How do we keep our lessons engaging? Does innovation play a part in this?
As a teacher we try everything we know to keep our lessons engaging. I hear constant conversations among my cohort about how they want to approach new topics and how to engage the students. They use art, computers (when able), short in-town field trips to the store when talking about money or a walk around the school to observe different shapes. I hear teachers talking about websites they have found and art techniques that can be used in math. Collaboration for me is big part of keeping my lessons engaging. I also like to go through different workbooks or theme books to see if there is anything that sparks my imagination.
Innovation plays a big part in engaging students. Look back at your own education and how you learned? Did it involve ipads, texting, or even SMART boards/ Promethean boards? When I was in grade school computers had just been introduced to schools and we had one lab that we were able to visit 1 or 2 days a week. Now they are computers in the classrooms some school are one to one. We have to innovate to keep up with our changing world.
Innovation does not have to be computer based. It can also be as simple as finding a different use for a classroom tool that grabs the students’ interest. Taking an old lesson and putting a new spin on it is innovating. Differentiating a lesson to reach the needs of all students. Some students are simply not engaged because the material is too high or too low. These are things we do everyday and we innovate all the time so yes I believe it is a big part of making lessons engaging.
I do find it interesting that all of these things are changing in our world but a constant that I see is theory. The theories stay the same what changes is who’s theory is better. It just continues to go in a cycle. When my father started teaching it was direct instruction, then it moved to exploratory learning. We all know that not every student learns the same and there are different cultural needs when we go to different communities. The theory behind the way we teach does not seem to change. What does change is our delivery. It has to so we can continue to engage our students.