If you are struggling to get your students’ attention, try meeting them where they are.
When they are restless and unable to focus – meet them where they can move and embed some learning into their movement.
When they show their special interests – from tarantulas to the latest pop star – find a way to connect that interest to subject matter.
Read to them once in awhile – even though they can read all by themselves.
Writing Prompts and Discussion Topics on the Subject of Meeting Students Where They Are.
- A student is restless and unable to focus on math class. The teacher thinks he is really wanting to be outside doing something athletic. Describe a game that will allow the student to use his large muscles (running, throwing, jumping, etc.) and includes learning mathematics.
- Many students complain that they do not have enough opportunity at school to think, learn, and talk about the things that interest them most (tarantulas, hottest pop stars, sports teams, etc.). What ideas do you have for teachers and school administrators about how to give students this type of opportunity? Be practical and suggest things that take safety, time, and the need to learn into consideration.
- Do you think it would be a good idea for teachers to read to their students sometimes – even though they can read all by themselves? Why or why not?
Read more about getting children’s attention at Meet Kids Where They Are.
Teachers, you can use this blog in classrooms. Here are two ideas about how.
- For middle or high school parenting or child development courses:
- Use the blog for discussion topics
- Require students to research the topics and agree or disagree with what the blog is suggesting.
2. For all courses, especially English Language Arts:
- Use the blog for writing prompts for paragraphs, theme papers, journal entries, class starters, etc. Have students read the blog and respond to:
- Do you agree with what is being said about kids? Do kids really act, think or feel that way?
- Do you agree with what is being said about parents, grandparents, teachers and child caregivers? Do or should they act, think or feel that way?
- What would be your advice on this topic?
- What was left out of this article?
- If you were a parent, would you use any of this information? How?
Why can this blog be a useful teaching tool?
- Students that see connections between their coursework and their lives do better in school.
- Most students will either be parents one day or have children in their lives that they care about, so the topical information can help them build their knowledge about children and parenting and develop a positive image of the type of parenting they want to do.
- The new core literacy standards adopted by most states call for frequent writing in all courses.
- Newly developed end-of-course assessments to be used by many states will require that students demonstrate that they can think critically. These prompts help students practice critical thinking.
- Newly developed end-of-course assessments to be used by many states will require that students demonstrate that they can analyze what they read. These prompts help students practice analysis.