how to make learning fun!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Ovwe, Jul 26, 2016.

  1. Ovwe

    Ovwe Rookie

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    Jul 26, 2016

    I have been thinking seriously about my first day of school which would be in about 4weeks from now. I really want to give my best to the students. Please how can I make learning fun for my students without leaving anyone behind. I need to carry every student along in all subjects. I'll be teaching 3rd grade. Any ideas please......
     
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  3. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    Students come at all different levels and abilities. You can't "carry" them along -- they learn at their own pace. I think the best you can hope for is for them to learn as much as possible based on their own abilities, gifts, and talents. If you do that, you will be very successful.

    Making learning fun is an admirable ambition. I share that ambition. I realize though that not everything can be fun and games. That said, learning games and group activities can really help students enjoy learning.

    How do you plan to start your first day -- maybe we can help with that. What activities do you have planned so far?
     
  4. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Novelty.
     
  5. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Just be careful with the phrasing and way you present yourself: When you say, "I want to make learning fun," I just have all these bad images of the kids just messing around with no real learning taking place. :!!: I know that's not what you meant, but still. There's a way to teach students and use activities that are engaging and encourage student participation. In my opinion: avoid worksheets if you can. Seriously. Third graders are a great age because you can do a lot of hands - on learning, which they love! I'd go into the copy room and just see teachers running page after page of crap and thought to myself, "Really?" They can't MAKE that themselves? Worksheets, when selected properly, CAN BE fine, but over use is just ugh! For you & kids. :unamused: For example: instead of simply completing a worksheet about biomes and biodiversity, I allowed my students to select an ecosystem of their choice, research what's there, and they created it. The more CREATING they can do, the better. During grammar, I tried to emphasize speaking & listening skills so instead of just copying and giving them a worksheet where they circle the nouns and hand it in (which is SO COMMON), we practiced dictation. I had ELL's so I wanted them to practice these skills. So I would say simple sentences and they would record them in their notebooks. I also allowed for students to use red pen to swap and correct each other's work as much as possible ... they LOVE to do this. It wasn't for testing or anything graded. So relax with the FERPA laws! If it were examples during the lesson for for the closing problems. Any opportunities for the students to complete work and collaborate on technology is also encouraged. We didn't have much to use, but I have ideas for when I am in a school with ample resources available. Check out Kidblog. I watched a Teaching channel episode and was enamored! The kids blogging is really neat. Just be open minded and don't be afraid to try anything and everything to teach. In math, the kids became the math manipulatives that we used when studying concepts. I had them standing in different formations to find the fraction of boys/girls in the group and to see that you can move them around and it's still the same even though it "looked" different. Be creative!
    But just simply to do something because "it's fun" is not OK.Just don't lose sight of the lesson's objectives Especially if your admin is super strict. I'm guilty of this myself if I'm 100% truthful.
    o_O
     
  6. Ovwe

    Ovwe Rookie

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    Here are few things I ve mapped out: welcome students with a smile at the door, establish a seating pattern, briefly talk about myself and get to know them by their names, establish classroom rules and set expectations for the year, give them multiple intelligence assessment. These are few things I have penned down. More ideas are welcome!
     
  7. Ovwe

    Ovwe Rookie

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    My admin is super strict. She needs u on your toes every seconds. Thanks for the ideas. I totally agree with you on creativity. I'll try and make my lessons more creative.
     
  8. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Jul 26, 2016

    Kids have the "most fun" learning when they have ah-ha moments. When you walk them towards the connections and they finish that connection themselves. In a class with many levels, you need to structure your instruction so each level can get that ah-ha moment (and lots of them if possible).

    So, you really need to deeply understand what you are teaching, what misconceptions will happen along the way, what gaps they may have and what you can do to fill those gaps while teaching. You and you also need to be skillful at keeping those ahead engaged enough so that when you get to their level they can also have those ah-ha moments.

    I don't necessarily think it is the creative lessons that make it fun for the kids. I think it is when they can engage and make sense out of the instruction.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2016
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  9. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Be creative, but stick to the objective. It is sad, but some admin scrutinize everything. My academic coach came in during a lesson on idioms where the kids including ELL's were making a pamphlet of their favorite expressions (e.g. "cat got your tongue" or "raining cats and dogs") and afterward he stopped by for a "chat," where he poked and prodded what I was doing and why. I kept trying to tell him I was teaching standard "CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.3.4
    Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from nonliteral language." which means IDIOMS! He wasn't having it, he said that "When I taught fourth grade it actually said idioms," and then when I showed him the TEACHER'S GUIDE, he still wouldn't shut up. This coming from a guy who only taught three years in the classroom and then jumped ship to become an administrator. Total tool! :roll:
    Just be prepared to justify every instructional decision you make. Sorry, but I didn't want the kids just sitting there mindlessly completing a worksheet on idioms. B-ORING!
    I was told I was "brave" by my mentor because I allowed my students to paint their favorite scene in a story we had read. They wrote a summary about the scene and why it was their favorite and it culminated with art that we could hang in the hallway.
    The arts will NEVER die if I can help it. I always just find a standard to tie it to, but unfortunately, there are some admin who say - "stick to the script" when following the curriculum. Yuck!
     
  10. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Jul 26, 2016

    And whatever you decide, ask yourself:
    1. How likely is this to end up in the trash?
    2. Would *I* want to participate in this lesson?

    If you wouldn't even want to sit through the lesson and planned activities, why would you subject the kids to it? The more you show that you're excited and interested, they will be too. Despite what may be said, the kids do look to you as their role model. If they see that you're bored, they'll be bored.
    As an example: there was a time lesson in math where we literally just recorded how long it took for the kids to do things. YAWN! However, I tried to make it as exciting and to find tasks that the kids needed practice with and to make it a competition. "OK guys it took you 25 seconds to all go from the carpet to your seats, now let's see if we can beat that time." They were into it. :D
     
  11. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    Yes to all this except the multiple intelligence assessment -- don't do that right away -- let them get to know you first -- this is more for the 2nd or 3rd or later days. I'd say to choose a short read aloud (Like First Day Jitters, Officer Buckle and Gloria, or something along those lines to lead into a lesson -- First Day Jitters is about being new and worried that no one will like you, and Officer Buckle is about following safety rules and being a good friend.

    What kind of ice breaker are you going to use?
     
  12. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    You can stick to the objectives, meet goals, and still have fun. Well, maybe not 100% of the time, but you can create an enjoyable environment. I did it by using music in the classroom (lots of singing). Also, we played games to review almost every topic. I did use rewards, not necessarily as incentives, and never for educational achievement, but for the enjoyment of them (clean desk awards, especially).
     
  13. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Depends who you ask. I had a team member who, when I asked her for game ideas to review, she gave me the: "I don't play games" spiel. She doesn't think that's "what the parents pay her to do."
    :roll:
    I'm sorry, but if I can find a more engaging way to practice multiplication facts than just kill & drill, I'm going for it. "Matamosca" is a fantastic game to play to review math facts or vocabulary words.
     

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