Week One: EDET 668 How Do We Keep Our Lessons Engaging? Does Innovation Play A Part In This?

Week One: EDET 668. How Do We Keep Our Lessons Engaging? Does Innovation Play A Part In This?

         Keeping our lessons engaging really depends on your students. You have to know your students, their interests, their likes, and their dislikes, and then you can tailor your lessons to that group of students. Yes, innovation does play a big part in preparing engaging lessons. You have to be creative to tailor to the needs of your students.

Some ways to keep your lessons engaging are by looking at lessons on the Internet, asking other teachers, and even asking the students. I think a really good way to keep students involved is to use project-based learning. As Engaging School: A Handbook For School Leaders suggests, “Students find projects highly engaging because they are conducting work that is meaningful to them, and their families or communities.”

As a teacher, you need to be engaged, yourself. You need to be excited about the subject you are teaching. As Gazin (2015) points out, “When a teacher is passionate about his or her subject matter, this enthusiasm is often infectious. If a teacher is bored, the students will sense it. If the teacher is learning along with the children, exploring and discovering, students will notice this, too.”

A teacher should also think about each student’s learning style. If the student is someone who does not like to write, then that student will not easily engage if you are doing a writing activity. When I plan projects, I let each students choose how to present it. Someone who is great at computers might do a PowerPoint; someone who is artistic might draw the project; someone who loves to write might write something; and someone who loves videos might do a video recording for the same project. I let students know that the approach they choose to take depends on what they are interested in. This increases the chances they will stay engaged on their projects.

I also do projects that appeal to different learning styles, like a Tic-Tac-Toe project. I know there will be times when the students have to do assignments that they don’t like, but I try to include something that most or all will connect with. I also like this learning menu from https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/differentiating-instruction-strategy#

This sounds like a fun way to differentiate instruction to reach more students, and I hope to try it out sometime.

There are many ways to keep your lessons engaging. These are just a few ideas I have come across or have used before. The point is we want students to want to be at school and want to come back. We want them to be excited about learning and want to learn more. If your lessons are not engaging then you are doing a disservice to the students—and that is not what we want as teachers. We want to see students’ faces light up, for them to be questioning and asking about what they are learning. As teachers, I think we should try what we can to keep our lessons engaging. I know I have done a good job if I see the student excited and communicating about what we are learning. Then I know my hard work has paid off. I look forward to learning new ways to engage my students, because I think the more ways you know, the more students you can reach.

Reference

Differentiating with Learning Menus. (2015). Retrieved September 6, 2015, from https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/differentiating-instruction-strategy#

Engaging Lessons: A Student Perspective. (2015). Retrieved September 4, 2015, from https://www.teachingchannel.org/blog/2013/12/04/student-playlist-engaging-lessons/

 

Gazin, A. (2015). Engaging Students: Keep Them on the Edge of Their Seats | Scholastic.com. Retrieved September 3, 2015, from http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/engaging-students-keep-them-edge-their-seats

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Week One: EDET 668 How Do We Keep Our Lessons Engaging? Does Innovation Play A Part In This?

  1. I like how you pointed out that a teacher attitude can have a big impact. I like your quote “When a teacher is passionate about his or her subject matter, this enthusiasm is often infectious. If a teacher is bored, the students will sense it. If the teacher is learning along with the children, exploring and discovering, students will notice this, too”, (Gazin, 2015).” I teach 2nd graders and at that age it is really easy to get students pumped up about learning just by bringing my passion into the content.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I bet it is! That age they are so excited about learning. I work with 7th graders so sometimes it is hard to get the kids excited. I know no matter what I do sometimes I will not get all of them excited. I just have to keep trying. 🙂

      Like

  2. Thanks for sharing the video about the learning menus, I love that idea! Like you mentioned PBL helps engage students. For myself, I find it easy to incorporate PBL in science and social studies, because there is no set curriculum that my district uses, just the state standards. However when it comes to math and ELA it’s harder because I feel like I need to each one lesson a day and get through the book. I could see using learning menus in ELA, that would be a good way to differentiate, plus students like choice in what they do.

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  3. Wow, I loved that video! The Learning Menu is such a wonderful idea. I would love to download her forms so we can create ones that are similar dependent upon the topic we are focusing on. I loved how they couldn’t move on until they mastered the appetizer, then the entree, then dessert. The graphic organizers made to look like a website is such a great way to incorporate technology since kids know and see this layout all of the time. Then placing that information into travel brochures is something that I have done in the past as well. They pull out so much information and remember it when they have to do this. I am curious how long this project took the average student. It seems like quite an endeavor. I also love how they had options on how they wanted to complete that work and that they were able to do it at their own pace, they just had to report what their pace was going to be. What a wonderful video, thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I also liked the learning menu video. I found myself wondering how I could adapt it to work in my first grade classroom. I think it might be a fun way for my students to do homework, although I wouldn’t be able to grade them right away and I really liked that students received their grade before they moved onto the next course. I also liked that it frees the teacher up to work one-on-one with students.

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