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This week I would like you to use your imagination. You have just won the lottery and will leave your teaching post immediately to travel around the world. As you leave your keys you meet your replacement. You are asked to give this new teacher just ONE piece of advice. What would that be, and why? Enjoy your world expedition!

Blog Post - Week 7
This past week in my own teaching I felt a little disconnected which prompts my question to you, "What was the moment (or moments) when I felt most disconnected or disengaged as a teacher - the moment(s) I said to myself, I'm just going through the motions here?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 6
For the past couple of weeks you have experienced asynchronous online learning (doing modules by yourself). Previously this semester you have experienced synchronous online learning (all together in the Collaborate room). Which do you think is more effective and why do you think that? Which do you like better, and why?

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 5
This week we have what we call "open mic." You can write a post about anything related to your teaching that you would like responses from your classmates.

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 4
Here is this week's question: "What was the event that most took me surprise this week - and event that shook me up, caught me off guard, gave me a jolt, or made me unexpectedly happy?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 3
Please write a post about the following question, "In thinking about my past week teaching what is one thing I would do differently, and why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 2
Please write a post about the following question, " In thinking about my teaching activities this past week, of what do I feel most proud? Why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 1
Describe something you used in your program in the first weeks of school that you learned in the summer NTI program. How did it work? Did it get you off to a stronger start than last year?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Activity Success and Woes

I have several activities stashed away as my favorites. The one that I have had a great deal of success with is creating a scavenger hunt for students that can help relate them more to the content instead of book work or notes. Each group is assigned a camera and a scavenger list. The students become detectives to solve the clues. They are assigned their safety identification vests and each group is given a handheld radio for communication. I review my rules and expectations with the group prior to dismissal. I make it a contest and the students get really motivated, competitive, and very creative. Probably because it’s something they all get excited about, I have yet to have any behavioral problems. My 2nd block even performs at their best.

The only activity that has not worked well with me is the Read and Run. The students said they loved the idea, but my classroom is just too small to accommodate such a fast paced activity that requires ample room. I set aside a section of the room just for book bags to keep them out of the high traffic areas. I also had to rearrange the individual student desks to form group tables; however it was a maze for them to wrap around the tables to get to the questions. The small space didn’t allow for chairs at the end of their groups, so I used the whiteboard tray to hold the stapled questions. Even after placing the students in their groups and reviewing the rules in depth, the seriousness of the activity wasn’t taken by all. A couple of kids thought it would be funny to try and trip people as they ran by to get the next question. I was able to catch it before anything happend and correct the problem. Some groups wrote so fast, they couldn’t read their writing. Some groups didn’t read deep enough into the content to produce a thorough and/or complete answer. Some groups did just the opposite and pulled out great content, but “lost” because they didn’t complete it as fast as the other group and complained thinking that their high quality work didn't pay off. The first to finish missed the boat so to speak because they didn’t have the content I was looking for (ie: giving partial answers or phrases instead of the whole picture or concept). I thought I was playing more referee and babysitter than facilitator and instructor.


AimeeMcD said...

I like the idea of the scavenger hunt. I have used that activity in the past. Also, the other activity sounds great and I may try to use it. I have a bigger room and lab and may be able to implement the activity. You may try doing the activity in another location. For example, use the auditorium or aux gym. Just an idea.

Teresa said...

The read and run may not have worked soley because it was a new concept for them. Try it again with the same class, give specific instructions...again, and maybe try using only 1/2 the class while the other 1/2 observes or has an alternative activity. Then you can have the groups switch. Having to deal with a smaller number of students may be easier to monitor as well. Also, sometimes I can do an activity with a class one year and it feel totally successful, then the next year, same activity, but it flops. Class atmospheres (personalities) have a lot to do with that. One last idea, have an evaluation sheet (questions) for them to complete after the activity. What did they like, dislike, *what did they learn. Then you can get student opinions and see if they realize that they did not follow directions. Loss of privilege is sometimes a consequence in the classroom. Hope this helps!

Dr. M said...

Aimee and Teresa had great comments on Erika's activities. I also like the scavenger hunt, but you mentioned something that has a lot of merit, and that is storing book bags in a separate area of your room. They really do get in the way and can be a constant distraction with students going in and out of them if they are easily accessible. Good move.