this episode, we explore everything you could ever want to know about children’s television. There is so much more to a great show than a funny plot and silly voices! Listen to Linda describe how to develop an aspirational character that is both lovable and flawed. Discover what it takes to bring out the “Yard Platform,” which inspires kids to play and act out their favorite characters in the backyard (or indoors too!). Linda helps create programs that bring characters to life through children’s imaginations and play. And why not!? After all children learn by doing! Looking ahead, in this episode you’ll find out how kids’ YouTube channels today are not so different from the first commercials that aired in the 50s and 60s. And you’ll get to peak into the future of educational television as Linda describes the live, interactive websites and apps developed by PBS Kids to continue the learning after the show is over. This episode is jam-packed with amazing content that you can use when developing your next fun and engaging lesson or the next time you sit down with your children to watch TV. There is so much here – you do not want to miss this opportunity to learn from a true master of her craft! This has been one of my favorite episodes ever! I can’t wait for you to dive in and learn as much as I did in recording this interview with the legendary Linda Simensky! Show Notes: 02:52 – Introduction 04:40 – What makes a great children’s television program?
For a first-year teacher, your first week of school can be a doozy! Even though you may have tons of experience student-teaching, I don’t know any programs that let you walk into a classroom and student-teach on the first day of school. Therefore, this entirely different (and very important) world of teaching remains foreign to you until it is your own classroom and the first day of school is upon you! Then, with no practice, you are expected to explain and enforce classroom rules and procedures, establish a classroom culture, ween kids into challenging content and centers, communicate and coordinate with parents… PHEW! And that’s really just the first day! For a first-time teacher, all of these new experiences can be super over-whelming – in fact, you are probably just as nervous and over-stimulated as your students walking into a classroom for the first time! That’s okay! In this episode, I go over what to teach, how to teach it, and why it works so you can have tons of options to help your students learn the rules and procedures, while still having fun! The most important thing to remember is to find what works best for you and to be yourself. You’re going to do great and you’re going to change your students’ lives as long as you always teach within yourself. Once your students master these procedures, your class will be the talk of the school. Spending the time early in the year to get behavior perfect will allow for much more time to spend teaching throughout the rest of the year. While other teachers are still disciplining during hallways and transitions, you will be cruising through challenging material that your classroom WANTS to learn. While there’s always a rush to jump into content and get to the meat and potatoes, please take as long as you need for your students to master procedures. Break these procedures down into bite-size pieces and spend time on every aspect of each procedure so students know what goes into a perfect line, a perfect cafeteria, a perfect transition, and a perfect day overall in school! My classes have gone anywhere from 3 weeks to 8 weeks until mastery; it just depends on the class and how rigorously you are enforcing your expectations. An example of these bite-size procedures would be all the steps that it takes to go through the cafeteria successfully. There are so many mini-procedures that factor into a good-looking lunchtime in preschool. Cafeteria Procedures: * How to enter the cafeteria * How to go through the lunch line (get tray, milk, food) * How to answer the lunch lady * How to hold a full tray and walk to the lunch table * How to eat (with proper manners) * How to open milk carton * How to ask for help in cafeteria (knowing the aides) * How to throw away your trash * How to put away your tray * How to line up (for recess or back to class) It’s not just get your food and eat. And while this may seem like a lot, it would be a lot more if you had to correct eight or nine different small procedures everyday. Plus, you do it all very quickly. It is just a matter of making it explicit. Once kids know what they are expected to do, they will usually do it! Most of the time, failure to uphold these procedures is because a teacher didn’t practice all these mini-procedures with the class! While consistency is important, also make sure that you make your procedures fun! Practicing walking through the halls doesn’t mean marching single file like the military! In our class, we used laminated circles to act as steering wheels and then we ̶...
If you want to bring the skills of the 21st century into your classroom but don’t know where to start, drop what you’re doing and listen to this episode right now! This week, we have a special guest – Kiki Prottsman – who is the Curriculum Development Manager for Elementary Curriculum at Code.org. Kiki has an incredible story and an even more incredible mindset! This interview is guaranteed to inspire and empower you to bring computational thinking and computer science into your classroom! No matter where you are in terms of starting knowledge, even if you’ve never seen a computer before in your whole life, Kiki gives you the tools and knowledge to teach these hugely important thinking skills! And guess what? Learning computer science doesn’t mean sitting in front of a computer all day. In fact, that’s not how it is at all! Kiki makes computer science fun and exciting by using both tech-based and unplugged (no-tech) lessons. By bringing computational thinking into units on arts and crafts, plants, literacy, and more, Kiki starts kids off “in a world that makes sense to them!” In addition to all these great teaching ideas, Kiki’s mindset is about as great as it gets! She says – brilliantly, I may add – that “what a student can do in K-5 is not nearly as important as what students believe they can do.” So on point! Get more gems like these by listening to this week’s episode here. Kiki’s curriculum is focused on a holistic approach to educating children. With stories that teach both computational concepts and characters skills like persistence, there is so much in this episode for all of us to learn. “Foster persistence in a child so they understand that things don’t happen right away and they may have to learn something else before they unlock that next step…. You’re going to fail several times and that’s okay because that’s how you learn. Keep going. Keep working on it. You can do this. You can learn something that helps you finish this and if you don’t learn it all today you can learn more tomorrow and eventually you’ll get there. If that’s just what [kids] believe life is [about]; that’s the attitude they will have [throughout school and their lives]. And it will help them be the person who they want to be.” – Kiki Prottsman I hope you love listening to this episode as much as I loved recording it with Kiki! Please leave your thoughts in the comments below! Show Notes: [01:57] – Kiki’s Introduction [03:20] – Unplugged Lesson Example – Making Binary Bracelets: Art & Computational Thinking [05:15] – Computer Science and computational thinking are all around us! [05:40] – The Algorithm of How a Seed Grows [07:17] – Making Computer Science Matter to Your Students [09:16] – What Goes into a Code.Org Lesson [13:30] – Using Story to Teach High-Level Concepts (Debugging) [14:31] – Using Story to Teach Socio-Emotional Skills ( Persistence) [17:40] – Why You Should Teach These Concepts Early [22:50] – Student Created Projects [23:48] – How to Bring Code.Org Into Your Classroom (Tech & Unplugged) [25:45] – The Courage to Try Something New
The best way to learn about personal responsibility is to live it! With this long list of classroom jobs, every student will have an opportunity to contribute to your classroom’s success! To choose jobs each week, I would write each student’s name on a popsicle stick and place a piece of velcro on the back and pull a name out for each job. This process was quick, simple, random, and fair, but you can hand out the jobs any way you see fit! The important thing is that your students are learning all about personal responsibility! Listen to this week’s episode for the details on every classroom job you could ever put into play in your classroom! [01:32] Introduction [04:56] Mindset Shift Hallway Jobs [06:04] – Line Leader [06:34] – Door Holder [06:40] – Quiet Captain [07:12] – Recess Round-Up [07:34] – Caboose Classroom Maintenance Jobs [08:13] – Materials Manager [08:25] – Centers Inspector [09:01]- Marker Manager [09:53] – Trash Collector [10:04] – Zookeeper [10:12] – Clean Up Crew [10:48] – Librarian [11:31] – Botanist/Gardener Carpet Time/Circle Time Jobs [13:04] – Conductor [13:17] – DJ [13:37] – Calendar Helper [13:42] – Meteorologist [13:48] – Attendance Taker [13:54] – Flag Officer Arrival & Dismissal Jobs [14:48] – Coat Check [15: 17] – Valet [15:25] – Door Greeter [15:51] – Secretary [16:07] – Messenger Nap Time Jobs [16:48] – Electrician [16:56] – Hypnotist [17:04] – Alarm Clock [17:08] – Mat Collector Lunch & Food Jobs [17:52] – Milkman/girl [18:07] – Snack Vendor [18:18] – Sanitizer [18:34] – Extra Jobs Boy & Girl and Bathroom Managers Table Inspector Translator [19:40] – Review [20:43] – Actionable Next Steps & Results
If you’re looking for the perfect themes to plan in your classroom, look no further! Bring a new theme to the classroom each week and help your students find their passions! Expose kids to the most interesting, fascinating topics that exist and let them discover the topics and ideas that capture their imaginations! In this episode, teach everything from Astronomy to Zoology and get the full run-down of the 24 themes you MUST teach in your classroom next year! [01:55] – Introduction [04:57] – Mindset Shift [06:58] – The World of People All About School Teamwork Confidence & Leadership Geography & Culture [11:12] – The World of Nature Plants & Animals Habitats & Ecosystems Food Chain Pollution & Recycling [14:52] – The World of Health Hygiene & Healthy Habits Nutrition & Healthy Food Exercise & Sports Yoga & Meditation [17:25] – The World of Art All About Art Performance Art Story Telling Fashion & Photography [20:10] – The World of Science The Scientific Method & Experiments Chemistry Outer Space Earth Science & Weather [24:05] – The World of Success Civics & Government Pre-Konomics Entrepreneurship Media Literacy [27:50] – Review of all 24 Themes [29:29] – Actionable Next Steps [30:37] – Changes You Will See Resources & People Mentioned in this Episode: TeachersPayTeachers Store Healthy Kids Curriculum Class Collages Class Elections Class Entrepreneurship Salary System YouTube Playlists Petco Teacher Grants