Yup, every class gets a little humdrum right before Spring Break. Even the peppiest teachers running their “A” game can be left behind by the advance of “summeritis.” This dreaded virus flourishes when the weather starts warming and we experience multiple days of temps in the 60s and 70s. Teaching agendas are sidelined, homework is benched, and students pine for instruction at the outdoor classroom. You can methodically vaccinate your students in the fall, but predictably you will have vaccinated for the wrong strain of this educational blind side. But fear not, technology can help you wade through the sea of boredom and keep your kiddos upbeat and healthy!
How about embracing the sign and prepping for other signs before they become a road hazard. We have some great ideas for you to liven up your classroom and get your kiddos back on track.
Working the Room
Need access to the presentation all around the room? Here are some ideas to pose:
- Utilize the Interactive Board/Projector – Instead of presenting at your desk, get in front of your class and start using the interactive projector or SMART board setup in your room. This now gives you 2 positions in your room to control the content being displayed! Added bonus: get the kids involved with the board/projector. I always get a kick out of seeing kids throw koosh balls at the SMART board during Notebook lessons. Search for “koosh ball game template” to get some ideas! http://exchange.smarttech.com/
- Presenter Remote – Yup, some technologies from the 1990’s are still valid. The Presenter Remote allows you to transition between your PowerPoint slides remotely while being free to move around the room. Presenter Remotes are a cinch to use and prices start at $54.99. They also work with Google Slides in case you were wondering. J
- Remote Control Devices – The Apple TV device and the Airserver Connect app allow you to mirror your iPad to the projection screen. You can circulate around the room and use your iPad to display content on the big screen for kiddos to view. Great for showing iOS apps with educational content. Recent versions of Apple iPhones can also be mirrored using Apple TV or Airserver.
Keep Students Involved in Managing the Classroom
- ClassDojo – ClassDojo is a behavior management tool for the classroom. Each student is represented by their own avatar and the teacher assigns positive and/or negative points during the class session. The points are based on the child’s behavior and are quite effective when used with leveled reward system. The website provides quick updates and the app is easy to use. Just project ClassDojo on the screen and see the atmosphere change in the room.
- Too Noisy Pro App – This is a great classroom tool to help keep the noise level under control inside the room. The app features an adjustable noise meter that measures the noise in the room. The latest version allows for sound spikes (doors shutting, books dropped, etc.) to be considered and sensitivity controls can be adjusted as well. Too Noisy Pro can be mirrored to the projector and displayed for students to self-monitor.
- Kahoot! – Kahoot! is just one of many interactive online quiz formats you can use. Kahoot! makes it easy for teachers to create multiple choice questions and present the quiz using the online website. Students race each other to answer the questions correctly! Students with top scores teem with bragging rights! Kahoot! is interactive, fun, and plays well with numerous internet enabled devices. Teachers can even choose from thousands of quizzes that are shared out on the website. Don’t care for Kahoot!? Socrative, Plickers, and Google Forms are some great alternatives.
Just Let It Out!
So, you’ve tried different tech gadgets, apps, and wireless devices and the kids are still giving you the sign? Time for evasive maneuvers…or just maneuvers. Yes, let the kids stand up, stretch, and move around. Teachers can lead a few exercises, or play a short, blood pumping game in class. Research fully supports having students stretch and move during class time. Lacking imagination or just need some help? Check out some short videos on YouTube to get you started. I searched “classroom brain breaks” and found several that I liked…and of course were age appropriate too! Your school’s PE and Health teachers are another source of good ideas to get students moving.
Well, now you are fully prepared for a blitz of signs and student apathy! You can do it! Trying something new not only keeps you humble (yes, even the best laid plans…) but keeps you energized and might even reengage some of the mightiest sign-toting students!