10 classroom resolutions to get your students engaged and energized in 2014.
Everyone feels the lull when they return from the holiday break. To help get your students revved up and ready to have fun, Mimio wants to share 10 great ideas that are easy to implement. These ideas come from some of your fellow educators, who know what really works in a classroom.
- Friendly Competition: Use the Collaborate feature to play math games in which students race against each other to find the correct answer. For example, ask students to solve an equation, or to sort a series of shapes into their correct groups.
- Students Got Talent: Have students write and record songs/raps/skits as a product from a content area, using the MimioView™ document camera. Then post their work on your website, or embed it into an INK file for the class to review.
- Fun Polls: Use the MimioVote™ assessment, or your mobile devices with the MimioMobile™ app, to take polls on silly and outrageous subjects. Then post the results on various types of charts to discuss ways to show data. You can also change the settings to have the results viewed in fractional parts, which is a really fun way to engage your students in a discussion about fractions.
- Music Matters: Try starting off a lesson, or signaling a transition to a different subject area, by using a music video embedded into your INK file. For example, play the music video “Science is Real” from They Might Be Giants, as students transition into science class.
- New Perspectives: To engage students in social studies, screen-clip a relevant piece of artwork, color over it with any color, then grid the whole page. Have students erase parts of the colored grid, one at a time. Ask them to write down words that pop into their heads as each section is revealed. Discuss how their opinions changed as they got more information. Then jump into a KWL on the topic.
- Fun with Mats: Work mats can be used to centralize around a common core standard and the application of it. For example, you could use a problem solving or thinking mat to solve basic word problems. Create a hard copy for each group of students, as well as a Mimio version for collaboration and sharing. Pose the problem to the students, and have them work in groups to solve it either on a laminated mat or with the Collaborate feature and mobile devices/MimioPad tablets. Afterward, the whole class can investigate all of the different ways students solved it.
- Get the Whole Class Involved: Have groups of students use the Collaborate feature to tell a story to the whole class. One group starts it off with one sentence, then the next group adds a sentence, and so on.
- The Sum Is Greater Than the Parts: Using the MimioView camera, project a simple paragraph from a book that most of your students know, and pause the camera. Next, using the Collaborate feature, assign each group a different grammar task and a different color. For example, one group might use their color to highlight all the verbs, another all the nouns, another all the adjectives, etc. Once all the groups are done, project all the work. Discuss the mechanics of what makes really interesting reading material, and review with students how they can use these techniques in their own writing.
- Games: Start a lesson with a game to grab students’ attention. On the MimioConnect® site there is a recently released game pack that uses the classics as a starting point. See: http://www.mimioconnect.com/content/lesson/21035/great_games.
- Element of Surprise: In the morning, have your students get out their MimioVote handsets, or mobile devices with the MimioMobile app, and put them on their desks. When their eyes start to glaze over, take a Quick Vote, using a “just for fun” quiz about their opinions. It will keep them engaged and help you assess their understanding.
Start out small by incorporating just one new idea or one new piece of technology in a different area or subject. The new year is a great time to try something new, and it will help make your material fresh for students.