I support a classroom that incorporates movement as a way to reenergize students who are dangerously close to “shutting off” their brains. Every teacher struggles with students who become momentarily disengaged. Students’ lack of interest and motivation, low-energy, and over-all burn-out can be a huge buzz kill! Education News has an article that describes some great research and strategies that combat classroom monotony.
The article illustrates one charter school’s dedication to a responsive classroom (RC) approach. The corner stone of RC is teaching kids to stay focused. The Responsive Classroom website is a great resource for teachers who believe, like me, that practicing focus is just as important as practicing math facts or reading.
One such strategy I’m gonna try is “Morning Meetings.” These quick, predictable routines help provide a structure for your class period. Perfect….structure is a must! Specifically, I loved the Book Character idea:
- For a week, students wear name tags of their favorite book character.
- Greetings that week are done using characters’ names (ie. “Hi Katniss! I like your new converse.”)
- At the end of the week, have students take off the name tags and see if they can remember one another’s characters (ie. “I remember, you were Katniss from Hunger Games.”)
I also think this is a great way to incorporate discussion about literature some students may have not read. It just may lead to students going to the library to seek out a new book! WOW! What’s a library?
If you’ve tried Morning Meetings, let me know your thoughts. If you try Book Character name tags, let me know how it goes. In the mean time, keeping them moving!