I have been watching this awesome linky series, and have just run out of time to link up each week. I’m excited to finally be able to link up with these fabulous ladies (on the last week LOL) to share with you how I keep students engaged in the classroom!
I do NOT believe in a quiet classroom. My students are constantly in discussion about what they are learning, either with a partner, a group, or with me. Here are four things I do to keep an engaged (but not obnoxiously loud) classroom.
First, I teach them to stop talking. I think we can all agree, kids know how to talk, no problem. But when I want them to stop, I need them to stop right then! I don’t really use anything else from the Whole Brain Teaching Program except for the “Class-Yes” attention-getter. It is so easy to use, and works EVERY TIME. Definitely use the variations to keep them interested. Here is a video if you don’t know what I’m talking about:
I let my students choose their partner a lot. I realized early-on in my teaching career that students who don’t want to work together often WON’T do their best with each other. Now, does that mean they don’t need to learn how to work together? Of course not. But, I’d rather my students work HARD with someone because they enjoy and work well with that person, especially when we only have a short time to get something done.
To make sure students aren’t SCREAMING over each other to be heard at a table, I usually have mine spread out around the room- some may choose to stay at their seat with a partner, but most like to sit on the floor. If they are working with a partner on the floor, they should be sitting knee-to-knee. This helps with volume as well as respectful listening.
Students can learn so much from each other. It also really implants the information into their brain when they can talk about what they have learned. My students complete a group project once a quarter about a science or social studies topic. I choose their groups for them so that there is a variety of learning styles in the group. I’d rather them do it at school than at home because, a.) I can help them if they aren’t understanding, b.) they are doing it, not their parents, and, c.) they don’t wait until the night before to get it done. 🙂