Did you miss the FIRST FRIDAY WEBINAR about shaking up your lessons?
Never fear, this BLOG POST is here to fill you in!
Just because something is WORKING, doesn’t mean it can’t be IMPROVED, heard that while rewatching Black Panther last week.
Seriously, if we didn’t keep on improving, we would still have a rotary phone…PLEASE say you have used a rotary phone or else I will REALLY start feeling OLD!
OK, so know that you agree that as TEACHERS we need to be IMPROVING ourselves and our CRAFT, let’s jump into the reasons why we DON’T and what we can do to CHANGE that!
I get it! I am an ag teacher, mama x2, side hustler, pure barre addict, etc.
We only get 24 hours in a day, the only way we can MAXIMIZE it, is to PRIORITIZE it!
You need to SET ASIDE YOU PLANNING TIME TO ACTUALLY PLAN! I know, CRAZY IDEA RIGHT!
Set aside AT LEAST ONE PLANNING period a WEEK to solely focus on PLANNING! Get yourself a SWEET planner (digital or paper) and plan your little heart out! When you prioritize planning, you will give yourself time to reimagine how you can make your lessons more engaging and impactful!
Also—side note—I plan in UNITS, not weeks. It allows me to be multiple WEEKS ahead instead of just a week. So I spend A LOT of time in the beginning planning a 2-4-6 week unit, but then during my planning period I just review what I need to do the next week.
“I’m just not creative enough.” Bull!
You are, just give yourself some time to be creative with an open mind!
Still don’t feel like you can get around the lure of a PPT to teach ALL THE THINGS? Try these simple ideas to implement instead of PPT!
Investigate & Report Back (Give students standards/unit/topic, they research and report back in a variety of ways-presentation to class, paper, project, podcast, video etc)
Escape Room (Digital/Real escape rooms can be used for REVIEW OR KNOWLEDGE foundations!)
QR Code Scavenger Hunt- Pose questions you want the kids to know the answer to, Use a bunch of QR codes to give them the resources to find the info, and have them fill out the answers. Check this one out I made for FFA, we used it for extra credit during FFA week.
Stations– This can be as easy as printing out the slides of a PPT, placing them around the room in stations and kids rotate around to complete notes. Or it can be more engaging as they complete activities at the stations (ex. vet practicums, identification stations, food taste tests etc.)
YouTube Videos-Changing WHO is teaching the content can immediately change the engagement. Find quality YouTube videos on your content and show those to introduce/reinforce information.
GooseChase-If you have followed me for a while you know I LOVE GooseChase. I have used it for field trips, new content exploration and test reviews. Check it OUT for FREE!
Visual Notes-Let those students use the other side of their brain and create visual/sketchnotes!
I 100% understand you! MONEY IS TIGHT!
I get it! BUT, You DO NOT need $$$ to jazz up your lessons!
Try these FREE ideas!
ASK FOR DONATIONS (From community @mrswedger, From students @callieskendrick)
Make lesson with old craft materials (ex. old newspaper and tape, judge using Boone & Crockett (@agwithmrsgibbs), painting rocks with commodities with old paint (@agteacherhowtos)
FLIPGRID (free student video responses @kelseydejong)
LIVING TO SERVE MINI GRANT/OTHER GRANTS (Implement a grant into a class activity!)
A LOT of the ideas in #2 Creativity are ALSO FREE!
#4 YOUR BRAIN
GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD
You DO NOT have to do it the same as Sally Sue down the road (or hallway)
You have THE PASSION, the DRIVE to be a BETTER TEACHER
Or else you wouldn’t be here reading this blog post.
SO YOU DO YOU!
If that means re-doing your lesson every week, YOU DO YOU. If that means taking ONE UNIT from ONE PREP and jazzing it up, YOU DO YOU. If that means you need to ask another teacher who you look up to for help, YOU DO YOU! If that means taking a summer course on a subject you need more help with, YOU DO YOU!
I have faith in you!
You can SHAKE UP THOSE LESSONS to make them more engaging and impactful!
Other SIMPLE ideas
-Student Choice Projects (I have one for ALL standards in Basic Ag)
–Hyper Doc Research (Find out more about that here)
–Virtual Field Trips (via Zoom it is free for UP TO 100 people for 40 minutes or less)
–One Pagers (@thedaringenglishteacher)
–Food Projects (if it is a student led project, they pay for it)
-Decorate Ceiling Tiles for Unit Project
–Act out a character as you teach (@mrswedger)
-Print off PPT slides and do a gallery walk instead of lecture (@tknickers)
-Let the kids guide the lesson (they pick questions/topics to explore by just handing them standards)