5 ways to liven up student response
As an educator, one of the most frustrating things for me is to look out into my class and see my sweet little "dears" wearing "deer in headlight" looks. The worst part? Knowing that they are not engaged. The next step? Realizing that I need to do a better job in that "department"!
But, the good news is that I can react to those blank stares in a split second when I have a few hints and simple tools at my fingertips...
1. Monkeying around the room
There are tons of structured (and pretty cool) student response systems out there. They have their place, but most learning/assessment happens more organically. So, I like to grab a fun, basic object that can be passed around the room. The first person to raise their hand to give an answer must wait until the object is handed to him/her before speaking—no blurting! I've been known to use a goofy plastic monkey statue and sometimes a whimsical pointer. Pointers are great because they serve double duty—they're perfect for presentations too.
2. Boards...so students aren't so bored.
Confession time. I have paddles in my classroom! (Ugh, not the kind of paddles you're thinking of!)
I thought I was a genius inventor. I had students write answers on small whiteboards and then all hold up their boards. That way, I could see who was incorrect and needed help without calling attention to strugglers. Problem: when the kiddos held up the boards, they smeared what they wrote—FAIL! Solution: ready-made answer boards-with handles-that had been invented already!
3. Eyes on the front of the class
Every classroom could benefit from a little bling at the front of the room to draw in students' eyes. I just make sure I don't overdo the "bedazzling" and distract students. We all decorate bulletin boards, but what about the whiteboard that's front and center? I used to snip borders out of cardboard and glue on magnets, which worked (sort of). But I just discovered new pre-decorated magnetic borders! They save time and they're less expensive (and more green!) since they're so durable.
4. Game show fun
Often my classroom is a bit like a reality TV show, so why not embrace that, right? (Did you know that game shows were the original reality TV?) I like to use low-tech devices, such as simple buzzers or buzzer consoles, to turn plain old assessment into a fun quiz bowl.
Sometimes, no reaction is required. Adequate wait time is critical for student response. Tick tock—kids don't think at the snap of our fingers! I must imagine wearing duct tape on my mouth so that I don't jump in right away to re-word questions or spoon feed answers. Even when (and here's the hardest part) those cute faces seem to be struggling a tad—but not too much! Patience has never been one of my strong suits. Speaking of which, is it Friday yet? Is this list of hints over yet? Wink
- English Language Arts
- Geography/Social Studies
- Early Childhood
- Imaginative & Role Play
- Discovery & Exploration
- Games & Puzzles
- Critical Thinking
- English Language Arts
- Classroom Kits
- Skill Development
- Learning Styles
- Autism Spectrum
- Teacher Resources
For Your Classroom
- Classroom Activities
Tips for Your Classroom
- 10 Tips for Making Science Cross-Curricular
- 10 Tips for Using Reading Games
- 10 Tips to Organize Classroom for maximum Efficiency
- 5 Ways to Liven Up Student Response
- Overcoming Common Core Fears
- Demystifying Informational Text
- Cross-Curricular Math Tips that Rock
- Start the Year Off Right
- Build a Strong and Successful Common Core Classroom
- Tips and Tools to Help Your Students
- Tips to Add STEM into your Classroom
- Strategies to Support the Autism Spectrum in Your Classroom
- Starting Out With Math Manipulatives
- Setting Up for Classroom Success
- 6 Tips to Support Self Esteem in your Students
- 11 Tips for Spelling Success
- Simple Technology Activities
Learning At Home
- Ready, Set, Learn!
- Bored No More
- Making the Most of Parent-Teacher Conferences
- Getting Involved
- Getting Your Child Ready For School
- Encouraging Healthy Eating Habits
- Traveling with Kids?
- Cool Summer Learning
- Progress Check
- The Power of Imaginative Play
- Teacher Gifts that Keep Giving
- The True Value of a Toy
- Personality Presents
- 10 Tips to Keep Your New Year's Resolutions Strong All Year Long
- Making Memories
- Family Game Night
- Discover STEM
- Top 10 Product Picks for Kids with Autism
- Top Picks for Summer Learning for Kids with Special Needs
- Outdoor Learning, Outdoor Fun
- Plan for Summer Learning
- Tips to Help Kids Start the School Year Strong
- 5 Questions to Ask at Open House
- Halloween Treats
- Science Fairs: Simple Steps to Success
- Halloween Costumes
- Halloween Party – Mad Scientist Mania
- Thinking About Critical Thinking
- Autism in the Classroom
- Tips for Intervention's "First Responders"
- Decorating Your Classroom
- Using Manipulatives in Reading Intervention
- Help ELLs See the Big Picture
- Research on the Benefits of Manipulatives
- Embrace Technology for Assessment
- Blaze New Paths to Understanding
- What is STEM?
- Product Information
- Product Videos
- Bonus Content
- Activity and Coloring Pages