Saturday, March 21, 2015

Student Engagement is FUNdamental with Jane Feber

It's been a week since the VSRA conference, and my head is still reeling a little from all that I learned, but I wanted to start sharing it with you. Like I said, there were so many amazing presenters (and new products to test) that I couldn't possibly fit it all into one post! My goal is to share at least one each week, so I figure it will take about a month to get through it all.

One of my favorite sessions of the weekend was Jane Feber. I actually had not heard of her before, but I may have to buy one of her books. She had SO many ideas for keeping students engaged in their lessons, and I really want to try them all! I was hooked from the moment I sat down with my packet and saw this:

Say what?! Then I looked over at Jessica's paper (Hanging out in First) to see an almost equally disturbing quote. Needless to say, we couldn't wait to see what they were all about.

Turns out, this was for a predicting activity. Each of us had a different strip of paper and were encouraged to walk around reading as many as we could for a few minutes. Then we sat and tried to guess what the story was about. If you're curious, it's from National Geographic Edge. The story was called Stuck in Neutral by Terri Truman. I haven't had a chance to look it up yet, but what we learned is that there's a guy with brain damage. His family doesn't think he understands what is going on since he can't talk, but he's taking everything in.

Jane had a great idea for more practice making inferences which I would have never considered. Apparently Woman's World magazine has a Solve-it-Yourself mystery every week, and the one we looked at was fairly simple. I think my kids could handle it! I'm currently trying to fins someone who buys these and wants to get rid of old copies. Who knew?

Some of her other ideas included:
  • Use and have students create text sets for different topics they study
  • Critixal viewing for videos (maybe use graphic organizers). I know Erin (I'm Lovin' Lit) does this a lot and has some resources.
  • Interactive bookmarks - just Google it. There are lots of ways to use this
  • Cootie catchers - be creative!
  • Vocabulary madness -students explain why one word will beat another
To learn more about Jane and her resources, visit her website: She also does professional development at schools!

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow! I am definitely saving this post! Those quotes cut out and pulled from a Nat. Geo magazine is so intriguing........I can only imagine how the room was buzzing trying to figure that out!

    Thanks so much for sharing.....I am SO EXCITED to read your future posts featuring all you learned at VRSA!!

    Mind Sparks