Archive for the ‘Engaging Students’ Category

Teacher Installs Bike Peddles at Student Desks

September 21, 2016

bike-pedals-classroom

 

I love innovation in teaching.  Students appreciate a teacher who dares to comes up with a different approach and I’m not surprised their grades reflect that here:

 

At one middle school in North Carolina, bike pedals are making kids better at maths.

Seriously: Ever since eighth grade maths teacher Bethany Lambeth installed under-the-desk bike pedals in her classroom at Martin Middle School, she’s noticed a decrease in student fidgeting and an increase in student performance, WRAL reports

“Before, they were drumming on their desks, they were touching other people. They don’t do that anymore,” Lambeth told WRAL. “[The kids] are not picking on each other, they are not needing to walk around, they are not needing to go explore. They are able to get their activity out and get their work done.”

Lambeth installed the pedals at the end of last school year, using funds from a private donation. The manufacturer, DeskCycle, sells each set for about $160. The investment has paid off: The students seem to miss fewer assignments and focus better in class when they’re using the pedals to siphon off their excess energy.

“I’m a really energetic person, so this takes all my energy out,” one student told WRAL. There’s also a side benefit of improved physical fitness: That student told reporters that he’d already pedaled 5.5 miles and burned 133 calories during class.

In fact, the pedals have been such a boon that the school is looking to expand the concept to more classrooms, the BBC reports

 

Click on the link to read How to Begin a Successful Lesson

Click on the link to read Why are So Many Teaching PD’s Dull?

Click on the link to read Teacher Praised after Stripping in Front of Her Students

Click on the link to read Stopping the Doodling Epidemic

Advertisements

How to Begin a Successful Lesson

May 30, 2016

 

They say the reason why students should walk into the classroom in a line is it sets the tone for the lesson. If the class filtered in slowly and in a disorganised fashion, it is likely your lesson will be negatively effected.

The same has to be said of teachers.

The way we enter the classroom is critical to setting the tone of the lesson. If we walk in with presence and energy, we are sending the message that we are eager to share something of value. When we come in looking tired and defeated, we are giving off the impression that we are only fronting up under duress. A teacher under duress shouldn’t be the least surprised when their students feel the same way.

Above is a clip that students secretly made of their teacher. Their Spanish teacher, Señor (Andrew) Ward, has a fun and exciting way of beginning each lesson. Using the Spanish greeting, watch as he opens his lesson with the same words every time – “Buenos días!”

It seems like such a basic thing to do. It’s just welcoming the class at the beginning of the lesson.

But sometimes a happy greeting is all you need.

 

 

Click on the link to read Why are So Many Teaching PD’s Dull?

Click on the link to read Teacher Praised after Stripping in Front of Her Students

Click on the link to read Stopping the Doodling Epidemic

Click on the link to read Students Love it When Their Teacher Dares to be Outrageous

Why are So Many Teaching PD’s Dull?

March 29, 2016

boring-pd

 

I don’t get it!

 

Teaching isn’t dull.

The kids we teach are certainly not dull.

To be an effective teacher you have to be able to engage your class.

So why are so many professional development sessions on teaching so boring?

 

If you told me that you had just come from a boring accountancy PD I wouldn’t blink an eyelid. Accountancy is boring and the people that give these talks are accountants or former accountants (a profession where charm and personality is no prerequisite.

But teaching? Really?

How did these teachers survive in the classroom? Because based on their presentations, they have little clue about how to engage an audience and show little interest in what they are saying.

 

Maybe that’s where failed teachers go – to the PD circuit.

 

Click on the link to read Teacher Praised after Stripping in Front of Her Students

Click on the link to read Stopping the Doodling Epidemic

Click on the link to read Students Love it When Their Teacher Dares to be Outrageous

Click on the link to read The Questions that Great Teachers Ask Every Day

What has Beyonce and Geometry Got in Common? (Video)

March 16, 2016

 

One of the fundamentals of quality teaching is to engage your students. It doesn’t matter how you choose to do it, just as long as it is appropriate and fun.

Above is the perfect example of making something that is often seen as dry and tiresome into something attention grabbing.

 

 

Click on the link to read Teacher Praised after Stripping in Front of Her Students

Click on the link to read Stopping the Doodling Epidemic

Click on the link to read Students Love it When Their Teacher Dares to be Outrageous

Click on the link to read The Questions that Great Teachers Ask Every Day

Teacher Praised after Stripping in Front of Her Students

October 10, 2015

 

teacher-strips

I understand why this teacher has been commended for her unorthodox methods. Whilst I am not overly impressed by her stunt, I do agree that we need to develop lessons which engage young learners.

My question is though: What if the teacher was a male?

I’m not about to try the lesson anytime soon:

 

Teachers will do just about anything to get their students’ attention these days. As as result of growing up in the smartphone era, Gen Z-ers only have eight-second attention spans, so sometimes teacher (and parents) have to go to extremes. Debby Heerkens, a seventh-grade biology teacher at the Groene Hart Rijnwoude school in the Netherlands, did just that when she began a lesson about how our bodies work.

To the shock of her students, she stood up on her desk and stripped off her clothes, revealing a full Spandex bodysuit that accurately illustrated every muscle and organ in the body. She then stripped again, revealing another full Spandex bodysuit that outlined where all of our bones are located. Talk about a lesson her students will truly remember!

Lest parents be concerned that she shouldn’t have been “stripping” in front of her class, Heerkens discussed her unusual lesson plan with the school’s director prior to that day. After seeing someone walking around in the leggings last year, she set out to find a full body suit that would showcase all of the muscles and organs. “You’re always looking for ways to trigger students and classes to give so that they remember it too,” Heerkens told Omroep West. “I told the director [and he] said . . . he liked it too.”

 

 

Click on the link to read Stopping the Doodling Epidemic

Click on the link to read Students Love it When Their Teacher Dares to be Outrageous

Click on the link to read The Questions that Great Teachers Ask Every Day

Click on the link to read Learning as an Experience

Stopping the Doodling Epidemic

September 12, 2015

 

My aim is to present lessons which are so captivating as to ward any potential doodlers from practicing their craft.

Am I successful?

Unfortunately, not nearly enough!

 

Click on the link to read Students Love it When Their Teacher Dares to be Outrageous

Click on the link to read The Questions that Great Teachers Ask Every Day

Click on the link to read Learning as an Experience

Whose Fault is it When a Student Falls Asleep in Your Class?

September 6, 2015

 

Is it disrespectful of a student to fall asleep in class? Of course it is.

But at the end of the day, the fault has to go to the teacher.

Why do teachers have a sense of entitlement when it comes to good behaviour and attitude.

“I’m a teacher, therefore I deserve your attention and respect.”

This is not right. We have to gain their attention and earn some respect. It may be rude to sleep in your teacher’s class, but it is also unacceptable to take shortcuts in your teaching and come to school with a lackluster and unimaginative lesson.

The teacher in the clip above had obviously been pushed over the edge. Perhaps he should have sprayed the fire extinguisher liquid over his work program instead of the student.

 

Click on the link to read Students Love it When Their Teacher Dares to be Outrageous

Click on the link to read The Questions that Great Teachers Ask Every Day

Click on the link to read Learning as an Experience

Students Love it When Their Teacher Dares to be Outrageous

July 23, 2015

 

 

Yes he can’t sing, but don’t for a second assume that his students care one iota. They probably loved seeing their teacher care enough to perform a tribute to them at the expense of his dignity:

 

Deputy head teacher with a dreadful singing voice did not let that stop him recording his own version Frozen song to wish as a goodbye to his pupils leaving for secondary school.

Chris Hill dressed up as princess Elsa from the favourite Disney musical to sing his own re-worded version of the film’s smash hit, Let It Go.

And while his rendition of the song might be packed with sentiment, well-wishes and motivational catchphrases, it is also painfully tuneless and, in turn, absolutely hilarious. 

chris-hill

Click on the link to read What a Brilliant Science Experiment! (Video)
Click on the link to read Teacher Encourages Students to Plot Her Death

Click on the link to read The Questions that Great Teachers Ask Every Day

Click on the link to read Learning as an Experience

What a Brilliant Science Experiment! (Video)

June 15, 2015

fire1

Wow! I wish I could do cool experiments like this one for my students.

 

A chemistry teacher wowed his class by setting the floor on fire during a lesson.

The risky stunt was captured on camera by a student and shows the teacher standing at the front of the classroom in America holding a flaming test tube.

The compound used in the demonstration is liquid methane, which as it boils releases a flammable gas.

fire2

fire3

 

The video of the experiment can be found here.

 

Super Bowl Lesson Ideas

January 29, 2015

superbowl-classroom

 

Below are ideas on how to make the Super Bowl relevant to your curriculum. Courtesy of the nytimes.com:

 

History and Civics:

  • The First Super Bowl: Read the original Times article about the first Super Bowl in 1967. Compare it to an article reporting on a recent Super Bowl, then create an infographic — perhaps a Venn diagram or a timeline — showing how the event has changed over time.
  • Sports and Leadership: Use sports to help students think about leadership with our Super Bowl lesson from 2001, in which students answer questions like “Why do you think the success of a sports team has such an impact on the city it represents?” and “What is ‘morale’ and what do you think leaders can do to ‘boost’ it? (Our recent piece on Teaching the Penn State Scandal also poses questions about leadership.)
  • A Museum of Athletes: Have students reflect on the qualities that make an exceptional athlete, then design museum exhibits celebrating their achievements, using our lesson plan “The Sporting Life.”
  • New Orleans Super Bowl History: “Super Bowls in the Crescent City were often as spicy as the Cajun food,” reports Dave Anderson in a story about “unusual subplots” that have surfaced in New Orleans during past games. Students might use this piece as inspiration for delving into local history in their area through the lens of a sport or hobby that interests them.

Language Arts:

Media Studies:

Science:

Math:

  • Data and Statistics: In a recent lesson plan, Put Me In, Coach! Getting in the Quantitative Game with Fantasy Football, students use statistical analyses and quantitative evaluations to get the edge in fantasy football. By looking at data, measuring match-ups and making projections, students put their analytic skills to the test.
  • Determining “Greatness”: Use sports statistics to create graphs. In this lesson, students explore both the objective and subjective criteria used to determine the ‘greatness’ of a person or team. Students create graphs comparing sports statistics and argue the need for other criteria to adequately judge whether a person or team is ‘the best’ in their profession.

 

Click on the link to read Teacher Encourages Students to Plot Her Death

Click on the link to read The Questions that Great Teachers Ask Every Day

Click on the link to read Learning as an Experience

Click on the link to read I Love it When Teachers are Excited to Come to Work

Click on the link to read Every Science Teacher’s Worst Nightmare (Video)


%d bloggers like this: