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….
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.
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.