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Monday, January 28, 2008

What's your favorite topic to teach?

Hey everyone,

To celebrate my ginormous overnight increase in RSS subscribers, I was thinking about some ways to get my posts a bit more audience participation. I truly appreciate everyone that comments, and I was hoping to get more people involved.

So, here is my idea (in really big letters):


I will pose a question, and then give my own answer, and then I welcome everyone else to submit their own responses to this question.

So here's the question:

Within the material that you teach (or have taught), what is your favorite topic and why?

For me, there are several aspects of the math curriculum that I enjoy teaching. This week in fact is one of my favorite topics, geometry, which at a third-grade level, is identifying two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes. It's hard to get kids to differentiate between pyramids and prisms, but it's always enjoyable and relatively simple.

But I have to say that my favorite part of the year comes when science class focuses on the solar system. I really enjoy talking about planets and demonstrating what rotations and revolutions look like. And when I name of some of the moons of the other planets, like Phobos and Deimos, Ganymede, Io, etc, the kids go into hysterics. Which is quite ironic, considering some of the names these kids have been blessed with by their parents.

I also like talking about the solar system because I get to mask my giggle fits when the kids start talking about Uranus.

OK, the floor is open to discussion! Thanks in advance to all participants -- no lurking allowed!!


loonyhiker said...

My favorite is US History. I love to teach things that cover many different subject areas and I feel US History does it for me. I can incorporate reading, writing, math, and even science in most history lessons. I also find history fascinating and I hope that my enthusiasm is catching and makes the lesson more fun. There are so many visuals and role playing that I can use for the lessons too and it can become a hands on lesson which most kids enjoy.

Joel said...

Ya know, for me there are so many things that I love about my job. I love teaching kids to enjoy performing. Heck, love performing. I like teaching them how to make the audience feel a certain way simply by what they do or do not do. I tell them that in a band performance:

"The very first thing the audience see is vastly more important than the very first thing the audience hears. What you look like determines for the audience how you sound."

Yes, I use that exact wording, even with sixth grade. I also love just teaching them musical skills that they didn't have before coming into my class. I get to see them develop incredible musical maturity over the course of a few years. It's totally awesome.

Joel said...

By the way, great idea! You beat me to the punch. I have already written a post for Friday that will run kind of along the same lines. So just hold onto your hat and wait to see what happens...

Congratulations on the RSS jump, by the way!

Anonymous said...

Year 7 (that is 11-12 year olds)
Seperation Chemistry.

Almost every single kid is able to "get" it at some level or other and there is plenty of extension work I can do for each class. But mainly, the kids LOVE the narrative of the lessons. It is a series of 5-7 lessons each of which has a practical and for the duration of the module, we are not in school, we are in the headquarters of CSI *TownName*.

Amerloc said...

Emily Dickinson - everything she wrote can be sung to the tune of "The Yellow Rose of Texas." Or the tune of "Amazing Grace."

Unfortunately, that also means you can sing "The Yellow Rose of Texas" to the tune of "Amazing Grace," and vice versa.

Mrs. T said...

Oh, I like to teach the conditional tense in Spanish (I would go, you would run, etc...) It involves dropping the infinitive ending off the original verb, like "ganar" (to win) and replacing it with a series of "ía" endings. Ganaría, ganarías, ganaría, etc. (Say it out loud)Yep. I always use that verb for the example. Always. And they never forget it.

Joel said...

Ya know, "Amazing Grace" can also be sung to the tune of the "Gilligan's Island Theme Song." That's a fun one, though Fanny Crosby is rolling over in her grave somewhere, I'm sure.

Miss Señora said...

Though I am a Spanish teacher, I LOVE to teach math. During my summer internship with NYCTF I taught the math curriculum and had a blast finding real-life situations to explain it with. Pizza and money were some of the favorites.

Within Spanish curriculum, clothing and adjectives are fun. We have fashion shows, for which I received permission for the kids to 'dress down' (out of uniform). I also had a box of crazy clothing from goodwill that they dressed up in and paraded around the classroom. The other kids took turns describing each student. 7th graders love boys in red polka-dot dresses!

HappyChyck said...

I love--and miss--teaching American literature. I think I particularly enjoyed the Romantic period.

Amerloc--I used to sing "A Narrow Fellow in the Grass" to "The Yellow Rose of Texas" and my students were NEVER impressed. Too bad, aye?

Jules said...

Hm, in English, I definitely enjoy the grammar stuff like sentence diagramming. it's concrete and rigidly structured, and the kids start to enjoy it when they 'get it.' some of the poetry stuff is pretty fun, too.

Mike in Texas said...

Dude, you totally need to make yourself a fan powered portable planetarium

Anonymous said...

I love teaching grammar. Direct & indirect objects, independent & subordinate clauses...I get all excited. My students, not so much, although some of them have admitted recently that they like that I'm teaching it, because they've never been taught it before and wondered about terms like "subordinate" and "indirect object". Many of my colleagues stay away from teaching grammar, because they didn't learn it themselves and so their confidence level is low. And there are some things I'm still shaky on, but I'm getting better. It's all so tidy and cut-and-dried!