Sunday, November 24, 2013

Blog Post #14

Establishing a Classroom Culture

How will you start and stop your lessons? How will you set expectations with your students? How will you incorporate positive reinforcement into your classroom? What interactive signals will your incorporate to ensure that students are paying attention to the material being presented? These are all questions that help us as future teachers, begin to think about how we will run our classroom. These questions help us establish our own classroom culture!

Watch the following 5 videos, and think about how you will establish your own classroom culture. Write a blog post reflecting on ALL of these videos. Do not write only a summary of each video. Include all of your thoughts on these videos as well as your own ideas of how you will create your own classroom culture.

1. Ready to Learn: Creating a Positive Classroom Culture

2. Setting the Tone from Day One

3. The Stop light Method: the End-of-lesson Assessment

4. Silent Signals in the Classroom

5. Ms. Noonan: Your Unique Class Culture

Establishing My own Classroom Culture

Creating your own unique classroom culture is the most important establishment a teacher will make in the classroom. After watching several videos from the teaching channel, I became so inspired to begin developing my own personal classroom culture. One of the most important concepts in my classroom for students to understand is to be able to know my idea of failure. If we never fail, we will never learn! I want my students to NEVER be afraid of not answering a question or attempting a problem because of the fear of being wrong. Students must understand that being wrong is ok, and we actually learn more when we fail. Mrs. Jen Soul is a third grade teacher from the teaching channel who has inspired me to allow my students to write their own classroom pledge. This is something that is formed and written at the beginning of the school year. It allows students to to take ownership of their own learning environment, and establish their own hopes and dreams. This can be used as a measure for bad behavior as well.

I love the idea of incorporating silent signals into my classroom. These silent signals are incorporated to ensure that everyone is paying attention and engaging in the material that is being presented. It also gives students the opportunity to praise their peers who have quality thoughts or answers. I believe silent signals will also provide a smoother way to communicate without interrupting the teacher, or their peers. I loved how Mrs. Wessling used a stop light method at the end of class to gather other students thoughts about the lesson. Students use sticky notes and post their thoughts onto the stop light. Students post what they liked about the lesson onto the green color, their learning thoughts or new ideas onto the yellow light, and thinks that stopped their learning on the red light. This provides the teacher with an opportunity to change the lesson to make it more effective. I want to incorporate an idea similar to this one because it will give students the opportunity to have a personal input on the lesson.

In my own personal classroom I have thought of several ideas to create a positive environment. At the end of the day I would like to have circle time. This would be a time for the class to get into a circle and discuss the “pit” of their day, and the “peak” of the day. The “pit” of the day is something that went wrong, or did not go according to plan. The “peak” of the day is their favorite part of the day. Basically students say something they didn’t like and why, and also something they did like and why. This is a great way for students to learn how to communicate with others. It also offers students who fear talking in front of the classroom, a way to become more comfortable in front of their peers. I would also like to incorporate a reward system. This system provides every student the opportunity to earn "money". It would be monopoly laminated money students would receive for doing their homework, rewarding good behavior, classroom participation ect. On Friday's students will be given the opportunity to "buy" something out of my reward treasure chest. this also is a positive way to help students understand the concept of money. I would also like to acknowledge when someone says or does something really good. I will facilitate this positive reinforcement by saying “Oh” and my students will say “snap”. I would like to began reciting a poem everyday before we talk about homework. This poem is from shel silverstein’s books. Some people might say the poem seems negative, but it is a humorous way to introduce homework. This idea was given to me by one of my professors, Dr. Vitulli who taught me arts in the elementary classroom. The poem is listed below.

Homework! Oh, Homework!
I hate you! You stink!
I wish I could wash you away in the sink,
if only a bomb
would explode you to bits.
Homework! Oh, homework!
You're giving me fits.
I'd rather take baths
with a man-eating shark,
or wrestle a lion
alone in the dark,
eat spinach and liver,
pet ten porcupines,
than tackle the homework,
my teacher assigns.
Homework! Oh, homework!
you're last on my list,
I simple can't see
why you even exist,

if you just disappeared
it would tickle me pink.
Homework! Oh, homework!
I hate you! You stink!

It is these simple little touches that make learning in the classroom fun. These are simple ways establish a positive classroom culture. I look forward to have the opportunity of trying these ideas out, and putting them into a classroom. Being a teacher is my dream job, I want to give my students the best classroom and teacher imaginable!!

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