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Sneaky Teaching 101

Instruction

Ever want your students to be so invested in the lesson they forget they are in school? Here are some factors to help you become a super sneaky teacher.

The biggest factor in becoming a sneaky teacher is to be intentional with each step of the lesson.  Here are some examples of how to become a sneaky teacher.  

 

The Art of Withholding information:

What information you hold back depends on what type of lesson you are giving. If you are teaching a lesson on observation perhaps the name of the item, you are observing will be withheld. 

Give small parts of the game plan away, but never the whole thing.  For example, if the objective was for the students to experience a certain perspective.  Avoiding mentioning the exact perspective you are aiming for, while simultaneously giving concrete examples of that perspective without saying it. 

Surprise:

Having something extra large, loud, or slimy connecting to the lesson appear out of nowhere is quiet surprising and brings the students attention back to the lesson. 

Feign Forgetfulness:

Sometimes the silliest and simplest really is the most effective.  Give the students enough information that they can piece together most of the lesson, but hold off on the big reveal.  This is a nice formative assessment to elicit prior knowledge see what the students already know.

The Big Reveal:

All of these methods don’t really mean much without a well crafted debrief summarizing what the students have learned. This is where you provide the answers to the questions they have been asking since the beginning of the lesson. Ask the students “Why in the world did we just look at this object for such a long time?” Or “Why would I asked you to do this?” and “How does this relate to life beyond school?” By asking this last question you are connecting the lesson to life beyond school, which provides context and relevance for the students to the lesson.   A nice way to wrap up any lesson is with gratitudes.  This can take many forms my current favorite is to have students think of an emoji they would like to send to a friend to say thank you with a caption explaining why. 

Welcome to the guerrilla teaching squad!

Ever want your students to be so invested in the lesson they forget they are in school? Here are some factors to help you become a super sneaky teacher.

The biggest factor in becoming a sneaky teacher is to be intentional with each step of the lesson.  Here are some examples of how to become a sneaky teacher.  

 

The Art of Withholding information:

What information you hold back depends on what type of lesson you are giving. If you are teaching a lesson on observation perhaps the name of the item, you are observing will be withheld. 

Give small parts of the game plan away, but never the whole thing.  For example, if the objective was for the students to experience a certain perspective.  Avoiding mentioning the exact perspective you are aiming for, while simultaneously giving concrete examples of that perspective without saying it. 

Surprise:

Having something extra large, loud, or slimy connecting to the lesson appear out of nowhere is quiet surprising and brings the students attention back to the lesson. 

Feign Forgetfulness:

Sometimes the silliest and simplest really is the most effective.  Give the students enough information that they can piece together most of the lesson, but hold off on the big reveal.  This is a nice formative assessment to elicit prior knowledge see what the students already know.

The Big Reveal:

All of these methods don’t really mean much without a well crafted debrief summarizing what the students have learned. This is where you provide the answers to the questions they have been asking since the beginning of the lesson. Ask the students “Why in the world did we just look at this object for such a long time?” Or “Why would I asked you to do this?” and “How does this relate to life beyond school?” By asking this last question you are connecting the lesson to life beyond school, which provides context and relevance for the students to the lesson.   A nice way to wrap up any lesson is with gratitudes.  This can take many forms my current favorite is to have students think of an emoji they would like to send to a friend to say thank you with a caption explaining why. 

Welcome to the guerrilla teaching squad!

About the Author
Hannah Graether

Hannah Graether is an Environmental Educator at IslandWood and is in the progress of obtaining a Masters of Education at the University of Washington.  Attending IslandWood has helped her find a balance between environmental science and education.  In her free time Hannah likes to read, hike, and do yoga.