Friday, June 27, 2014

Empowering Students: Guest Blogger!!

Hey Friends - I'm turning Friday over to my sweet friend, Kristin. She has some great ideas about empowering children, and I'm so excited she's here! :)

Hi everyone! I'm Kristin from My Carolina Classroom. I just finished my first year of teaching and I'm a brand new blogger. Kelly is kindly allowing me to take over for the day! I want to share something I feel strongly about: empowerment. Empowerment involves providing opportunities for students to make their own decisions as often as possible and letting children know that they have worth. I believe that allowing students to make their own choices leads to a stronger sense of self and belonging, which leads to a stronger sense of responsibility. When students feel valued in the classroom, they are less likely to act out and more likely to take charge of their learning.

 Here are five easy ways to empower students daily:  
1. Equity sticks - Put each student's name on a popsicle stick. Draw a stick instead of asking for volunteers, etc. Students need to know that they are equal in your eyes and have as good a chance as everyone else. This is an easy way to make sure every student participates and gets a turn before you call on a student for a second time.

 2. Parking Lot - Elementary students are so curious! My students last year could ask me questions all day long. I had to stay on schedule, but did not want my students to feel like their thoughts or questions were not valuable. So, I created our class parking lot where students could "park" their questions and comments.
I can't find a picture of my own, so I'm borrowing this one. You get the idea. Click image for source!
3. "Must Do" then "May Do" - I always have instructions projected on my board while students are working independently. I have a MUST DO list and a MAY DO list. When students finish their required work, they can choose which optional activity they will do next.

 4. Tattle Monster - Second graders are tattle tales. Tattling drives me CRAZY especially because it usually happens at inopportune times. Thus, I created the tattle monster. (Thanks Pinterest!) Students write down their tattle and feed it to the monster. I do read them at the end of each day to make sure I'm not missing anything that requires attention.
5. Work Hard, Get Smart - Empowerment often requires encouragement. We created a class chant before fall testing and used it all year long. I would shout, "Work Hard," and the students would respond, "GET SMART woot woot." They LOVED it and our chant always helped them get pumped up before a test.

These are just a few of many possibilities. How do you empower students in your classroom? I'd love to hear your thoughts. I'll leave you with a quote. (Corny, I know!)

“I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside, and give them a sense of pride to make it easier.”
-Whitney Houston

 Thank you for having me, Kelly and Kelly's readers! Come by My Carolina Classroom any time.
My Carolina Classroom

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  1. I love your ideas! Especially the parking lot, I am going to try and work that in this year. :)

    1. Thank you! The kids really love the parking lot.

  2. Kristin, wonderful ideas for empowering students. I especially loved the equity sticks and tattle monster. The class chant was great too.

    The Color of Sound

  3. love that Whitney Houston song :)

  4. Students with respect to guest blogger will be able to find every possible fact as mentioned here and there is also need to make more out of these empowering features. diagnostic radiography personal statement


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