Monday, February 4, 2013

Gong Shows and Bingo

You know when people give you tips about presentations, they always say to check equipment in advance to make sure that everything will work for you? Today, I became the poster child for the importance of doing just that. It was the first day of a new semester and I had a great introductory lesson planned with two PowerPoint slideshows. They even had comic strips. I had to supply before my own class so there was no time to set up the room beforehand. No matter, I thought. It would be fine. The students were going to be inspired! Motivated! They were going to love me!

It was a gong show.

The first time I tried to turn on the data projector, it wouldn't work because I had forgotten that it's on the circuit that has to be turned on separately from the main power (it's a science lab; we have a master control over the gas, water, and power so that the kids can't blow the place up). Once that was up and running, the projector wouldn't detect a signal from the computer. No matter what I tried, all we got was the blue screen saying "no signal." Not exactly inspirational. So, I did a song and dance at the whiteboard and the kids got off easy. Thankfully, they are a very forgiving bunch and we'll try it again tomorrow. Another teacher and I spent some time fixing it after school and I think we've got it. Fingers crossed!

Last month, one of the ladies in the book club that I belong to sent us a link to Random House's Reading Bingo Challenge. The idea is to get people reading more and reading more widely. They have a printable bingo card that looks like this (go to the linked page for the full sized version):


It's a different and interesting way to track your books for the year and maybe get some ideas for what to read next. Here's what my card looks like for the month of January and below that, the books associated with each square:

1. China Road, Rob Gifford
  • a book I saw on TV
  • a book from the library
2. A Storm of Swords, George R. R. Martin
  • a book with more than 400 pages
  • a book I saw someone reading (I used to have to confiscate these books from one of my students two years ago)
3. The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick
  • a book from the library
  • a book with pictures
  • a book with more than 400 pages
  • an award winning book (Caldecott Medal)
 My goal for February is to be able to knock off at least one more square that doesn't repeat the ones already taken.
What would your Bingo card look like for the year so far?

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