We use activities to reinforce the content that we are teaching. I know you most likely are already using them but I wanted to point out a few things to keep in mind:
Make it relevant. Make sure the activity relates to your content. What point are you trying to make? Use an activity to summarize your lesson or to introduce your lesson. The important things are that we don’t just toss in activities to make the students busy. We want them to have fun, but we want the fun to be with substance!
Be prepared for your activity. There is nothing worse than running around trying to get all the supplies you need. Any engagement you had built in the class will be lost if you all of a sudden have to leave the classroom and are running around the school to look for things.
Give clear directions. Make sure the students know what they are going to do. Do they know the objective? Make it clear what you expect of them.
Participate in the activity. While the students are working on the activity, walk around and ask the students questions. Be available to answer any questions they have. Students working on an activity does not mean that it is time for us to take a break!
Close the activity (or summarize the activity) with a discussion or Q&A. Relate what they just did to the content you have been teaching.
Do you have trouble coming up with ideas? Take a look at the Learning Reinforcement Material found at the end of every Lesson Plan in the corresponding Course Management Guide to each Milady Standard Textbook for a list of ideas to use in your classroom. Additionally, there are activities built right into each chapter of the Milady Standard textbooks.
Lisha Barnes is a Cosmetology/Barber Instructor with over 25 years of experience. She started out in a small private school working in Admissions, Financial Aid, Education, and School Director. She was a Director of Education for a chain of Private Cosmetology schools. Currently she serves as the Academic Development Manager for Milady where she supports schools and educators around the nation with continuing education, curriculum development and product knowledge. Lisha has served as an Educator for Milady’s Career Institute; NACCAS Commission; Career Educators of America Committee Member; and has authored numerous writing projects for Milady. This industry experience allows her to see the industry from a variety of viewpoints, which helps in sharing information and ideas with educators all around the world.