Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Innovative Ideas For The High School Classroom

As more information becomes available about how individual students learn, many teachers are looking for new teaching methods that allow them to both engage students in their lessons and still meet the common core standards set by the state.  In order to reach every student in the classroom, teachers must employ a variety of techniques in each class period to keep them all engaged and captivated.  Rather than viewing the standards as a necessary evil that require more work from both teachers and students, proactive teachers can simply use new teaching methods to design common core lesson plans that engage ALL types of learners and make the classroom an environment of learning and fun.

Allow Your Students to Debate and Argue

Teenagers love a good argument, and the chance to rebel against authority and each other.  Why not harness this innate desire to rebel against authority into a productive learning experience in the classroom?  Create a debate during a class period, and place students on each side of an issue.  Require them to investigate the pros and cons of both points of view, and allow them to have a formal debate with each other.  If they are placed on a side they don’t necessarily agree with, they are then forced to discover the good points of both sides of an argument.  Students can also benefit from learning how to disagree with others in a productive and educational way.

Hold a Panel Discussion with Experts

Bring “experts” into your classroom and form a panel through which your students are allowed to ask interesting questions.  Ask your students to submit questions before the day of the event so you have the chance to choose the most thought-provoking questions from the bunch.  A panel of experts brings a fresh view on a topic, and gives your students the chance to see how the information they are learning truly will apply to their future and their real lives.  When students are tired of listening to you speak, a panel can refresh their interest and spark their desire to learn more about a particular topic.  Some examples of expert panels are:

  • Public service professionals such as police officers, firemen, or drug enforcement officers
  • Possible career choices such as doctors, executives, or social workers
  • Mothers, fathers, and child care professionals to discuss the reality of having children
These are just a few examples of the many panels that could be brought in to have a productive discussion with your classroom.

Ask Your Students to Take on a New Role

Role-playing has been used for decades as an effective way for students to participate.  You can take it one step further by really asking your students to get into a role.  Ask them to take on the personality of the person, or really try to feel passionately about a topic.  To encourage them to think even more critically, ask them to switch sides of the issue and portray the opposite side.  This gives your students a chance to see both sides of an issue, and to realize that there are valid points to every argument.

Classrooms as Internships for Real Life

The high school classroom is the last place where many students will learn information and skills to help them have a successful future.  With more engaging lesson plans, teachers can meet the core standards set by the state, and provide a life changing experience for students.

This article was written by Jonathan Peters.

1 comment:

  1. If half the teachers in our country follow few of the suggestions given our students will turn out far more smarter and successful. A must read for all educators and us parents as well.

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