Nobody unlocked the classroom for me tonight. I had a dozen college students waiting to learn about teaching math, and no classroom. The original lesson plan included centers, google docs, and videos (using a projector (indoors)). But, we had no classroom. Fortunately, EduPhotographers (#EduTogs, for short) have shared amazing ways to integrate photography into the classroom. So, I took my students on a photowalk to teach them how to teach geometry to primary students.
Teaching geometry to primary students was the focus of class tonight. I rethought my plans for the class, and tried to adapt most of it to being outdoors. Rather than looking at photos of geometric shapes, we took photos of geometric shapes. I sent my students off in three shifts to take photos of rectangles, circles, and polygons. It took a few minutes for them to figure out that I was serious, and that tonight’s class required an active role. But, they were quickly on their way. Soon, they were walking around campus in small groups, sometimes taking pictures, sometimes sharing pictures, sometimes checking Facebook. We came back together as a class three times to share our favorite geometric photos, and talk about how we could adapt this activity to kindergartners. The class was more engaged than I’ve ever seen, and all because someone forgot to let us in to the classroom.
There’s a bigger lesson I learned tonight.
Lately, I am focused on fine tuning my courses. I’ve taught the same college classes several times in a row, and am comfortable with the curriculum. I want each class to have a better flow, with better examples, and better transitions. Meanwhile, I lost sight of the big pictures. Sometimes being forced to teach without a computer, projector, or ceiling is a good thing. I had to adapt.
I was able to adjust my lesson quickly and effective for three big reasons: