Over the last two days I have had the amazing, fabulous, energizing opportunity to hear from the man himself, Dr. Spencer Kagan all about Brain Friendly Learning. Anyone who knows me as a teacher knows that I live and die by Dr. Kagan’s strategies, and I was in complete awe the entire two days.
Whenever I attend a workshop such as this one, I always make a list in three parts. The first is things I want to implement day one back in the classroom. The next section is within a week, and the final section is a bit more long term. Today I am going to share my takeaway list of what I am starting tomorrow.
Now is the time of year that I have let a few things slide that are really important, and these items are just as much about me refocusing my efforts in the classroom as anything else. I hold myself 110% accountable for the mood, emotion, and energy level of my classroom, and there are a few things that need a little revamping.
Refocusing the Classroom with a Greeting
Numero uno-start our day with a handshake for each student. I do this at the beginning of the year, but at some point, it slid into oblivion. First thing tomorrow it is making a comeback!
Next up is energizing our class with some structured exercise. I want to get those endorphins (17 points if you can guess the Legally Blonde quote I am thinking of) pumping first thing in the morning. A few calisthenics should do the trick to wake up both the body and mind. I plan on taking 1-2 minutes per hour in the classroom doing this to continue the flow of oxygen.
Rounding out the morning we will complete a class building activity and have our usual morning meeting.
Refocusing the Classroom with Time for Metacognition
After recess, I plan to institute a period of quiet time where I lead students through some metacognitive meditation. Admittedly this one is going to be tough for me. I am not the sit calmly and quietly with eyes closed and think inwardly type, but I am going to give it my best effort because I truly believe it will be beneficial for my students because a calm-minded student learns easier.
In the same vein, I will incorporate more music in the sixty beat per minute range. I often use music during writing, but not other subjects. I have no reason for this, so it shall begin tomorrow!