This week, another teacher friend and I, held a professional development for other teachers' within our district. Our goal was to help teachers' see student engagement in a new light. We also wanted teachers' to not fear literacy stations. The presentation was set up to talk about different ways we incorporate technology in the classroom in order to engage the students, but also to help the teacher get data and gain an understanding of their students'. During the presentation we showed teachers how to use the apps or websites as well as help them create their own accounts. As teachers we know it is important to be able to practice what we learn. On that note, we had the teachers do hands-on stations where they had to practice and use the very apps or websites we had presented on. I feel that this was very beneficial to them. This will allow them to go back into the classroom & feel more confident about using technology in literacy stations. All too often, I have heard teachers say that stations do not work because of student behavior. We do have to teach procedures in such a way that it becomes rote behavior, but we also have to try to keep students' engaged, and actually have a drive and love of learning. As teachers, we have a lot on our plates, the list never seems to end. However, our number one reason for being an educator is to educate. Meetings, watching those beginning of the year videos, and some of the paperwork should not be first! It's about the students and how you will educate them. In the training, I also discussed alternative seating. Are there times we will give worksheets? The answer to that is, YES. Can we try to make that time more engaging? The answer again is, YES. During those times when I felt students' would not want to or would not give me their all, I began to incorporate alternative seating. I found that my students didn't moan and groan, but rather, were happy to get that worksheet and make a choice of where they would sit. They started out positively on their work & were more productive and successful for it. So, as a teacher, it is important to do what we can to change the attitude of learning in the classroom. Think outside the box, and go for it. Below is a link to the presentation.
Tech & the Flexible Classroom