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By Harriet Castillo

CSMS Magazine

Education is the key to a child’s success in life. When parents value education, it makes the teaching environment quite conducive to learning. Children are the products of their environment—their family atmosphere. Teaching is an art. As all work of art, it requires some creativity. Below are some tips necessary for teachers to use when it comes to preparing a good lesson.    

A lesson is great only when it is crafted with genial ingredients. A creative teacher knows how to spice his/her lesson. A lesson can be spiced at any of its given sections. A teacher can enter the seasonings at the beginning of a lesson, during an activity, or at the close of a lesson to give students memorable connections to the ideas, to generate interest or curiosity, and to provide feedback that stretches their thinking and moves them beyond their current potential. Teachers can add spices and expand skills by integrating innovations, collaboration, information gathering, and problem solving into the fabric of our instruction and lessons.

Students need to be creative and have opportunities to be innovative to learn and be successful in the future. Furthermore, teachers add spices when learning becomes an opportunity by turning the mundane and boring into challenge, excitement, and anticipation. Twist lessons and topics to turn student passions and interests into more of those learning opportunities. It is quintessential to increasing the interaction between students and teachers to positively influence students’ attitudes. Make them yearn to cooperate, participate, and learn. 

Here are the tips

During planning, practice selective abandonment and throw out the boring parts. Teach in a way that captures the learners and is at the appropriate level for growth. The following techniques are samples of spicing up assignments.

  1. Use video clips, quotes, song lyrics, or television shows to introduce topics.
  2. Have student’s brainstorm content or skill connections to video, music, television, or other experiences.
  3. Use topics of interest to students to plan the spice.
  4. Plan activities using flexible-grouping designs. Use a blending of small groups, large groups, individual activities, and pairs to perform assignments and tasks.
  5. Incorporate technology such as eBooks, networking, Internet searches, interactive boards, online portfolios, and blogging.
  6. Ask students to brainstorm and plan different ways to present a lesson with “spice” they will be learning and motivated at the same time!

Remember, adding spice does not mean adding fluff. Cutesy lessons do not stimulate minds. They may be interesting at first, but they are too shallow, and the energy wears off. Learners do not have time for fluff. The spice and fun added must relate to the content.

Note: Harriet Castillo is Education Specialist who works for Flagler County Public Schools. She wrote this piece especially for CSMS Magazine.

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