Classroom Management for Better Student Engagement

When we plan classroom activities, more often than not, we also take into account the levels of student receptivity we can realistically anticipate. We also plan for potential disruptions and try to structure our plans to avoid these and maximize student engagement. However, as teachers, we must admit that this can be a bit of a trial and error process with each new set of students. There is always something to learn about classroom management, which is very well framed in this blog I came across.

A classroom should have good student management in place, but it should also include lessons/activities that are engaging. It is very difficult to have one without the other. You can spend hours creating an amazing lesson, but if your students don’t pay attention, then they will not be successful or find value in your plan. If you create your lessons with only you in mind, then the likelihood of students finding it engaging also decreases. In this scenario, you won’t necessarily have open rebellion, after all, your class is well managed, but you also won’t see student ownership of learning, that sparkle that lights up their eyes when they are excited about what they get to work on. And really, isn’t that what it’s all about?

Read the full article Management vs. Engagement for more.

College Habits – Do We Carry Them Through Life?

If we google ‘college habits’, we get a list of good habits that college students should focus on for success. Then there are articles with lists of habits that successful students typically have. At the bottom are other suggested searches related to college habits which include study habits, healthy habits and the proverbial black sheep of habits – the bad ones.

Habits – the good, the bad and the ugly

After going through the stress of preparing, shortlisting, applying, and getting into college, the years at college are when students revel in the middle of an explosion of information. It’s when they learn from their faculty, peers and the ecosystem they are in. Through these years they form habits which range from the trivial, like using flash cards for making notes, to life sustaining ones like practicing meditation for reducing stress. If they admire a peer or a faculty member, students might actually imbibe one of their habits knowingly or unknowingly, however good or bad it is.

Read my full article on Stanford’s Blog for College Success to find out how to make the most of your college years.

List-making as an ESL Teacher

As teachers, we are forever making endless lists of teaching tools and activities for our students. But why do we gravitate towards lists? And how do they make our lives easier?Here’s an interesting post on list-making that also lists great apps for the ESL classroom.

Why do we make lists? Jillian Steinhauer  in a 2012 blog post  says “We are a society of listers.” In other words, we could all be called “glazomaniacs” according to Dictionary.com which defines “glazomania” as a passion for list-making.

We seem to enjoy lists: to-do lists, grocery lists, best-sellers lists, new year resolution lists and blog posts such as “10 BYOD apps for ELT”. But why? Umberto Eco in a very interesting interview to Der Spiegel talks about the place of lists in society. He says: “The list is the origin of culture. It’s part of the history of art and literature. What does culture want? To make infinity comprehensible. It also wants to create order.” He goes on to say that as human beings we try to understand and organize infinity through lists, catalogs, collections and dictionaries…

via The Redefinition of List-making: What Does it Mean to Teachers? | Ana Maria Menezes