I've been thinking a lot about the upcoming 2017 school year and how I want to change to make our classroom more engaging. I co-teach in a 2nd grade classroom of about 25 children. I also pull a small group of students out for a resource segment to provide intense interventions in reading and math.
One problem has become more and more prevalent the past 2 years, student engagement. When my co-teacher and I are doing a whole group lesson, many of the students are not paying attention. They are staring off into space, playing with pencils, drawing and writing notes, or reading a book. And it's not just a few students, its the majority! I have stopped instruction to do a attention grabber, got everyone back on track, just to have them drift off into their La La lands a minute later. The bottom line is ....
The students are BORED!!
I've learned from experience the majority of students want to work. They want to work towards a goal. So with this in mind, I am going to change some things.
We are going to set some reading goals and math goals as soon as we get back to school. The reading goals will be related to Accelerated Reader, Sight Words, and Phonics Decoding. The math goals are with Accelerated Math and Math Facts in a Flash.
Giving students a visual always helps them stay more organized. So creating this little To Do chart will help them prioritize what is really important. It will also help me see who is on track and who needs more support. You can find these Job charts at Dollar Tree. I just taped 2 together to have enough room for 24 children.
We have an abundance of technological devices to use in our school and the students LOVE to be on the Ipads/computers. So why not put 2 and 2 together and have them fully engaged (and in charge) of their own learning. The 1st way I want to do this is by using Kahoot! in the classroom to do informal assessments.
The 2nd form of new technology is to use TypingClub.com to help my students with keyboarding.
I think I will try to use Google Classrooms but I haven't finished setting that up yet. I will give updates as I learn. :)