Incubating my Problem of Practice

Before Incubation

Engagement is a very difficult thing for all teachers.  For one, is there truly a way to make EVERY student engaged at all times?  Christina brought up a great point that if you do implement engaging activities everyday then there will always be those 1-2 students who are not engaged.  However, you could then hone in on these students and find out why they aren’t engaged rather than dealing with entire class of 35 students.

I am realizing that many of the ideas that are being suggested by other people and that I am coming up with are extremely time consuming on my part.  Coming up with separate units for different students is a lot of front loading.  However, could it be beneficial to have students choose their own paths?  I REALLY like the idea of having students publish their work.  I believe that this will truly make students want to do well, as they will know that their work will be seen by others.  However, how can I do this with a lack of technology in the classroom?  Does it have to be a blog?  I do a lot of projects that deal with creating a story book.  Could different students publish their work in different ways to show people what they have learned?  Maybe this could be done on test days.  When a student finishes a test, they could then write something or create something that shows what they learned during a unit.  This could get them excited for test days instead of dreading them.

Another way I could create engagement is by including more technology based things.  I currently use Plickers as a way of Formative Assessment.  However, from the MACUL conference this week, I have learned so many new ways to engage students.  Kahoot! would be a great way to get students to practice word wall words or understand concepts for a test.  And it could be individual which would allow students to see what type of stuff they need to study for a test.  Edpuzzle could also be another idea.  Students watch videos instead of having me explain things and they participate in discussions.  This might be a great alternative to listening to me explain something.  But, will these technologies work on the Nooks that I have in my classroom?  And if not, how can I implement these amazing tools to keep students engaged with the access to technology?  Are there grants I could fill out in my attempt to engage my students?

Hmmm…I may need to think on some of these ideas….

After Incubation

IDEA: If edpuzzle works on the nooks, students could complete discussions with one another on the app.  Students hate participating and very rarely listen to one another during a discussion.  This might be a great way to engage all students and require them to be responsible for their own learning!

IDEA:  Have students start a portfolio for my class.  After each unit, have them create a video or something to show what they have learned and place it on their portfolio.  Great to show how they have grown throughout the year and reflect on their learning.

Reflection:

I realized while reading the article, The Creativity Hack You Can Do In Your Sleep, that I do this quite often.  On Sundays, when I am stuck on what I want to do for the week of lesson plans, I take a break and surf the web, or go shopping, or read a book.  This often lets me clear my head and I am excited and ready to think again later on in the day.  I think the incubation period is a great idea. It lets your mind think about something else and then when you go back to your problem, you can look at it with fresh eyes.

While I was incubating my idea, I was surfing the web and doing some online shopping.  One idea popped into my idea about halfway through the incubation period.  I was so excited and worried about forgetting it that I added it to my blog post right away.  It wasn’t until I read through my original thinking process, that I thought of the second idea.

I will definitely continue using this process for all of my creative needs.

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