When asked, “What type of curriculum do you want to add to your classroom this fall?” Of course, I could rattle off a list of items and resources that would be beneficial. Still, my initial response is, “I want to incorporate joy.”
Before I add any additional resources, I want to ensure that JOY is present and that the love of learning is alive in the classroom. This past year has been challenging for educators, parents, and students. It’s time to bring education back to life again!
Below are some ways for companies and organizations to help educators invite joy back into their classrooms through small yet mighty ways to enhance curriculum, resources, and learning tools.
1) Let students lead.
Empower them by engaging them in their own learning experience.
2) Team build.
Community and togetherness are more critical than they have ever been. Utilize team building and crucial thinking games and activities to build relationships and learn essential skills needed inside and outside the classroom.
3) Use “human project” based learning.
Project-based learning moves to learning from the inside of the classroom to the outside of the school.
4) Teach Mindfulness.
A short mindfulness activity at the beginning of each class will help students and teachers engage and focus on their lessons for the day.
5) Quick micro-assignments
That isolated individual learning standards and objectives are low-stress and highly effective for everyone. They’re also excellent formative assessment tools!
6) Read aloud.
Students of all ages enjoy being read aloud, which can be done within any content area. Reading interesting, funny, and heartwarming words is a simple way to bring joy into the classroom.
Talking points that invite discussion are a surefire way to engage students and create memorable learning opportunities for all involved.
8) Listen to music.
Music and rhythm are tried and true ways to lift anyone’s mood. The fastest way to shift a square classroom into a joyful place of learning is through music. Do any of your resources include music?
9) Shift from classrooms to learning spaces.
Help students “leave the classroom” through virtual reality; with so many opportunities to take students just about anywhere, immersion, engagement, connections, and joy can be guaranteed.
10) Use humor!
Jokes, funny stories, and incorporating humor into the mundane go a long way!
As you create content and tools for educators, recall your own learning experiences. What do you remember, and why is it memorable? Why did you enjoy that particular class or topic? Then, apply these answers to your products with the mindset that teachers and students will effectively learn and find joy in these products or services.
This school year offers us new opportunities to learn, grow, and find joy. So let’s be sure to utilize every opportunity we have to do so!