We have all been there. You have spent hours pouring over your standards, sifting through ideas on Pinterest, to get 15 minutes into a lesson and realize your students aren’t, shall we say, impressed. Crickets are chirping. Or, utter confusion ensues. What do you do?
Even the most seasoned veterans experience a “flop” every now and then. Today, we provide three tips to turn the flop into an opportunity.
Acknowledge it. Tell students you see they are confused or not engaged, and you are going to change gears a bit.
Determine what’s up. Using the think-pair-share strategy or quick write, ask students to articulate what they are finding confusing or difficult.
Some quick open-ended questions are:
Tell me in your own words what you understand about _____________.
What are you finding confusing?
What do you think you need to help you understand?
3. Switch it up. Instead of whole group, teacher-centered instruction that relies heavily on language, have students act out directions or allow them to perform a non-verbal representation of the concept, such as a drawing or play-dough sculpture.
Finally, and most importantly, use the feedback gained from students to reflect on what was the cause of the “flop,” how you put on your Super Teacher cape to save the day, and what you can do to prevent future flops. Then take a deep breath, and know you’re not alone.