Day Three Prequel: Best. Day. Ever!!!

Hey all. This is intended to be a prologue to our day. Hopefully I will come back and write more this afternoon, but knowing me, it’s a dice roll. So in case I don’t, please count this as my blog post of the day.

I’m skipping my workout to write this lol. That’s how excited I am about today. Today will go down as one of the days the kids remember in thirty years when they think of their old, gray-haired English teacher they had once upon a time in eighth grade.

Today is Draft Day.

It’s going to be epic, but the kids don’t know it yet. I heard a couple of them moan and groan when I assigned a thirty second ignite speech on what makes them awesome for homework. However, they will be so glad they did it.

Here’s how I plan to roll it out.

Warm-up will consist the Edmodo app, No Red Ink, where they will practice correcting grammar in sentences tailored to their interests. It looks pretty cool. I think they will love it, since they are huge fans of correcting grammar, as they showed last year through our vocabulary lessons. However, many of them still need to work on it in their own writing. This will be good.

After warm-up, I will announce that Draft Day has begun. I will project a Google Document with hyperlinks to videos and a presentation. We will watch an excerpt from the NBA Draft earlier this year to set the mood. Then, they will meet their host, Nacho Mama.

Nacho is a cartoon character, who happens to sound a lot like me. Tee hee. I made her with Tellagami. She will pop in and out to narrate the day’s events.

I have to admit. There is a history behind Nacho’s name. Last year, the kids went nuts over Kahoot, a game that I can only describe as similar to restaurant trivia, but educational. You respond to questions as fast as you can using a device. The quicker you respond, the more points you earn.

Anyway, you have to pick user names at the beginning of each Kahoot game. I would often secretly play along with the kids on my iPad, to keep them on their toes. They were usually too involved in what they were doing to notice. My user name was usually something like “Yo Mama.” Yeah, very mature, I know. But it was part of my disguise. They were on to me by the end of the year, but that’s how Nacho got her name.

Anyway, after Nacho welcomes the kids, we will begin with another video of the WNBA draft to further set the mood. In it, the draftees talk about how nervous they are, but how they can’t wait to join a team. Since the kids have no idea what’s next, I want to subliminally create tension so they buy in. Hopefully it works.

Next, we will spin the wheel for the random name picker from Class Tools. One by one, each student will stand and deliver a short speech on why s/he should be drafted. I plan to record these with my Google Glass, or maybe have a kid do it. But I’m wary, since I had a pair break on me in the spring. Google replaced them for me, but I don’t want to risk it happening again. Sorry, off-topic.

Each kid will give a speech. I already have captains pre-selected, but I didn’t want to tell the kids who I chose, because that kid would then have an opportunity to slack off and not do the speech. I wanted them all to do it, and to take it seriously. I know they will work harder if they have to impress their peers than just little old me. I plan to use this fact to help them test their limits all year.

I chose the captains deliberately. Working at a K-8 school for the past seven years and teaching multiple grade levels, I have the advantage of knowing these kids very well. This class, I know particularly well, since I taught most of them English in second grade and last year.

Some of the captains, I chose because they are shy. Taking on this (brief) leadership role may bring them out of their shell a little. Some are self-described “math people,” as if you can’t be good at more than one thing! My hope is to show them how fun ELA can be. Some I picked because they were not in my English class last year, and I want to get to know them again, by seeing their thought process.

Anyway, after the speeches, Nacho will announce the captains, and they will pick NBA style. Meaning, the last captain in each round will pick first next round, etc. Once they pick, Nacho will close it out by announcing that they will now pick team names.

There is a twist ending, which I won’t drop here, since some of my kids have found my professional social media channels. I won’t spoil it, but I promise to post the Google Doc later.

Ok. It’s getting late, so I’m going to get ready to start an epic day. To all readers, have a fantastic one! Nacho Mama out.

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