Thursday, January 2, 2014

Thursday Throwdown...get up, stand up...

I'm linkin' up with my fellow Saints lover and buddy, Erin, from I'm Lovin' Lit for Thursday Throwdown,
Today's topic is ways to make learnin' more interactive. 

What I do might not work for everyone, but it works for my Rockstars...
I try to get them up and movin' around as much as possible. 
In my class we collaborate ALL DAY.
The only time my students aren't workin' together is if they are silent readin'
or takin' an assessment.
Other than that, they are encouraged to work together.
That might be in pairs.
That might be in groups.
Whatever they choose, unless I choose for them.
They sit at tables..yes, even in 5th grade.
We do not have desks in our class.
They do not have assigned seats, but they do have assigned groups.
These groups are flexible and change often.
It's not uncommon for me to say..."Pair up"
and within seconds my kids are scurryin' around findin' a partner.
They don't ask questions...they just do it and wait for me to tell them what's about to happen.
I love that they know what to do.
They are used to gettin' up, standin' up, and movin' around!

Here are just a few examples of some of the things we might do in our class.
CRISS or Reading Strategies:

I integrate technology in as much stuff as possible. 
My class participates in B.Y.O.D.
They are allowed to use devices to type, research, read, etc...
however they see fit. 
They appreciate this privilege.
They are engaged.
They do not break the tech rules...EVER
because they know the techy stuff would disappear.
It's that simple.

Again, these are things that work in my classroom.
Things change daily.  
We are always doin' somethin' different to mix things up a little.
It really does keep them excited when I make learnin' interactive.
I've said this before. 
I don't care if my kids are sittin', standin', layin' down, or hangin' from the ceiling...
as long as they are engaged and learnin'...I'm okay with it.
It took a lot for me to let go of that control, BUT
I'm so glad I did.
It just makes our days run so smoothly.
My next door neighbors might not love my approach because we get loud...a lot.
The only thing I can do is continue to ask forgiveness.

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Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching and 
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 It starts today and runs through January 12th.  
Every. Single. Day. they will have a new drawin' for some fabulous prizes.
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  1. Alison~ I love that your students can bring their own devices. We do allow our students to bring in kindles and nooks to read, but I haven't used them for anything because we didn't have a roaming wifi until the start of the school year. I may look into this with our media/technology department.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans

  2. Alison,
    I love these ideas. I have never heard of the 3-2-1-Verbally strategy! Thanks. As for BYOD... I also love that idea. Our Principal is not a fan of brining technology from home (I am sure in case it is stolen or lost). What does your school do to 'house' these devices during the day?
    Thanks for some great ideas.
    K&C Love Grade 3

  3. I call my CRISS booklet my teaching Bible. There are so many great strategies in there. My favorite activity is Picture Notes. :)

  4. I have to say, I was expecting more Bob Marley : )
    Thanks for the links to those strategies so I didn`t have to ask!
    Letting go of my need for complete control and structure has definitely been a goal of mine over the last few years - I am making progress, but I am not at the hanging on the lights stage yet! It is always good to be reminded that students are more engaged when they are given more choice and responsibility for their own learning - thanks for the reminder BEFORE I do up my plans for next week (still avoiding those babies!)

  5. Great ideas! I have a similar management style as you- as long as they're engaged, I'm happy. I think technology definitely helps with making learning more interactive.. contrary to what some people might believe.

    iTeach 1:1

  6. I love this! I need to try and let go of some control! This is definitely a goal of mine! I need to channel my inner Alison!! :)
    A Tall Drink of Water

  7. Thanks for the shout out super sweet friend! I love this ENTIRE post! Thanks for reminding me of some of those strategies-Free Form Mapping is new to me! Thanks for including the links! You're awesome! I wish I could release some control-it can be a New Year's Resolution!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  8. I love the idea of having them move around so often - will definitely have to check out some of these strategies!

  9. You make me want to teach GATE kids so badly, this year more than ever. ; )
    The closest I ever had to being able to able to do what you do was a couple years ago with my 3/4 combo class. They could handle it. Are you the designated GATE teacher at your school? Do you get the GATE kids every year?

    Teaching Powered by Caffeine

  10. BYOD is something that my really conservative principal would never consider. BUT everyone I've seen who does it pretty much agrees that it works fine! Kind of makes me wonder what everyone's so afraid of..
    :) Erin
    I'm Lovin' Lit

  11. I love your attitude toward cooperative learning! I need to do more of this. They took away recess this year (except for lunch) so getting the kids moving is so important. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  12. I really appreciate that the kids understand tech is meaningful and has a purpose--which means they also know not to ruin it. It harkens back the idea that with-holding things from kids because we (the teachers) are scared is actually pretty bad for the kids. Love this.

    Also, the BYOD means it's even that more important for the kids because they own their own stuff. I know some people are against that because of equity for students, but it's one of those things that has to happen otherwise kids won't always get what they need.

    great post


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