Last July educators across the world, from Kidderminster to Kuala Lumpur, came together to celebrate teaching with #High5aTeacherDay. Taking place on the first Friday of every July, this palm-smacking, Twitter-based event serves to champion those working in the profession via the classiest method to hand. On Friday 7th July, people are encouraged to high-five a teacher and then send photo / video evidence to @InnovateMySchool, where the feat will be shared around the world.
Mrs. Clarke’s third grade students step to the drumbeat as they enter my classroom, joyfully singing the school song. They quickly notice various music notes separated by ‘+’ signs on the board; they know this game well. Hands shoot up. I tap a student, who jumps into action and writes the number ‘7’. “Let’s show our work,” I say. “A quarter note equals–“, “ONE!” the students exclaim. “A half note–“, “TWO!” We continue this call and response for the quarter rest and dotted half note (see image below). “And what do we get?!” “SEVEN!” Smiles abound.
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to engage students with an interesting lesson, their minds still wander. San Diegan teacher Kriscia Cabral considers laughter to be an important part of any school day, and a vital element in keeping pupils present.
The great E.E. Cummings once said, “The most wasted of days is one without laughter.” Laughter in and out of the classroom is sunshine to our souls. It is a powerful tool and can be ignited when shared with your students. How can you empower students with laughter? Give them the opportunity to laugh out loud!
When it comes to learning new knowledge and facts relating to a topic, it can sometimes be tricky to find tasks that help children share their learning so that they retain the information.
I have seen many lessons and work in books that just seem to involve research and simply copying it into books. I always question how much knowledge the children can recite from this approach.
The iPad is now transforming the way children demonstrate their learning and recently a class of Year 2 children have been using different approaches relating to the same topic of animals in the Savannah to show how these activities are making the new found knowledge stick.