ENGAGING CLASSROOM ENVIRONMENT CAN BE CHALLENGING

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Creating an engaging classroom environment for students can be challenging. Developmentally, students are at a unique age- one where they often crave the power to make decisions for themselves, yet still need scaffolding and direct instruction in order to make these choices. And, while some students may be ready to dive into higher levels of curriculum, others may need additional support to practice building skills more fundamental skills. Personalizing learning can help provide students with resources that help them connect with curriculum in hands-on and meaningful ways, while allowing for teachers to differentiate learning, provide students with opportunities to make decisions, and assess students understanding in creative ways.  Aside from promoting self-efficacy among a class of young learners, the teacher was also able to gain important feedback on student comprehension, and could use that data to better adjust instruction to meet the needs of all students.

Teachers often choose to jump-start the New Year by introducing students and setting expectations. Teachers will be able to build the foundation by practicing teaching-learning process in the classroom.

Students should develop important literacy skills such as reading and writing in an authentic way that honors student voice. Students often surprise themselves, they develop skills in ways that are personal to them and they can use this to track their own growth throughout the year.

Given the potential of technology to enhance learning and teaching, many schools are working towards ensuring that every student has access to a mobile device, such as a laptop, tablet, or netbook. Initiatives that use technology as the starting point are rarely successful.

When carefully planned and thoughtfully applied, devices can amplify the impact of effective teaching practices. The roles of classroom teachers and librarians, students, and parents/guardians will gradually shift as the devices enable new types of learning experiences. However, educators need the knowledge, skills, and support to take full advantage of the technology. Even teachers who are “digital natives”, for example, may have difficulty managing a classroom in which every student has a device.

Technology for students and teachers can impact the quality of education as well as students’ ability to engage with digital resources outside the classroom. For those districts or schools where access to the internet or to other technology outside of school hours is a necessary or presumed aspect of what is expected from students, it is critical that students have access to necessary technology outside of school and that districts support students who do not have internet access at home, such as through providing wireless access via a wi-fi hotspot at school that is available outside of school hours.

 

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