Highly rated teachers use real-life connections in the classroom to make the learning experience fun, engaging, and meaningful to optimize engagement and learning. This involves moving away from lecture-based lessons and making lessons interesting and interactive.
Tindall and Robert W. Although these three pedagogical methods are far from foolproof, they have generally proven effective. The Circle of Debate In a majority of the classrooms at the university where I teach, the desks are set up in neat rows of five.
With that type of configuration, four out of five students are forced to stare at the back of the student in front of them. This classic arrangement lends itself to typical inattentive behaviors: An effective cure for these classroom maladies is to randomly rearrange the rows of desks into one large circle.
As soon as my students walk into their newly reconfigured classroom, their reactions run the gamut, from mild shrugs of the shoulders to mouths agape. From the first day of the course until the last, my students feel an obligation to sit in the same self-assigned seat for each and every class; according to this unwritten rule, everyone must sit in the exact same seat for the duration of the term.
As my mostly first-year students try to adjust to their new surroundings, I insouciantly write some questions on the board.
My classroom, once silent, somnolent and devoid of energy, is now filled with the soothing sounds of richly boisterous assertions, counterclaims and counter-counter claims. In the following class, Natalie, James and Ayesha come loaded with answers to my questions.
At the start of the subsequent classes, in an attempt to preserve the energy created by the circle of debate, I encourage as my students as they enter the room to take a seat next to a classmate whom they have not met. Pop Oral Reports When the momentum from the circle of debate begins to cool, another valuable way to heat up my classroom is to give pop oral reports.
On Monday, I arrive a few minutes early and place a hackneyed wooden podium on the large desk in the front of the room.
Technology, however, is like any tool in that relying on it too much can actually defeat the purpose. Tina Greene, a kindergarten teacher turned UDL coordinator at Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. 9 Technology Tools To Engage Students In The Classroom. by Sara McGuire, rutadeltambor.com Technology distracts students, right? a presentation, a science project, or a math report, there are ample tools available to make the process more engaging for students. 9 Technology Tools To Engage Students In The Classroom;. Using Technology In The ESL/TESOL Classroom. March 14, by Guest Post As teachers in the modern classroom, we have the most advanced means of instruction through technology .
As my students enter, I take a seat along the wall and assign each a question, telling them that they have 10 minutes to prepare a three-minute oral report.
As I lower my head, I hear my favorite lament: Others simply open their books and begin searching for quotations. On a rare occasion, a student will come to the podium and try to answer a question about an assignment that he or she clearly did not read.
When all of the students have completed their reports, I stand up and offer a heartfelt thanks to those who shared their deeply personal stories before spending a few minutes correcting any misinformation that might have been disseminated. Lastly, I remind my students about the importance of completing all of the reading assignments.
The circle of debate and pop oral reports are not intended to be punitive. Crossover Pairings Eventually the fear of having to do a pop oral report dissipates, and students fall back into their old habits.
The best way to overcome this gradual onslaught of complacency, especially as it gets later in the semester, is with a collaborative assignment. As part of the process, I purposefully pair two students from different backgrounds, political views and seat locations with each other.
Last semester I paired an all-star defensive end on the football team from the gritty north end of Hartford, Conn. Shortly after announcing whom they will be working with for the last two weeks of the term, I display the following assignment on the overhead.
Since you are compelled to donate most of the money, you will not incur any tax liabilities. You must donate to at least four different nonprofit organizations. The remaining funds half a million dollars can be used for your own personal expenses and growth.
In order to succeed with this writing assignment, you must thoroughly research the personal life of your author, his or her published work sand the charitable foundations to which you believe the author would plausibly donate a portion of his or her winnings.
The organizations must be legitimate and should be free from scandal and financial malfeasance i. In your essay you and your partner will need to explain why the two of you believe your selected author would choose certain charities over others.
Your in-depth reasoning and research are the crux of this persuasive assignment. The nature of the pairings, combined with the complex topic of the assignment, forces my students to meet and work with someone from a vastly different peer group and thus escape from this insidious ostracizing malaise.
While it would be easier for me to let my students choose whom they wanted to work with on this assignment, watching these inscrutable duos collaborate on a complex research question makes this assignment very rewarding -- at least, to me.
Although sometimes the circle of debate fails to produce valuable discourse, the pop oral reports cause my students to question my fairness and the crossover pairings result in students opting to write the essay themselves, more often than not, I have found that these three strategies can change the energy in my classroom from disengagement to engagement without my ever touching the thermostat.
And when all else fails, and there are two to three weeks left in the semester, I surprise my charges by having pizza delivered to my classroom -- ideally during the middle of class.
There is nothing like a few slices of piping-cold pepperoni pizza to ignite a heated debate.Technology, however, is like any tool in that relying on it too much can actually defeat the purpose.
Tina Greene, a kindergarten teacher turned UDL coordinator at Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. 6 Strategies For Engaging Boys In The Classroom Engaging male students is a matter of concern for many educators, judging by professional development books and conference sessions we see, as well as conversations with other teachers.
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by Sara McGuire, rutadeltambor.com Technology distracts students, right? a presentation, a science project, or a math report, there are ample tools available to make the process more engaging for students.
9 Technology Tools To Engage Students In The Classroom;. Innovation in the Classroom 4 6). In the spirit of student-centered accountability, a 21st century education must thus be tied to outcomes and proficiency in both core subject knowledge and 21st century skills that are expected and highly valued in and beyond school.
Educators can design highly engaging and relevant learning experiences through technology. Educators have nearly limitless opportunities to select and apply technology in ways that connect with the interests of their students and achieve their learning goals.