- January 27, 2018 at 2:36 PM #43233
I was perfectly satisfied with my chalkboard, but when some money for whiteboards became available last fall I was happy to have one installed in my classroom.
AND I LOVE IT.
It’s so much nicer to use than the old chalkboard was. It’s less messy, and I can write a lot faster on it. I find myself using the whiteboard probably twice as much as I used the chalkboard, to the benefit of my teaching.
What surprising discoveries have you made that have improved your teaching?
- June 19, 2018 at 4:07 PM #49007
I wish I had introduced this practice years ago: Having students (secondary, in this case) present a significant research report in oral, recorded form proved to be a valuable assignment. In this case, I had them find more than one biography on the same person, read them both for perspective; then produce a twenty minute recorded presentation. They recorded themselves, listened to themselves, and edited until the recording was acceptable. The presentation was then given to the class with the student-creator sitting among his peers listening to himself.
This type of assignment can be adapted in a number of ways and serve to develop a number of oral presentation skills. In today’s cultural climate, the development of oral skills is becoming increasingly important.
- June 23, 2018 at 3:25 PM #49101
An intriguing idea. What did students use to record themselves?
- June 28, 2018 at 4:58 PM #49309
For the oral recording/reporting assignment I described earlier, my students used something called a cassette recorder–a device from another era that is actually still viable and technologically unsophisticated. But today a variety of digital voice recorder options are available that would serve the purpose well.
- June 29, 2018 at 4:20 PM #49336
Magnetic-tape sound recording does indeed have many points in its favor. 🙂
I was just thinking that making the needed technology available to each student could potentially be a big hassle (I’ve had problems with this kind of thing before) and thought maybe you’d found a non-obvious solution. I suppose I could have students who are able figure it out on their own with their own/their parents’ devices, and provide something (maybe even a tape recorder) in the classroom for other students.
- June 29, 2018 at 5:13 PM #49340
This comment is along a completely different track, but one simple trick I use to organize student papers and help them transition more quickly to the next class is color-coding all their pocket folders. Due to the different selections of curriculum we use, each child has a folder for spelling, one for Bible Memory, one for Fix-It (the language curriculum), Math, Science/History, and Writing class. Rather than asking parents to buy them, I buy them so all — when they are 15 cents a piece in the before school sales. Students really like this system and it works very well.
- July 14, 2018 at 7:42 PM #49573
I stumbled into an organizational idea last year that went beyond my initial use. For extra flash card practice I used set partners for a week. This was getting rather humdrum (and chaotic) because certain students did not enjoy flashcards. As a way to spark their “want to” I wrote the partner groups on the board and attached two upside down stickers to each group. Once a group was finished for the day they could claim their stickers. (Part of the fun was that they didn’t know what sticker they may be getting.) It did help spark interest for a while but the bonus for me was that I could tell at a glance which groups hadn’t practiced. They usually did not forget to get their sticker.
- July 17, 2018 at 8:10 AM #49579
Good idea, Carolyn! your idea could be adapted to fit a variety of classes; it reminds me of a similar thing I used and really benefited from. When I found myself often reminding students to complete their daily individual Bible Memory practice before asking for free time, I knew there had to be a way to minimize the regulation. It was easily solved by assigning a number to each student and then making as many short lines on the board as there were students. As they completed that practice, they would write their number onto the correct line. Here too at a glance I could see which number/student had not yet completed that requirement.
- March 10, 2019 at 8:33 PM #55788
A couple times last week I did something that had a remarkable effect on class discussion. In both cases I wanted students to share thoughts and questions from a book excerpt I’d assigned them to read. I simply announced that I would be keeping track of who participates, and that each student would get a quiz grade based on their participation. A meaningful contribution got 100%. Result—good participation from all students, and an excellent group conversation!
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