Sunday, April 5, 2015

Because We Don't Need $500 Worksheets

If you're reading this, and you're a teacher, you've probably done some of the same things I have. I can't count the number of times I've looked back on something I've done teaching and thought, "Oh, that was bad teaching." Heck, I've said it in the middle of a lesson, "Girls and boys, this is bad teaching. I'm bored. You're bored. You don't care, and I don't think you're learning a thing." Often, a polite student will pipe up, "I'm not bored." But they're saying it a little too nicely, aren't they?
One thing I've really worked to get rid of in my teaching, though, is using my tech as a worksheet. We have these awesome laptops in our room. My students can research, watch videos, read blogs from all over, write, make art, and share globally. If I'm using them in the same way as a stack of photo copies, I'm wasting my students' time, I'm wasting district money, and I'm not doing good teaching.
When my students respond to their learning. When they write about it, when they create artwork and videos to share what they've learned, they're making connections to the content that will stick.
Here's the cool thing, though, when I 'fall back' on worksheets, it's often because I need to kill some time. Maybe I have some paperwork or emails of my own to catch up on, maybe I need to organized for a sub. You don't need to go there, though, you don't. Schedule time for your students to work on their response videos, infographics, and blogs, and two things will happen. When you do need that time to catch up, there it is. When you don't, you can consult with your creative team, and help them to beef up their skills, and make products worth sharing.

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