Hello and welcome back to another installment of Teacher of SIS, where peers nominate other teachers highlighting their practices.This week we are pleased to have Clayton Dowty, teacher of english and drama here at our Bayside campus! She was nominated for integrating movement in order to increase student engagement.
Here are her responses to the questions regarding her lesson.
What did you want your students to know or understand?
Well, obviously I want to teach them reading and writing and speaking and listening skills but what that really boils down to is communication. I want my students to be able to communicate effectively with both each other and the big world around them.
What skills did you want your students to gain?
I want them to have very strong oral skills, very strong writing skills and very strong reading skills. I want them to be able to dissect language. I want them to be able to know how language is used both to edify and to manipulate. And I want them to be able to use those skills for their own reading writing and speaking.
How did you teach this lesson in the past?
I used to do a lot more writing-based activities where the kids would write in their journals individually and then would share with each other – and that was pretty much it. But since I have introduced kinetic learning into the classroom I have a lot more engagement. The kids are out of their seats, they are engaging in creative tasks and constantly moving around and finding other people. With the brain breaks, they are able to have a moment without the intense focus of writing and when they come back to writing and come back speaking they are twice as engaged. So, I’ve managed to just triple the amount of student engagement … now they are much more apt to really want to do the activities in the lesson and not just do them because I told them to.
How did you problem-solve and be creative to come up with this new method for this lesson?
Well.. the tricky part was how to use these concepts within the context of an English class in order to teach the skills need in English class. Essentially, what I did was to use some of the garden variety strategies that I learned in some of my training over the summer and I infused them with the skills that we needed to cover and teach in English – so rather than having the kids get up and move arbitrarily to play games, they get up in order to complete a task.