Classroom Organization & Management
All students have three basic questions on the first day of class/school:
In order to learn, students' needs (based on Glasser) to be satisfied:
v Love (includes belonging & safety)
Integrate reading, writing, speaking, listening, & viewing
Large blocks of time for literacy
Whole group instruction (start & end of day, read aloud, mini-lessons)
Individualized learning: differentiate instruction & assignments to begin where students are and move them to where they could be
Grouping: (vary in format, purpose, & duration):
Ø Cooperative learning - teach social skills, 3-5 members, heterogeneous
Ø Guided reading groups - flexible groups based on students instructional needs & instructional reading level, meeting with teacher
Ø Book Clubs (Literature Circles) - 3-5, heterogeneous (mixed ability, gender, ethnicity, etc.) based on book & stays together through book/unit
Multi-age classrooms, cross-grade pairings
As a nation, we are more literate than ever. Our bigger problem today is ALLITERACY - having the ability to read and write, but choosing not to. (paraphrased from Allington)
Make them love to read and write!
Supportive Physical Environment
Structured & Orderly
Authentic reading & writing materials
Allows traffic flow
Maximize proximity of teacher
Easy access to materials
Clearly designated areas
Desks vs. tables
No safety hazards
Display of reading materials (trade books)
Availability of writing materials
Design the layout of your classroom.
Supportive Social-Emotional Environment
Build a sense of community & individualization: Feeling a part of a community of learners, students are more likely to take reasonable risks, support one another, and control their behavior (B, R, & R)
Be prepared (room, seating chart, assignment) & welcome them
Treat students with dignity & respect (i.e. say "Please" and "Thank you," use their names, smile, dress for success)
Let students get to know each other
Invite students to learn
Post day's schedule, activities, & homework consistently
Get into routines & rituals
Show your students that you are capable and loving.
Children need structure & to know that you are in control.
Probably causes of behavior problems: how we treat people, bored students, lack of self esteem, confusion on task or procedure, rather be bad than stupid, feeling powerless leads one to express that or seek power in other ways, denying responsibility to those most needing to experience it, family or other outside problems
What is the most important concept you have learned or experience you have had so far that taught you about the affective part of teaching and learning?
Rules & Procedures
"What you do as a teacher on the first days of school will determine your success or failure for the rest of the school year." (The First Days of School, Wong, 1991)
Establish control from the beginning
Have 3-5 rules & state them positively, along with consequences of not following them (use logical consequences whenever possible)
You need general rules & context-specific rules.
Write out your own classroom rules (& consequences, if time permits)
Communicate "discipline plan" (rules & consequences) to students, parents & administration
Maximize time on task, with little confusion or wasted time
i.e. Take attendance while students are on task
"Time is the currency of education" -- Madeline Hunter
Teach & practice procedures (define, demonstrate, practice, reinforce or reteach)
What are your procedures for:
Quieting the class?
Students seeking help?
Movement of students?
Movement of papers?
Broad based, connecting to & extending knowledge of their world
Pursuing ideas or concepts in depth
Negotiate curriculum by surveying their interests
Children's literature by theme
What theme would work well with your particular students?
What content could be taught within this theme?
Paraprofessionals & Tutoring
Warning: We often give our most needy students to those least prepared to teach them.
What other resource people are available to your students? For which students? When? For what purpose(s)?
Reading achievement is highly dependent on the teacher
3 Characteristics of the Effective Teacher
q Positive Expectations
q Classroom Management
q Mastery Teaching
Teacher as Instructor: Direct instruction, modeling, scaffolding, managing behavior, decision making (see Raphael diagram of Instructional Roles)
Teacher as Learner: Expand knowledge base of theory and research, be a kidwatcher, find a mentor, supportive group, team, interact with other positive effective teachers, join committees, go to meetings, seek out professional development & in-services, subscribe to professional journals, join professional organizations, take university courses
Teacher as Researcher: Action research vs. naturalistic research
Effective change requires: administrative support, careful planning, willingness to take risks, energy, time, knowledge, supportive network
Begin thinking about a literacy-related burning question or issue you'd like to research during this course.
A 2-way street:
o seek to understand child's home environment
o communicate school news and student progress to the home
Success for reading is helped by: time spent with parents reading with children, amount of reading materials in home, first language in home, family's reading habits, parents educational level
Communication: newsletter, school booklet, PTA meetings, phone calls, Open House, conferences, home visits, report card, portfolio, notes home, progress reports, pamphlets, calendar
Underline the communication strategies you and/or your mentor teacher have used thus far this year. Circle those you would like to try.
During a conference:
q Listen to parent concerns
q Share samples of child's school work
q Show records of achievement
q Offer constructive suggestions for ways parents can help child & work together with you
During Open House:
q Introduce parents to materials
q Describe experiences, skills, & goals for year
q Explain program & underlying philosophy
q Explain homework expectations
q Other ideas as to how parents can help
q Offer contact information
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