Sunday Struggles- Question of the Week

I have decided that on Sundays I am going to do something a little different with this space. I am going to float a question out there for anyone who might be reading. I suppose if no one is reading, I will just put it out there to give myself something to think about. These will be questions that I am struggling with and figure I need some ideas from others.

So…the question for today…

If greater learning happens when kids are engaged, what can we do with students that are just not interested in the subject or topic that we need them to learn? For instance, what if a student just has no interest in Science?

I would love some feedback.

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4 thoughts on “Sunday Struggles- Question of the Week

  1. I’ll take a crack at it although I’m sure it’s presumptuous of me to suggest that I know the first thing about teaching. But to use science as an example, it’s such a broad subject that it must tie into their interests somewhere. Are they into dragons? Teach them about combustion and how a dragon might be able to breath fire. Are they more mall kids? You could get them to think about behavioral psychology, what happens to our brains when we want to buy something and then the serotonin hit when we do. I don’t know, I might be full of baloney. Those were just the things that jumped to my mind.

    • I don’ think you are full of baloney. What I struggle with is that our curriculum is more narrow than the kids interests. For instance, in science this year I cover simple machines, body systems, and geology/natural resources. Also, how can one adult provide as much personalization as they can while balancing a class of 30 kids and multiple subject areas? I do like your ideas. I would have to learn right along with the kids, which I love.

      • I wondered if there weren’t more restrictions. It definitely makes an answer harder to find. I’ve been thinking about it for the last day and I had a few thoughts. Take them with a grain of salt as I don’t know what other restrictions you might be under.

        I pondered simple machines and I can’t really think of any way to make them interesting in a classroom setting. Would it be possible to move class into the gym and try to put the theories into practice? Do school gyms still have medicine balls? With the use of levers and ropes could they make the medicine ball easier to lift? It might not appeal to their real interests but at least they are doing rather than just reading about doing. I was such a tactile learner as a kid that I wish there would have been more of that sort of thing.

        As for body systems, the Smithsonian has a traveling exhibit that has been in the museums around here called Grossology. It talks about all of the nasty things that go on in the human body and puts a fun slant on it. You can’t actually see the exhibit out there I’m sure, but there could be some ideas there to put some fun into body systems.

        Geology and natural resources has me a bit stumped. It sounds like such a Canadian curriculum item. School brought to you by Weyerhaeuser. The only thing in my wheelhouse that could apply are soils. Could you dig a hole somewhere and then analyse the layers. If you bring in a bunch of soil samples and then mix them around in a jar of water, they will separate into distinct layers like hummus, sand, silt, and clay. I may be the only one in the world who thinks that is cool though.

        Anyway, I don’t know if this was at all helpful or just piling onto stuff you already have thought about. I’m really not qualified to talk about this stuff but I guess you did ask.

      • Thanks for the feedback. Those are great ideas. Actually Grossology has been presented through Science World here for years. I guess what always causes me to ponder is that there are so many different learning styles for all different learners. How can a teacher or a school hit the styles of as many learners in as many different ways in as many different topics as possible and still balance a family and a life outside of school that really should not take second place to a career?

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