Week 4 Reflection on Innovation and Engagement in the Classroom

Over the course of the week we discussed how we could make our classrooms more engaging.  We also looked at whether or not this process needed to include innovation.

I enjoyed reading Tomas’s blog post about teaching with passion.  He discussed his passion for technology and shared some different resources online.  I mentioned that I also enjoy using the NLVM website in the classroom.  In addition I gave him another site that he could use for base ten blocks.  I like this site because you can select different grade levels, workmats, and different manipulatives all on one screen. 

Base Ten Blocks

I also enjoyed reading Bonnie’s post on engagement.  She discussed using “whole group” response rather than hand raising.  I asked her what she meant by “whole group” response.  I also shared a link on response cards.  I used different response cards in my classroom and find that engagement goes up when I allow all of my students the opportunity to respond. 

Response Cards

I also really enjoyed reading Leslie’s blog post.  She discussed Frondeville’s article.  Specifically she talked about using Kagan Cooperative Learning Structures in the classroom.  I enjoy using Kagan Learning Structures in the classroom.  I shared my favorite Kagan method called Rally Coach and provided a site to reference for others who want to research Kagan Strategies on their own.

Kagan Stratgies Research

Finally, Scott and I had a great discussion about making mistakes.  Our students are more engaged when we are willing to be “real” with them.  Teachers are not some perfect group of individuals who never make mistakes, in fact we are quite the opposite.  I find myself making mistakes often; these mistakes are what make me a better teacher.  Of course I was embarrased the first time I messed up, but owning up to your mistakes and showing your students how you can learn from your mistakes will help them learn what to do when they mess up. 

I also contributed to both wiki pages this week.  I put the components together for the teacher rubric page and our group is currently working on revising our rubric and getting it into the final form.  I really enjoyed working with Verena and some of her students.  They were very helpful as I tried to clean up the wiki.  I am impressed at how hardworking and diligent her students are.  Thanks for working with us! 🙂




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