10 ways to foster a love of learning…
Share things you have learnt. Tell your students about PD and conferences you attend. Invite their opinions on things you have read for your own interest. Never talk down to the students. Be part of the learning community.
2. Encourage creativity
Give students opportunities to create in any way they like. Have them create original expressions of their learning through a variety of web 2.0 tools. Let them draw, write a song, make a film, create a cartoon or record a podcast. Put a camera in their hands for recording and expressing learning.
3. Make it meaningful
Make connections to their lives. Encourage interpretations that make sense to them. Create for an authentic audience, by publishing online through blogs, wikis and other web 2.0. Don’t set chores, don’t hand out worksheets, don’t assign work… create motivating learning experiences.
4. Flatten classroom walls
Don’t confine learning to the classroom. Bring the world in. Collaborate online with kids in other places. Use Skype for global connections.
5. Demonstrate your passion
If you aren’t enjoying the class, neither will the students. If what you do bores you, it will bore them too. If you clearly love it, they will too! Interact with other educators online to fire up your enthusiasm.
6. Respect your students
Don’t expect the same from every student. Make sure every child knows that you know where they’re at. Don’t imagine any kind of standardized tests will tell you that. Listen to their conversation and value their thinking. Show interest. Know every child’s story.
7. Provide variation
Don’t fall into the habit of doing things the same way all the time. Come up with new ways of practicing skills. Share ideas with other teachers. Get ideas online. Get ideas from the students. Surprise them. Use different tools and formats and approaches. Plan for multiple intelligences and different learning styles.
8. Implement inquiry as a stance
Encourage students to explore, question and wonder. Invite them into a new topic with a strong provocation that inspires curiosity. Provide opportunities for them to play with possibilities and investigate in a variety of ways. Help them make connections between different areas of learning. Focus on concepts and big ideas.
9. Play games
Find games online and offline. Get kids to move around and play physically. Play thinking games. Invent games and let students invent games. Make sure every game has a learning goal. Make the learning goal explicit to the kids. Make it fun!
10. Encourage students to be responsible for their own learning
Tell them they are! Give them choice. Don’t make all the decisions. Encourage goal setting and reflection. Create a culture of thinking. Talk less. Step back and hand over control…
Please add to the list!