The term ‘student voice’ has been used more and more in recent years, and while most teachers can recognise its significance, it can sometimes be unclear what we’re referring to when we talk about student voice in learning. When we talk about student voice, it goes along with terms like student agency or student choice. At its most basic level, student voice is essentially giving students a voice or a say in how they learn.
Would you rather teach 3-year-olds or 18-year-olds?
Although I am primary school trained, during my years as a relief teacher I experienced teaching the tiniest to the tallest of students. I may have my preferences, but I’ll let you decide what yours are based on my brief list of observations.
Giving students incentives and rewards can be an effective way to both motivate them at school and also let them know that we notice their efforts and achievement. Sometimes though, it can be a challenge to figure out how to give them a boost of encouragement without spending extra time and money. Well, when it comes to student rewards I believe that simple is best, and I have 5 ideas to share with you for student rewards that don’t cost money (other than the cost of printing, that is).
What are antlers? How do you know if you’re still a kid? And what happens if you don’t get the head-lice out of your hair?
Encouraging students to think deeply and creatively about the content we teach is beneficial in so many ways. It causes them to stop and reflect on the information, and it encourages them to be more thoughtful and independent in their learning. One useful way to start is by being intentional with the questions we ask.
Student choice boards are a fun and engaging tool to use in the classroom, and they come with many benefits. They are versatile and can be used in many different subject areas for many different year levels. They are a simple tool to use to encourage student agency in learning, and they are great for differentiation.
We live in a very individualistic culture, and children are constantly presented with opportunities to compete with others. Almost all reality TV shows involve people competing to be the best at something, extra-curricular activities such as sports and arts usually involve competing against others and even school environments are often saturated with ways of comparing children. So, how can we, as teachers, focus on promoting cooperation over competition?
A completed narrative is quite a lengthy assignment for children compared to the other sorts of projects they are usually tasked with. That is why it is helpful to have some strategies up your sleeve to encourage your children as they work on their narrative writing skills. I have taken the time to put together some of my top tips for teaching narrative writing so that you can find them all in one place and start using them today!
Assessing English Language Arts (ELA) can be quite a challenge. There’s so much to cover and it’s hard to know where to start. Well, let me share a strategy with you that will be able to make your ELA assessments a little easier.
The fact is that no matter what ‘kids these days’ are like, they are the next generation. They will be the ones leading society in the not-so-distant future. Let me tell you what I notice about kids these days.
I very much enjoy reading, and am passionate about encouraging a love of reading in my students. The interesting thing though is that I only really developed my love for books after I had left school.
My ‘teaching bag’, amongst other things, includes back-up lesson plans, stationery, a bell and a whistle, hand sanitiser (of course!), tea and a mug and plenty of stickers. I sometimes feel a little like Mary Poppins in that scene where she’s unpacking her bag and out comes the mirror and the coat rack! These things are helpful and important for my teaching, but are they essential?