Bring some new experiences to your classroom for 2016! If you feel like you’ve been going through the motions recently, find a way to mix things up in your classroom. Introduce a new activity into one of your lessons or take learning outside the classroom with a local field trip. You can always check out Field Trip Factory’s experiences on our website. Even making a small change to a lesson or routine can stimulate the creative juices for both you and your students. Here are some ideas and resources you might want to check out to either increase the use of technology in your classroom or help your students be more present in their everyday learning.
Maybe you want to integrate more technology into your classroom. Check out these tech resources that can help you make lessons more fun and interesting, help you stay connected with students and other teachers, or integrate tools for dynamic student projects. https://globaldigitalcitizen.org/50-education-technology-tools-every-teacher-should-know-about
Learn a new hobby or skill that you can use in the classroom. There are millions of resources online that want to help you learn how to code, start a school garden, or just be a better person. If the World Wide Web is overwhelming, check out classes at your local community college or community center, or take a class offered by a local store such as Home Depot, Michaels, or your local grocery store. If you live in Canada, you can take your students to a cooking class offered by your local Loblaw banner store. Learn more about the program.
Interested in expeditionary learning, like we are at Field Trip Factory? Check out this YouTube video that describes the steps one middle school took to successfully implement expeditionary learning into their curriculum. Students learn new content, new technical/artistic skills, collaborate and receive comments from content experts, and finally publish their work in the community. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6KCpIXTXAM
Maybe you find it difficult to keep students focused during a long day of lessons. More and more schools are introducing mindfulness exercises, which seem to help students with social and emotional learning, too! Several resources can be found through the Center for Teaching at Vanderbilt. https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/contemplative-pedagogy/
This is by no means a complete list of ideas for reinvigorating your students or teaching practices. So for more ideas, read this interesting article by Peter DeWitt about reflecting on the improvements you would like to make in the classroom. He provides a varied list of strategies to try out for the rest of the 2016 school year. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/finding_common_ground/2015/12/9_strategies_teachers_and_leaders_should_add_in_2016.html?cmp=eml-eb-pop011916
What new experiences are you most excited to incorporate into your life or classroom this year? Let us know in the comments!