Another goal of mine in the classroom was to make learning fun and joyful! To increase the JOY factor in my 2nd grade classroom, I implemented several strategies:
- Connect the story to real life – For example in Reading Workshop, before teaching students about compare and contrast, I told them about how I was planning my wedding and had to read two books about wedding cakes. Because I made the story personal to myself, they were more excited to listen to the lesson and recognized the value of the reading strategy in everyday life.
- Incorporating different ways of learning – To reinforce the Reading workshop lessons, I started incorporating hand movements in the lesson plans so they could better recall the concept. For example, when talking about compare and contrast, I had students put their hands together to show compare, and then put their hands apart to show contrast which mimics the Venn Diagram.
- Using different materials and manipulatives – In math, we also increased joy factor by having students work on their whiteboards so they all have an opportunity to demonstrates their learning.
- Make learning seem like a game! – Children love games of all types, so I try to make a lesson a game whenever possible! For example, in math when they’re using their whiteboards, I have them draw a star on the corner of their whiteboard. At the end of the lesson we see which students received the most stars!
- Connect to their interests – Another way I incorporated Joy Factor in the classroom was by creating fake Pokemon cards as an incentive prize for whenever they passed a level in their Math Facts. The Pokemon cards not only made the Math Facts more interesting to the students, but it gave them a sense of accomplishment because they were obtaining something as they passed the math facts tests.
If you kids like Pokemon as well, you can use this site to create fake Pokemon cards and then print them on a color printer.