In today’s practicum, we had Advisory time – continuing to work on personal poems and setting goals for the year (and as usual including some sort of musical/dance movement) – and also class blocks – two seventh grade groups. In the social studies block, students began to write out questions to guide their research on their Revolutionary War topic. The teacher asked that they consider the complexity of their questions (Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3) and advised them to use the assignment guidelines to help form their questions.
Today’s big takeaway: Providing students with a way to get their fidgeting out. My cooperating teacher purchased some wobbly pads for students to put on their chairs. She figured that these would make the chairs a bit more comfortable, and would also help some students who need to let their “fidgets” out be able to focus in a less distracting way. This is just one example of how teachers can make their classrooms a more productive and supportive environment for students. Although it’s not “traditional”, it is an easy and effective way to promote student achievement. Interestingly enough, I had a conversation about fidget toys with my father the other week. He, being older and having a more traditional educational background, didn’t quite understand the purpose and worth of such devices, so it was intriguing to reflect on the generational differences of viewpoints on education in this particular area.