01-09-2019 07:01 AM - last edited on 01-09-2019 08:28 AM by michael_britt
I was honored to present to our faculty at our school’s Spring Convocation on “Icebreakers…Setting the Stage for Success.” However, I wanted to squeeze in a mini-lesson on teaching our students to be observant. As my colleagues entered the first session, I played the theme song to, “Cheers” in the background. They signed in as usual. Next to the sign-in sheets, I placed several small objects (see picture below). I thought it was quite interesting that no one asked about the objects on the table. They proceeded to sit down in their groups to begin the first activity. I walked about the room to observe and moved quickly to the back to cover up the items on the table.
The next icebreaker included one of memory. I asked them to work as a group to name the 11 items displayed on the table next to the sign-in sheets. Many faculty whispered, “I did not pay any attention to those items.” I used the items displayed on the table to create a teachable moment.
What is the point? Let’s teach our students to be more aware and observant the minute they walk into a classroom. Being observant is a soft skill that must be practiced often to develop into a habit.
Bernard Bull posits:
Learning to observe the world around us and extract meaning from those observations is a powerful aspect of growing as a self-directed learner. It offers lessons for formal education along with a myriad of important life skills (Etale Newsletter, 2014).
In your teaching, look for opportunities to develop self-directed learners. A student who is observant more likely will be engaged in the lecture and other activities that occur in the classroom.
Have a great semester!