Friday, 14 September 2012

How do you feel about learning today?

Hello everyone,

As I've learnt a lot this summer I've decided to introduce some changes to my lessons and I did it from day one of this school year. I've actually decided to try out everything I feel might be useful, so this is actually my first step of putting theory into practice.

The change my students have grown very fond of is asking them "How do you feel about learning today?". They don't even wait for me to ask anymore, they just show me with their thumbs or tell me. It really is a great way to start a lesson, because they get the chance to let all of the distractions go and warn me if there's something I can help with or need to take into consideration. As there is only 45 minutes to a lesson, the best way to approach this is by a quick survey. And here are some ways of how you can approach it:

  • A SHOW OF THUMBS: thumbs up for great, in the middle for so-so, thumbs down for not well.
  • A SHOW OF FINGERS: give yourself a grade from 1 to 10. 
  • DOODLES: draw something that represents how you feel - you can limit this to an animal, a plant, a film character, a cartoon character, a monster,  or a household object, 
  • MELODIES: Pick a song or a tune which represents how you feel and sing it or whistle it (noise risk factor to be taken into consideration!!)
  • CALLING OUT EMOTIONS: This is great if you've just done adjectives about feelings, you or a student might call out words for emotions and people sit down when their emotional state is named. This is good for developing empathy as the one calling out words needs to think about others. 
  • STRIKE A POSE: This one's primarily for young learners and only, and just maybe, for very open teenagers. Show how you feel by miming it or striking a pose. 
  • JUST ASK THEM: It's pretty obvious. But don't insist on everyone sharing, some things are private. 

Finally, it's a good idea to ask yourself the same question about teaching - just so you know where you stand  and if there's something you could do for yourself to feel better. 

Maybe this was more of a Monday post, but I wanted to finish the week on a positive note. 

Now I'll go home and rest. Monday's a very BIG day.

Love to all,


  1. You are very, very inspiring, and this is, for me at least, one of the best texts I've read here. Thank you for that.:) In my experience (which is scarce, but never mind:)), teenagers really do respond well to questions like, How are you feeling, Are you tired, etc., because they feel that we appreciate them that way. Of course, there are always students and classes who would just rather be somewhere else, drinking coffee and discussing new turbo-folk albums. So, here's a question (for you, and for myself) - are there students that simply cannot be interested, no matter what we do? And good morning to you, Dora.:)

  2. You're very welcome!! :))
    To answer your question: I'm thinking in terms of people motivating me to learn physics (just think of a subject you had difficulties with)... I don't know... I think everyone healthy can learn the basic, I really do believe it because I passed physics. Can everyone become interested? Hm... You'll rarely catch me watching documentaries on astronomy or optics. I guess we can only do our best and hope for the best, i.e. that we motivate as many as possible, everyone preferably - but never expect it.

  3. I have to agree with Davorka. Dora this is inspiring and YOU make me a better teacher! I always push myself more because of you and I really appreciate your ideas and try to put them into practice.

  4. That means a lot. :))) Thank you very very much!!! :))))*