Has “Drudgery” Overtaken Your Classroom?

Has your school day been overtaken by drudgery? The excitement of the first day of school soon vanishes as the school year progresses.

“Boxed” curriculum leads teachers and students from review to new material and then continues to build upward toward that curriculum author’s set goals for the year.

It can become a drudgery if a variety of learning activities is not implemented. However, one simple way to help prevent drudgery is in the introduction of lessons. Whether the curriculum calls for it or not, introducing lessons in a variety of ways helps to prevent drudgery for the teacher and the student.

Be creative in seeking new ways for your child to be introduced to new material.  Use manipulatives, video presentation, audio recordings, maps, and library materials.

Plan to implement a variety of presentation activities by looking ahead at your lesson plans. How can you introduce a particular lesson in an interesting and interactive way?

Present a scenario in which the child must use his or her acquired knowledge to solve a problem. Let him or her puzzle over the problem and be delighted if they are able to come to a solution. Then utilize the lesson to show one way to solve the problem.

Don’t be limited into thinking that there is only one way to solve any particular problem. Appreciate the questioning process. This encourages academic learning.

Utilize role playing. Become the characters. I wonder what the conversation between children would have been as they traveled on the Mayflower to the New World. Let students muse over what they think the conversations would have been between historical characters.

Read an excerpt from a story. Then ask students what they think would happen next. You might ask them to “finish” the story. Let the creative juices flow.

Use an excerpt to present a dilemma. What is needed to implement a solution? How was this dilemma solved? Did it involve a war, a feud, a peace agreement? Was a new invention conceived? Did physicians employ a different method or procedure? Was the solution the proper one? How would history have changed if another solution had been sought?

The presentation of a series of history or science lessons may begin with a field trip. An introduction of the Civil War may be a visit to a nearby historical monument or battlefield. An introduction to mammals may consist of a visit to a nearby zoo or local farm.

An introduction to the study of a particular country may be the preparation of a meal that would be on the dinner table of a citizen of that country. It may also include dressing in that country’s fashion for the day.

An introduction to a particular time period in history may be the playing of a particular piece of music that was popular in those days. This would also be a good time to sneak in art as you show the artists of the era and their noted works.

Don’t stress yourself into thinking you have to introduce every lesson in a different way. But by planning different styles of lesson introductions and strategically scheduling those introductions in your planner you will be prompted and prepared with interesting presentations. That way you can be assured that the drudgery of the usual day to day lecture and subsequent worksheet type lessons will not overtake your school environment.

I hope your year is a joy to you and your students as you take steps now to prevent drudgery in the school days ahead.

Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.  Proverbs 16:3