As part of our Cain PPL BINGO challenge, we as teachers have the opportunity to attend professional learning sessions each Tuesday during our conference period or after school, these sessions are called “Tune Up Tuesday”. I love these opportunities because I not only get an opportunity to learn new strategies or to be inspired, but we also get credit for a BINGO square!
These 45 minute long sessions are lead by AP’s, fellow Teachers, or Specialists who share new tools and techniques that can be applied and used in our classrooms.
One of the Tune Up Tuesday’s that I attended early on during our PPL Bingo challenge was a session lead by one of our AP’s over the Lead4ward strategies. These strategies were created to help teachers with student engagement and also to check for understanding, help students reflect, or challenge students to share and learn from others.
This session definitely made me think about the way I teach and whether or not it is engaging everyone (or most students) and I definitely left wanting to incorporate some of the activities I was introduced to.
One of the things we discussed in the session was engaging our students in a way where they are not just engaged in our classes, but that they take the knowledge and excitement outside of our classroom. Which begs to ask, “How Do We Do This?”
Because of this session I definitely want to work in more quick activities where students get engaged and move around. I actually implemented 3 of those strategies into my class the next week and loved seeing students engagement.
This session on the Lead4ward strategies definitely changed my perspective a bit, because it made me think about “who is engaged” in my classes and I started seeing where there are gaps in my lessons and where I need to go the extra mile!
After I attended this “Tune up Tuesday” I tried implementing some of the strategies into my own classes:
In my PHS class I used the 3,2,1 reflection activity to check for student understanding. For this Lead4ward strategy students write down 3 Facts/Details they learned, 2 Examples, Applications, or Inferences, and 1 Question or Conclusion. This helped me see what they gained or remembered or where there still might be gaps.
The next strategy I used was the “Think and Throw” which gets students up, kind of moving around, but also having fun throwing paper! You could use this strategy in so many ways to have students share opinions or takeaways with others, but for myself personally, I used it in my Interpersonal Studies class to have students share their Goals & Dreams with each other.
The 3rd strategy I learned was called “Music Mix and Freeze”. I loved this activity because it got students (most of them) up and moving around talking to each other and also interacting with people they don’t normally talk to in class. I had different questions for them to answer each time the music stopped and they had to grab a new partner. We went through about 6 questions as they moved around to a fun song.
I definitely want to continue to incorporate new strategies into my classes to check for understanding and help student engagement. I know that the more I implement these the more natural and second nature it will get.