Thursday, August 2, 2012

How To Hook 'Em

And yes, I am in Texas, but I'm sorry, not referring to the UT gesture:

I'm referring to how to "hook" the attention of kids so they are engaged in a lesson!

So I sat down to actually get some planning done today. I didn't get very far...:). I just can't get my brain into that back-to-school mode yet-I'm not sure why.

One thing I do want to change this year is to plan a lesson better beginning to end. Teaching Kinder I know we have jam in a bunch of objectives to each lesson (I think I counted 154 reading objectives just in the 1st 9 weeks of our curriculum :0 ). Between you, me and the lamppost, I "wing it" in lessons way too often. :) I want to clarify better before the lesson exactly what we are going to be learning about-remember lesson cycles---an opening. These are some openers I hope to implement this year.

1) Puppets! Going along with learning also being fun-what kiddo can resist a puppet to introduce a concept. Here are just a few examples of some to make. I do have a cache of leftover felt and craft foam, this is a perfect use for it!

Perfect for introducing a character to them or a unit concept like spiders!

2) Video clips: I don't think we take advantage of these as much as we could because we feel like if they are "watching tv" then it's not a learning activity. But let's face it, these kids are the digital generation! Sometimes it's the only way to "hook" 'em! There are many, many choices out there-we all know YouTube, TeacherTube and Discovery. This is a new one I discovered-some of the videos look a little boring, but it goes along with my philosophy of incorporating "wonder" into our class:

3)  Cartoons and comic strips. I will fully admit it-growing I would sit beside my parents reading the newspaper and this was the ONLY section I would read. Sometimes you really have to think to figure out the joke. If I was introducing a dinosaurs unit-maybe something like this....

4) Podcasts-even though it's just listening-there are sooooo many out there on soooo many different topics. One idea would even be to have an older student from another class record something or a student in your class who is considered an "expert" on that topic. Great even just to review--yesterday, we went over strategies for comprehension-let's listen to Johnny describe what we learned.

5) Photographs-it may be the amateur photographer in me, but I LOVE to use photographs in the classroom. In math you could show a pizza cut into pieces illustrating fractions--the ideas are just limitless.

6) Storytelling. I have been reading so many awesome ideas in blog posts this summer, I am inspired to incorporate this activity more often. Kids are natural born storytellers and story-listeners. I can't tell you how many of my parents know the name of my dog, not because I talk about her to them, but because I'm always telling stories to the kids. Maybe Ruby can be turned into some sort of superhero this year!

What are some unique ways you introduce lessons? I'm really looking for some fresh ideas!


  1. Your finger puppets are adorable! Best of luck in this school year :)

  2. Love the spoon puppets. They are a perfect craftivity for my retelling center.
    The Meek Moose

  3. What a great post! Yes, I agree with you. It is so easy to wing it... Especially when you have done the lesson before. I will join you in this. Puppets and story telling are HUGE! I feel the children know less and less about how to play with puppets each year!

    Thank you.
    Sara (a new follower!)

  4. Love this post! I highlighted Wonderopolis in my Fabulous Friday Find this week!

    Great minds, huh?

    Inside this Book