At TDS we understand that the brain gets hungry! Similar to physical exhaustion, kids and adults can experience mental exhaustion. This mental fatigue can make the brain scream for a break. Dr. David Sousa, brain expert, states that brains need oxygen and glucose for food, and when the brain is low on food, it becomes sleepy. Here at TDS we “Feed the Brain” by providing brain breaks throughout the day. Brain breaks are short, 1-2 minute breaks, done when students look fatigued. During breaks, students stand up, move around, and reenergize, and are able to quickly get back to work, much more alert. Some examples of how we “Feed the Brain” are dancing to randomly played music, jumping jacks, and bouncing balloons around. Want to see how it works? Visit our Facebook page to view Balloon Bounce in action.
This month we honor rockin’ Mrs. Claudia Deemer. Teaching Math is her passion, and she works her middle school math magic by creating songs and dances about digits. Connecting songs to academic content aids in the recall and long term storage of information. Check out Mrs. Deemer’s Ratio Rumpshaker video! Mrs. Deemer has been teaching at TDS for eight years, and in her free time she enjoys camping and hiking with her husband and sons Jack and Jeremy. If you would like to see how Mrs. Deemer uses real world content to engage students in a review about ratios. Check out our video on Facebook. Mrs. Deemer uses a Scholastic Math article about countries that take the most selfies. In the video she has the students kinesthetically review ratios and calculate how many selfies are taken per day in the Phillipines.
Can students achieve while they are walking around? At TDS, the answer is a resounding, “Yes!” One particular set of strategies teachers use to increase engagement is called Kagan Cooperative Learning Structures. When students are in their Kagan groups, they’re achieving, but don’t expect quiet passive learning at these times! Students may be out of their seats, mixing around the class and engaged in academic discussions. Strategically planned groups and activities ensure that all students are involved in the learning process, and encourages both collaborative problem solving and important listening skills. When cooperative learning is coupled with direct instruction there is a profound impact on student achievement. So, students, keep on talking and moving!
Sharing our passion for philanthropy, 130 buckets later…… The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has gone viral. TDS administration accepted the challenge and raised the bar to build awareness. To emphasize that this latest trend is more than just about being doused in ice water, TDS teachers facilitated lessons to help students have a clear understanding of this debilitating disease and the need to raise both awareness and funds. Students and parents were encouraged to “Donate to Dump” buckets of ice on the administrative team, and happily filled buckets with donations the morning preceding the event. The TDS staff, students and families were excited to participate in this phenomenon, in our own unique way! We raised over $800.00 for ALS, and had a great (but very cold for the Admin team!) whole school event- check Facebook to see the results, 130 buckets later!