I have been low on inspiration.
So this is what you get.
My list of cheap stuff that kids love.
1. Snack Day – I bring snack the first Thursday or Friday of the semester. Students then sign up on our class calendar for the following Thursday or Friday classes for the rest of the semester. Some students bring snack in pairs. Students will talk, tweet, FB about snack day more than any other topic. Students love food. I ask about allergies first day of class.
2. Facebook Page – Takes 5 minutes to set up and I do not have to friend students to do this. Students can join or not. I post reminders, videos, pictures of a lab we ran in class etc. Students ask questions here, make silly comments on pictures and also post interesting Biology related videos they have come across. The true magic is; they ALL check it with not one reminder from me. We also have tutorials on chat. Students love it! Last piece of evidence: students ask if we have to end the group when the course ends.
3. Stickers – I go to the dollar store and buy lots. I have drawers full (no lie). I love seasonal and scratch and sniff are also very popular. Students collect them on their binders and can tell you exactly what they got each one for. Students like to be noticed. This is an easy way I notice something special about their work. This reminds me, every time, that even grade 12s have kid left in them and sometimes miss being kids (don’t we all!).
4. Display Student work EVERYWHERE– More is More. Change frequently.
Students do notice when you take their stuff done. If you don’t have time for this get a fast finisher or an off task student to do for you.
5. Learning Journals – Cost 25 cents and will seal the trust issue for some students. Reading about students’ lives jolts me into seeing them as individuals, some with lots on their plates and helps me to regain empathy (if temporarily misplaced).
Back to contemplation.
Over and Out.