Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!
When is a word more than a word?
Answer: When it becomes a powerful teaching tool as an ACRONYM.
Teachers put word power to work every day, instructing, reading aloud, posting information…the list goes on.
Teachers can turn a word, like POWER, into an acronym to help children learn important lessons.
Why do acronyms attract attention in amazing ways?
Because, as we know, in an ACRONYM each letter stands for a whole word or phrase.
As such, acronyms are memorable; their structure helps children remember what the acronym teaches.
Challenge yourself and your class to create attention-getting amazing ACRONYMS.
Take the word POWER, for example.
Here’s an acronym I crafted with this word:
POWER – People using their strengths, Organizing to achieve goals, Working together, Engaging others, Reading to gain knowledge and skills for the future.
Children are the future and teachers have their hands full preparing kids to manage in a demanding world of constant change.
I have followed an elementary school in North Carolina (US) that launched a Character Education program using an acronym to help students remember classroom expectations and “buy in” to contributing to a positive environment school-wide.
PROWL – Practice empathy, Respect everyone and everything, Only make smart choices, Work responsibly and Love learning.
Teachers involved in PROWL assert that character education not only benefits children’s overall development, the program leads to better academic results.
One third grade student at the school that uses the acronym PROWL was featured in a news report about a letter she sent to two state candidates vying for election this week.
As you may know, the electoral process in the US this year has involved behaviors that might be described as “frightfully fractious.”
Along comes a child schooled in character education summarized in the acronym PROWL, a young girl who observed candidates bashing each other in political ads on television.
Putting the acronym, PROWL, into practice, this student sent a letter to the candidates in question asking, in so many words, why they weren’t nice to each other and why they weren’t helpful.
Result: massive media attention. The child’s parents hope that this experience may help other students to speak up.
Speaking up brings us back to word power…
the power of acronyms to speak for us.
How about the word THANKS as an acronym…
THANKS is a good word to introduce to kids in communities around the world.
It’s an especially timely word in countries that celebrate Thanksgiving this season.
I played with the word THANKS as an acronym and came up with this:
THANKS – Taking time to give credit, Having gratitude, Always showing appreciation, Needing help and asking for it, Knowing how to share feelings, Serving others to give thanks.
Acronyms attract attention and serve as amazing words, but sometimes a single letter packs as much power as a teaching tool.
For example, you can turn the letter E into THE BIG E and make the letter stand for important concepts in class.
BIG E for ENERGY– Find or make a giant letter E. Hold it up in front of your class and introduce students to THE BIG E.
Explain that E stands for ENERGY, a “must-have item” that you draw from within yourself to get good work done.
Present the letter to your class as if “Big E” has a personality of its own!
Extend the attention-getting value of this simple tool by cutting out enough poster board letters so that you can give one to each of your students.
Ask them to keep their cut-out letters in class for future use. If a student acts off-task, suggest that he or she pull out “Big E” as a reminder to get back on track.
BIG E for EYES – In many K – 5 classes teachers use a catchy attention-getting slogan that features “The Big E for Eyes.”
You may know the slogan…“One, two, three, eyes on me!”
When students hear this phrase they’re instructed to reply…“One, two, eyes on you!”
This use of BIG E for EYES is an effective and quick trick to help make transitions from one class activity to another throughout the school day.
BIG E for EFFORT – Once you’ve introduced your class to this letter with multiple meanings, you can use the letter E to stand for “Big E for Effort.”
Attach a big blue ribbon to a giant letter E and present it to a child as a reward for good work.
Good work often gets even better when it attracts positive attention.
Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in any instructional setting!
Talk with you again soon,
Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet