The glorious sun has finally chased winter away just in time for the push towards finals week. After six months of cold and grey, it is a challenge to keep focused on anything indoors—especially for those students who already struggle with school. Fortunately, flipping one’s perspective to incorporate ‘real world’ experiences can take advantage of the new energy that warm weather brings. Here are five easy-to-implement suggestions that can be adapted for use in almost any class.
Ask your students to locate examples of your subject matter being applied outside of the classroom. For example, the exteriors of buildings and their placement in a community is a base for a wealth of questions related to history, design, urban planning, construction, family life, mathematical calculations, change in building materials, etc.
2. Get physical.
Get brain cells invigorated and increase learning success by incorporating a few physical warm ups while practicing foundational skills and quiz reviews. One simple way to review any information is to have students stand in a circle. Let students know that you are going to pose a question about the material, toss around a Nerf ball (or another soft, non-harmful object). Only the person with the Nerf ball can speak or they can pass the ball to someone else to answer.
Variation 1 – the instructor is the only one who asks the questions.
Variation 2 – the person who has the ball and answered correctly can ask the next question.
Variation 3 – let us know what you come up with by using the comment box below!
No time to plan one? Simply take your lessons outside and use one of NMC’s numerous outdoor classrooms or spaces. Many of our students have smart phones with internet access, so even group work that requires a little bit of research is possible.
Disclaimer: You may want to take some dry and wet paper towels outside just just in case the birds and bugs beat you to the seating.
Start discussions with your students about their next steps, and how they can maximize their learning opportunities over the summer. Take a few minutes to help them connect and share their summer and fall plans for school. If they’ve mentioned a weak area, you may want to remind them that summer classes are a good time to focus in-depth on just one class.
For those who may not be able to afford summer classes due to financial aid limitations, share with them the numerous free MOOCs available that can help them get ahead in life. For fun, if you have never taken a MOOC yourself you may want to give one a try! Here are links to the three major providers to help you get started: Canvas, NovoEd, and edX.