Monday, April 29, 2013

Making Dull Learning Interesting

Yes, not every lesson can be exciting  Sometimes due to time and content, a lesson has to be direct and dry.

This morning I have a lesson like that.  The lesson involves a review of test material.  I tell students, "It's my obligation to introduce you to all the material on the test, to give you a chance to do your best."  We initially learned the material through engaging activity and events, but now I want, and need, the review to be explicit as we focus on content detail.

I'll start the lesson with the following statement, "It's important to me that you learn as much as possible this year as that's my job as your teacher.  Today we'll review the practice test so that I have a chance to answer your questions and remedy the small problems or questions that still occur with respect to the information.  Take out your pencils or thin-line markers, make notes and ask questions, lots of questions as we work together to gain mastery of the information."

Then step by step, problem by problem, we'll review the practice test.  Then I'll assign another practice test for this week's study, a test we'll review on Friday. Not every lesson includes bells and whistles, yet every lesson has a purpose, and when you share the activity purpose and rationale with students that creates investment, purpose, and response taking a dull lesson and making it meaningful.