No matter how valuable the lesson you’re teaching, some students will struggle to stay focused. From calling on students to hooks that provoke reflection, Andrea explains the simple activities she incorporates throughout class time to keep students connecting to the material.
Do you remember learning about pints and quarts? You had some flashcards like that today…
I have found that if you start off a class with something physical that they can see–for example, come into a science class with plants, or start off a history class with a picture—it grabs their attention.
Another way is if you ask a question. Start off with a good question that makes them think. If you start off with a question that helps them to wonder, “What are we going to be learning about?” it makes them start thinking in advance about what this class may be about.
Sometimes during class, you lose their attention. I’ve found calling on certain people, saying a specific name and asking them to answer a question on something you have on the board helps a lot to get them engaged again.
Okay. So, first of all, how do we multiply money? Remember? Rodney?
How you do any other one.
Yes, how you do any other multiplication problem. Okay, can you help me out with this? What’s our answer here, Rodney?
Zero. Nathan? Nine times five.
45, okay. If you know the answer, you can just shout it out.
Sometimes they lose their place in their book or maybe they don’t even realize they lost their place, but they’re just out there somewhere. If you walk to their desk and just point to where we are in class, that helps them to get back on track again.
Then, if you look on the picture there in your book, the pecks for pecks is one bushel, okay? You see that these are smaller. The quarts are the smallest, right here. Then the pecks are next and the bushels are the biggest ones.
Walking around and working on the board, sometimes looking at their book and then just talking from the podium keeps things mixed up and more interesting.
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CONTRIBUTOR: Andrea Stoltzfus