Sunday, April 15, 2012

Engaging Your Daydreamers!

Sometimes when I am talking to my students (especially at the end of the day), I feel like they are not listening. I also have a few constant daydreamers that are always trying to check out. And a few ADD students who have a hard time focusing for more than a minute or two at a time. At the end of the day, though they can really start to zone out.  So, I've started something new, called "Mirroring."

When I have something important that I am going to say, I say to my students, "Mirror!" What this means is that they need to place there hands up in front of them, as I place my hands up in front of me. Then, whatever actions I make with my hands, they also make. I make motions that relate to what I am talking about.

I think the kinesthetic engagement really helps out all of my students. If nothing else, they have to be paying attention to my movements, which keeps them more engaged. When I do this, it is easy to look around the classroom and "see" who is paying attention. I can also gently remind those that are daydreaming that they need to check in and focus!

Other times, I'll ask the students to do a think/pair/share using the mirror technique, summarizing what I just said. If I use this for summarizing, I should see some similar movements. I can now easily monitor on-task behavior. It is easy to SEE who is talking about the topic.

Thank you for Whole Brain Teaching for teaching me about this technique!

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