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Amazing Race Staff Meeting

Staff meetings are generally very dry affairs. Often they become reiterations of the email memos that have been sent out.  In an effort to make our staff meetings more worthwhile experiences, I suggested that we use our March staff meeting to show teachers a different way of learning.  I didn’t just want to tell teachers about the benefits of constructivist learning, I wanted them to experience the benefits first hand.  I proposed holding an Amazing Race competition with our staff.  We would split the staff into teams, give them tasks, clues, detours, and road blocks.  The first team to complete the tasks would receive a “sweet million” (a King sized Hershey bar with a Starbucks gift card attached). Tasks: These were things that the team had to do together.  For example one of our tasks was to count all of the biographies in the library, and subtract the sum of biographies that were less than 100 pages.  (Our 3rd grade students are required to read biographies that are more than 100 pages, the idea was to get teachers looking through the biographies, realizing the small number of appropriate biographies that meet their requirements).  Some of our other tasks included, stopping somewhere in the building and taking a silly team picture with a camera stationed there, searching United Streaming for an Animal Cracker (idioms) video, filling out a Google Form that asked questions about previous tasks, and using search tricks in Google. Clues: These pointed the teams to the next task. We had route markers throughout the rooms and halls to point the way. Detour Clue: These are random tasks.  Example: Find a maintenance form, substitute form, and reimbursement form and write who should receive each at the top of the form. Road Block: These are completed by only one member of the team. For example: jump rope and have a teammate take a picture. We started our Amazing Race Staff Meeting by giving each team colored bandannas, a school map, a bottle of water, pen, and notebook.  Before the race began, we watched a CHC Amazing Race video.  Our teams were off, teachers were running down the hallway and shouting directions to each other.  They were working, learning, and having fun together. You can see our Amazing Race video and Google form here. The meeting was a huge success.  Morale was boosted, staff bonds were strengthened, and teachers participated in a different kind of learning.  It was fun! I had NO idea how competitive our staff is. What creative staff meetings have you been a part of?  What kinds of staff meetings do you find most useful?

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NASA Images

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, inspiration, Interactive Whiteboard, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Virtual Field Trips, Websites | Posted on 17-06-2009

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What it is:   NASA Images is a website where you can find amazing images of the universe, solar system, earth, aeronautics and astronauts.  In addition to images, you will find video and audio collections in this easily searchable digital library.  The site has a picture timeline of spaceflight, collections of images, audio, and video, and presentations created by users.  The content on NASA images is not under copyright so it can be used without express permission.  This means that you and your students can use the high quality images, HD video, and audio in slideshows, movies, classroom websites, blogs, and interactive whiteboard notebooks.

How to integrate NASA Images into the classroom:  This is an incredible collection of resources.  Students and teachers can use them to enhance any space unit.  This site will excite students and build interest around space exploration, aeronautics, and astronomy.  Create your own planetarium or journey through space and share with an interactive whiteboard or in a slide show presentation with a projector.  Students could create a blog or wiki all about their ‘travels’ through space for other students and parents to view.  NASA Images even offers the tools to build a presentation right on the site.  Presentations can then be embedded on other websites, wikis, or blogs.

 

Tips:  NASA Images is updated regularly, check back for the newest additions.

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using NASA Images in your classroom.

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[…] 14. NASA Images- Find amazing images of the universe, solar system, earth, aeronautics and astronauts. […]

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