We Just Took Notes…….(Let’s talk about student engagement)

I can remember listening to students talk about what they did in class on a particular day and hearing the phrase “we just took notes.”  As a social studies teacher that was like a shot through my heart.  I worked hard to make lessons interesting!  I Looked up anecdotes and researched my subject (in the days before the Internet mind you!) in order to try to make it interesting.  So hearing students make it sound like all we did was JUST take notes was a shot through my heart.  I took it personal.  How could they make it sound so perfunctory?  Why? Because it was.  I liked to talk about what I knew, but only a small portion of students in my classes liked to listen to me talk about what I knew!  Teacher centered instruction tends to be the least engaging style.  Even the best lecturers do not hold the attentions of crowds (or students) for a long time.  There is a reason the ignite sessions and TED talks have become so popular.  Good instructional models use lots of different learning activities that can incorporate many learning/skill enhancement opportunities that both include the content area as well as soft skills needed for everyday life.

Photo courtesy of Carl Mikoy’s Flickr Photostream

Next Blog…..The day I stumbled onto an effective unit plan of lessons


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