2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for my blog. I always like to share this with my readers so as to thank you for your readership throughout 2015. I’d also like to wish you a happy, healthy and safe 2016. I look forward to your continued readership this year.

 

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 810,000 times in 2015. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 35 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Happy World Teachers’ Day!

World Teachers' Day

It’s October 5th here in Australia so I’m getting in early and wishing you:

HAPPY WORLD TEACHERS’ DAY!

Thank you for all that you do each and every day in the classroom.

The kids we teach are very lucky.

Monologue Must Share: Orson The Beetleslayer

For those who are embarking on the HSC this term and will be in the process of trying to look for some good monologues for their students to perform, may I suggest taking a look at the Suggestions to Monologues page (click on the link in the left hand tool bar). There are some great suggestions there. Also, I suggest reading the comments as other people offer their suggestions.

I thought I’d also share a clip I was watching the other day that I thought would make a really great monologue. It’s from Game of Thrones. Whilst a good majority of Game of Thrones content is unusable I did find this scene between Tyrion and Jaime to be quite a lovely scene. Performers could create their own character and adapt the dialogue to fit its circumstances. Anyway, I thought it was quite a sensitive moment amidst all the blood and gore on that show.

You can watch the clip HERE.

Theatre of the Absurd Workshop Series

Since my honest post a couple of months ago I have been very grateful for the many positive comments and messages of support for the blog. So, thank you very much. I am timidly returning to regular blogging and share this with you today.

I often receive emails of support, encouragement and requests for resources.

One of the most viewed sections on the blog is the lesson ideas for teaching the Theatre of the Absurd. It’s a tricky theatrical style to break down and teach. Over the years I’ve scaffolded and scaffolded so that finally I have a workshop series that seems to capture the essence of Absurdism. I often end up emailing this to various people who message me with resource requests which is quite often. So, to make it a little easier on me and you, I’ve added it to this blog post today or you can find it on my Resources page (click on the link in the left hand tool bar). It should be used in conjunction with these suggested teaching strategies: Absurdism 1 and Absurdism 2.

I’ve recorded a short video to explain how to read the table. You can check it out below but it is also available at my YouTube channel.

Here is the Workshop Series – The Theatre of the Absurd PDF referenced in the instructional video.

A little reminder: These resources are not designed for assignments or assessments for University students. If you wish to use these resources for this purpose please send me an email requesting permission.

 

My Creative Juices Are Stuck

This is an honest post.

I’m going to admit some stuff. About me. About blogging.

I think my creative juices are stuck. I’m not sure where the blog is going.

I  apologise for my lengthy absence. I have not prioritised the blog as much as I should have.

Some things are keeping me stuck. I can’t seem to move forward with the blog.

I enjoy writing and sharing my drama thoughts with you but I’ll admit I have hit a bit of a lull in my resourcing of units and therefore my desire to share them with you. What does this mean for my teaching? If you don’t have good quality work to share, why share it? I pride myself on the quality of my resources too so I am not going to post it if I don’t think it’s good enough.

I’ve been conscious of becoming consumed by the online world and reading and posting about teaching. To keep balance and avoid burn out I have been limiting my interactions somewhat.

I’ll admit that people have used my resources to earn grades in their assessment tasks at university, without prior request and that miffed me a bit. In fact, it miffed me A LOT and I really questioned why on earth I was committing so much time to this blog. I share my resources for teachers out in the field who are struggling, need new ideas, additional support. Out of good will. I don’t feel that I am here to be an easy way to complete an assignment.

I am aware that my writing is by no means perfect. There are readers who have told me so and I have approved their comments and tried to make the necessary changes in acknowledgement of that. I apologise for my errors and aim to be more conscious of them in future.

My intention is to write a little more frequently in the coming weeks. Please know that I am grateful for your readership and that I try my best to produce quality resources for you. That I do this in my free time, for the love of my subject, for teaching and I am glad that I do because I know I have helped people. You have told me so and that is why I am glad to do it. Teachers need to support each other. We are not islands.

Thank you for your understanding, readership and feedback. I really do appreciate it. Yet, I believe in honesty and transparency when it is for your own gain: i.e. promotion, assessment etc.

I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you again soon.

K.

Happy World Theatre Day!

Wherever you are in the world I hope you and your class are celebrating.

Please share your celebrations with us at http://worldtheatreday.info

Our school decided to make a video in response to the question, “What does theatre mean to you?”

This is what our staff and students had to say. We would love for you to take a look.

Enjoy your day.

How About This to Get Your Kids Writing in Their Journal…?

I’ve blogged before about my gripe with the logbook. That it can be a bit tokenistic sometimes. An add on at the end of class with little focus on using reflective and literacy skills. I say this only because that’s how I’ve felt when I’m in my classroom and using the logbook. I’m slowly refining the scaffolding of writing tasks but I feel like I still have a way to go.

With my seniors I’ve posted before about the checklist of work that I get them to do to show their process. As an add on to that I’ve started something called a Drama Panel. It’s an idea I got from my Head Teacher who set it up in a similar way for Art.

I set up the classroom as if it is a boardroom in a big office. One big long table with chairs around it. Each student must attend and their parents are also invited.  I ask my colleagues to act as panelists. The panel is scheduled at the same time over three terms and culminates with the final performance evening prior to their final exam.

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At the first panel meeting I survey the parents to gauge how much they actually know about the Individual Project. I will then survey them again at the end of the process. I plan to particularly focus on how they were best able to support their child when at home as a result of knowing what was going on in the classroom.

The students are asked to present their logbook and a statement of intention. I will write about this in a future post. In the second panel meeting which will occur this term they must present their draft director’s concept/rationale and their logbook once again. The third and final panel meeting before the showcase will involve the students showing their projects in workshop mode. Meaning, Performance projects may perform the opening of their piece, scriptwriters will workshop a scene from their script etc.

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After each panel, the logbook, statement of intention, rationale and/or project are collected and a progress mark is given. Overall I have made the internal assessment of the IP worth 20% but you could weight it whatever you like. I divide the weighting up in a 5-5-10 percent ratio. At the final panel meeting the students can take their logbook and project back to make any last minute changes before it is submitted prior to the showcase. This occurs early in Term 3.

The project should be 99.9% finished at this point leaving some room after the showcase to make any changes as is necessary. I put the pressure on to have it done by this time because the students go off on their Trials early in Term 3 and their focus is not back on their project until after this time and there isn’t much time left after that!

The students must write a series of questions to ask the panelists who provide verbal and written feedback on each project which the student then sticks in their logbook.

So far my first panel was really successful. I think it is a good strategy for a couple of reasons:

  • It makes the student accountable for their logbook and their process;
  • It involves parents in their child’s work which they may not have done previously because they weren’t familiar or confident with what the project requires or involves;
  • It encourages collaboration with other teachers. It is great PD for them and it is good for you as the teacher because 3-4 brains is much better than one. The ideas I have been getting are fantastic.

So, if you’re trying to up the quality of the logbook or motivate lazy students, particularly for your seniors, maybe give this a whirl.

Photo Credit: oropeza via Compfight cc