Monday, March 26, 2018

Hooking Hard to Reach Students

As I zero in on students, I'm wondering how to hook the hard to reach students.

I know that the answer to this questions differs every year depending on the students you are trying to hook.

As I look at this year's children, I know that one issue is that we have a lot of expected standards to teach in short time which leaves us short when it comes to the kinds of deep, engaging, and exciting projects that hook almost all children. Once we pass the MCAS tests, we'll engage in many projects like that and I expect those children will be hooked, but what about right now especially for students who find some of this standards-based review and teaching tiresome.

Now I know some will advise me to not worry too much about the standards, but that's not a good choice right now for many reasons. Others may say to embed the standards into worthy teaching/learning project/problem based learning--I totally agree with this, and this is what I always attempt to do, however this year numbers and unexpected complexity have found us in a place where we are rushing a bit to study all the standards in short time.

As I write, I think the best solution is to slow it down and spend more individual time with these hard to reach students--simply being frank with them about the challenge of the current learning with the lure of the great projects ahead will really help. Also some small, enjoyable projects woven into the schedule will help too--time to draw, time to make a tech choice, a fun science experiment with buddies, and some other simple, but enjoyable projects will help too.

If you have other great ideas, let me know. Thanks!