Classroom Culture: Creating positive learning environments!
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Using Dialogue Circles to Support Classroom Management

Using Dialogue Circles to Support Classroom Management | Classroom Culture:  Creating positive learning environments! | Scoop.it
At Glenview Elementary School, dialogue circles are part of a program aimed at building collaboration, respect, and positive behavior among students.
Mary Perfitt-Nelson's insight:

Dialogue circles provide a safe, supportive space where all school community members can talk about sensitive topics, work through differences, and build consensus.  Social skills and community grows!

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Creating a Flexible, Collaborative Classroom

From day to day — and even hour to hour throughout the day — the collaborative classroom may adopt a unique look and feel. Learn how to creatively use

Via Peter Mellow
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Using Dialogue Circles to Support Classroom Management

Using Dialogue Circles to Support Classroom Management | Classroom Culture:  Creating positive learning environments! | Scoop.it
At Glenview Elementary School, dialogue circles are part of a program aimed at building collaboration, respect, and positive behavior among students.
Mary Perfitt-Nelson's insight:

Dialogue circles provide a safe, supportive space where all school community members can talk about sensitive topics, work through differences, and build consensus.  Social skills and community grows!

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Survey shows need for national focus on workplace stress

Survey shows need for national focus on workplace stress | Classroom Culture:  Creating positive learning environments! | Scoop.it
The results of new AFT survey on well-being, working conditions and stressors for teachers and school support staff across the country provide much-needed information about sources of stress on the job.
Mary Perfitt-Nelson's insight:

The American Federation of Teachers gave this 80 question survey to 30,000 teachers in 2015.  Among the findings:  

 

 

  • Only 1 in 5 educators feel respected by government officials or the media.
  • Fourteen percent strongly agree with the statement that they trust their administrator or supervisor.
  • More than 75 percent say they do not have enough staff to get the work done.
  • Seventy-eight percent say they are often physically and emotionally exhausted at the end of the day. Eighty-seven percent say the demands of their job are at least sometimes interfering with their family life.
  • Among the greatest workplace stressors were the adoption of new initiatives without proper training or professional development, mandated curriculum and standardized tests.

- See more at: http://www.aft.org/news/survey-shows-need-national-focus-workplace-stress#sthash.ghexPKD7.dpuf

 

 

The full report can be found here:  http://www.aft.org/sites/default/files/worklifesurveyresults2015.pdf

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Restorative Classroom Practices - Games to Create Comfort

Restorative Classroom Practices - Games to Create Comfort | Classroom Culture:  Creating positive learning environments! | Scoop.it
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Just starting?  You want to begin with circle games that create comfort and trust.  time spent here will pay off when the conversations become more serious.

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Restorative Classroom Practices - home

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Fabulous resource for classroom teachers wanting to build more community and healthy dialogue  using restorative practices.

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Social Justice Projects in the Classroom

Social Justice Projects in the Classroom | Classroom Culture:  Creating positive learning environments! | Scoop.it
Successful classroom social justice projects require raising students' awareness through empathy, giving them choice and voice in creating their projects, and providin
Mary Perfitt-Nelson's insight:

Social justice projects that allow student choice and voice can be one of them many vehicles used to build community while also allowing students make important connections between history, culture, economics, and science.

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Build a Safe Environment | StopBullying.gov

Everyone at school can work together to create a climate where bullying is not acceptable. Find out what you can do to help build a safe and supportive school environment at StopBullying.gov.
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Pratical tups to prevent and respond to bullying behavior.

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Visible Thinking

Visible Thinking | Classroom Culture:  Creating positive learning environments! | Scoop.it
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Build community by designing for conversation with thinking routines!

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CTE - Building Inclusive Classrooms

CTE - Building Inclusive Classrooms | Classroom Culture:  Creating positive learning environments! | Scoop.it
Ideas and strategies on how to create and maintain inclusive classrooms, such as icebreakers, establishing ground rules, managing classroom climate, and utilizing inclusive teaching strategies.
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Cornell has done a great job of looking into classroom culture.  This resource details specific ways you can create an inclusive learning community,

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WeAreTeachers: 10 Quick and Easy Ways to Develop a Strong Classroom Community

WeAreTeachers: 10 Quick and Easy Ways to Develop a Strong Classroom Community | Classroom Culture:  Creating positive learning environments! | Scoop.it
Developing a classroom community is perhaps the most effective classroom-management strategy. Here are 10 easy ways to increase the sense of community within your own classroom.
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Let students co-create the culture!  Tips and tricks to make it happen!

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Building Your Classroom Community

Create a tolerant and respectful environment that prevents bullying and other negative behaviors.
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Classrooms are social environments.  Here are some specific ways you can create a culture where everyone wins!

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Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's curator insight, April 20, 2016 1:05 PM
Community forms rather than is built. We build towns, cities, teams, etc. Community forms. What we have to be aware of and mindful of is the way we talk to each other and how we listen to each other. Respect for the other and being responsible for our actions becomes important. When children/students see and hear bullying that goes unaddressed, they copy the actions rather than the words.
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download-the-paper2.pdf

Mary Perfitt-Nelson's insight:

Social Emotional Learning has become an important focus in schools , of late.  Many refer to social skills as soft skills.  There is also a movement to measure these skills in students. Accountability for teachers and schools will likely become part of this.  

 

An interesting few paragraphs caution people about the genetic component of personality.  To me, this means we must consider "riding the pony in the direction it is facing" and keep expectations realistic and appropriately challenging for the individual.

 

The article goes on to give practical advice for educators who want to support soft skill growth in students.  The highlights?

  1. Focus on behavior, not traits and dispositions; 
  2. Teach, acknowledge and provide opportunities for respectful social interactions; 
  3. Measure growth using naturally occurring and useful feedback;
  4. Establish priorities for students who are 'off track";
  5. Focus on places and spaces (and people) with whom student has difficulties;
  6. Learn from your efforts
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Effective Teachers and PBIS: "Shhh! Don't Tell Them!"

Effective Teachers and PBIS:  "Shhh!  Don't Tell Them!" | Classroom Culture:  Creating positive learning environments! | Scoop.it
Mary Perfitt-Nelson's insight:

Reflections of key principles of effective classrooms...........

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Mary Perfitt-Nelson's curator insight, January 24, 2013 8:45 AM

Effective teachers have routines they teach.  They have many positive, enocuraging interactions with kids.  Their relationships are built on trust. These things come naturally to many; others have praticed and are wonderful and effective teachers because of these characteristics (and more).  Their "way" helps kids develop self-control.  

The feel of buildings also varies.  The number of kids sitting in offices, ready to be suspended varies.  It cannot be a fluke that behavior tends to be the most frustrating thing that principals and new teachers deal with.  I hear this over and over and over again, year in and year out.  There is a pattern.  Not everywhere; but in many places.  Without consistent routines and highly positive relationships, there will be problems.  how could there not be when we gather 500 kids in one building?

The spirit of PBIS, done well, is actually an attempt to bring those important things to teachers who are less consistent; don't have routines and aren't establishing positive interactions and trusting relationships.  There are many teachers who are committed to a system of punishment where the negative interactions outweigh the positive ones in a frightening way.  

 

Most buildings have common areas where interactions with many adults occur.  PBIS is about creating consistent routines in those areas so that bus drivers, custodians, and lunch ladies are also part of the consistent plan.  

 

Not every teacher needs these things because they are already doing them.  Not every building needs the effort because the administrator has already laid the principles down and everyone is on board.  There are routines for coming in the building; getting on the bus; coming and going in the cafeteria.  Things are not chaotic.  

 

The rewards portion of PBIS is one that upsets many people.There is much data on this supporting the use of rewards in buildings.  However, I think complaints about extrinsic rewarding are valid, in most cases.  My personal opinion is that acknowledgments are what is needed.  This is simply tied to positive interactions (the ones that good teachers do well without thinking). Effective teachers acknowledge kids at higher rates.  This is not a bribe.  It is not about control.  It is part of  communicating with humans.  

 

If we watched a child struggle and overcome a difficult hurdle, would we smile at them, acknowledging their triumph?  I would hope so!  That is acknowledgement.  It is what effective teachers do.  It builds relationships and trust.  It keeps kids engaged with us and our learning.

 

Having been in thousands of classrooms across our county, I can honestly say:  some schools and classrooms need the consistency that a framework like PBIS can offer; others are already implementing the important principles without labeling them PBIS.  

 

I've alos learned over the years that acronyms and words can carry baggage.  Sometimes simply changing the label makes things palatable.  You call it good teaching; I call it differentiation. It puts more detailed feet to the notion of good teaching.  The feet are needed for people who aren't there yet.   We are often talking about the same thing.  

 

Effective schools and  teachers are likely implementing all or most of the important principles of PBIS.  

 

Shhhhhhhhhh!  Don't tell them!  : )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Teachers Are Quitting Because They're Dissatisfied

Teachers Are Quitting Because They're Dissatisfied | Classroom Culture:  Creating positive learning environments! | Scoop.it
Teacher turnover hurts student achievement, is expensive for schools and districts, and leads to teacher shortages, Darling-Hammond said. 

And both teachers who leave the profession and teachers who change schools are most commonly leaving because they are dissatisfied, according to the analysis. See the below graph breaking down why teachers left the profession in 2012-13. (Percentages do not add up to 100 since teachers were allowed to select more than one reason.)

Via Mel Riddile, Les Howard
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Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's curator insight, September 22, 2:20 PM
I think this is one of the underlying issues in why teachers leave. Teacher agency and voice are silenced. Teachers are the closest to their students, but, often, are excluded from the conversations that are essential to their students.

I experienced working for (not with) administrators who had not been in the classroom for years and others who fled the classroom after only a few years. Too often, the joy I found in teaching was squelched by the oppression I experienced.
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Teacher Stress and Health

Teacher Stress and Health | Classroom Culture:  Creating positive learning environments! | Scoop.it
This research brief examines causes of teacher stress, its effects on teachers, schools, and students, and strategies for reducing its impact.
Mary Perfitt-Nelson's insight:

Teacher well-being impacts student well-being.  Research on teacher stress was conducted.

 

Key findings:  

  • Forty-six percent of teachers report high daily stress, which compromises their health, sleep, quality of life, and teaching performance.

  • When teachers are highly stressed, students show lower levels of both social adjustment and academic performance.

  • Interventions on the organizational or individual level, or those that reach both, can help reduce teacher stress by changing the culture and approach to teaching.

  • Programs for mentoring, workplace wellness, social emotional learning, and mindfulness are all proven to improve teacher well-being and student outcomes.

  • The full issue brief can be found here:  http://www.rwjf.org/content/dam/farm/reports/issue_briefs/2016/rwjf430428

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Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's curator insight, April 1, 6:24 PM
Healthy teachers are essential to student learning.
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The reality of budget cuts in schools – survey

The reality of budget cuts in schools – survey | Classroom Culture:  Creating positive learning environments! | Scoop.it
Cash-strapped schools are facing redundancies, reduced subject choices and even running out of paper
Mary Perfitt-Nelson's insight:

Teacher well-being is an area that has received greater attention of late.  Happy teachers make for happy classrooms.  

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Restorative Classroom Practices - How to start a restorative circle (slideshow)

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A great "how to" for those moving into restorative pracatices in the classsroom.

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Using Dialogue Circles to Support Classroom Management

Using Dialogue Circles to Support Classroom Management | Classroom Culture:  Creating positive learning environments! | Scoop.it
At Glenview Elementary School, dialogue circles are part of a program aimed at building collaboration, respect, and positive behavior among students.
Mary Perfitt-Nelson's insight:

Beginning your day in circle is a great way to build community , solve problems and invite all voices into the room.

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What is SEL and Why is it Important?

In this video we provide a brief overview of social-emotional learning and discuss why it is important in the context of a school's overall culture and climate.
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What is SEL and why does it matter?

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Building a classroom community | Virginia Commonwealth University Training and Technical Assistance Center Newsletter

Building a classroom community | Virginia Commonwealth University Training and Technical Assistance Center Newsletter | Classroom Culture:  Creating positive learning environments! | Scoop.it
Mary Perfitt-Nelson's insight:

As you close the year and begin thinking about summer and then the new school year, consider becoming  more intentional about building community!

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Classroom Culture vs. Classroom Management

Classroom Culture vs. Classroom Management | Classroom Culture:  Creating positive learning environments! | Scoop.it
What's the difference between classroom culture and classroom management, and how can you make the most of both? Lily Jones provides helpful tips and resources.
Mary Perfitt-Nelson's insight:

We think about classroom management, when the culture is the context in which all behavior occurs.  Transforming the culture can transform the behavior.

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Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's curator insight, April 30, 2016 6:03 PM
Engaging students and helping them find ways to be responsible for their learning is important. A culture of learning and teaching, not as either/or proposistions, but as two conjoined practices, is important. It is about leading (based on etymology of educate and pedagogy).
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What Do Students Think Of Your Class?

What Do Students Think Of Your Class? | Classroom Culture:  Creating positive learning environments! | Scoop.it
What Do Students Think Of Your Class?
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Building community in your classroom starts with envisioning the culture you want.  Allowing students to help "brand" the tribe is a powerful way to build a community where everyone belongs

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Community in the Classroom

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More specific ways to build community!

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14 Ways to Create Your Classroom Community

14 Ways to Create Your Classroom Community | Classroom Culture:  Creating positive learning environments! | Scoop.it
Start building community and culture in your classroom. Sarah Brown Wessling shares 14 ways she creates chemistry with her students
Mary Perfitt-Nelson's insight:

"After all, when Community and Culture take their rightful places in the desks of our classrooms, we can look forward to a June when we didn’t just finish a school year, but put learning in its rightful place: their heads and our shared ideals."

 

Relationships!  Routines!  Shared leadership!  

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School conditions matter for student achievement, new research confirms

School conditions matter for student achievement, new research confirms | Classroom Culture:  Creating positive learning environments! | Scoop.it
Move over, teacher quality. A new study on New York City schools could make school climate the next frontier in […]
Mary Perfitt-Nelson's insight:

Surprise, surprise!  Culture counts!

 

 

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Dean J. Fusto's curator insight, March 29, 2016 8:29 PM

Surprise, surprise!  Culture counts!

 

 

Lynnette Van Dyke's curator insight, March 29, 2016 9:18 PM

Surprise, surprise!  Culture counts!