The classroom is a wonderful, magical place. With that being said, we have a lot to compete with. Most likely, your students are overstimulated in most parts of their lives, and the classroom becomes a monotonous place which becomes boring due to repetitive routines. It has been proven over and over again when something is out of the ordinary it is more memorable, and we have to capture that within the classroom.
Don’t get me wrong. I am the queen of routine. If I could make myself a perfectly symmetrical crown you bet I would! Routine has a time and place. Actually, I believe that every time and place is the time and place for a routine because routine lends to the safety of a classroom. Just like me, most students thrive on routine. This sense of safety in knowing what is coming up next allows us to set students up for success.
Within a routine, you can keep things novel! This novelty within the predictable schedule is what keeps the classroom exciting and students on their toes. Without further adieu, I bring you simple, easy to carry out ideas that will make a big impact on your students.
Deliver Your Lesson from a Different Location to Keep Novelty in the Classroom
Do you usually stand by a projector or in the front of the room? Mix it up! Stand in the back the whole lecture, or take a seat and have more of a conversation with your students. One of my favorite spots is to sit right on one of my student’s desks. This puts me right in the middle of my students, and it totally throws them off their game for the first few minutes, meaning that it will be memorable.
Make a Change of Venue to Keep Novelty in the Classroom
One of the questions I get asked a lot of this one is whether students get more distracted in a different environment, and to that, I ask, aren’t our students distracted in the classroom too? I have found that my students were actually less distracted in a new spot, because it is already novel, and you better believe that they remembered that lesson. I would hear things like, “Ms. R, remember when we went on the blacktop to finish our lesson on character changes?” They really truly did remember and connected the lesson with our new spot.
This is a great example of how novelty can become a part of your routine. By reserving this change in altitude for our writing time, it gave students something to look forward to and encouraged them to share their writing.
Use Cooperative Learning Strategies to Keep Novelty in the Classroom
You didn’t think this one was going to slip through the cracks, did you? You know I am all about cooperative learning, and these structures are an amazing way to include novelty in your classroom. My favorites for instant, no-prep strategies are TimedPairShare, RallyRobin, and AllWriteRoundRobin.
Make a Wardrobe Change to Keep Novelty in the Classroom
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