Engaging Disengaged Students

Engaging disengaged students AED 205
  * Middle or High School:
Mr. Nelson is teaching an American History lesson about the Great Depression. Standing at the front of the classroom, he reads a newspaper article written the day after Black Tuesday. He then reads two more short articles about the aftermath. He asks students to close their eyes and think about the last time they were very hungry or very worried. A few moments later, he has the students open their eyes. He delivers a 10-minute PowerPoint® presentation about what life was like in the lower, middle, and upper classes during the Great Depression, complete with pictures and clips of popular music from the era. After the presentation, Mr. Nelson walks the class to the library to work on research for a small team assignment. Students are told to work in pairs to write a newspaper article about a day in the life of an American, as if they were reporters during the Great Depression. One student puts his head down and falls asleep. Another student works on sending text messages instead of helping his partner work on the project.
One of the strengths in Mr. Nelson’s lesson would definitely have to be the power point presentation. When I was a student I always used to love the presentation because it was like watching a movie, and what student doesn’t want to watch movies. It was always fun and it made the class go by a lot quicker.
As a teacher I have to get the point across that this is a team assignment meaning both parties have to be involved. I will attempt to walk around throughout the whole period to make sure all students are involved. I would also make sure that the students know that this assignment is a big part of their grade.
For the student with the phone I would most certainly confiscate the phone. I will ask the student to help his/her partner and I will return their phone at the end of the day. When the student comes at the end of the day to pick up the phone, I will explain...