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Showing posts with label engaged. Show all posts
Showing posts with label engaged. Show all posts

How do we keep them engaged?

"They" can be a whole lot of learners. They are the "fast finishers", or maybe the "gifted". They can be children who are "high achievers", or just a child who already knows the concept you're working on because his older brother taught it to him.
How do we keep them engaged? Some children finish their daily work much faster than others. How can we keep them engaged without assigning "busy work?"

There are a million reasons a child might need an extra challenge to stay engaged. 

I know most schools have many ways to address the struggling students with Tier 2 and Tier 3, RTI, Title I, Special Education, and so on. But there's not all that much for those who learn easily or quickly. Yet, they are just as important! (Personally, I think they are ALL important, not just the ones who need to "up their test scores!")

Here are some things to NOT do: 
-give more practice on the same skill
-give "busy work" (work that won't advance the student's skills.)
-another grade level's work (This is a sticky subject, especially with some parents, but I truly believe that a child can be "enriched" without acceleration.)

Try to avoid most of the time:
-helping other students (again, it really doesn't advance the child's skills, but done occasionally can help reinforce the concepts.)

Better choices:
It's easier to challenge and engage early finishers in literacy. They can:
-read more challenging books
-read different genres
-write summaries or book reports
-write a story from another character's point of view
-write poetry
-write a play
-research a favorite subject and create a report

I could go on, but there are plenty of ideas all over the internet. (Check "early finishers" on Pinterest!)

Math can be a bit more of a challenge, because some kids struggle to grasp the daily lesson, while others breeze through the practice. We need to challenge the "fast finisher" brains by having them think of using strategies and procedures that will let them practice their skills with a little extra thinking.

Math choices:
-Yahtzee or other games that involve math strategies and planning
-Make their own math stories
-Complete or make their own math puzzles
-Practice facts with a friend
-Task cards, "I'm done" jars, or "What's next bulletin boards" (again, search Pinterest, there are tons of ideas out there!)
-computer games and tasks (such as BOOM computer task cards)

Here's a little video I made about one of my resources that fits this idea:



What other ideas do you have to keep them engaged?

How do we keep them engaged? Some children finish their daily work much faster than others. How can we keep them engaged without assigning "busy work?"


10 Key Points About the Brain

As I've mentioned on previous blogs, I'm fascinated by how the brain works, and have done a lot of reading about brain based learning. 
10 Key Points About the Brain: Here are ten key points from my research on brain based learning that have helped me as a teacher in the classroom.



I'm giving  a workshop to my peers on Thursday, and I'm going over my notes. These are some of my key points:


1. Students can only take in 2 - 4 chunks of information per sitting. These sittings should never last more than 4 - 8 minutes.

2. Students need frequent review and reflection time for these chunks to become part of the long term memory.

3. The brain is a parallel processor. That means the brain needs to have more than one process happening at a time, such as seeing and hearing, or talking and moving. If only one thing is happening, the brain becomes bored and seeks other stimulation, such as daydreaming.

4. The brain needs to make associations and find patterns. We need to help students use prior knowledge in order to remember what they are learning.

5. Engaging emotions will help learning along. Emotions are key to memory.

6. Engaging the students socially will also help the brain. There should be a variety of large group, small group, and pairs. Independent work should take up less than 50% of the child's time in school.

7. Engaging students physically is another hook to learning. Finding ways to connect the learning to moving will ensure learning.

8. Music is magical. It connects us emotionally and helps the memory.

9. Practice does not make perfect, but good practice makes better. Practice can make learning harder if the practice is inaccurate.  Feedback is essential. The best feedback is real, honest feedback.

10. Exercise and movement are essential to learning. Phys Ed, recess, and other forms of exercise ensure the brain will get sufficient oxygen.   

Thanks for helping me organize my thoughts! Wish me luck on Thursday!
10 Key Points About the Brain: Here are ten key points from my research on brain based learning that have helped me as a teacher in the classroom.






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