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Back to School: A Surefire Strategy for Building Classroom Community

Back to School: A Surefire Strategy for Building Classroom Community | EDCI397 | Scoop.it
Unlike many of the current posts and articles in educators' discussions these days, this post does not address anything related to technology or the CCSS. It addresses a topic of much greater importa
Nicole Liebler's insight:

CLASSROOM CLIMATE PLAN

 

I like this post because it offers a fun, unique way for students to share personal information about themselves with their classmates. I think it is really important for students to both have the opportunity to bring their identities and lives outside of school into the classroom and to feel comfortable sharing these things with their classmates. As teachers, we want our classroom environments to meet the social and emotional needs of our students; thus we need it to feel safe, engaging, and comforting (whole child tenets). This activity, which can be used at the start of every day to share something about yourself, could bring comfort to students because people naturally need others to talk to, vent to, and just share their happiness or sorrows with. I think students would feel at ease knowing there was a time at the beginning of every school day to have others listen. It would also benefit the teacher because it could make the rest of the class time more focused if the class is able to get their talking and stories out at the beginning of the day.  I think the addition of toilet paper into the experience makes it sillier and more fun to be involved in because manipulatives make everything more exciting, especially when the children are surprised and do not know what they are being used for. This activity definitely builds community because students are learning more about their peers and supporting them every single day.

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Following My Heart to First Grade: Wonderful

Following My Heart to First Grade: Wonderful | EDCI397 | Scoop.it
Nicole Liebler's insight:

CLASSROOM CLIMATE PLAN

 

This teacher's blog includes photos of the questions she posed to students on the first day of class. I love that she used a hands-on method to do this; she wrote a question at the top of a huge piece of paper and had each student put one or more post-it notes on that piece of paper to answer the question. This is a really effective way to communicate ideas, share ideas, and see other people's perspectives, which are tenets of global competency. The question that struck me the most out of the ones she posed was, "What kind of teacher do you want?" The tone set forth by this question is that the teacher is not set-in-stone in his/her ways; he/she is willing to adapt to fit the needs of his/her students and wishes to be the mentor and support system that each student needs. I think this establishes a very supportive, healthy classroom climate that students will be comfortable to be involved in! I also liked the questions that stated, "Our class should be _____ every day",  "What do you hope to learn this year?", and "What should kids in our class be doing to make sure class runs smoothly?" Each one of these questions asks students for their expectations, both for what they desire and what they believe to be fair and appropriate. Students can take initiative here to voice what they want to the teacher and share their insights. These posters can be used to help the teacher establish the appropriate classroom climate and learning environment that the children desire as well as to hang around the room to display expectations. In addition to this activity, as the teacher I would probably give my own insights to the posed questions after we discussed as a class what the student responses were. I think the students would be interested to know what my answers were, for what kind of students I want or for what I feel the class should be every day. We could see what similarities and differences exist between what both my class and I came up with!

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Clean Beginnings | Scholastic.com

Clean Beginnings | Scholastic.com | EDCI397 | Scoop.it
Hello and goodbye in a conversation. Good morning and good night with your family. An appetizer and a dessert at dinner. The sun rising and falling each day. What do all of these things have in common? They have a natural beginning and ending that the brain becomes conditioned to recognize. 
The brain prefers knowing the start and finish of a task. As teachers, it is our job to help the brain of each student function at maximum potential.  Creating a clean beginning and clean ending for our lesson, our day, our week, or our year helps the brain to stay efficient. Below I will highlight some of the fun and purposeful parts of our morning routine.
This post includes video examples of our morning routine. Stay tuned for a future post for examples of what happens at the end of the day.
Nicole Liebler's insight:

CLASSROOM CLIMATE PLAN

 

This may be the most unique and helpful source that I've found!  This teacher wrote a page on the morning routines he has established in his classroom and the purpose of each, serving to help students feel more united with one another, transfer their brains into a learning state, wake up their bodies and brains, and acknowledge their peers for good deeds. (The included video is adorable and really depicts the routines well!) Just like in another article I posted, I love that morning routine starts with the teacher greeting each student individually at the door. However, in this case, there is a short, special handshake the students need to do with the teacher to enter. Kids LOVE handshakes, and by doing these, teachers can establish stronger connections with students to make them feel safer and more accepted in the classroom. Another routine in this video that I will absolutely incorporate into my future classroom is a morning dance, especially because I love to dance. Students will benefit from this in many ways: waking up through movement, stimulating their brains with Oxygen, feeling unified in a whole-group activity, and starting the day off with a smile and enthusiasm. This will definitely support children by helping them feel more optimistic and healthy. Another routine I would love to incorporate from this video/article is "Nominations". I think it is a really special thing for kids to acknowledge good behaviors of others and share this publicly. It helps build communication skills, which is a component of resiliency. Another routine I liked is having the chosen student (one who was nominated for a good deed) flip the light on for the learning sign (or it can be flipping a sign from one side to the other) to signal that the environment is changing to a more serious learning environment where they must put on their thinking caps. I love that the students are the ones to take action and change it from a more upbeat environment to a learning one, rather than the teacher. This change would be effective to help calm down rowdy students and get them ready to focus. In general, I love how the students transition from one routine/activity to the next with songs/chants that were established and practiced early in the year. These are really nice ways to bring the class together and build a sense of community among students. I think it is important to have experiences and activities that are specific to that class because it makes it a more special community with a positive social climate.

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Creating Classroom Rules - Science NetLinks

Creating Classroom Rules - Science NetLinks | EDCI397 | Scoop.it
In this lesson students will learn that different groups of people may have different rules by developing classroom rules.
Nicole Liebler's insight:

CLASSROOM CLIMATE PLAN

 

In my future classroom, I will definitely utilize the opportunity for students to help construct the classroom rules. When students help to generate the rules, they take ownership of them, internalize them, and are more likely to follow them. This practice supports the whole child because students feel engaged, supported, safe, and proud. I agree with this article, that students should also participate in the construction of consequences, because students will deem them as fair and will hold themselves accountable. I like this article because it identifies the importance of discussing the different purposes of rules, the people who follow them, the ways rules differ in various places, and the people who construct rules. I agree that it is important for students to draw from their own personal lives and share rules that they follow outside of school, either in their homes or in the community. When students have the opportunity to share bits of their own lives, they feel more connected to the social community and feel that their voices are valued. When students help to establish rules, PBL features are emphasized because they are hearing others' perspectives, collaborating with peers to construct a consolidated list, and problem solving to handle disagreement among different viewpoints. I think students will feel like stronger members of their classroom communities if the sense of insubordination (from the teacher independently generating and assigning the rules) is reduced or eliminated. 

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Stacey Jackowski's curator insight, April 6, 2014 11:52 AM

CLASSROOM CLIMATE PLAN

Routines, norms and rules should be a collaborative effort of the teacher and the students in order to ENCOURAGE RESILIENCE IN THE CLASSROOM- WHEN STUDENTS AND TEACHERS WORK TOGETHER THE PROCESS FOSTERS COMMUNICATION, PROBLEM SOLVING, RESPONSIBILITY, CREATIVITY, AND ADAPTABILITY AMONG THE CLASSROOM COMMUNITY.  We have discussed the importance of creating rules for each classroom on a yearly basis in many of my education classes.  This article really highlights great ways to do this with your students.  Using nursery rhymes, visuals such as crayon boxes and fun rule charts are effective ways to discuss why rules are needed and how to enforce rules not only in the classroom but also in life.  Asking students what rules they follow at home helps students learn about cultural influences and embraces diversity in the classroom THUS SUPPORTING GLOBAL COMPETENCE BY RECOGNIZING OTHER PERSPECTIVES.  I will definitely be using the crayon box idea in my classroom--what a great way for students to visualize the importance of each different color, but all together the colors make up a complete set of colors in a box of crayons ties into making rules that support and create a safe environment for everyone in the classroom.  CREATING A HEALTHY AND SAFE ENVIRONMENT IS ESSENTIAL TO SUPPORTING THE WHOLE DEVELOPMENT OF OUR STUDENTS.

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Transitions: Classroom Routines That Respect Instructional Time ...

Transitions: Classroom Routines That Respect Instructional Time ... | EDCI397 | Scoop.it

CLTransitions: Classroom Routines That Respect Instructional Time. Posted on September 3, 2011. I have pretty high expectations for student organization and transitions between activities. I don't want student to lose precious learning time.


Via Angela DesBarres, Lauren Portalea
Nicole Liebler's insight:

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I found this blog post to be extremely helpful because it provides examples of effective transitions to use in a classroom so as not to waste time or diminish students' autonomy. The examples given promote the idea that every student has a purpose, feels important, and contributes to the group as a whole. I love that collaboration is promoted through every person having a different assigned job at the table. I like the organizational strategy used here to have all the supplies stored in an organized fashion in one place and then have each student be in charge of grabbing one specific type of material for the group (one student gets the scissors, one student gets the paper, etc.). I think this is a very structured, efficient way to keep the room organized and easy-to-navigate. I also agree that having a "mentor" to oversee the other students is important because some students need more guidance and help than others. Receiving support from a peer can foster a sense of collaboration and save the teacher time from providing aid to every student individually. I find this teacher's use of technology and the Smart Board very useful and creative, as she utilized it for both attendance purposes and to guide students on how to immediately be productive when entering the room. If students can move their name themselves on the Smart Board to signify that they are present that day, it will definitely give them a sense of independence, confidence, and familiarity with technology. I also found it really important that the students in this teacher's classroom helped create guidelines and consistently have the chance to articulate their opinions and give feedback to the teacher. These opportunities align with the Whole Child Tenets because they help students feel engaged and supported in their environment if they have some say in the matter and can have their voices heard.

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Becca Wagman's curator insight, April 6, 2014 11:48 PM

Classroom Climate: This teacher makes some good points about valuing the time where children are finishing tasks or even between class changes. It is great to have things for the students to accomplish to keep that time productive, but make sure the routines the children are completing are helping them in learning and that the routines do not turn into busy work. By creating activities for the students to complete in those times, it shows the students that we want to come into class and focus on what we are going to learn that day. These activities in my classroom would inform the students of the objectives for the day and to allow them to brainstorm what they know about our topics and what they want to learn. The students need to voice their opinions and learn what is most applicable to their lives. I value student opinion and I want them to see my recognizing their competence and giving them autonomy in their learning. (ROUTINE)

Molly Schoenfeld's curator insight, April 12, 2014 10:15 AM

Establishing classroom routines that encourage student participation and input is vital!

liam bye's curator insight, October 2, 2015 11:01 PM

A short and sweet article that focuses on delegating and transitions between activities to deal with classroom management. 

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How to Make Your Classroom a Thinking Space

How to Make Your Classroom a Thinking Space | EDCI397 | Scoop.it
Editor's note: The following is an excerpt from Thinking Through Project-Based Learning: Guiding Deeper Inquiry by Jane Krauss and Suzie Boss. It was published this month by Corwin.
Take a moment an
Nicole Liebler's insight:

CLASSROOM CLIMATE PLAN

 

I think this source touches on both the physical aspect of a PBL classroom and the social climate/attitudes that will be established. I like that his article identifies private spaces for students to work in as "semi-supervised" because students can gain a sense of independence and focus on their own, can work with others, and can still be monitored by a teacher. These spaces can be large enough for a person to fit his/her body in or can be created with  three-panel cardboard "carrels" on top of tables or desks so that students can be distraction-free during their thinking. I like that this article asks teachers to reconsider who the materials in the class belong to. We are not sending out positive vibes about sharing, exploration, and brainstorming if, as teachers, we claim all the materials as our own. While students need boundaries on what they can and cannot use and the proper ways to handle them, students need a social climate in which they feel they can use what they need to in order to carry out their thinking. We do not want students to feel restricted and "off-limits". I also love the idea of a Tinker Station where students can experiment with different tools. This center would provide a challenge to students and allow them to problem-solve and think critically. I believe it is very important for students to have access to a hands-on station in a project based learning classroom. In terms of changing the color and furniture in the room, I agree that students should have choice in these matters. When students feel included and as if their opinions matter, they also feel safe, supported, and confident. This type of social climate means that the whole child's needs are met.

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Clutter-Free Classroom: Cozy Reading Nooks - Setting Up the Classroom Series

Clutter-Free Classroom: Cozy Reading Nooks - Setting Up the Classroom Series | EDCI397 | Scoop.it
Nicole Liebler's insight:

CLASSROOM CLIMATE PLAN

 

While this is not directly PBL related, I like that this teacher's blog on the physical classroom focuses one section on creating a variety of unique spaces and places to read in/on.  It also has some great ideas for seating, such as bean bag chairs, tents, yoga mats, forts, etc. Students can also use these types of seating/spaces to work collaboratively together. When working together on projects, teachers oftentimes allow students to work wherever they want in the room. I think students find much more enjoyment out of reading or doing work together if there are "fun" spaces available, or places that are more private (possibly inside a tent). I think a good feature of a PBL classroom would be the opportunity to collaborate in unique places because students will be more motivated to use their creative thinking if they are located in a creative space.

 

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4 Keys To Designing A Project-Based Learning Classroom -

4 Keys To Designing A Project-Based Learning Classroom - | EDCI397 | Scoop.it
What are the keys designing a project-based learning classroom? It starts with the teacher.
Nicole Liebler's insight:

CLASSROOM CLIMATE PLAN

 

This article offers some helpful suggestions for what kinds of spaces we need in a PBL classroom and how to create them. I really like the idea about using floor mats or portable cushions for students to sit on while working in groups. I think it is really important to have small forms of seating that can move around because students love to work in interesting, creative places, and oftentimes there is no regular seating provided there. The article mentions how there needs to be central locations for congregation but room to also break apart and collaborate with others. I like that the article mentions how PBL in an elementary school classroom can be very unpredictable because students' imaginations and creativity can take them in different directions. Therefore, a wide variety of supplies need to be available for students because it will challenge their minds if there is more to choose from. Additionally, since PBL is so focused on technology to organize information, make presentations, and research, there needs to be some sort of access to it within the classroom.

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PROJECT BASED LEARNING: The Mummified Chicken, Mutant Frogs, and Rockets to the Moon - YouTube

Made in 2002 - An introduction to Project Based Learning from the student perspective. Filmed at Minnesota New Country School in Henderson, MN. For more info...
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I recommend 2:00-4:31

 

While this video is very informative about PBL and presents a school that is completely run on project based learning, the specific times I have provided demonstrate how a classroom can physically be set up to enhance and support PBL. The school provides a “work area” for each student where he/she can store research materials, carry out projects, and in many cases, receive access to a computer. The teacher, known as the advisor, also has a work area amidst the student’s. The advisor is in the middle of all the students, as opposed to at the front of the room. Each individual has access to the advisor. The position of the advisor allows for dialogue with students at all points during the day. While this school is completely run on PBL and my future school will probably not be this extreme, I still think it is helpful to note the materials the students has access to in their work areas and the personal space that each student has for individual thinking and projects. While this school does not use direct instruction from a teacher and my future classroom will, I still think we can learn from how the seating and desks are organized in this classroom. I think it is important that every student has access to the teacher and can easily engage in dialogue whenever he/she needs.

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How to Teach Math as a Social Activity

How to Teach Math as a Social Activity | EDCI397 | Scoop.it
A master math teacher in Anchorage, Alaska, establishes a cooperative-learning environment in an upper-elementary classroom.
Nicole Liebler's insight:

This video is phenomenal in a number of ways. This teacher really inspires me because of the outlook he brings into teaching, his belief on how students learn best, and the strategies that he uses to augment cooperative learning. I absolutely love that at the beginning of the year, he set his standards by having his students establish them. I think the question he posed to students was incredibly powerful, about what the best place they could learn in would look like under the categories of thinking, speaking, listening, and behavior. When kids are given choice, the feeling that their opinions matter, and the opportunity to set their own expectations, they are much more motivated to meet the goals because they hold personal meaning, having come up with them themselves. This video talks a lot about social growth and how this can be fostered in the classroom. What stood out to me particularly is the situation in which students help teach each other. The teacher not only highlighted the importance of a student explaining and thinking about his/her own thinking process, but he brought up how many skills are strengthened when students are willing to receive help from a peer. This is something we do not think much about, but being willing to accept help from someone your own age demonstrates a great deal of emotional and social strength. I think teachers should definitely encourage students to help each other because everyone benefits; the student who gives help strengthens his/her understanding and the student who receives learns how to do something with the  thinking process of a same-age peer. Another important idea that I will transfer into my future classroom is allowing each student's voice to be heard and making each student feel like his/her idea matters. Students will be more willing and comfortable sharing if they know that it is a safe community where their ideas will be respected. One final activity I really enjoyed watching in this video was using a fishbowl discussion, in which students participated in a discussion in the middle and other students silently observed from the outside. Those on the inside benefited from collaboration with their peers and learned about others' thinking processes in a math problem. On the other hand, those on the outside  took note of the discussion techniques and the positive/negative features of the discussion. After it was complete, the class talked about specific things that propelled the discussion forward and hindered it.This activity is very interdisciplinary because there was a math discussion going on in the center, and discussion afterward about how to effectively collaborate and share with your peers (social and speaking skills are utilized here). This video demonstrates a plethora of ideas that I will definitely incorporate in my classroom to foster social and emotional growth. 

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The Power of the Morning Meeting: 5 Steps Toward Changing Your Classroom and School Culture

The Power of the Morning Meeting: 5 Steps Toward Changing Your Classroom and School Culture | EDCI397 | Scoop.it
"The whole morning meeting not only sets a really good tone for the students, but it sets a tone for me." - Teacher in Louisville, Kentucky

When I first learned about the Morning Meeting model, I wa

Via Sydney Sims
Nicole Liebler's insight:

This provides a great explanation of the benefits of Morning Meeting. Not only does Morning Meeting set a positive, tolerant tone in the classroom, but it has shown to increase attendance in the classroom and help students resolve conflicts with each other on their own. At the preschool i work at, they utilize a Morning Meeting, as well as a few other meetings throughout the day. They use the time to share with each other, question, comment, and form positive relationships. I can definitely see the positive effects of Morning Meeting because the students are very open with each other, respect each other, and "use their words" with each other to resolve conflicts. I think Morning Meeting can absolutely be used in older grades as well because students of all ages need to be emotionally and socially supported. In every grade we should try to connect students and make them feel like they are in a climate of trust and community. I also agree that it would be beneficial to keep parents well-informed of your reasoning to use Morning Meeting and how it will be conducted. If parents are informed of the intent, they can reinforce the values that are fostered during Morning Meeting in the home as well. In general, I think Morning Meeting would be a great addition to a classroom routine because it supports social and emotional growth.

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Sydney Sims's curator insight, March 9, 2014 9:02 PM

Establishing a positive classroom and school culture could possibly begin with how the day is started. Morning Meeting! 

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Explorer Elementary Charter School

Explorer Elementary Charter School | EDCI397 | Scoop.it
High Tech High is a non-profit organization developing public schools in communities across California.
Nicole Liebler's insight:

I came across this elementary school's website, which posed it as an "environment that emphasizes learning as an interactive process focusing on individual needs of students." This just screamed out PBL to me. I found such a rich collection of projects here that teachers can implement in their classrooms to enhance their PBL communities. The projects are for grades K-5. One of my personal favorites is called, "Time Travel to Indian Tribes""- you should check it out! It gives students multiple audiences they need to both impress and collaborate with. There are multiple subjects that are incorporated into this project. Students also get to use creative means and design the driving questions for the project. Here is the direct link in case you can't find it on the page: http://www.hightechhigh.org/schools/EECS/projects/timetravel.php.

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The Differences Between Projects And Project-Based Learning - Edudemic

The Differences Between Projects And Project-Based Learning - Edudemic | EDCI397 | Scoop.it
There's a big difference between using projects in the classroom versus project-based learning in the classroom. What are those differences, you ask?
Nicole Liebler's insight:

I found this source to be particularly helpful in distinguishing the features of projects from project-based learning, since the difference confuses me sometimes. Some of the most helpful points I took away from this source are that PBL includes collaboration, continued inquiry, a general need/interest to know, relevance to students' lives, a focus on the PROCESS of learning, real world applications, and presentation of the discoveries. While projects can include some of these aspects as well, I think the main idea of this chart is to emphasize that PBL is more focused on student-driven inquiry about driving questions. After reading this chart, I have started to consider how to implement more PBL-like experiences into my classroom, as opposed to projects. I think it is important for me to learn more about how to assess students during their process of learning, as opposed to emphasizing their "products" because PBL focuses on the fact that students are learning AS they are doing it.

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Sophia Vitilio's curator insight, February 19, 2014 12:24 AM

 I personally really like this article because it helps to distinct projects from project based learning, which I think can be very important for someone who does not know much about it or is just learning about it.   This really shows the differences between how a project is just something that is done for a grade and does not have as much relevance where as a project based learning project has relevance and is stimulating.  I really hope that the more I learn about project based learning, the more I will be able to incorporate it into my future classroom because this article proves to me how important it truly is.

Hallie Lease's curator insight, February 19, 2014 1:48 PM

All throughout my public schooling we did "projects" just like the ones described in this article. And I remember feeling like the projects were just busywork, and that they didn't really relate to me. I remember questioning why we were even learning about some of the things we did. This article really describes the big differences between projects and project based learning. PBLs mean so much more to students, and the teachers. A teacher who does PBLs should have confidence in the fact that his/her students are much more likely to remember the information being taught, and use what they learn in other ways and times of their lives. 

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Pin by Coffee Cup on New School | Pinterest

Pin by Coffee Cup on New School | Pinterest | EDCI397 | Scoop.it
Infographic: Classroom Expectations | Infogram | See more about infographic.
Nicole Liebler's insight:

CLASSROOM CLIMATE PLAN

 

I think this is an important behavior/attitude approach to include in my future classroom. Especially when working with project based learning, students are constantly collaborating and verbally sharing ideas. It is important to establish expectations for how students will communicate with each other. These five questions help build the basis for respectful words, which is a disposition I want to emphasize in my future classroom. I would love to make this THINK poster in a miniature size and post it on the top corner of each student's desk (next to their name tag). If each student has a consistent, constant, visible reminder on his/her desk for how to make positive contributions to the class, I think the classroom climate will be a safe, respectful environment. In terms of fostering resiliency, if students can ask themselves these questions, they will learn to become responsible and empathetic for others. I want to make it clear to my students that we must all make decisions that are kind, honest, and beneficial.

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Jessica Guercio's curator insight, April 5, 2014 9:39 PM

This is a great poster that represents how student behavior and attitude should be in the classroom. It gives students an opportunity to pause and think about their words and actions before saying or doing these actions. I want my classroom t be a safe and respectful environment, and this poster gives students a tool to look at and use before making a comment. Having this poster right in the front of the classroom would emphasize that it is important to think before we speak, and that by not doing so we could unintentionally hurt someone's  feelings. Thinking before you speak is an important norm I would like to instill into my classroom. In terms of Whole Child Learning, it allows children to become responsible for their own actions. By having a classroom of students who are kind and respectful toward one another, the overall classroom environment will become positive and engaging for students.

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Simple and positive classroom rules. | Classroom Rules That Work | Pinterest

Simple and positive classroom rules. | Classroom Rules That Work | Pinterest | EDCI397 | Scoop.it
This Pin was discovered by WeAreTeachers. Discover (and save!) your own Pins on Pinterest. | See more about posters, teachers and homes.
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CLASSROOM CLIMATE PLAN

 

While I want my students to help construct the rules/dispositions for the classroom, I think the 6 listed here could all be good additions to the collection. I like that these 6 rules are all begin with "we" because it fosters a sense of community and collaboration. I like that every rule is phrased positively because it refrains from telling students what NOT to do. It is always better to frame statements positively for students because it serves as a sense of encouragement. I also like that the rules are very general and vague, so they can be applied to endless situations and can be the center of rich discussions for how to exemplify each one. These rules encompass respect, understanding, creativity, persistence, collaboration, and effort, which all support tenets of the whole child, global competency, and resiliency. If students follow these rules, they are sure to have a more successful, positive PBL experience. In terms of where to post this list or the class generated list of rules/dispositions, I think it is important to make it a focal point of the room in a clearly visible location. I would put it either on the board, the door, or a central bulletin board so that students have access to it at all points. If these are the principles I want my classroom to run on, they should always be visible. Lastly, whether it be for these rules or the ones my class generates, I like that each rule has some sort of symbol or picture assigned to it. Pictures and symbols can help aid in memory, so this could be a strategy for helping students to internalize the rules. Additionally, I could have my students draw their own interpretations of each rule and then I could post these illustrations with the list. This would personalize the rules further and help my students take ownership of them.

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Daily Rituals: The First Fifteen Minutes | Scholastic.com

Daily Rituals: The First Fifteen Minutes | Scholastic.com | EDCI397 | Scoop.it
I don’t believe that there is one “right” way to start the school day. I have my traditions, and I have watched beautiful and very different beginnings in many other classrooms. Here are just some possibilities.
Nicole Liebler's insight:

CLASSROOM CLIMATE PLAN

 

I really like this post because it incorporates both classroom rituals and routines as well as ways to foster a positive classroom climate. I think the author provides a really unique perspective on the first fifteen minutes of class. I never really thought about it this way, but it is a huge transition period because every student is coming from a different situation at home and must quickly jump into the same, set classroom. Though it seems a bit unrealistic that the teacher would have the time to stand and greet every student at the door (usually the teacher is running around doing last minute things before the day starts), I think it fosters a really welcoming, positive climate if each student is individually acknowledged. I also think it creates a positive tone if the teacher has the students walk in the classroom before he/she enters. I find it important for students to feel like they are equal with everyone because they feel more safe, supported, and engaged. The students should feel that it is their classroom just as much as it is the teacher's. In terms of the examples from different teachers, I like the organized way that the students in Ali's fourth grade class immediately sort their homework and place each paper in the correct bin when they walk in the room. I can definitely see myself utilizing the idea to play one song in the morning when students are unpacking and putting their papers in the correct places. This is a fun, upbeat way to start the day that also places a relaxed time limit on when the students must be ready by. Additionally, giving students choice in the song fosters a sense of independence and establishes decision-making skills. In reference to the classroom jobs in this post, I will definitely use classroom jobs and responsibilities in my future classroom because I think it is important for students to be held accountable. With changing jobs, they learn to become resilient in that they become flexible, adaptable, and independent. Students become community members when they contribute to a cause that helps everyone.

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Create a successful classroom climate.

Create a successful classroom climate. | EDCI397 | Scoop.it
Creating a positive classroom climate and a supportive environment will help your students become successful learners.
Nicole Liebler's insight:

CLASSROOM CLIMATE PLAN

 

This source does an excellent job in identifying and explaining the behaviors and attitudes that teachers should be held accountable for. The teacher is the person who sets the tone for the classroom and determines whether it is a positive environment that is conducive to learning. In order to make a positive classroom climate possible, the teacher must be warm, approachable, enthusiastic, and fair. For PBL especially, teachers need to promote the importance of positive relationships. Students must work together and collaborate in a PBL environment, so it is essential that the teacher fosters an environment where students respect, help, and support each other. The teacher must also make it clear to students that he/she is there for support for the students as well. Additionally, the teacher needs to foster an environment where students feel safe to share their opinions, make guesses, and takes risks. Students will become more resilient if they feel supported enough to venture out when they are unsure. It the the role of the teacher to make it clear that mistakes are normal and expected; this is how we learn. PBL environments need to foster this acceptance for risks because students are constantly exploring and inquiring about new topics. If students do not feel confident and supported enough to step outside of their comfort zones, they will not be able to find the answers to their research questions and learn outside their environments. Finally, establishing a positive classroom climate also means that a teacher must hold students accountable and set high expectations for them. Students need and like to be challenged. They feel respected if a teacher sees their potential and pushes them to do their best. Therefore, teachers should foster this in their PBL classrooms because students will be researching, critically thinking, and presenting, and must do so with evidence of high-quality work.

 

I have found that my most positive memories from my years in school come from the teachers who established a classroom environment of warmth, trust, support, enthusiasm, and high expectations. I hope to create such a learning-conducive climate in my future classroom as well.

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» The Power of a Mindful Minute in Schools (and at Home) - Mindfulness and Psychotherapy

» The Power of a Mindful Minute in Schools (and at Home) - Mindfulness and Psychotherapy | EDCI397 | Scoop.it
A growing number of teachers are starting to replace early class routines with a mindful minute.

Via Jeremiah's Hope for Kindness
Nicole Liebler's insight:

CLASSROOM CLIMATE PLAN

 

I think the Mindful Minute could be a great routine to implement in a classroom at either the start of the day, the end of the day, in a transition from one subject to the next, or after a high-energy activity that precedes one that requires focus. I think taking one minute of silence for students to close their eyes, focus on their thoughts and feelings, relax, and remain still can have positive effects on their learning. Oftentimes we are busy moving from one task or activity to the next, hardly taking a second to pause for ourselves. This adds to stress and tension in our bodies. If students can receive at least one minute every day during class to pause from all the commotion and focus on what they are truly thinking and feeling, they can become more in touch with themselves. Sometimes a little bit of quiet, personal time is all we need to feel rejuvenated. I also think the benefit of the entire class participating in the Mindful Minute together at the same time is that students will feel more connected to one another.

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Pin by Sue Hills on Classroom organization | Pinterest

Pin by Sue Hills on Classroom organization | Pinterest | EDCI397 | Scoop.it
Glitzy In 1st Grade: Classroom Decor - boarders around shelving & letters on shelving. Great idea! | See more about book shelves, bookshelves and organizations.
Nicole Liebler's insight:

CLASSROOM CLIMATE PLAN

 

When I picture my future classroom, I imagine the materials I make available to my students to be easily accessible, organized, and sorted. I want my students to have access to a wide variety of resources, whether they are art supplies (crayons, glue, pastels, markers, etc.), unusual objects for students to experiment with (marbles, pipes, metal, cotton balls, etc.), materials to make presentations with (paper, poster board, shoe boxes, etc.), or research materials (books, maps, magazines, etc.). I want my students to gain a sense independence in choosing the materials they wish to use and the autonomy to be able to find what they need on their own. I think having a large quantity and variety of materials will both challenge students and support their learning because they will have to make decisions on what will specifically be useful or pertinent to them and will have many opportunities for exploration.

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Edutech Musings: What Should a PBL Classroom Look Like?

Edutech Musings: What Should a PBL Classroom Look Like? | EDCI397 | Scoop.it
Nicole Liebler's insight:

CLASSROOM CLIMATE PLAN

 

This blog provides numerous "spaces" that I agree should be incorporated in a PBL classroom. Some of the necessities include tables with easy to move chairs, wall space for students to plan, organize, brainstorm, and post ideas;  a creative area where students can access materials such as scissors, glue, art supplies, paper, etc.; and a "teacher" area that is centralized and accessible. The reasons for these features are based on the ideas that students need to be able to move around and collaborate with each other. PBL also means that students need to be actively thinking, creating, and sharing. Accessibility in a classroom means that students can work with whomever they need to easily, find the resources they need, and quickly transition into becoming the focal point of the class for presenting their ideas. I like this post because the suggestions are actually "doable," whereas some other sites provide very over-the-top suggestions for creating PBL classrooms. One addition I would make to this compilation of ideas is to ensure that the classroom is organized. The wall spaces that students post their ideas  on need to be structured in a way so that they are not messy and so that others can come look at what is posted and be able to make sense of it. I really like the idea of posting on the walls though, whether it be posting small pieces of paper up with magnets or tacks, or writing on big rolls of paper, a white board, or a chalk board. I think students would find it more fun to work if they were posting their ideas up and constantly looking at what others were posting as well. The blog notes that by posting ideas on the wall, it makes the classroom seem like a place where critical and creative thinking are occurring.There also needs to be organization in the creative area where materials are provided. The emphasis in PBL should be on critical thinking, not navigating to find your materials. The less time it takes to find what you need, the more time there is to develop your thoughts and work on your project.

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Classroom Architect

Nicole Liebler's insight:

CLASSROOM CLIMATE PLAN

 

Though this does not provide suggestions on how to create spaces in a classroom, this can be a really useful tool for teachers to plan how they will utilize the area in their classroom to make all the spaces they need for PBL. With this site, teachers can act as architects by dragging furniture into the room dimensions that they create and constructing an environment that is conducive to PBL and learning. This is a more high-tech way of planning, as opposed to simply drawing on paper.

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Efficiently Rearrange the Classroom for Cooperative Learning -

Efficiently Rearrange the Classroom for Cooperative Learning - | EDCI397 | Scoop.it
How to arrange the desks for cooperative learning and then efficiently rearrange the classroom for the next period

Via Susan Gingras Fitzell
Nicole Liebler's insight:

CLASSROOM CLIMATE PLAN/general content curation

 

This is such a fun way to add flexibility to your classroom! It makes the classroom climate upbeat because there is  something new every day, and change keeps everyone on their toes. There is also a cooperative feel added to the classroom because students need to work together to arrange the room. I think students will be excited to sit in new arrangements each day (or in cycles of consistent designs) and have the opportunity to collaborate with a different set of students each day. This is such a simple way to both excite students and provide opportunities for working/sharing in different combinations. This can also be helpful when engaging in PBL because the desks can be arranged in ways to create spaces for collaboration, presentation, etc. I think changing the desks frequently promotes students' adaptability because they will become more familiar with constant change and how to work effectively in different situations.

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Susan Gingras Fitzell's curator insight, February 15, 2014 1:33 PM

Cooperative learning? Flexible Grouping? Station teaching? Co-teaching? Here's a solution to classroom arrangement: Make arranging desks a game.

Yenoch Ng's curator insight, March 13, 2014 2:11 PM

Classroom Climate Plan REVISED:

Provides quick and easy steps on how to rearrange desks to serve multiple classroom purposes. I may use the color coded desk arrangements as a classroom routine, since students will recognize that learning takes place in group, partner, and individual settings. The purpose of this color coded chart is to support student interaction and student's personal time, since students will need to be resilient and obtain the ability to be able to work in various settings.  The color coded charts allows students to rearrange the desks in a shorter time span, since it is an efficient method to set up the classroom space for cooperative learning and project-based learning. For example, grouping the desks into pods for group work supports project-based learning, since it will provide the space for students to communicate ideas to one another and learn from one another to further their learning.  

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Authority Means Never Having to Say You're the Teacher

Authority Means Never Having to Say You're the Teacher | EDCI397 | Scoop.it
Recently, I worked with some secondary educators who were interested in developing behavioral strategies for their more difficult students, particular as it pertained to students’ disrespect of…

Via Ashleigh Sweetman
Nicole Liebler's insight:

I think this article really speaks to the issues of classroom climate and classroom management. I like that this source highlights the importance of using direct, explicit statements for what the teacher expects, as opposed to statements that reveal the importance of the teacher's authority. If teachers are constantly reminding their students of the authority they have, what message is this sending students? Students feel inferior, and consequently, their guards go up. As teachers, we want our classroom climate to be one of equality, respect, and positive vibes. If students are constantly reminded of their subordination, there is no respect in either direction, no equality, and certainly no positive feeling. Teachers can find more effective ways to manage their students, especially by giving them clear expectations. There is no need to justify a "you must do this" with a "because I am important and I said so." This kind of language does not belong in a classroom.

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Ashleigh Sweetman's curator insight, March 10, 2014 11:46 AM

Found this article through the hashtag #ClassroomManagement.  Although this article is told through the perspective of a secondary education classroom, I believe that it applies to elementary classrooms as well.  Students that disrupt do not need to be dictated by the teacher.  The students are aware that the teacher is in charge and do not need to be reminded.  The examples of active teaching phrases to help disruptive students will be beneficial for my own classroom.  These give me ideas of things to say when my classroom is getting out of control.  I especially liked the phrase, "We don't do that in this room."  This puts the student and teacher on the same level.  

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Beyond Zero Tolerance: Achieving a Balance in School Discipline

Beyond Zero Tolerance: Achieving a Balance in School Discipline | EDCI397 | Scoop.it
Disruptive behavior continues to be one of the most challenging issues that schools face today. Even one seriously incompliant student can threaten teaching and learning for the rest of the class. An
Nicole Liebler's insight:

This article addresses a huge problem that every school and classroom faces: the disruptive students. In every classroom I have ever been in, whether I was a student, teacher's helper, or observer, there was always at least one disruptive student, if not more. It's an extremely difficult problem for teachers because they have to use appropriate classroom management strategies to deal with the disruptive student's behavior, while still teaching the class. This article discusses how expulsions and suspensions do not usually improve discipline problems and are prone to fostering communities with a poor climate. I can definitely see the purpose for using expulsions, suspensions, and detentions if a student has committed an extremely bad action, but I think schools should limit their use of these punishments. While students should not be allowed to get away with whatever they want, it is detrimental to their education if they are in a negative environment. I like the alternatives that this article provides because they encourage a community-feel and help the students learn exactly what appropriate, positive behavior is. One of the alternatives I am especially fond of is giving the students specific feedback on their behaviors. Telling a student, "NO," is not as constructive as telling him/her exactly what it was that he/she did wrong and what he/she can do to act correctly instead. Another alternative I agree with is to talk to the student in a non-threatening tone in private. I practice this when I work at the CYC because if a child does something wrong and I need to talk to him/her, I do not want there to be an audience of other children that could make the child feel embarrassed or on-the-spot. I also try to speak very calmly so he/she does not feel attacked and feels comfortable with being honest with me. I have found this strategy effective and will definitely use it in my classroom in the future when I need to speak to disruptive students. Lastly, I really like the alternative about making the student understand the damage he/she has caused and making him/her responsible for repairing it. While punishment may not always be the appropriate response, it is important that the student receives some sort of consequence, and fixing his/her mistake is definitely a step in the right direction. The alternatives provided will foster a positive classroom climate, which will definitely contribute to positive attitudes for learning!

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Project-Based Learning in Math: 6 Examples

Project-Based Learning in Math: 6 Examples | EDCI397 | Scoop.it
Project-Based Learning in Math: 6 Examples

Via Dr Peter Carey, Sophia Vitilio
Nicole Liebler's insight:

Because math is one of my two subject concentrations for my major, I found this article helpful and thought-provoking for how I can make meaning when teaching this subject. While reading this, it made me think back to when a few of my previous teachers incorporated real-life experiences into the content we were learning. I remember feeling more excited to go to these specific classes because I felt like I actually had a purpose for learning that material. I think this article does a great job of encouraging PBL in the given examples because students can use technology, present their work, and combat issues that matter to them. In particular, I think I would definitely implement projects similar to the "selling" a type  of math and designing ones (described here)  in my future classroom.

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Jessica Guercio's curator insight, February 19, 2014 10:34 PM

One subject I personally find it more difficult to discover project-based learning tasks for is math. This article provides a few different examples of projects you could incorporate into your math curriculum!

Kaitlin Roach's curator insight, February 20, 2014 3:45 PM

Different ways to incorporate PBL with geometry. Fun real life examples that can make math meaningful. 

Imon's comment, February 20, 2014 11:09 PM
I am an elementary education major with a specialization in math. So this article was especially interesting to me. Also when I was younger geometry was the hardest for me to understand. I can remember countless nights staying up studying with my father trying to not only memorize formulas but understand the meaning behind them. This article was helpful and gave me ideas for activities that I would use in my classroom. When I was in grade school I don't remember doing a lot of the activities that are now offered through project based learning. And these activities even helped me have a better understanding of concepts. I think that it is good that these activities are offered now. I think this will help improve the efficiency of learning for students.