A new school year is right around the corner; a time to begin again, try new things and make changes from the previous year. A simple shift in mindset can be all you need to improve your teaching this school year! We have suggested 4 ideas for improving instruction that can be accomplished with common tools and little inspiration!
Create an environment for learning
Take some time to think about this before beginning the year and make a plan. Everything from your classroom rules to your seating arrangement can make a difference. Does your classroom environment encourage collaboration, creativity, and participation? Have you clearly defined the objectives students should achieve? What is your method for providing recognition? Having a plan will help you get off on the right foot.
Act as a facilitator
The days of teachers standing in front of the class dispensing information should be behind us. Take a step back and let students take the lead! Allow students to become responsible for their own learning. When teachers act as a facilitator, it encourages students to ask questions, search for solutions, use classmates as a resource, and discover answers on their own. Students go from passive to engaged, proactive learners.
Give students choice
Everyone likes options, including students. Student choice is becoming more and more important as schools continue to recognize that education simply cannot be “one size fits all”. In cooperation with your district, allow students to bring their own device. This lets students work on the device they prefer and helps ensure they have internet access at their fingertips. Also, give students options on how to demonstrate their learning. Try to provide 3 options for each assignment; i.e. give a presentation, film a video or write a series of blog posts.
Incorporate real-life scenarios
Connecting class material and assignments to real-life situations and problems makes learning more relevant to students’ lives, and gives them a more realistic idea of what they will encounter in the workplace. This can be accomplished through Project Based Learning (PBL). Students must not only learn the material but demonstrate their knowledge through application, learning through hands on experience. Learn how to design your own PBL lessons here.
Which of these will you try in your classroom?