1. Get into the habit of being an early riser. We can all benefit from having a little bit of extra time in the morning. It reduces stress, helps to prevent you from forgetting things, and stops that crazy morning rush.
2. Deliberately decide to tune out distractions. Turn off the TV, social…
“A dying friend once told me, ‘I wish I hadn’t spent so many Mondays wishing it were Friday. I also wish I had made better use of those Fridays, for better stories on Monday.’”—A Wolf’s Thoughts (via bl-ossomed)
- Occasionally, students will work together with their guild on guild notes. They share a reading together and take notes together. They then get to use these notes for a part of the time during a quiz and earn XP for the guild if they all do well. I’m trying to incentivize them working together and helping each other out as much as possible.
- To go along with the previous theme. I’ve created items that they can purchase with their gold that can help out their entire guild. Students are now discussing with their guilds about what is the best option to further them in the game. Some guilds are actually planning to save up and make bigger purchases as we get closer to the grand finale.
- The storyline is now more complex as students have now fought a Volcanic Dragon from Indonesia and are going to use that dragon to face off against their ultimate villain who has been stalking them.
- Along with the storyline, I’ve been posting clues that all line up with a location for each test. Students put the location on the test and they get some additional XP.
Just some ideas I’d like to share! So far, everything is going really well and students are more motivated and participating more than I’ve ever had.
When the school day starts later and students leave technology outside their bedrooms at night, grades and student health both improve due to increased sleep, according to a new report from researchers at the University of Minnesota.
Really cool program that I’m using with my students. It is like fantasy sports. We drafted countries by group. Students then get points when their country appears in the news on that day depending on how many articles they’re mentioned in. Allows us to discuss news and why some countries dominate it and also have some fun and discuss a lot of other stuff as well with current events.
There are a lot of web tools out there. Many of which are free or, at the very least, freemium. In other words, you can do a free trial to see if you like it. With so many to choose from, it’s tough to figure out which ones work best, are popular, are well supported, …
It’s your first day of your student teaching semester and the white intensity of a thousand suns is coursing through your veins. When the bell rings thirty students file in one by one. You can already tell as they let out groans and sighs of “ugh, do we really have to be in class on this bright sunny day?” that your lesson plan you worked on all night just isn’t going to have the impact you intended.
First, can you really blame your students for wanting to spend the day outside? Probably not, but how can you make what’s going on in your classroom interesting and important too? Research has shown that when music is played at low volumes it can help students to focus; in other words, music stimulates a receptive learning environment. Pandora can help you accomplish this.
Here’s what I found to be true in my classroom:
Playing an upbeat song from the top hits station put my students in an excited state; students were active and their minds were engaged socially. Consider using this: At the start of class, after lunch, at the end of a long day when everyone is sleepy, tired, and wants to go home. Sometimes students just need a few minutes to break free and reset their minds.
Playing New Age Instrumental Musicfrom this station during relaxes my students and calms them down; students became focused and centered on their own writing. Consider using this: During journal writing, during group discussion, quietly in the background of your lesson. The music should try to avoid lyrics because you do not want to interrupt their thoughts.
Playing a playlist made by your students creates community. Consider using this: As an icebreaker activity at the start of the school year. Students want to be engaged with each other socially and are eager to share new music with their peers. Sharing a class playlist can help students find ways to talk even about their life beyond the classroom. If you believe that relationships are just as important as the the lesson, music is a universal language that brings students together to form these relationship.
Playing a song from the genre and time period of a book sets the mood for the day and discussion. Consider using this: To front load your lesson with an exciting engagement activity. If the music sounds unusual or is written with interesting lyrics, you’ve already captivated your students and made them curious. Bring up the lyrics in your lesson and ask students to analyze and think critically about the song and it’s relevance to your lesson.
As with all technology and teaching strategies, it’s important to formatively assess your students. Every period is also different and what works in your fifth hour class might not have the same effect in your fourth hour class. But, it’s a bright sunny day and if your students are walking in zombies, you have nothing to lose by giving pandora a try.
I mentioned before that I was creating a storyline for my gamification class.
The current storyline has them tracking a sorceress who is unleashing mythological beasts on the world in Asia. They have traveled across India and China and have failed to defeat her. They just discovered her location at the Forbidden City following a number of clues that I’d been posting in Chinese around the room (and they were very obscure things even when translated).
They don’t really know why she is unleashing beats or if she is searching for something or whatever…and neither do I. HELP ME OUT?!?!?! Where should I go with this next?