Are you the Oddball of Classes or is your class like everyone around you? Yes, we all try to decorate our classrooms and make them unique in their own way, but come on - we all know that decorations only hold a kids attention for a certain period of time, and then what does? What makes your class stand out? What makes kids want to come to your room to learn? What makes your class the one all parents want their child in? Are you the Oddball of classes?
These are questions that Dave asks and want us to consider. Do we really want to be the same boring class that most kids are going to? Why are kids not excited about school anymore? I was when I was a kid. Maybe it is because we have more to compete with. Video Games, Computers, Ipads, Etc. So what creative things are we going to do to bring their attention and engagement in?
Here is a couple of questions Dave asks us to ponder:
1) If your students didn't have to be there, would you be teaching an empty room?
- Yep, would they be there if they didn't have too?
2) Do you have any lessons you could sell tickets for?
- Do you have lessons that are so cool everyone wants to come and now you have limited space?
So how do we do this? How do we create these classrooms?
According to Dave - mix lessons with entertainment - yep, you heard that right.
Positioning - Why should students listen to us? Believe me, because their parents made them. or because the principal says to, or because they have low grades means diddly squat to a student at my school (at least most of them). What is in it for them? That is what we have to figure out. Again, it could be different for each group or each student, and yes we have to serve and meet all their needs.
Reframing - So not only do we have to position ourselves as a person who should be listened to, but we have to reframe our content to have purpose in a students life. I know as a teacher when I have had students hit the point where they are transitioning from picture books to chapter books, the desire to read takes a tremendous drop. Why, my guess, they have to now visualize what is going on by themselves instead of having a picture to do it for them. So Why read chapter books? How do we go about reframing the students mind to help them understand what reading chapter books can do for them.
So Dave gives a great example in his book on page 63 of his son using quarters to get something out of a "bubble - gum" machine. The child's friends had gotten a dinosaur and dragon tattoo, and he son pulled out a bracelet with hearts on it. Devastating for a little boy who's friends got all this cool stuff, but the minute his dad (Dave) called it Pirates Treasure, all was good. He reframed the bracelet from being a silly girly thing to being cool pirates treasure.
How can you reframe some of your lessons to be more like pirates treasure and less like a girly braclet?
Link up with Lisa @ Growing with Firsties for her comments on Chapter 5, and then click on the button below to go to the masters of this book study to link up with lots of others who are reading and blogging as we go through each chapter.