Saturday, February 15, 2014

Personalized Learning - Creative Teachers Engaging Their Students

I will admit that math is not a fascinating topic for many students.  Truthfully, I never really loved math in school, but when I decided to be a teacher I knew it was the area where I could impact the most students.  After I had an opportunity to watch the #SSCHAT video about teaching like a pirate, I really wished I was a social studies teacher.  

Of course I know that any teacher could teach like a pirate.  It does not matter what subject they are teaching.  I only say that I wish I was a social studies teacher, because I could think of a dozen different engaging lessons I could do with the subject in a matter of minutes.  Math on the other hand is a little more difficult.  

In this day in age teachers have not only have to know the content they are teaching, but they also have to figure out a way to teach it to their students in a personalized and engaging manner.  I think back to teachers I had and the lessons I remember the most are the ones where the teacher either acted out, sang or dressed up like a certain character.  It made the lessons interesting and we always wondered what the teachers would do next.

I wish I had tons of lessons that I could blog about that my students always remembered.  Sure there are a few that the kids remember each year, but none that come to mind where I could charge admission for people to see.  From this point forward my goal is to be more creative with my lessons and let the students tell me how they want to learn the topics.  Their voice counts and it should count because it is their education.  Throughout this week's readings, Hangouts, and videos with the DLMOOC, I have learned about the importance of student choice.  I always knew it was an important piece to the puzzle we call education.  After hearing from the students on the panel through the DLMOOC and then reading publication, after publication about the impact it has on student learning, I know now that I must figure out a way to incorporate more student choice into my class.

In order to gain a little motivation and to see what others view as engaging lessons and teachers, I created a Storify of videos of a few amazing teachers.  I intentionally picked teachers from different content areas to demonstrate that anyone could teach like a pirate.  I must warn you though that you might want to have a box of tissues when watching the first video about Mr. Wright.  I watched the videos each a few times.  The first time I watched them to see what the teachers were doing and the lessons they were teaching.  The next few times I watched the videos, I wanted to see the reaction of the students.  I listened to their comments and saw how engaged they were with each lesson.  I have no doubt that these teachers could charge admission to their classes and have people begging to get in the door!

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