Learning Goal: To create interesting lessons and related activities that will encourage discussions, debates, movement and further engagement both in the classroom at home.
“Differentiated instruction is noted for, among other features, flexible groupings, scaffolded content, diverse instruction, and student choice. It challenges teachers to be more responsive to each student’s readiness, learning style, and prior knowledge. A differentiated classroom resembles a chamber orchestra, with different students playing different notes at different times, as their teacher conducts their learning simultaneously.”
“The stubborn part about differentiation, of course, is trying to synchronize the learning of an entire class in which not every student learns or does the same thing at the same time. Here is where flipped learning can provide a lifeline. By moving some of the entry-level learning goals outside of the classroom — largely (but not exclusively) through self-paced, scored video instruction — teachers can mobilize their students in “right size” learning activities immediately upon arrival. These live classroom activities (ranging from small groups to partnerships to direct instruction) draw upon and build out the content studied in the individual learning space (perhaps the night before at home). In effect, students first explore their learning on a single, self-guided path, but then navigate, with others, a map of interlocking trails to discover their ultimate destination.”
In my opinion the overall goal of enhancing student engagement is to find effective ways to reach every student in your classroom. Differentiated instruction and flipping the classroom could be an effective strategy in accomplishing all of the learning goals that I have noted over the duration of the course. This particular resource caught my eye because I personally believe it accomplishes all of my learning goals. This resource will help me meet my final learning goal because it provides instruction on how to ‘flipperentiate’ the classroom which I believe will enhance student engagement and retention. This resource along with the resource from week eight will create a student engagement centered learning tactic and help me create lessons that provide the opportunity to discuss, debate, engage and move in the classroom. From this resource, to become a better teacher what is left is to learn how to create activities and lesson plans that will make this strategy as effective and interesting as possible.
Learning Goal: To find ideas on how to modify specific lessons to grasp the attention and engagement levels of every student in the class, even when the subject material is not interesting to some students.
“An In-Class Flip works like this. Just like with a traditional flip, the teacher pre-records direct instruction, say, in a video lecture. But instead of having students view the content at home, that video becomes a station in class that small groups rotate through. The rest of their time is spent on other activities — independent work and group work, with some activities related to the lesson and others focusing on different course content. As with a traditional flip, the direct instruction runs on its own, which frees the teacher for more one-on-one time with students.”
After completing a portion of assignment one, the Flipped Classroom became an intriguing strategy that I would love to try when I am a teacher. Although, flipping the classroom has its pros and cons, this author found a way to take baby steps into flipping the classroom. This resource caught my eye because I believe it is an excellent way to be sure students are doing what they are supposed to be doing. First off, by having different stations around the classroom, the students are engaged because they can collaborate with other peers at the same station, they are moving around to different stations and completing tasks that fully showcase their learning. Flipping the classroom is an excellent strategy for engaging students and the teacher is then also present to assist the students in any way possible. The teacher can act as a mentor in the classroom while the students have self-directed learning. This helps me meet my learning goals because I believe it would be one of the best ways to engage all students in the material. To become a better teacher I would find easy ways to implement this strategy in the classroom.
Learning Goal: To find ways to increase retention in students and to find classroom designs that enhance retention and engagement.
“Wankmuller says seating arrangements should reflect the type of activity going on. “Students need to know that different things are expected of them based upon where they are sitting. They should have a different mind-set [for each area].”
So, he explains, in the lab and cooperative area, they should be talking together and figuring things out. When they’re arrayed in more traditional rows of front-facing desks or chairs, they should raise their hands when they want to ask or answer questions.”
This week the focus was to find ways to engage students during lectures to increase retention. This particular resource was excellent in explaining why having different desk arrangements in the classroom can do just this. A big part of this resource that caught my eye was when the author wrote “seating arrangements should reflect the type of activity going on”. This is excellent as if you want the students doing collaborative work they shouldn’t be in rows. Instead their desks should be arranged so that they can easily collaborate with their peers. If the students should be focusing on lecture, every student should be able to equally see the teacher and the board (or the screen/overhead). During lecture you would also want to discourage talking as this is a distraction and shows students are not engaged, so a different desk arrangement would be beneficial in retention and engagement. To become a better teacher, I would find a way to quickly and easily rearrange desks throughout the day that would reflect the activity they are doing, such as listening to the teacher during lecture or completing a task.
Learning Goal: To learn how to create and implement interesting activities that will enhance student engagement.
#6 Plan Collaborative Lessons
Carefully planned collaborative lessons involve allocating responsibilities to individual students and holding them accountable within their grouping. If you are working in the early years you may wish to begin with simple partner work.
An example could be the creation of a 4 seasons poster. Each student within a group of 4 would be allocated a season to research. Students could then share their findings and discuss and create a “jigsaw” style poster (consisting of 4 jigsaw pieces) which showcases each of the 4 seasons.
This week I chose to find ways to complement an engagement activity that I would like to create myself. I chose this resource to accomplish this task because it provided excellent ways to complement any activities. It reminds new teachers that wait time is important in enhancing student engagement and that collaboration is an excellent way to engage students. With this resource and the resource from week three I thought that an activity where students are actively involved (i.e., moving around) would be an excellent way to engage all the students. One idea would be a math centered activity where students would have to collaborate with their peers to accomplish a task. The task could be real-life applicable and thus further engage the students. Learning is easier when students are having fun completing the task whether that means there’s a competition with a reward at the end for finishing the task, or if the task itself shows where students would use the particular skill in the real-world. To become a better teacher I would further find ways to increase retention after completing a certain activity and having them have the ability to apply the skill in different situations.
Learning Goal: To find lesson design plans that enhance student engagement.
11th – 12th Grade Standard
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.
Beginning: If you have an iPad, there is a Twilight Zone app. This app gives you the start of a story, then stops. Use something similar to that. Show an exciting video clip, have a storyteller visit your room and start a story. Then have students, in groups if you want, finish the story. Tell them any conclusion is acceptable as long as they can provide argument how the conclusion relates to the story.
Now that we have our beginnings, what about the middle? This does not mean the middle is boring. However, since we do have everyone’s attention, the middle is full of information. Look at the standards we are using; what would be your middle? Post it in the comments section below, and let’s talk.
And then there’s . . . the ending! This is where you bring the lesson to a close. You might do that by repeating the beginning, you might give the conclusion yourself, or lead the students there and let them give the conclusion. When you create the ending, you are answering the question, “What do I want my students to remember?”
This resource is an excellent way to hook students on the material for the lesson right from the beginning. It is important to engage students in the first few minutes of lesson, for if the lesson is interesting from the beginning, students will already begin to disappear into their own worlds and the teacher would lose their attention almost immediately. This resource provided a specific lesson plan design that aims to engage students by presenting the hook in an interesting way, followed by the material and finishing with a reflection of the lesson. This is a great way to find out which students were engaged and which weren’t, and also a good reflection on the lesson itself. It is a great assessment tool for yourself as a teacher and can determine what needs to be changed for the next time. From here to make myself a better teacher I want to use the resource from week three that I found and create my own activities that will enhance student engagement.
Learning Goal: To find a specific resource on how to engage students (i.e., a resource with activities).
- Works well with small groups needing to cover large amounts of material
- Divide the material to be covered in 3-5 parts. Put the same number of students in each small group. One student is each group is assigned to cover one of the parts of the materials. The student’s job is to become the “expert” on their portion of the material so that they can then share what they’ve learned with the rest of their group.
- How To:
- Students read their assigned material independently
- Students meet with those from other groups that read the same material to discuss what was most important and what needs to be taught to their groups. (optional)
- Students meet with their small groups and to share what they’ve learned with each other. Follow with whole group discussion of the most important points.
This resource caught my eye because it provided specific ideas on how to engage students. It was divided into different sections, such as getting students moving, forming groups and taking notes. Each section had different ways to accomplish a task. The specific example above caught my eye because it is a strategy that can be adapted to any subject in the classroom and could be used as a great resource for introducing a topic or review a subject. This resource will help me find ways to incorporate and implement the strategies for enhancing student engagement in the classroom. To continue learning about student engagement I would like to find resources that have an example lesson plan with student engagement considered.
Learning Goal: To find strategies for enhancing student engagement on a daily basis.
This particular resource was a great introduction to finding techniques on how to enhance student engagement because it provided an excellent infographic that shared numerous ways to engage students. This will help me meet my learning goal for this week because it provides different strategies for engaging students, without providing specific examples. For instance, one example on the infographic is to “Switch: switch it up frequently and keep them on their toes”. This is a great strategy for engaging students and good example on how to do so. From their I could further go on to search for ways to switch up the lesson and look into lesson designs or daily schedules that would keep students engaged. From this resource my next goal is find lesson designs and daily schedules that will enhance student engagement.