Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Theatre Arts Interactive Notebooks: Day 1

Technically, it's the third day of school. But let's be honest: the first day is a blur and the second day everyone is hungover from the fury of the first day. I only introduce myself and play name games with them and let them know what supplies they will need.

Today, the third day, we went over class rules and procedures and began our nifty little interactive notebooks! It's never too soon to start, and I can already pin point the kiddos who will get a schedule change next week.

First, I started collecting notebooks the first and second days. I took a daily grade today if they had it. If they don't, it remains a zero until they have it.

Here is how I store them in the room: separate bins for each period. 

I have supply bins for each table. I asked students to bring glue, either to keep in their pencil case or to put in the supply bin.

To begin the notebooks, I had my theatre I kids skip the first page. I'll have them do an "About Me" page/collage there. Theatre II and III got a worksheet I found on Pinterest called "50 Things I Love". They worked on that the first day as they got to know or chatted with each other. I had them fold it in half and glue it in the first page. They can use it for writing or improv ideas throughout the year.

I am doing every page with them and have four sections, so four notebooks. It helps me gauge how long cutting and glueing should take as I teach and if a student is absent they can use mine as a reference when doing make up work.

We turned to the first page spread and began the Table of Contents on the left hand side.

We turned the page and added the Class Syllabus on the left, and did class rules and procedures on the right. Beginners could glue the syllabus in, but intermediate and advanced need a parent signature so they are taking bit home. When it is signed, they turn in the signed page and glue in the top paper here. I found the class rules and procedures on Pinterest, which is linked from Teachers Pay Teachers. (Free)

I copied them on colored paper, but ran out so my examples are white. I just colored them with a colored pencil. We filled out each flap as a class. I use a document camera to project my notebook as I work on it.

It took the entire 45 minutes to get this lesson done. I am excited to have meaningful notes in theatre this year. Overall they were received well and 6th-8th graders can keep up with the motor skills. I also offer morning work time before school for kids who need to catch up. 

I will use GradeCam to quiz them and will
Blog about it when it happens.

Until next time, happy notebooking!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

How I Set Up My Middle School Theatre Classroom

I'm beginning my fourth year of teaching this year and finding that I am adding and  improving things every year. It can only get better, I think!

I am almost ready for my students; just a few things to add or clean. Ignore my desk; it's a dumping ground right now.

I am lucky to have a great black box for my teaching and learning space. I have 5 beginning classes, one intermediate, and one advanced class.

I also have a storage closet and small office. The computer hook up for the sound system and projector is in the classroom, so I also have a desk outside of the office. I find that I don't really spend time in the office. (Only to cry, which hasn't happened in the last year!) Inspend most of my time in the classroom space. 

I have a word wall near the door with large word. These are words that we use frequently or or frequently misspelled.

My students loved to write their birthday all over my dey erase events calendar and it got out of hand last year. I have a separate space for them to show everyone when their birthday is. The cabinets have interp pieces and lesson plans, as well as "Indepndent Theatre" assignments. This is book work for kids who missed a performance or go to ISS or AMS. I copy these at the beginning of the year and pull them as needed. The book shelf is organized for students to check out materials with the iPad on a a Google form, and my CHAMPS posters are displayed. I rarely had to refer to them last year, which was great. I am storing interactive notebooks in the colored bins, and the turquoise bins are for papers that need to be handed back or scripts left behind. I really want a bright fuzzy rung over here, but I have to see ify students can handle it.

I have a place to turn in papers, class rules, rewards and consequences, and a dry erase calendar. I also have a dish rack that Inise for the unit's assignments for absent students and a place for found pencils to go. 

I have to keep the stage curtains behind the objectives board because idle school kids will not resist the temptation to play with them otherwise. The table has five student laptops and bins for interactive notebook supplies. The bins are numbered for each table, which has a number. I always have assigned seats at the beginning of the year to establish structure and usually stop using them depending on class behavior. Don't forget a giant lost and found bin! I find my theatre kids are always leaving stuff behind.

Near my office I display information about our district speech contests and NSDA points and certificates up on the ledge.

It's taken me four years to get to this point and each year I add or change something so I can be more efficient and teach my students more effectively.

We will be starting interactive notebooks next week so I will update on the process when we get there.

Good luck to all educators out there was you prepare for another year of shaping and molding the minds of the future generation! Take care of yourselves, as well as your students.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

My Favorite One-Pot Meal

I love to cook, but I love it even more when it all goes in one pan/pot and lightens the cleaning. My favorite one-pot meal is chili! There are several ways to make this and that's probably why I love it. I make it differently each time based on what ingredients I have or want to add. My parents have a great chili recipe that is so different from this one, but it's not football season without the Noodle Chili.

I will try to record what I made tonight:

Kasey's One-Pot Chili

1-2 lbs ground beef or turkey
2 gloves garlic, finely diced
1 jalapeño, finely diced
2 hatch chiles, finely chopped (when in season!)
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 can beans (I used a large can of black beans)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce (I didn't have any tonight and it was still delicious)
1 tablespoon of cumin, chili powder, and paprika each
1 teaspoon ground chipotle (or more if you want more smoke flavored)
1 tablespoon of cooking oil (I use coconut)
Salt and pepper

Toppings: shredded Mexican blend cheese, sliced avocado, sour cream, cilantro

Heat oil in large pot or deep skillet on medium heat. Add garlic, chiles, jalapeño, and onion. Cook a few minutes then add ground meat.  Cook meat until brown. Add spices and stir. Drain tomatoes and beans and add them to the skillet. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add your favorite toppings and enjoy!

This can be a rather high calorie meal so watch your serving size. I like to eat this meal for dinner after a running day. The protein in the meat, beans, and cheese is great for recovery.

I'm not sure how long it took me to make this tonight, but the longest part is chopping everything.  I would guess this is a quick 30 minute meal and my large skillet is full so it could definitely feed at least four people. Since it's only Patrick and me, that means leftovers for days!! :)


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Favorite Recipe: Banana Ice Cream

I've decided to post some of my favorite recipes here as of late.  I have gotten on the Paleo kick and really enjoy the cooking options and how I feel after meals.  I try to have three meals a day without snacking to control calorie intake, but I do like healthy treats now and then!  Here's my favorite cool snack: Banana Ice Cream

Banana Ice Cream

What you need:

  • food processor
  • frozen bananas (1-2)
  • anything you would like to add to the bananas for flavor.  Options are not limited to: unsweetened cocoa powder, peanut butter or PB2, honey or agave nectar, etc.
Break the frozen bananas into small pieces and blend them in the food processor for a few minutes until they are smooth.  Blend in any flavor additives you would like.  Enjoy! 

1 serving usually equals one banana for adults, 1/2 of a banana for kids.

If you are watching calories, watch your flavor additives!  They can pack unwanted sugar and calories.  There are plenty of healthy options out there, though.