B- is for Beaming

IMG_0474Happy February everyone!
Starting this week, I will be going over the letters in Build like a Pirate. The first letter is: B for Beaming. What is beaming? The definitional term for beaming is: “To transmit in a specific direction.” This can be a message, light, radio waves, ect. Something I have always told people when I first entered education that they were always beaming with something. They didn’t quite understand the term until later they said: “You are always beaming with something Ryan.” So, can you ‘beam’ in the classroom? The truth is, you do it every day. As I said in my introduction, there is always something you are always unconditionally passionate about it.

When you find your UP, write it down. Do you love to create crafts? Teach students about reducing numbers. Have them create a pine cone in different size strips going from large to small from the top to the bottom. Have them write down the number 10 and then have them reduce by twos. The next strip of paper is 8, the next is 6 and so on.

Love dominos? Have students build a robot but have to create the house with the dominos and showing how to reduce fractions in the process.

Beaming that Unconditional Passion don’t just think it. Students and fellow teachers can see that you might be passionate about it but show they you are passionate about it. Any teacher can get excited over a lesson or project but when you show that passion as you teach your lesson, I can guarantee your students and peers are going to feel that same passion.

My former 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Larson had us create mobiles on another book report we had to write. She showed us how she made one with her sons and as she explained it you could feel how passionate she was about the book report. We as a 5th grade class felt that passion and almost half of us created our mobiles right after we finished reading our books. We were finished with them days before the report was even due instead of the night or two before it was due.

Let your students find their Unconditional Passions.
Many times we as teachers get so passionate about what we teach we don’t leave students enough time to be passionate about their learning. There is a saying: “If you give instruction on how to do something and have thirty students turn in the same project. That’s not a lesson, that’s a recipe.” Its true. Sure 1+1=2 and no matter how many times you spin it, when you add one to one you get two as an answer. However, a student can show it in their own way.

I had a student who had injured their dominant hand once and was unable to write but had brought their reading tablet to read in class during silent reading once. The student love to use that tablet for everything. So what did they do? They did used their tablet with their other hand not to simply type out the answers to a math or story project. They instead they used an App to create stickers of their answers and assembled them to solve the equation. They got every answer right using stars and puppies and sneakers. This student loved using tech when they could and they injected it right into their learning without being told to write with their non-dominant hand or just type the answers on a simple word processing application. That right there was showing their unconditional passion in learning and they got the idea because their teacher showed their UP during the lesson.

Beaming your Unconditional Passion is a very powerful tool when used in the classroom not just for the teachers but for the students as well. The trick is awaking your UP in what you do. When I read Teach Like a Pirate it was like I got a wake up call but it wasn’t because Dave Burgess showed me something I didn’t already know. He showed me how to look into what I loved to do and try it with something I loved to do but in a different way. That’s why the first letter in pirate is for “passion”. If you can find your passion for what you do and love it unconditionally, you will awaken it in ways you never could have imagined.


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