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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

MRVED Update - December 5, 2018

MRVED Business

MELT Registration

MELT registration has opened as of 7:30 am this morning, December 5.  The deadline to register is 4 pm on December 19th.  Reminder to register EARLY as sessions do fill up.

IF YOU WILL BE HOSTING A STUDENT TEACHER THIS SPRING PLEASE FORWARD REGISTRATION INFORMATION TO THEM PLEASE.

MELT 2019 Brochure

MELT 2019 REGISTRATION LINK 

Upcoming Meetings
December 7, 2018 Title III Teachers
December 12, 2018  MRVED Board (6 p.m.)
December 13, 2018 TAC
December 14, 2018 Principals’ Council
December 19, 2018 Superintendents’ Council

January 11, 2019 Title III Paras
January 21, 2019 MELT
January 23, 2019 Superintendents
January 25, 2019 Principals

The Future of College Entrance Exams

U.S. News and World Report recently published a story on the future of college entrance exams.  The story talks about how some colleges are no longer requiring the ACT or SAT exam for entrance.  It's a trend we have been hearing about for the past couple years that seems to be taking hold.  There is concerns over whether the tests measure college readiness and are not equitable for all students.  This really is a great article for anyone in education to read, especially if you have children of your own going off to college in the next couple years.

#TIES18

Don't forget to follow the #TIES18 hashtag on Twitter to follow along with the great conversation at the annual TIES technology conference in the cities.  This hashtag is a great place to find session resources, ideas, interesting tidbits, etc...  I know I'll be following along!



Tech Tip of the Week - GeoGuessr

This tech tool is for anyone with a love of Geography, or simply likes a good challenge.  GeoGuessr can be a single player or multiplayer game.  The point of the game is to be able to guess where you are on the Earth.  You get placed somewhere on the globe in Google Street View and have to utilize the images to make an educated guess as to where you are.  The closer you guess to the actual place, the more points you get.  This is a great addition to any geography class, or simply an activity to do with your class if you need to pass some time.

Ditch That Textbook

Earlier this year, I highlighted a book and blog titled, Ditch That Textbook by Matt Miller.  Starting after Christmas break, we will begin examining different sections of Ditch That Textbook, much like we did with Teach Like a Pirate.  I highly suggest purchasing this book and following along.  It's an awesome playbook to go back to time and time again for your classroom.  Ditch That Textbook is not a book you will read once and put away, you'll find yourself going back to it for ideas.

Order the book today.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

MRVED Update - November 21, 2018

MRVED Business

The annual MELT is fast approaching and the MRVED has been busy making arrangements for the big day. The MELT will be held on January 21, 2019 at the LQPV High School.  Registration will open on December 5th and it will close on December 19th. Please remember to register early as sessions will fill up fast! There are new sessions offered this year as well as some popular sessions from years past.  Some groups will also have the opportunity to network.

Registration
Last year we sent out the MELT brochure a couple days prior to sending the registration link.  This allowed people to set their schedule and read through the descriptions prior to registering.  This seemed to work really well.  The process will be the same this year.  The brochure will come to you on Monday, December 3 from your Principal.  The link to register will come to you on Wednesday, morning from your Principal.  Principals, look for this information from Gloria please.

We cannot stress enough the importance of registering as early as possible.  Some sessions fill really fast, therefore the later you are in registering, the greater the risk of not being able to get into those sessions.

Upcoming Meetings
November 28, 2018  Superintendents’ Council

December 7, 2018 Title III Teachers
December 12, 2018  MRVED Board (6 p.m.)
December 13, 2018 TAC
December 14, 2018 Principals’ Council
December 19, 2018 Superintendents’ Council

January 11, 2019 Title III Paras
January 21, 2019 MELT
January 23, 2019 Superintendents
January 25, 2019 Principals

Minnesota Standards Updates (Physical Education & Science)

Developing a Shared Understanding of the 2018 Physical Education Standards and Benchmarks 2019 Training Schedule

In this training, actions and resources are recommended to help educator teams* develop a shared understanding of the 2018 Minnesota physical education standards and benchmarks, and initiate the curriculum review process. By attending this training, participants will develop a shared understanding of:
  • The 2018 Minnesota K-12 Physical Education Standards and Grade-Level Benchmarks
  • The shifts that drove changes in the standards
  • The knowledge, skills and rigor represented in the learning progressions in the benchmarks within and across grade levels
  • The curriculum review process and action planning as part of a continuous review cycle

*It is highly recommended that physical educators attend this training in school district teams.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. Training is from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants are asked to bring a brown bag lunch and beverages.

There is no cost to attend these trainings, but registration is required. Please register individually, even if attending as part of a school team.

To register, click below on the training you wish to attend.

Monday, January 14, 2019 - Minnesota Department of Education, Roseville, MN

Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - Minnesota Department of Education, Roseville, MN

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 - Metro Service Cooperative, Arden Hills, MN

Wednesday, January 30, 2019 - Minnesota Department of Education, Roseville, MN

Thursday, February 7, 2019 - Sourcewell-MN (formerly NJPA), Staples, MN

Tuesday, February 26, 2019 - Lake County Service Cooperative, Fergus Falls, MN

Thursday, March 21, 2019 - SW/WC Service Cooperative, Marshall, MN

Friday, March 29, 2019 - Resource and Training Solutions, Sartell, MN

Tuesday, April 30, 2019 - South Central Service Cooperative, North Mankato, MN

Friday, May 3, 2019 - Southeast Service Cooperative, Rochester, MN

Tuesday, May 7, 2019 - Northeast Service Cooperative, Mountain Iron, MN

Thursday, May 9, 2019 - Northwest Service Cooperative, Thief River Falls, MN

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - Winona State University, Winona, MN

https://education.mn.gov/mde/dse/mde075000


1st Draft of the New Science Standards


Provide Feedback on the First Draft!

The first draft of the revised Minnesota K-12 Science Education Standards-2019 is now available (see below). The public is invited to provide feedback during its Public Review and Comment Period, November 9-26, 2018. Submit your feedback using the online form, or attend one of the Town Hall meetings (all have already been held) and provide your feedback in person.

Contact Terry Alvarado to request a reasonable accommodation to participate in this event. Please note: The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) requires a two-week advance notice to provide accommodations and 48-hour notice to cancel the request.

The date by which all schools must implement the new standards will be determined during the rulemaking process.

For more information about the standards review process, contact John Olson 651-582-8673.


ReMoved

I came across this short film series entitled ReMoved.  It's a story, from the kids perspective, about being placed into foster care and then going through having a brother adopted.  It's a very touching short story, and one that will make you think about how trauma affects our kids.  If you have 30 minutes, give both parts a watch today, it is well worth it!




Teach Like a Pirate - Part III Building a Better Pirate & Conclusion

Part III of Teach Like a Pirate provides us with a challenge to be better, tips on how to get started, and advice to surround ourselves with positive people.

My biggest takeaway out of Part III  was in the chapter Where do I start? Burgess talks about the five most common reasons why we never get started with something.

1. The fear of failure - people won't start something if there is a chance they can fail.  We don't have to embrace failure, but we can learn from it and not be afraid of it.  He uses the example of if a lesson fails, nobody dies, it's OK.  You are a teacher, not a brain surgeon, failure is OK in our world!

2. Believing you have to figure it all out before you begin - In reflection on my own life, this is a tough one for me.  I want to know everything before I start something.  I have worked hard in my personal and professional life to fix this attitude of mine.

3. Perfectionism - Some people wait for the "perfect" time to start something.  It goes back to the analogy from one of the previous chapters about creative people walking around getting "struck" by brilliant ideas.  If we wait for the perfect moment to strike, we'll never get started.

4. Lack of Focus - It's all about prioritization.  Being able to prioritize the truly important things in our lives, and not allowing the small things to take up the majority of our time.  We lose focus on what truly is important.

5. Fear of Criticism and Ridicule - Starting something new is not only different for you, but different for the people around you.  The people around you might not be ready for the change, don't let those people get in your way of progress.

Conclusion
Teach Like a Pirate is a book chalk full of strategies you can implement in your classroom tomorrow.  You don't have to be a great performer like Burgess to take the strategies and implement them into your classroom.  I felt the book was much deeper than just the strategies though.  One of the biggest "aha" moments for me was really thinking deeply about ALL aspects of the lesson plan.  The analogy of the BBQ is spot on, we have to bring all elements to the table on every single day in order to have a successful BBQ.

The other part of this book that really got me thinking was the aspect of presentation.  In the chapter about the 3 circles, Burgess is absolutely correct.  We spend so much of our professional development time on best practices and content, but never focus on the actual presentation of the material.  Without proper presentation, there is no engagement, without engagement, there is no learning.  This book made me think more deeply on how I do my own professional development.  How do I engage the learners in the audience?  How do I make my content sizzle?  Do I bring enough passion and energy to the table every day?

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

MRVED Update - November 7, 2018

MRVED Business

Thank you to everyone who took the time to fill out the October 17 Common Inservice Day Evaluation.  Our Superintendents, Principals, and Teachers' Advisory Council will be reviewing the evaluations from the day.  It is the hope of all these groups that we can provide something that is meaningful for all the teachers in the MRVED.  Our next Common Inservice Day will be MELT on January 21, 2019 at Lac qui Parle Valley High School.  Look for more information on the MELT in the next few updates. 

Upcoming Meetings
November 9, 2018  Joint mtg Principals’ Council & TAC
November 16, 2018  Principals’ Council
November 28, 2018  Superintendents’ Council

December 7, 2018 Title III Teachers
December 12, 2018  MRVED Board (6 p.m.)
December 13, 2018 TAC
December 14, 2018 Principals’ Council
December 19, 2018 Superintendents’ Council

MELT Call for Networking Facilitators

The MRVED is looking for facilitators of networking groups  As a facilitator you are not expected to be the expert in the room, but rather move the discussion along.  The goal of a networking group is to share resources and ideas with people who have the same interests.  They are meant to include a "give & take".  Bring something to share and take something away that someone else shared.  The only networking groups that will be offered are those that have a willing facilitator.  If a networking group does not have a facilitator, it will not be held!  If you would like to sign up, please click the link below and add your name to the list next to the group you would like to facilitate.  The networking sign up will close at 3:30 PM on November 15.  If you have any questions or cannot access the form, please contact Brandon (braymo@mrved.net)

MELT NETWORKING FACILITATOR SIGN UP LINK

TIES 2018 Conference

Don't forget to register for the 2018 TIES Conference held December 8-11 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Minneapolis.  The TIES Conference is one of the best educational technology conferences in the midwest.  The sessions are great and the networking is awesome!  Jaime Casap, Educational Evangelist at Google and Kimberly Bryant, founds and Executive Director of Black Girls CODE are the keynote speakers this year.  The TIES Conference website is linked below.  Head over there and check out the lineup of breakout sessions, view the bios of the keynote and featured speakers, and get registered!


Snapchat for Teachers & Schools

In the previous MRVED Update we highlighted a great blog by Matt Miller entitled Ditch that Textbook.  He has a couple awesome blog posts on utilizing Snapchat in the classroom.  I know many of you are thinking that there is no place in the classroom for Snapchat, but I think you would be surprised.  Check out the blog posts today!

Snapchat 101 for Teachers

15 Ways to Use Snapchat in the Classroom



Teach Like a Pirate - Hooks

Over the next couple chapter Burgess highlights his "hooks".  Hooks are strategies to get kids engaged in the learning.  It's his take on Madeline Hunter's anticipatory set.  How do we get kids "hooked" into learning the content for the day?

After seeing Burgess, he went through many of the hooks in his presentation and demonstrated how to use them.  I'm not going to highlight the hooks in this post as I believe Burgess does it much better in his book.  The book does an awesome job of providing different examples on how to use the hooks in the classroom as well as reflection questions to think about as you are lesson planning.

The hook is probably one of the most important parts to the lesson.  If you don't have your kids engaged from the beginning, they aren't going to be with you at all throughout the lesson.  Too often we dive straight into our content without providing hooks for our kids.  I know I was guilty of starting my lesson like this; "Where did we leave off yesterday?  Oh yeah, turn to page 147 in your book." and that was the beginning of my lesson!  Talk about not engaging my kids at all!  The hooks in Teach Like a Pirate are great strategies you can use tomorrow!  Going a little deeper than the tangible hooks, we need to really examine our lessons and take a DEEP look into EVERY aspect of the lesson.

Hooks Resources
Thinglink of Ideas
Hook Ideas
TLAP Chat

#mrvedtlap gets better and better every week!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

MRVED Update - October 24

Teach Like a Pirate Recap

Dave Burgess presented Teach Like a Pirate to the MRVED on October 17, 2018 in Dawson-Boyd.  Burgess went through the PIRATE acronym and provided educators with practice ideas they can bring back to their classroom.  The afternoon was spent discussing the message from the morning and hearing more creative ideas from Burgess.  You can follow along with a little challenge the elementary schools have going.  Follow #mrvedtlap on Twitter to see what they are doing.  If you have not filled out the evaluation for the day, there is still time to do that.  Select the link below to access the evaluation

Upcoming Meetings
November 9, 2018  Joint mtg Principals’ Council & TAC
November 16, 2018  Principals’ Council
November 28, 2018  Superintendents’ Council

December 7, 2018 Title III Teachers
December 12, 2018  MRVED Board (6 p.m.)
December 13, 2018 TAC
December 14, 2018 Principals’ Council
December 19, 2018 Superintendents’ Council


MELT Call for Networking Facilitators

The MRVED is looking for facilitators of networking groups  As a facilitator you are not expected to be the expert in the room, but rather move the discussion along.  The goal of a networking group is to share resources and ideas with people who have the same interests.  They are meant to include a "give & take".  Bring something to share and take something away that someone else shared.  The only networking groups that will be offered are those that have a willing facilitator.  If a networking group does not have a facilitator, it will not be held!  If you would like to sign up, please click the link below and add your name to the list next to the group you would like to facilitate.  The networking sign up will close at 3:30 PM on November 15.  If you have any questions or cannot access the form, please contact Brandon (braymo@mrved.net)

MELT NETWORKING FACILITATOR SIGN UP LINK



Halloween Resources

It's always fun to incorporate holidays into your classroom.  With Halloween coming up, here are a few places to find some great Halloween resources to use in your classroom.


Ditch That Textbook


Matt Miller is on the rise as one of the most influential people in education.  He has written a book, which is on the same token as Teach Like a Pirate (and published by Dave Burgess), Ditch That Textbook.  Along with his book, Matt also writes a blog and speaks.  His blog is full of AWESOME ideas.  Ideas that you can easily pair with "hooks".  Check it out today!

Ditch that Textbook Blog


Teach Like a Pirate - Part II Creating Engaging Lessons


In Part II of teach like a pirate, Burgess introduces us to the concept of the "hooks".  He sets the stage as to why the hooks are one of the most important aspects to a lesson.

He talks about "The Third Circle" that nobody is talking about.  Much of our professional development is focused on gaining content knowledge and learning new classroom techniques, which is true!  Nobody is talking about how we present material.  Presentation, he argues, is just as important as the other two.  There is a small part in this chapter that talks about "everything is a choice".  After reading this section, it made me reflect.  Everything I do within that hour is a choice.  Are the lights on or off?  Is the door open or shut?  Are kids standing, sitting, or moving around?  Do they have paper and pencil?

It made me think about the old adage, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  Everything we do within the hour of our lesson has a reaction, whether intended or not.  We simply need to train ourselves to ask the reflective questions when planning a lesson.  I was taught the Madeline Hunter lesson planning format and this simply ramps up the lesson planning.  It really doesn't matter what lesson planning you do, asking yourself reflective questions as you plan will only strengthen what you do.

The other "aha" out of this chapter was the section on transitions.  As a former high school teacher, transitions is not something I have really ever thought that much about.  Burgess is correct, and I have observed it many times, and I have also been guilty of getting to peak engagement in my classroom and then have something kill that engagement.  Getting out a pencil and paper, announcement from the office, turn to page ___ in your book, projector warming up, etc...  Transitions have a HUGE impact on student engagement.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

MRVED Update - October 3, 2018

MRVED Business

The MRVED Common Day will be October 17 in Dawson at the high school.  Dave Burgess will be the keynote speaker. Registration closes October 3 at 4pm. The last day to cancel lunch for the day will be October 5, after that you will be held responsible for the price. The day will begin at 8:40 with Dave Burgess speaking until lunch. The afternoon will consist of staff broken into two groups. Group 1 will be with Burgess while Group 2 is in specified rooms discussing content areas. Then Group 2 will be with Burgess while Group 1 is in specified rooms discussing content areas. Everyone will get an agenda when they arrive letting them know where they will be during the day.

On Monday, October 22, everyone will receive an email with a link to an evaluation for the day. Please take the time to fill this out as we use it the information for planning future MRVED Common Days.

Upcoming Meetings
October 17, 2018 Dave Burgess-MRVED Common Day
October 24, 2018 Superintendents’ Council
October 26, 2018 Principals’ Council

November 9, 2018 Joint Principal and TAC
November 16, 2018 Principal's Council
November 28, 2018 Superintendent's Council

2019 MELT Call for Proposals

The MRVED Educators Learning Together (MELT) conference will be held at Lac qui Parle Valley High School on January 21, 2019.  To help make this conference the best ever, we need your help.  The MRVED is looking for enthusiastic people willing to present on something great happening in your classroom.  This can be anything from Google Drive to differentiation techniques in your classroom.  Show us how you Teach Like a Pirate!  Technology or no technology proposals are welcome.  Presenters will be paid a small stipend for your work.  You may submit as many presentation proposals as you wish.

**We are actively seeking any Pre-K people that would like to present, as well as anyone that Teaches Like a Pirate!**

**By filling out this form you are not committing to presenting, just providing the MRVED with your name and topic.**


Link to Proposal Form

Tech Tip of the Week - Flippity

Flippity is a great tool to use in the classroom.  If you can get over having to use a Google Sheet, this tool can transform how you do things in your classroom.  You can easily turn spreadsheets into flashcards, quiz shows, crosswords, etc...  There are so many different things you can do within Flippity.  You really need to experience it to see the power it has.

If We Don't Allow A Redo, What Are We Teaching?

Rick Wormeli tweeted this article out the other day on redos.  It is well worth the read.  It is an account from an English teacher on why he allows redos.  There are some really good points in here.  Take the time to read this article today, especially if you are on the fence about allowing kids to redo assignments.




Teach Like a Pirate - Ask & Analyze, Transformation, Enthusiasm

For those of you on Twitter, there is a great Teach Like a Pirate conversation that happens all day long!  Follow #TLAP.

Ask and Analyze
Burgess talks about the ability to think creatively in this chapter.  In a hilarious anecdotal example, he talks about how "creative people" simply walk around and are smacked with creative ideas out of the blue.  Being creative is not something that you are born with, it's something you can become better at.  Carol Dweck - growth mindset vs fixed mindset!  Being creative is all about what questions you ask yourself as well as the ability to change.  The bottom of page 34 and top of page 35 offer an awesome way to ask yourself questions that can guide you to be creative.  Once you find that creative change, you must then have the ability to change your lesson.

Transformation
"Safe lessons are a recipe for mediocrity at best" (Burgess, 48).  I love this quote!  It is so true...we need to be able to take risks in our lessons.  Burgess talks about the 1000's of lessons that have been disasters.  It goes back to the Ask and Analyze chapter though.  When we fail we need to ask ourselves questions about the failure, analyze what we did, and then make adjustments.  We shouldn't continue to teach the bad lesson again and we shouldn't settle for mediocrity as well.  Our kids don't deserve mediocrity - they deserve our best!

Creating engaging lessons is also in the chapter on transformation.  I wanted to share a few quotes that hit home with me.

"If you can't explain why someone should pay attention to what you're saying, maybe we shouldn't be saying it." (Burgess, 62)

"History isn't boring, their history class was" (Burgess, 62)  I think of the phrase that I heard in my classroom, "this is boring".  What the student really meant, and I wish he/she would have said it, was "YOU are boring".  Burgess is right, your content area is not boring, it's the delivery that is boring.

Enthusiasm
Bottom line - you need to be enthusiastic about what you are teaching.  If you are not enthusiastic, then you need to fake being excited.  This is a big part to this book, so I'm not going to beat it to death here.  You really are an entertainer in your classroom.  You need to have enthusiasm for what you do, or the kids won't want to be there.

I'm going to leave these two thought provoking questions from the transformation chapter for you to think about:

If your students didn't have to be there, would you be teaching in an empty room?

Do you have any lessons you could sell tickets for?

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

MRVED Update - September 19, 2018

MRVED Business

MRVED Common Day
The next MRVED Common Day is fast approaching. It will be October 17 at the Dawson-Boyd Public School. Dave Burgess will be the keynote speaker. Registration has been sent to the Principals for them to forward on. The registration will run from September 19 -October 3 with October 5th being the last day to cancel your lunch if you so choose. The day will start at 8:40 with Dave Burgess addressing all staff in the Auditorium until it is time for lunch. Staff will receive an agenda for the day when they arrive letting them where to go in the afternoon.



Upcoming Meetings
September 21, 2018 Title III Paras
September 26, 2018 Superintendents’ Council
September 28, 2018 Title III Teachers

October 17, 2018 Dave Burgess-MRVED Common Day
October 24, 2018 Superintendents’ Council
October 26, 2018 Principals’ Council


MRVED Principals and Teacher Advisory Council Meeting Update
The MRVED Principals and Teacher Advisory Council (TAC) were recently at the MRVED for their first meetings of the year.  It was nice to see new and returning faces in both groups.  There was much catching up to do from a busy summer at the MRVED.  Much of the time in both groups was spent putting the finishing touches on the October 17 day with Dave Burgess as well as providing Brandon with possible sessions for MELT 2019.  Both groups are an enormous asset to the MRVED and provide the MRVED with valuable feedback as well as help in planning our common days.

2019 MELT Call for Proposals
The MRVED Educators Learning Together (MELT) conference will be held at Lac qui Parle Valley High School on January 21, 2019.  To help make this conference the best ever, we need your help.  The MRVED is looking for enthusiastic people willing to present on something great happening in your classroom.  This can be anything from Google Drive to differentiation techniques in your classroom.  Show us how you Teach Like a Pirate!  Technology or no technology proposals are welcome.  Presenters will be paid a small stipend for your work.  You may submit as many presentation proposals as you wish.

**We are actively seeking any Pre-K people that would like to present, as well as anyone that Teaches Like a Pirate!**

**By filling out this form you are not committing to presenting, just providing the MRVED with your name and topic.**


Link to Proposal Form


Tech Tip - MRVED Twitter

Be sure to follow the MRVED on Twitter.  Anytime you do something with the MRVED or anytime you want the MRVED to see what you are Tweeting feel free to use the hashtag #WeAreMRVED.  We will also be using the hashtag #TLAPMRVED to go with our professional development this fall with Dave Burgess.  TLAP stands for Teach Like A Pirate.



Teach Like a Pirate - Passion, Immersion, Rapport

Let's set sail and start our adventure!

Passion
Burgess starts the chapter in an interesting way.  He states that, "we are not passionate about everything we teach".  As an example, I am passionate about social studies, but I'm not so passionate about World War I and World War II.  It's shocking because in every class I taught, it didn't matter if it was Sociology or US History, the same question emerged at some point..."when are we getting to Hitler and World War II?"  Don't get me wrong, WWI and WWII are super important topics in the scope of world and US history, but I just don't have the passion for it as some of my colleagues.  I do, however, love the Civil War.  I am also very passionate about Sociology (but not the chapter on the fathers of sociology).

It is OK to admit you are not passionate about everything you teach.  It's nearly impossible to be passionate about EVERYTHING.  The trick is to finding a way to bring passion into the area of your content you are not as passionate about.  To do this, Burgess asks us to think about 3 questions:

1. Within your subject matter, what are you passionate about teaching?
2. Within your profession, but not specific to your subject matter, what are you passionate about?
3. Completely outside of your profession, what are you passionate about?

For example, if I am not passionate about WWII, but I am personally passionate about baseball, can I somehow meld the two to create a passionate lesson/unit about WWII?

Immersion
This is one of my favorite sections in the book.  Immersion is SO important to not only teaching, but in every relationship and interaction we have.  Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and you KNOW that person is not present in the conversation?  How did that make you feel?  Imagine being in a classroom where the teacher is not present.  Where the teacher is thinking about what is going on next hour, creating practice plans for an after school activity, or thinking about the staff meeting from that morning.  The kids can tell when you are not fully present in your teaching, and they feel exactly how you feel in a conversation with someone that is not present.  It's a HORRIBLE feeling!

Rapport
The majority of this section talks about the way Burgess plans the first three days with his students.  It's all about building rapport with students.  Making sure they feel emotionally and physiologically safe.  Showing students that your classroom environment is a safe place to take risks and ask questions.  If you don't have rapport with the students from the beginning, you will be fighting an uphill battle from the beginning.  You'll have to buy the book if you want to read in depth about his first 3 days (this part is totally worth the cost of the book by the way!).  Building rapport helps minimize misbehavior in the classroom and allows students to "buy-in" to what you are selling.  Think about a door to door salesman...what is one of the first things the salesman will do?  Build trust and rapport.  The kids will never "invite" you into their minds, much like you would never invite a salesman into your home, if they don't have the trust and rapport.