Each year I try to add at least one or two things to my READ 180 repertoire. In 2016-2017, I added "Brain Fact" lessons to my first three weeks and revisited the idea throughout the school year in the hopes of inspiring more of a growth mindset in my students.
For more on that, read this blog. Don't mean to toot my own horn, but it was awesome!
Over the last few days, I've been racking my brain trying to figure out what to try this year and it occurred to me: Why should I be the only one confused?
So, because misery loves company, here's the challenge: Come up with one new thing to try in your classroom this coming year.
Here are a few ideas to get you thinking:
1. A READ 180 Open House
I've tried meeting with parents during our school's official open house and had very little success (parents are just too busy seeing multiple teachers to give you the time you need to really explain what a READ 180 class is all about). Teachers have been much more successful doing a READ 180 Parent Night on a separate evening. And, of course, food is king. Most can attest to the following equation: Potlucks = high Attendance. And we all know: Parent Involvement = Higher Success!
2. Master a READ 180 Instructional Routine
There's probably at least one of the great READ 180 routines you're underutilizing or feel the need to iron for yourself. Pick one, review its reasoning, its application, and its desired goals and try to perfect it.
I did this a few years ago with the Write-Think-Pair-Share and it really paid off. To check out what I came up with, read this.
3. Great a Game to Go With One of the Workshops
There's a ton of research on just how powerful games can be as learning tools. Can you make one that aligns with a workshop? Is there a way to create a board game that has kids racing to stop a wildfire? Can you make a card game that will immerse your students in Great Depression? Can you create an "escape room" experience that has your students finding their way into an Egyptian tomb?
4. Add Something Awesome to Your First-Three-Weeks
There are hundreds of community building activities, behavioral management strategies, and logistical tactics you could try. Pick one or two and go for it. I've probably written about how important these culture-building days are a hundred times, and you're probably sick of reading about it, but trust me, anything you can do to improve your students' first impressions of your classroom will pay off a thousand times over!