If you haven’t already seen the short film, Alike, directed by Daniel Martínez Lara & Rafa Cano Méndez, you need to check it out! It is only about 8 minutes long and there is on scene that really hit home for me as a first grade teacher.
The scene that moved me occurs about 2 minutes into the video. The little boy draws a picture on his handwriting work. The teacher takes the drawing and hands him a new paper. As I watched this scene, tears came to my eyes. How many times have I taken a paper that a student was doodling on in class? In those moments, I’m annoyed. I often say something like, “what are you supposed to be doing right now?” Really? Ahhhh! It makes me cringe just thinking about it.
Now, I try to design and create lessons that are hands-on and naturally engaging for my students, but there are times when I do have my students complete paper/pencil tasks. That is okay, but how do we find the balance? How do we help those students who express themselves most authentically through art, music, and movement be successful in our classrooms and in their futures?
Seriously, I do not have the answer for this, but what I do know is that math and literacy centers are such an engaging way for my students to practice skills and concepts. The ability to work around the classroom and collaborate with peers is huge! Interested in trying some of my math or literacy centers for first grade? Click the links below to check them out!
Do you have any secret tips for engaging your students in their learning? Leave ideas in the comments section below! I’d love to feature your ideas in my weekly inspiration newsletter!