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Practical Suggestions

If you are a teacher, here are some practical things you can do in your classroom to improve student involvement and success. Also see: Ways to Use Technology Powerfully,
High Leverage Activities ,
Partnering Tips

A Practical Suggestion:

When you have only one or a few computers in the classroom, make them your link to the outside world. Assign a different student every class or hour to be the designated “Internet Searcher” (and another to be the “RSS Researcher). They should spend the time looking up things relevant to what is going on in the classroom, keeping a log, and reporting from time to time.

A Practical Suggestion:

Take 15 minutes to go around your classroom, asking each student in turn what their passion is (in a word or two.) Write it down (that way the students know you are serious.) Later, use this information to divide up students into “passion groups” and to personalize your instruction.

A Practical Suggestion:

Have your students make and wear (at least for a while) badges that say “My passion is _____”. I once stayed in a hotel where the clerks all wore such badges If kids wore those, not only would the teacher know, but the kids would know about each others’ passion as well.

A Practical Suggestion:

In the course of the school day, whenever kids find themselves with nothing assigned to do (because they have finished, or there is a substitute, or something else), kids should be asked to “follow their passion.” I.e. to do research, or reading related to whatever it is that they are passionate about, keeping notes and reflections in a paper or online journal. At the end of the year, each student can report on what they learned.

[Others to be added periodically]