Educators and students share their increased engagement in the classroom as a result of flexible learning opportunities in the classroom.
Lindsey Hamilton, Black Mountain Elementary
I think about all the different learners in my classroom, and then I present everything in multiple methods so that I’m not just saying it, I’m not just showing it, you know I’m trying to have all different types of learning styles in it, so you know, boys like competition, they like hands on, girls like to talk, so I try and have a little bit of all of that built into one lesson.
Krista, Black Mountain Elementary
I like it because you’re in a group, so you’re with your group for everything except at your seat which is a by yourself group. All the other groups you’re with your friends, or people that help you with math if you’re stuck or do it together and it’s easier to learn that way, in a group, for me.
Alex, Black Mountain Elementary
It’s different, because every year in elementary school you basically learn the same thing. It’s just a little harder every year. But this year, it’s like they change it up. They give you strategies and stuff that actually makes it kind of fun.
Abby, Black Mountain Elementary
Every day it changes on the groups that we’re in, so there’s four different groups, and it just helps us work on different things each day, so instead of just one straight topic. And that also helps your learning too because it helps you like talk to your partners more and not just try to figure out on your own.
Pam Rutton, K.V.R Middle
Depending on my class. Sometimes I’ll let them choose, but if I think it’s an activity where I know some kids will struggle, I’ll just do the groupings. And I usually do pairs or threes, sometimes fours, and I just try to intermix them. I’ll always make the range from novice, apprentice to expert. And so I just think with activities like this, if you make it interactive like this and they can work with a partner or something, often they wouldn’t be doing it themselves, but at least they’re observing an being able to watch what is happening rather than if they’re just sitting at their desks doing a worksheet, staring blankly at it not knowing, here even if they’re not doing it themselves, at least they’re observing and learning a little bit of something and hopefully will eventually get it. So I find with activities like this that often happens, is the expert will help the novice learner rather than me having to be with that individual the entire time.
Samantha, K.V.R. Middle
I liked it a lot because it’s more interesting and more fun and creative. And you don’t really find that a lot in math.
Abby, K.V.R. Middle
Ms Rutton’s like a really good teacher, because she uses like stories and tiles and whiteboards, so like to be more creative, and like, open up our minds to things, and different ways to learn.
Christine Danroth, Pineridge Elementary
We’re using different approaches all the time. We’re thinking outside the box, we’re making lessons come alive, hands on learning, you know, walking down the halls and finding rhyming words, I don’t know if I would’ve learned that way in kindergarten or grade 1. We’re trying to make books come alive, they just finished a Doctor Seuss unit and they cooked green eggs and ham, you know we’re trying to increase their learning and also make memories for them and just have fun. So there’s no set lesson so if a child is jumping around struggling, we’re going to try and join in on that somehow. And figure out a way to get the curriculum across to them. So it feels good.
Jessica Bernhardt, Pineridge Elementary
It’s very hands on manipulation, so a lot of the kids, you know they have a hard time sitting still, you know, sitting and writing, they have fine motor skill issues, so when they have the opportunity to use things when they can actually move things around and see how they work like that, it kind of helps some of those kids that can’t sit still very well. And the kids that can, I mean it’s fine for them too, right?
I try and do as many different types of activities as I can so that the kids that do need different ways of learning can have different ways, so sometimes it’s games, sometimes it’s written work, sometimes it’s oral things, so that all those kids can use what they do best to the best of their abilities so that it’s not always the exact same kinds of things. Just changing it a lot.
They absolutely love when they get to use the smart board or the iPads or anything like that, they’re just very engaged in it. I think for a lot of them it’s new to them too, we only got the smart board this year, part way through, so they’ve just been drawn to it. They just love it. They love being able to get up there and actually touch it and move things, so, they’re very engaged in what we’re doing when we’re using it .
Greg Miyanaga, Birchland Elementary
I think that one o the big things behind the room that you might not see on the video is the whole part about self regulation. That in choosing their different ways of how they’re going to stand, how they’re going to write, it definitely helps with becoming more self regulatory as learners. They find the ways that work for them best. Like some of the kids work best with dead silence. Some kids work best by rehearsing with a partner first. And then there’s the whole lighting part. We couldn’t do that because of the filming but the lighting is usually a lot more dim and seems to bring their calmness, brings a more calm to the room, and they’re able to learn a lot better.
Nick Korvin, McNicoll Park Middle
I found that kids were always like, when am I ever going to need this? Why do I need to know this? So I actually, I pre-empt it now. Before I teach a concept, I tell them why it’s important. And when I’m explaining it to them, I tell the kids that. I tell them, I’m like, you know, a lot of this is for all of you guys to understand why this happens in the real world, and it’s so that you do go, well what’s the point of this. I want you to know the point.
Brooke and Sarah, McNicoll Park Middle
Most teachers, they don’t really show, like he connects the math to real world situation so that we can kind of, most people are like, why do we need to learn this, because it’s not like we’re going to use it in life, but then he shows us like what we could use it for and stuff.
Madison, Kinnikinnick Elementary
Mr. Lussier gives us a unique way to learn. He includes us a lot more than what some of the other teachers did. They had very nice, unique ways of learning and teaching, but overall including us, I think, helps us engage more.
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