Innovative Teaching; nothing new / just bringing it back:

Exploring creative and effective teaching methods that engage students and make learning fun for all involved.

Today, we’re diving into a topic close to every teacher’s heart: making learning not just memorable but downright enjoyable. Alfred Mercer’s wisdom reminds us that what we learn with pleasure, we never forget. But how can we infuse this joy into every nook and cranny of our lessons? Let’s unravel the mystery together!

“What we learn with pleasure, we never forget” Alfred Mercer

Effective educators seize every chance to boost student learning. The classroom, where students and teachers spend most of their day, offers a vital opportunity to create a conducive and positive learning environment. But just HOW do we do this across the Curriculum ensuring ample coverage, a pacey momentum, progress for all, effective teaching and learning at every opportunity (committing something to long term memory) all while balancing well-being and workload. And did I mention that learning is allowed to be fun? Isn’t it?

I love to make it fun so they don’t even realise they are learning – so the process of ‘thinking hard’ is enjoyed by all. Research says that using games can increase learner participation by motivating children through experiences they want to partake in. EVERYONE can join in!

The excessive reliance on rigid school curriculum schemes is stifling the vitality of teaching, reducing educators to mere deliverers of predetermined content. While these schemes may ensure coverage, they often quash the creative spirit of teachers, turning lessons into monotonous PowerPoint presentations or plug-and-play exercises. This approach not only limits teacher autonomy but also overlooks the expertise and insight that experienced professionals bring to the educational process. When, instead, you are asked to deliver lessons which deny you the opportunity to teach in ways you know work, when the content of pre-planned slides reduce your subject to lists of things to know and do, when the questions you can ask students are dictated and their responses assumed – that is a sure fire way to make English teachers feel completely disconnected from their subject and asking themselves whether this is a profession they want to stay in. And I suspect these experiences are not the sole preserve of English teachers. Is it any wonder, then, that we are losing teachers in their droves? Sam Gibbs November 06, 2023

When teachers are denied the intellectual engagement that comes from deep curriculum work, we take away one of the motivating factors that brings them to and keeps them in the profession

(Perryman & Calvert, 2020; Basar, 2021; Vieluf, 2013).

Effective educators, let’s be honest, are like treasure hunters. They don’t just wait for the golden moments; they create them. And where better to create magic than in the classroom, the heartbeat of learning? This is where the action happens, where students and teachers dance through the curriculum, making every moment count. Now, here’s the real challenge – how do we keep the learning train chugging along, covering all bases, maintaining a lively pace, ensuring progress for everyone, and still have time for some good ol’ fun? It’s like trying to ride a unicycle while juggling flaming torches! But fear not, it’s doable. Effective teaching isn’t about cramming information; it’s about creating an environment where learning becomes a joyous journey. It’s about filing every minute with activities that not only cover the curriculum but also commit things to long-term memory. So, how do we sprinkle this secret sauce into our lessons?

  1. Interactive Learning Tools: Bring in the tech wizards to add a dash of excitement.
  2. Storytelling Extravaganza: Turn every lesson into a captivating tale.
  3. Group Adventures: Collaborative projects that make learning a team sport.

Interactive Learning Tools: Unleash the Tech Magic!

In the era of technology, incorporating interactive learning tools can transform a conventional classroom into a dynamic hub of discovery. Imagine students diving into virtual worlds, conducting interactive experiments, or participating in simulations that bring theories to life. Platforms like Kahoot!, Quizizz, or virtual labs not only engage students but also provide real-time feedback, making the learning experience both exciting and informative.

Storytelling Extravaganza: Weaving Narratives into Knowledge

Stories have an unparalleled ability to captivate and resonate with individuals. Turning every lesson into a storytelling extravaganza allows educators to infuse creativity into their teaching. Whether narrating historical events as gripping tales, unfolding mathematical problems as exciting quests, or exploring scientific concepts through imaginative narratives, storytelling brings subjects to life. It fosters a deeper connection with the material, making it more memorable for students.

Once Upon a Time – Home – Once upon a time

Group Adventures: Learning as a Team Sport

Learning becomes a collaborative adventure when educators embrace group projects. These collaborative ventures not only promote teamwork but also allow students to leverage each other’s strengths, fostering a sense of community within the classroom. Whether it’s a science experiment, a creative writing project, or a math challenge, group adventures turn learning into a shared experience, making it more enjoyable and impactful. Example: In a science class, students collaborate on a project to design and build a functioning model of a renewable energy source. This not only integrates various scientific principles but also encourages teamwork and problem-solving. These strategies not only make learning enjoyable but also cater to diverse learning styles, ensuring a more inclusive and engaging educational experience.

Learning Beyond Limits: Balancing Joy and Progress in Every Lesson

So then; Learning should be enjoyable! Hooray! Introduce a bit of humour, incorporate games, let the classroom be a place where laughter and learning go hand in hand. The belief that visible engagement equates to learning is flawed, as highlighted by Rob Coe (2013). Coe emphasises that mistaking teaching for learning is a common misconception among educators, where the assumption that “I have taught it” implies “they have learned it,” often without an independent assessment of actual learning outcomes. This challenges the notion that mere classroom activity is indicative of genuine learning. The link to fostering creativity in the classroom lies in recognising that true learning extends beyond surface engagement; it involves creating an environment that encourages independent thought, innovation, and genuine understanding rather than relying solely on observable activity.

Feel free to click the link below and embark on a visual exploration of these engaging strategies in action. Let the ideas come to life, and may this video serve as inspiration for a future where learning is not just an academic pursuit but a joyful and collaborative adventure.

‘Where in your lessons will students have to think hard?’

To summarise…

As we navigate the landscape of education, it’s evident that infusing joy into learning isn’t just a whimsical notion but a transformative approach to education. By incorporating interactive learning tools, turning lessons into captivating stories, and fostering group adventures, we create an environment where curiosity thrives, and knowledge becomes a shared adventure.

These strategies go beyond traditional teaching methods, addressing the varied needs and preferences of diverse learners. Interactive tools cater to the tech-savvy generation, storytelling appeals to the imaginative minds and group adventures nurture collaboration and camaraderie.

In embracing these approaches, we not only make learning memorable but also lay the groundwork for a lifelong love of education.

And Here’s a Video to Share Our Ideas:

Do watch our webinar – aimed at Educators across the phases…..

Do check out our UK tour – Once upon a Time – which brings all of these ideas AND more, to life! Once Upon a Time – Home – Once upon a time

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