Let Students Use Your Stuff: 5 Ideas

Monday, June 13, 2016
Teachers tend to be natural control freaks.  I will be the first to admit--I would rather do it myself to get it done "right".  I might hide my electric sharpener so no little hands touch it.  I choose to spend my weekend cutting out lamination when I could put students parent volunteers to work instead.  So allowing students to my "teacher only" goodies can be very frightening. 
But, it can also be worth it.
Let them...

1) Teach/Learn with a pointer
Pointers=power    A simple tool can make a student feel in charge of their learning or of teaching others.  A pointer can come in all shapes and sizes and doesn't need to be fancy!
SINGING TIME IDEA: super simple pointer with pom poms... how have i never thought of this!?
Look how SIMPLE and cute these wooden sticks with pom-poms glued to the end are for make-your-own pointers!  {source: Adventures in Teaching}

Use splash sticks from Starbucks in your reading groups as pointers! [From: The Husky Loving Teacher]:

The Husky Loving Teacher visits Starbucks JUST to collect the little coffee stick thingies ; )
2) Use pocket charts

I picked up some brightly colored pocket charts at the Target Dollar Spot to add to my Word Work center.  I am thinking about making some spots in the room where students can hang them to work on a word sort or they can just simply lay it on the ground and use it to help keep them organized.
3) Use the SmartBoard independently
This is still one hurdle I can't seem to jump over yet...but I hope to try next year.  Do you let your kids use the SmartBoard without your direct supervision?  I would love to hear about it because I am scared. to. death.
4) Read your read alouds

I love how A Teeny Tiny Teacher lets her kiddos read her read aloud books and how excited they get.  Seriously, read her post and if you don't already do this, it will make you want to.
5) Make an anchor chart
Yes, we all want beautiful Pinterest-worthy anchor charts but in reality, students are 78%* more likely to reference a chart they created.  You may want to model or provide an example (or pick the student with the neatest handwriting) since you want it to be legible in order to be effective.  But give up some of the control by letting students decide what important information, examples, pictures ect. should be included.  OR if you can't handle giving up that much control, at least make it interactive like the ones below by The Applicious Teacher.  Make the outline, laminate (or don't) and let students do the rest!
Make your own beautiful (BUT TOTALLY FUNCTIONAL) Interactive Anchor Charts. Just cut, place, color, and laminate. Use sticky notes or dry erase markers. No more making a new anchor chart every week. Thank you for saving me time!:
*statistics may be made up but there is still some truth to it...

One of the many things I have learned this year is that when you give up some control, wonderful things can happen.  Students are able to take charge of their learning and when you s l o w l y release responsibilities, it changes the classroom dynamics from YOUR room to OUR room.


Megan @ Meg Go Run said...

I need to give up control more often! I am definitely guilty of being like, "okay I will just do it because it will be faster and it will be done correctly."

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