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Monday, January 9, 2017

Cheer Coach - One of the Many Hats I Wear

We all know that teachers wear many different hats: teacher, parent, counselor, nurse, detective - and that's only naming a few! This year I added a new one: middle school cheer coach.

The previous cheer coach moved to a different school this year, so as a former cheerleader I thought I'd give it a shot. It's got to be more fun than teaching after school classes, right? Well, yes and no. 

Yes - because it's fun to cheer and watch the girls perfect things we've worked so hard on. I even had one of my old students from when I taught 3rd grade on the squad, so it was cool to see how much she had grown up! Not so much fun feeling like a fish out of water and like a first year teacher again!

Prior to taking this post, I searched Pinterest for hours trying to find a middle school cheer coach that posted their ideas and things they did with their cheerleaders. I mostly found coaches from competitive cheer, which isn't something my squad was going to do. I looked at some high school cheerleaders, but that was quite a bit too advanced for what my cheerleaders were going to be able to do. It was the first time some of them had been in dance lessons before, and the first time any of of them did stunts so it wasn't very helpful for me.

I needed someone who works in a K-8 school like I do, posting about how they run their program, or even someone who works in a middle school writing about what they do with their cheerleaders. I couldn't find anything like that, so if I'm missing out on something amazing please please please let me know in the comments!

Anyways, since I couldn't find what I was looking for, I decided that I would write a post about the things I learned as a first year cheer coach, how I managed my program, what changes I'll make next year, and fundraising ideas. My goal is for this to help someone who is in a position like I was!

Check back on February 6th for my next post:

Monday, January 2, 2017

How I Gamified my Classroom - Quarter 2 & a GIVEAWAY!

After the end of First Quarter, I wrote a series of posts about how I gamified my classroom during the First Quarter. To see those posts, click the images below!



I ended it with my goals for gamifying my classroom during Second Quarter, which included adding characters, introducing new mini games, and adding a breakout kit or using that in a challenge. Here's a list of the things I did to add new game elements during the Second Quarter:

This was really disappointing for me. When I set a goal, I do everything in my power to accomplish it. I had every intention of adding new things to keep the "game" fresh, but it just didn't happen. Between becoming a National Board candidate, coaching cheer, planning the field trip and Friendship Feast, midterms, and then everything over the holidays, I just did not have enough hours in the day! I guess that's real life though and some things don't work out the way you want them to all the time. 

But, I'm not going to let it get me down! Third Quarter is a brand new chance to do those things, and with a refreshed mind after Winter Break I'll have the chance to do it better than I could have in the Second Quarter. 

So, here's my revised list of things I'd like to do to gamify my classroom in the Third Quarter:

1. Characters

I previously wrote about adding characters. I have all of these ideas of different characters do use, and now I need to introduce them. I'm thinking of writing messages to the students on the board from the different characters a few times a week, then possibly bringing them out again during a mini game. Any other ideas for ways to introduce the characters to the class? Let me know in the comments!

2. Introduce New Mini Games

I never got around to introducing SMART Board Football, but with the Super Bowl coming up soon I think I see a football tournament in the future. 

3. Breakout Kit

I've got a few ideas in the works for adding this into my "game". I'll blog about that as soon as it happens, so check back again soon!

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