Plan Two-to-Three Activities
Plan two-to-three activities for each class. The key to keeping students on task is to keep it moving. This may not be the most creative tip; however, students with short attention spans will lose focus quickly. It is great if one of the activities can be a hands-on activity or a creative one where students can move around.
One activity could be something that deals with new content. For middle school students, lectures or direct instruction should be kept short. Using Power Points can be interesting; however, a Power Point every day can be a drag. To keep students focused, teachers can give struggling students guided notes. This is where the notes from a lecture are typed, but there are blanks left for key terms or definitions that students need to learn.
Another activity could require students to be creative. For example, if students need to discuss the plot of a novel, they can make a plot chart on construction paper with colored pencils and markers. Or, if students need to learn about a battle in history class, they can create a diagram as a poster of the groups involved and their movement on the battlefield.
When students show what they know, they don't always have to take a quiz or test. Teachers can assess student knowledge with the following:
- flip chart
- flow chart
- mind map
- color coded chart
- student created PowerPoint
- student led discussion
- student created bulletin board