This week I spent a day with a bunch of teachers taking time out of their well earned holiday to attend my sessions on ‘Getting Boys Engaged in Learning.’ There were quite a few who attended the face to face sessions and then even bigger numbers who logged in, on live stream. It was a great day for me and I’m hoping that participants took away something they can use. I got some very positive feedback from many of them and even one who took the time to post her thanks on this blog!
There are 5 main reasons I enjoyed the day. The first is that I got to meet and chat with some dedicated educators who really enjoy their vocation and the other 4 reasons are because I found out some very ‘cool’ stuff.
Cool 1: I asked participants to share some ideas about what methods they use to group students. The best idea had to do with jig saw pieces. I love it! Here’s how I interpreted it:
- Simply grab different pictures / photos* and cut each one into jig saw shaped pieces, (depending on how many you would like in a group)
- Distribute pieces randomly amongst the students
- The students then have to find others who have the matching pieces that make up the relevant visual. They then become a group.
*As an extension of this idea, I thought that perhaps the image could be related to the task they will be doing as a group and if the pieces are two sided the instructions or outline could be printed on the back, once they put it together, they can begin the task.
Cool 2: The notes app on iPads and iPhones will type what you say when you hit the microphone key on the keyboard. If you activate the Speak Selection button in Settings/General/Accessibility and then highlight text it will even read it back to you. I’ve been playing with it for ages and it is very accurate.#
# Of course when I went to share this new found phenomenon with my youngest, she already knew all about it and added, “My mac does it too!” GRRRRRRRR fancy not telling me this earlier!
Cool 3: This is more a personal thing that made me happy: there were three participants over the day who had previously attended another one of my workshops and had come back for more! Thanks folks! 🙂
Cool 4: One participant mentioned that her colleague who taught next door was having problems engaging the students in quiet reading sessions so instead of ‘making’ them just read, the teacher challenged the students by asking them to turn their books upside down and then try reading. This strategy not only re-engaged them with the reading but even though they read less, the students actually retained a lot more of what they had read.+ How cool is that?
+ It has been suggested that the more we challenge ourselves in thinking and learning the more information and skills we retain.
As I write this I have just logged out of a live stream session myself, similar to the one that I was holding above – it’s a great way to learn and saves the hassle of driving in, especially on wet and dreary days like today. And …you can stay in your pjs, in your bed or laid out on the sofa to participate. That folks, is yet another cool!
TLN runs many sessions on line. Why not see if any interest you here.
Thanks for reading 🙂
Please feel free to add your thoughts below.