Teachers are constantly struggling to find new and creative ways to keep their students engaged.
In today’s ever-changing world, it simply isn’t enough to rely on reading, writing, and arithmetic to rule the classroom. Advancements in technology have opened up a whole new rule book for student engagement, but not every teacher is willing to see the advantages of changing up their teaching styles.
But Joe Dombrowski, or Mr. D, is leading the charge when it comes to finding ways to make learning fun so that kids will look forward to coming to school. And based on his kiddos’ reactions, it’s easy to see that there’s something to Mr. D’s unorthodox approach to teaching.
You might recognize Mr. D from his now infamous video of a surprise April Fool’s spelling test that was “CHCHCH” to say the least.
Before becoming a teacher, he was a volunteer counselor for five years at a summer camp for terminally ill children, which ultimately inspired him to make a career change.
His unconventional methods help ensure that students aren’t only learning, but having fun while doing it.
He isn’t afraid to bring his own personality and sense of humor into the classroom.
In Mr. D’s classroom, every student is free to be who they are and embrace what makes them special.
He may choose to refer to his students as “nuggets,” but Mr. D also has a slew of nicknames for each individual student.
And if his morning routine is anything to go by, it’s safe to say that his classroom is LIT.
Everything from recess…
…to picture day has its own unique twist.
Even cleaning up the classroom can be turned into a game.
GET YOUR CLASS CLEANED FAST! Walk around your room and look for "the mystery scrap" when you "find it" alert the kids! When they find scraps that are not the "mystery scrap" have them throw it away… Do you see what I'm getting at here? Below actual pictures of my classroom pre and post the mystery scrap game. #teachersfollowteachers #iteachtoo #teachersofinstagram #iteach #cleaning #organization
Sometimes Mr. D’s humor goes right over the kids’ heads without them even realizing.
That’s certainly one way to test your students’ knowledge at the end of the year.
In Mr. D’s classroom, everyone’s a winner!
He often uses virtual escape rooms to help test the children’s knowledge as they try their best to break out.
That moment when you BREAK OUT!!!! @breakoutedu is an UH-MAZE-ING game to play with your class. You can tailor it to any grade or subject area. A "break out room" type of experience where students use team work, critical thinking skills, higher order questioning and creativity to solve puzzles and BREAK OUT!!!! #iteachtoo #iteach #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram #elementaryeducation #4thgrade
And productivity is rewarded with fun games and other activities, including completing their very own mannequin challenge.
Learning time is also divided by “brain breaks” or quick transitional activities used to get the kids out of their seats and moving.
By introducing Fitness Friday to his classroom, Mr. D is able to provide a break from learning that is also promoting healthy habits.
HAPPY FITNESS FRIDAY EVERYONE! Fitness Friday is a little thing I started way back when I was student teaching with @janice.demond. A very simple tool you can use in your own classroom. #fitness #friday simply means that we do 5-10 minute, fitness oriented transitions between every subject. This is a great way to engage your students and get then ready for your lessons while at the same time promoting #physical fitness. Your #PE teachers will love you forever, I promise. always starts with morning #yoga Keep in mind that I know absolutely nothing about yoga. YOU DON'T NEED TO EITHER! Just make up a few poses and tack on a funny name. The kids will love it. Featured here you will see a little bit of hissing cobra followed by crouching tiger hidden dragon… Whatever that is. #namaste class! #fitnessfriday #fitness #friday #teaching #teacher #iteachtoo #teachersofinstagram #teachersfollowteachers
And another one of his initiatives, Lunchtime DJ, has helped promote positivity in the lunchroom and has helped improve lunchtime behaviors.
After reading @kidsdeserveit this summer I decided to take the idea of "lunch DJs" and run with it. The Lunchtime DJ program completely aligns with PBIS by offering kids an outlet for releasing energy while at the same time naturally promoting positivity during a usually chaotic lunch period. Over the past 6 months we have noticed HUGE changes with lunchroom behaviors which is an overall win for our community of learners! Keep up the great work Oakland! Throughout he week students have the opportunity to earn "concert tickets" by showing positive behaviors during lunch period. All tickets from the week go in "the book box." On Thursday's, two names are picked to be guest DJs. On Lunctime DJ Friday's, the students join me on stage, pick the play list, make shout outs to friends and even help me MC Kid Triva from time to time. HUGE thanks and kudos to Mr.K, a parent and Watch Dog dad who built this masterpiece for our school!
And Mr. D’s teaching habits have started to affect the rest of the school. Just look at how the entire school exits the cafeteria.
He’s even caught the eye of Ellen Degeneres, who recently had the unforgettable teacher on her show as a surprise guest.
Article originally posted by Viral Nova.