Keep it fresh!

When I first started working with new teachers, I started thinking about a larger group that needed to be mentored as well - the experienced ones!  With that concern, I titled my first book, A Lesson Plan for Teachers, New and OLD!  I wanted to make a point there.  Even we old dogs can, and should, learn new tricks!
 I remember having, and have even worked with, some of those old teachers who never changed their ways in the classroom.  One of my colleagues even kept his classroom lessons filed in a cabinet according to the days of the school year on which he taught the lesson.  It did not matter what happened in the world, or what was happening in his classroom, on Day 86, he taught what came out of folder "Day 86."  I was disgusted by this, but I had no power in persuading him - he was my department chair!  Fourteen years later than when I started working with him, he is still teaching, and I'm sure he is still using those lesson folders he created in 1972.

So, I wrote my book.  And I still go from school to school to speak to the new teachers, and the old ones, stressing that as we enter our classrooms each year, and even each day, we need to make sure we keep things fresh.  We need to change things from year to year, and we must address what is happening in our world that may change our lessons.
For new teachers, what does this mean?  Plain and simple, it means you cannot create a lesson and use it year after year without review.  I'm not saying you have to reinvent the wheel every year, but make simple changes.  And most importantly, do not teach from a textbook with no relief from the mundane for your students.  Use variety - Centers, Response Groups, Games! 

There is so much you can try in your classroom each and every year to make and keep it fresh.  You just have to be aware of that need.  You just need to acknowledge that change is good.  Just imagine, if you don't update from time to time, you will turn into that old teacher we all know!


And here are some ideas for freshness in your classroom from my TpT Store:

Turn your classroom into a Human Game Board!  Quiz students as they progress through the room, avoiding the pitfalls to move back 3 spaces and searching for the squares that guide them to take an extra turn!

Allow your students to Create Board Games to assess their knowledge of the unit content.   And then, let them have a Game Day to play them!

Set up Walking Tours of your favorite time periods in history for students to travel through the classroom while learning the content!  Visit England through the Industrial Revolution or Travel through Florence at the Start of the Renaissance!

Set up an Archeological Dig Site in your classroom for students to "find" clues to events in history! 

Allow students to gather clues from a Sunkin Ship to learn about the Age of Exploration!

Just search my TpT Store for an assortment of other ideas!
Michele Luck