Teach from the Side of the Room

I usually end up with about ten minutes of direct instruction a class. I try to keep them working as much as possible. When I started I watched my predecessor use our computer lab by having the students from the back three rows of our four row classroom come to the front into order to participate in the lesson. I have done the same for the last few years, because I couldnt do anything else. Right?

I started talking to students in their seats this year. Asking them questions, walking around the room. 5th Graders sitting in front of a computer is quite the challenge to keep their attention, but turning off the monitor helps keep wandering eyes focused on the teacher. After using this strategy, I am free to walk around the rows and talk with my students. I’m no longer bound to the front of the room! So,if you have a computer lab, you are not bound to the front of the room! What strategies do you use to keep Students engaged?

When you are a teacher looking for resources, you are a couponer by default

I’ve come to the realization as I get more comfortable with myself as a teacher that if I am going to get new stuff for my classroom, its up to me to try and do so. I’ve written a few grants, and scored a nice one last year. That really got me excited, since then I have been an “education couponer” basically, if there is a deal, grant, giveaway or contest I’m in! I recently threw a tweet into the abyss of a Best Buy contest for teachers. Can you imagine what happened next? I won! Below is my tweet and some info about the contest.

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It was just a tweet and before I knew it I am getting emails from Best Buy about sending our school new chromebooks! It’s a great feeling to see effort pay off and that large companies like Best Buy are doing contests like this for teachers. If any CEOs are reading this, Donating to schools is a huge public good! It truly has a positive effect on the schools that you donate to!

So, that is really my post. I got lucky, but keep an eye out on social media and network to get those resources! If I had not got a grant or won this contest, my students would be learning the ins and outs of powerpoint, instead of using Raspberry Pi to program games of their own design. I think one of those skills will propel kids into the future and it isnt the stupid paperclip: clippy!