Monday, October 26, 2015

5 Ways to keep it fresh in class!

Is it possible that students could retain more information if teaching was brought up a level, with some incorporated ad-lib and ingenious strategies? Absolutely! Teachers provide a strong foundation for their students and they work tirelessly to ensure each child will flourish under their supervision.  With a few simple ideas, you can transform your classroom into a fresh and creative learning environment where students will thrive.

                             1.   Dress it Up
For instance, you’re teaching an important history lesson, such as Columbus discovering America.  Instead of breaking out the old textbook, and reading aloud together, why not have your students act out history by integrating costumes and accessories to your lesson. In addition, enhance the animation by altering your voice to portray the character you are representing.  Another clever idea for teachers is to engage his/her students by accessorizing in conjunction to a theme of a book. This technique will not only increase participation, but will also insure a higher level of memory retention which leads to better scores.

        2.    Make a Rap or Song

As some of you may recall, back in the day there was “School House Rock”.  These catchy jingles were a collection of learning tools that incorporated every subject from English to history.  Hundreds of kids memorized these Saturday morning songs, unaware that they were retaining information while essentially entertained by the lyrics.   As of today, they still can be found on the internet and are utilized as a valid approach to learning.  Furthermore, with the help of your students, creating unique songs or raps will introduce an otherwise uneventful topic and replace it with a dramatic approach.  It’s not only fun, but will also inspire your students in a positive way.  Don’t be surprised if you ask one to recite the alphabet or a sampling of verbs and they begin singing the words.

3.    Engage Students
Sometimes, it’s beneficial to allow students to contribute to a portion of the teaching.  It encourages the child to build required confidence and knowledge retention of subjects they are explaining.  Not every student is an expert; however, they all can participate in an important role in the teaching process.  Assign individual tasks to your students, such as a chapter or internet research, and then have them deliver what they learned to their peers.  Engaging children to be involved is an ideal way to keep their attention on the subject at hand, plus contributes to their empowerment to be successful.

                                     4.    Change it Up
When you develop a routine, you’re aware of what to expect.  There isn’t any guessing, it’s the same circumstance every day.  Same is boring and uneventful.  Keep your students wondering what the day will offer by altering the routine. Present your schedule backwards, sideways, or however way to change up the daily monotony.  Even changing up the scenery, such as seating arrangements similar to musical chairs or a class mascot that alternates position on a daily basis can refresh the classroom environment.  Above all, be different, be creative, and never let your class become a generic entourage.

       5.    Food For Thought
Have you ever heard of one student that didn’t like food?  By incorporating food into a lesson, you’re satisfying both their bottomless pits and your desire for them to learn.  Food or snacks can be used for various subjects, whether it be teaching fractions from a pie or pizza, or introducing an ethnic snack for a history lesson.  Even allowing students to participate by bringing a certain genre of cuisine to class can be enlightening.  If your lesson is on Mexico, have each student bring in something simple that generates from that heritage.  This can be ideal for a once a month treat, or an end of the week class get together for a job well done.

In conclusion, these 5 uncomplicated ways of keeping it fresh in the classroom will not only enhance a student’s learning ability, but will also create an excitement for education.  Stale is the opposite of fresh, it’s something you might get in bread; however, it should never be seen in the classroom.  So keep it entertaining, adventurous, and creative; after all, learning should be fun, not a stagnant gathering of knowledge.

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