Post written by Jenna Kleine, a ClassDojo Thought Partner
Year one is exciting! However, enthusiasm can only get your so far. My advice? Be consistent. Whether you have a few weeks or a few days before school starts, it’s time to make some decisions that will allow you to establish a consistent classroom environment.
7 Questions to ask yourself when planning routines and procedures — and advice from a middle school science teacher…
1. How will students enter the classroom?
Always have students line up outside of class. This might sound elementary, but it allows for separation between hallway behavior and classroom behavior. As they enter greet each student and say their names! This might be the only “hello” they receive today.
2. How will I get students’ attention?
A bell, a countdown, or a clap is typical — try to change it up! Perhaps you can ask the students for ideas and have a competition for the best attention grabber. How about this… TD4Wbutton :)
3. How will I begin each day?
Students should be able to enter class and get started on whatever routine you have in place without any reminders. Always have the assignment up on the projector for students to see. I do a quick-write at the beginning of each class. Three minutes to write, one minute to share with their partner/group, then students are randomly called on to share with the class.
4. How will I be calling on students?
I love using ClassDojo’s randomize feature to call on students. This keeps the students who raise their hand too much at bay and the shy students participating. Teachers sometimes use popsicle sticks to call on students at random, but ClassDojo is much more engaging and interactive for the students.
5. How will I reward excellent behavior?
ClassDojo! Personalize positive behavior awards based on characteristics you want students to strive for. However, make sure you have an incentive program in place to keep students working for ClassDojo points. For example, the first 5 students to reach 20 points gets _________.
6. What is my discipline policy?
Most schools will have a discipline policy in place that you must follow in terms of detention, etc. For my own classroom I give a warning using ClassDojo. If the behavior continues after the warning, communicate with the parent. Send them a ClassDojo message! Or give an old-school phone call. Parent-teacher relationships are key for student success.
7. How will I end class every day?
Exit tickets! Put a prompt up on the projector and give each student/pair/group a piece of paper. Students must turn in “exit tickets” on their way out the door.
“Moment of Zen” (cred. Jon Stewart) — I end each class with an inspirational quote. I turn off all of the lights and put the quote up on the projector. Students must be silent for 20 seconds before they can leave. Namaste. :)
Whatever routines and procedures you put in place, stay consistent. Your stress-level will thank you for it.
"Cada vez estoy más convencido de que uno de los grandes defectos de muchos docentes es que no saben escuchar o, si escuchan, no tienen una intención declarada de comprender, sino de contestar. ¿Verdad que has tenido la sensación muchas veces de hablar con un compañero y saber que lo que realmente quiere no es escucharte a ti, sino que acabes de hablar para contestarte y explicarte algo suyo?"
"I don't use sarcasm and I don't resort to ad hominem attacks in the name of "humor." However, I joke around often in class. It might be a wise crack about pop culture, a musing on something ironic or the fun of wordplay. These uses of humor are intentional. I believe humor is a good thing in the classroom. Here are a few reasons why:"
"Sitting is a learned behavior, passed on through tradition and adults, and today’s sedentary lifestyles are affecting our youth and their classroom performance. Studies show that more activity throughout the school day improves health and academic outcomes."
"Unfortunately, most world political maps aren't telling you the whole story. The idea that the earth's land is cleanly divvied up into nation-states - one country for each of the world's peoples - is more an imaginative ideal than a reality. Read on to learn about five ways your map is lying to you about borders, territories, and even the roster of the world's countries."
Teaching is a lot like acting, a high-energy, performance profession that requires a person to act as a role model. But when teachers go through training and professional development, the performance aspect of the job is rarely emphasized or taught. Acknowledging this aspect could be a missed opportunity to restructure ways teachers learn new skills and tactics.
The concept of homework as we have known it in the past is changing rapidly, since it often distorts the overall picture of learning. Flipped classrooms, the ability to use the same technology and tools both in and out of the classroom, and personalized learning are making ripples in the education world. And while most …
11 Bad Teaching Habits That Are Stifling Your Growth by Saga Briggs, opencolleges.edu.au There’s a certain class of mistakes that all educators can eliminate with conscious effort, and in this post we outline 11 of them.
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Via Luciano Sathler
A trio of anthropologists has decided it's time to rewrite the story of human evolution.
That narrative has always been a work in progress, because almost every time scientists dig up a new fossil bone or a stone tool, it adds a new twist to the story. Discoveries lead to new arguments over the details of how we became who we are.
But anthropologists generally agree on this much: A little more than 2 million years ago in Africa, the human lineage emerged. Smithsonian anthropologist says the conventional wisdom is that much of Africa changed about then from forest to dry savanna. Our ape-like ancestors had to adapt or die, leave the forest and embrace the savanna — and in doing so, they evolved into something more like us.
"The traditional package of traits," Potts explains, "including elongated legs, large brain, culture, a whole variety of traits, were thought to have come together with the origin of the genus Homo. We're saying no, that's not the case."
Potts is curator of human origins at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. He and his collaborators, of New York University and of the Wenner-Gren Foundation, have analyzed fossils discovered over the last few decades. They say the human animal didn't come together quite as quickly and neatly as commonly thought.
"What's different," Aiello says of this new narrative, "is that the whole package that makes us human — long linear bodies, very large body size, delayed growth and development for the kids — didn't evolve at the same time."
Instead, these scientists say, traits that make us human arose separately, in a herky-jerky fashion.
Click headline to read more and listen to audio this NPR radio segment--