September 12, 2012 by Megan
I’m guilty of it! I have already found myself saying…”if only I had 2 more hours..” or “Why does my planning period have to be so short!?!?!” or thinking “Please tell us one more school anouncement so I can get the right YouTube video loaded!” We’re only a few weeks into the school year!
Students need some structure and input from their teacher, but more importantly they need to be a part of the learning process! All the powerpoints we make and resources we search for… we’re doing the “LEARNING” for them.
Just so you know, I’m not posting this as an excuse to be a lazy teacher. Some teachers make their students do work just because they don’t want to have to do it. This is different!
I know for a fact that I learn new things all the time by looking for resources or planning activities or getting artsy with the language. I like making up songs, trying to rap in Spanish, looking for tweets with funny hashtags, and learning something new from an infographic. In fact, I learn the most from talking to other people about what would be a good idea to use in class! (AKA comments and emails from YOU all!)
Maybe you are thinking… WOW! She’s crazy – I’m not into those activities. That is exactly my point. What if that’s what your students think about what you have planned? Why not let them learn something new in a way that’s exciting for them?
This is scary and it’s hard to let go of the control and NOT do it all yourself. Let me share with you someone who has figured this out… Kara Parker! She has her students look for reading resources for homework. They all bring in a menu that’s in Spanish during the restaurant unit and then Kara plans a speaking activity to go with it. They are proud of their pick and it makes them more conneced to the lesson. Even if you could have found a better one, they gained from the experience of looking through them on their own. Her classes also look for YouTube videos, create visuals, and find their own pictures to go with their vocab words!
Learning is messy – you should see my desk Let your students get in on some of the fun!
Maybe they could seach for or create a song, story, poem, or rap, find a comic strip with current vocab, find a song (that they like!!) that fits the unit, discover a new app, look for funny memes (Gracias Sarah P.),find a magazine article, take pictures to describe…
What’s one thing YOU do that your students could learn from doing on their own?