Classroom Climate
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Just 4 Teachers: Sharing Across Borders: Finally!! Ready for OPEN HOUSE

Just 4 Teachers: Sharing Across Borders: Finally!! Ready for OPEN HOUSE | Classroom Climate | Scoop.it
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I love the L shaped desks with a set of materials in the corner for access to all kids.  I like to keep the shared materials at the kids tables so that it is in close proximity to them.  It keeps the kids close to their desks and when the materials are easy for them to access with out having to ask the teacher, it makes them feel like it is their space for learning.  I love creating the classroom space from their perspective with them in mind.  For me, this makes your classroom inviting for kids to engage in their learning by helping themselves for materials and being responsible.  This, to me, shows whole child thinking.  School is not just something that teachers prepare every little detail for the kids, it makes the kids activate real life thinking and problem solving skills to be resilient.  The desk formation like this contributes to the space component of my future classroom.

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Penn View Christian School - Elementary Classroom

Penn View Christian School - Elementary Classroom | Classroom Climate | Scoop.it
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This website has three pictures of the elementary classroom.  I really like the physical space.  It looks to me like kids can come into this classroom and be ready to learn.  Clearly the desks are arranged in a way that allows for collaboration with people in your row and across the room because the kids generally face each other.  I really liked to light bulbs hanging from the ceiling.  When I was little and I finally understood a concept, my mom would say "the lightbulb came on!"  I really want to bring this concept into my classroom.  I want to use lightbulbs as a gage for the student understanding.  It shows the kids how much I care about how they are understanding.  If their lightbulb is dark, they really don't get it yet.  If it is dim, they are starting to understand.  If it is bright, then they feel they fully understand the ideas being presented.  This creates a classroom climate that shows the kids that I want to know how their learning is going.  I want to establish this as a :"norm" in my classroom.  It will be normal for us to talk about how we are feeling about our learning and this honesty will foster resilience in my students, as well.  Some times kids clam up or get shy talking about their feelings or they are not really sure what to say, with a signal kids can communicate how they feel without really saying anything.

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Ms. Noonan: Your Unique Class Culture

Ms. Noonan: Your Unique Class Culture | Classroom Climate | Scoop.it
Building a unique classroom culture makes for a great learning environment. See a few classroom management techniques that have helped one elementary school teacher build a unique class culture.
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Madeline is a teacher in an elementary school.  She says, "The key to an effective classroom is knowing who you are and knowing how to set up systems and structures that are mutual beneficial for you and the kids."  She uses a morning meeting to help her students practice language.  They use feelings and emotion reviews.  They toss a ball to others in the circle and say how they are feeling.  It helps them check in with each other.  She always starts the lesson with SWBAT "students will be able to" to help focus and signal the goal of the lesson.  Their writing segment of class asks the kids to evaluate themselves, evaluate each other, and the teacher meets one on one with each student.

 

I am so impressed with Ms. Noonan's classroom.  Her tips for classroom culture are excellent and you can tell she knows what she is doing.  She really believes in them.  I am impressed with her consistent energy and the routines she has established in her classroom.  I love that she asks her students to repeat the goal in a fun way.  They know their response for the SWBAT part of the lesson.  I hope to use this in some way in my future classroom.  I want students to know where to focus their energy and I want my goal to become their goal.  When they state it at the beginning of the lesson they take ownership of the statement.  In my school experience, the SWBAT statement was written on the chalkboard and just kind of ignored by the class.  In this instance, Ms. Noonan sets the culture that her students are actively involved in their own learning.  I love the morning check in.  Giving students an opportunity to tell each other how they are feeling will allow them to be more sensitive to children who might be having a bad day and it helps the teach have something to check in on later in the day or week.  I love knowing what's going on in students' lives so I will be using this tool in my classroom.  This creates a space that is open for sharing and learning.  Because this is routine in her classroom, it is a norm for kids to share how they feel and how they can get the most out of their learning.

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Montgomery County Public Schools - Baldrige Education Criteria for Performance Excellence

Montgomery County Public Schools - Baldrige Education Criteria for Performance Excellence | Classroom Climate | Scoop.it
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Montgomery County Public Schools published their classroom culture ideology information on their website.  They say classroom culture of trust and acceptance is the foundation for establishing an environment in which students are empowered and comfortable with feedback for improvement, learning from mistakes, and stretch goals.  Montgomery County considers classroom culture important because they consider students to be co-producers of their learning.  They want students to understand expectations of curriculum, develop a mission, formulate goals, monitor achievement, and accept feedback.  Culture is developed in Montgomery County Schools by expecting teachers to encourage students to participate in process thinking, model acceptance and respect, and act upon student suggestions.  Student involvement is valuable to Montgomery County as evident in their quality tools such as course evaluations, asking students to establish ground rules and responsibilities, and getting student feedback on classroom procedures.  Quality tools are seen as a means toward to goal of developing and open and trusting culture.

 

I appreciate Montgomery County putting out literature on the importance of classroom culture and how they standardize expectations for their classrooms.  The culture of Montgomery County seems to value student input and emotional safety in the classroom.  According to their website, the quality tools are some of their most innovative and important areas of feedback from the students.  I really like the ideas they listed to encourage and protect classroom culture such as issue bins, consensograms, ground rules and mission statements in each classroom, and surveying tools.  I will be using suggestion boxes in my classroom so the students can feel like they have a voice whether or not they want me to know who suggested it.

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Culture in the Classroom | Teaching Tolerance

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This article talks about filling in the cultural gap in education.  It is recognized that most of the individuals in education are white, middle-class, monolingual-English speakers.  The same profile does not represent the student population, however.  It is said you should embrace color-blindness, but the truth is that culture matters.  As educators we need to simulate the intellectual development of children and not simply turn a blind eye to cultures.  Engaging students on a cultural level will open up conversations and foster growth.  This article cautions teachers to make sure they are teaching a culturally relevant curriculum.  We need to be careful to make sure we are teaching the history of varied cultures, not just the ones dictated to us.  Teachers can improve their classroom culture by honoring home languages in the classroom and providing the emotional scaffolding necessary to cross linguistic and cultural barriers.

 

While this article is more about student’s cultures in the classroom rather than the culture of the classroom itself, I still felt it was important to include in my curating.  I wanted to bring in the fact that to create a “classroom culture,” you first need to find a way to help students accept and become comfortable with their individual cultures that they bring into the classroom.  Acknowledging students’ individual cultures that are represented in the classroom is critical to creating a cohesive classroom culture and a safe learning environment in my future classroom.  I grew from this article because I have decided to ask the kids in my future classroom to share how they feel about themselves and their culture to the extent they feel comfortable and maybe even ask some parents to come in and present.  We can appreciate the cultures in the room and function as a cohesive learning unit better if we acknowledge and appreciate our differences first.

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12 Rules The Best Teachers Live By - Huffington Post (blog)

12 Rules The Best Teachers Live By - Huffington Post (blog) | Classroom Climate | Scoop.it
12 Rules The Best Teachers Live By
Huffington Post (blog)
"On the first day of school I always tell my students that our classroom is their second home and that our class is an extension of their family.
JennaMRyan's insight:

The following are the 12 rules the best teachers live by according to the huffingtonpost article.

Rules are made to be broken.All for one and one for all.Bring your passions into the classroom.Never teach to the test.Keep it real.There is not such thing as an un-teachable child.Necessity is the mother of all invention.Produce good people, not just good students.The future is now.

10. Be the person you want your students to become.

11. You can’t do it alone.

12. Be a student of your students.

 

I really appreciate these “rules” listed here.  I really believe schools should do more than teach kids stuff, shaping them into good people is just as important to me.  I believe teachers are given the rare opportunity to pour into the lives of their students in the way parents can’t simply because they are their parents.  I always admired my teachers growing up and I wanted to be just like them- not I get the chance to be that role model for my future students in my classroom.  I think these twelve principles are awesome guidelines for establishing classroom culture.  Simply keeping it real and being passionate will do so much for the atmosphere and moral of my classroom.  I will keep in mind that I am teaching and helping to raise up the next generation who will one day lead their families.  The values I help to instill in them while they are young will follow them into adulthood.

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Goal Setting for Children with Learning Disabilities: Your Role Is Important | LD Topics | LD OnLine

Goal Setting for Children with Learning Disabilities: Your Role Is Important | LD Topics | LD OnLine | Classroom Climate | Scoop.it
The ability to set goals and meet them is essential for success of people with learning disabilities. Learn how to help children set goals, persevere toward those goals, and succeed in making their dreams come true.
JennaMRyan's insight:

Learning Disabilities Online offers an article about goal setting especially geared for Children with learning disabilities.  Dale S. Brown wrote this article about setting plans and goals and how they should encompass learning goals as well as personal growth, and their future.  The following are suggestions to help children set goals and reach them: ask them about their dreams and desires, encourage them to set goals that relate directly to their desire, help them to work around their disabilities as they work toward their goals, teach and model perseverance, teach and handle setbacks and failures, inspire students and children to overcome their learning disabilities and reach their dreams.  The article also talks about helping them reach their inner hero.  Setting new goals helps them identify their dreams, eliminate obstacles, and make it come true.

 

I really like some of these suggestions and I can tell they will help students who have learning disabilities set and attain goals and students who have other struggles.  Students who might be depressed, or abused, or have low self esteem will benefit from the same principles listed in this blog.  Brown gives examples and methods for teachers to inspire students.  I know from my own experience that when students have goals, they are more likely to work harder and stay on task.  For example, at my placement just today the kids were struggling with a math exam.  The teacher said we’ll go to lunch in five minutes and it was like a little goal for the kids to work hard for five more minutes and having that goal clearly gave them a boost and they were able to refocus and buckle down to finish the working time well.  My future classroom will have a culture in which students with and without learning disabilities are made to feel welcome and valued and I will use some of these principles to do that.

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True or False - A Quick Classroom Culture Survey | YES Prep Public Schools

True or False - A Quick Classroom Culture Survey | YES Prep Public Schools | Classroom Climate | Scoop.it
About 2-3 weeks into the school year is a good time to stop & do a quick survey to check on the culture of your classroom.  Ideally, you should be able to answer ‘true’ to each of these statements.  (True or False -I have had 25 positive...

Via Gina Bruce
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5 Ways To Conquer Your Fear Of Failure - Forbes

5 Ways To Conquer Your Fear Of Failure - Forbes | Classroom Climate | Scoop.it
by Becky Ryan Failure isn’t holding you back: fear of failure is. We’re conditioned to fear failure, as if lack of failure guarantees success. The reality is that lack of failure equals lack of risk-taking, which is required for meaningful success.

Via Shary Lyssy Marshall
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How To Develop a Culture of "Can" In Your Classroom

How To Develop a Culture of "Can" In Your Classroom | Classroom Climate | Scoop.it

"It’s an age-old saying, “Give a man a fish, and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and feed him for a lifetime.”

What separates good teachers from the excellent ones? The excellent ones are handing out fishing poles; creating a culture in the classroom of independence and self-reliance. These students don’t just recite facts or regurgitate information- they have learned how to learn. They know that if the answer isn’t in front of them, they have the tools to do the investigation and research."


Via Beth Dichter
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Beth Dichter's curator insight, January 30, 2013 9:24 PM

This post provides 20 suggestions on "how" you can "develop a culture of 'can' in our classroom." Below are five of the suggestions. Click through to see all of them as well as more detailed explanations.

* Make it a safe place to fail 

* Encourage curiosity

* Give your students a voice

* Use natural consequences

* Model how to learn

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What the Teacher Wants!: I gave in.

What the Teacher Wants!: I gave in. | Classroom Climate | Scoop.it
JennaMRyan's insight:

These are some stools I want for my physical climate in my classroom.  The video we watched, Ewan McIntosh's Seven Spaces of Learning , showed some swivel stools for the kids at their desks.  This is a cost effective way that I would bring the stool idea into my classroom.  These stools are kid height.  They allow kids to move around the classroom easily and gather in small groups.  They can be turned to the side and used for storage, as well.  I love that they are just not chairs- there is no seat back, so the kids can turn in all directions to collaborate.  They are cheap and easy to make.  The kids can even pick their own fabric to take ownership of their learning space.  Clearly these stools can be used in a variety of different ways and enhance the learning space.

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First Grade Teacher Lady: Back To School CRAZY lady ;)

First Grade Teacher Lady: Back To School CRAZY lady ;) | Classroom Climate | Scoop.it
JennaMRyan's insight:

I really love these ideas for keeping the area in your classroom clean and tidy.  It creates a climate of readiness to learn when things are neat and in order.  Things are labeled with words and pictures and easy to use bins at the kids level so they can be responsible too.  This allows the kids to feel like the classroom is meant for them.  Even just understand height differences and putting their resources at their level makes it "their" classroom, not the "teacher's" class.  For me, this system established the routine of "taking care of our stuff."  Because "being responsible" could mean a lot of different things, it is important to define it in my classroom.  Each family has a different idea about what responsibility so when kids come into my classroom, I want them to know what I expect.  I will expect that we keep thing in the proper place after we use them.  Last week, Dr. Bote said that "learning is messy" and I love mess!  When kids can engage in hands on ways, my classroom will have the norm of messy learning, but it is important for kids to make sure they are keeping the learning space usable and clean.  It contributes to global competency because kids are learning how to be active participants in a working environment.  You can make a mess but you also help clean it up.  The same will be expected of them in their jobs in the future.

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Establishing a classroom culture

Establishing a classroom culture | Classroom Climate | Scoop.it
JennaMRyan's insight:

David Kasprzak wrote this article called "Establishing a Classroom Culture." He explained that he was surprised to find that in order to execute plans, teachers are doing things like structuring difficult tasks, providing firm deadlines, planning as much as possible up front, and clearly communicating.  Strong managers and leaders also use these tactics.  The strongest teachers were taking these classroom items a step further.  The best teachers ask open-ended questions, provide helpful answers to guide students, use auditory and visual cues, allow time to absorb information, allow people to learn from wrong answers, and let members of the group teacher each other.  Some ideal components of positive classroom culture are patience, planning, flexibility, respect for others, learning from mistakes, constant communication, and measurable criteria for success.  Not only are Kasprzak’s principles effective in the classroom, but they are just as useful in the work place.  Success follows when fair “structure is the norm, measurement is robust, feed back is continuous and curiosity is rewarded.”

 

I think Kaspzak offers great suggestions for teachers to begin to grow a classroom culture that is sustainable.  Making the classroom an inviting learning environment and cultivating a positive classroom culture can be achieved by causing students to communicate well with you as the teacher and each other, and establishing guidelines for acceptable classroom behavior that create a safe learning environment.  I grew from this article because I can see how having a strict, ridged classroom culture can make your classroom run too much like a business and the right culture sets the tone for a great school year.

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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 | Classroom Climate | 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
JennaMRyan's insight:

The Social Environment can be enhanced through setting the tone for respectful learning, establishing trust, motivating students to feel significant, create empathy and encourage collaboration, and supporting social, emotional, and academic learning.  The way I can achieve this is through the morning meeting model.  One example of a morning meeting is greeting, sharing, group activity, and announcements.  To get started doing a morning meeting I need to learn how to use a morning meeting appropriately, establishing a time for it, introducing it to the students, communicate with parents, and phase in the process.  The reason this is important to the social environment of my classroom for supporting PBL is establishing a culture of caring about the child as an individual.  One of our ideas that support a PBL social environment is providing kids with opportunities to bring their lives into the classroom.  I love this morning meeting because it is a great check in with kids.  Kids bring all kinds of baggage into the classroom.  When there is a time to share or at least get an idea of how everyone is doing, it puts everyone on the same page for learning.  The routine is established and kids should know it so well that they can lead each other through the process.  This is whole child thinking because the kids are developing leadership skills.

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Yenoch Ng's curator insight, March 6, 2014 1:18 PM

Classroom Climate Plan

This article and video exposed me to types of morning meetings that I have never been exposed to before. I will definitely implement this in my future classroom routine, so that the classroom community will improve. In addition, I hope these morning meetings will help students feel comfortable and excited to be in school.

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Ready to Learn: Creating a Positive Classroom Culture

Ready to Learn: Creating a Positive Classroom Culture | Classroom Climate | Scoop.it
Establishing your classroom culture is one of the most important tasks a teacher will do all year. Here are some great tips for establishing a positive environment where students feel safe and part of the community.
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Could Changes in School Culture Make U.S. Schools More ...

Could Changes in School Culture Make U.S. Schools More ... | Classroom Climate | Scoop.it
And that includes folks who closely follow issues related to school climate, classroom management, and student discipline. Of particular note to these groups are pages 33-34 of this related report by the Organization for ...
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BYOD on the 1st Day of School--- - Reflections of a Techie

BYOD on the 1st Day of School--- - Reflections of a Techie | Classroom Climate | Scoop.it
I don't know about you but reading rules and listening to syllabi isn't my idea of a good time. I want to set the bar of the classroom culture to be interactive, challenging and supportive. This year, since I've taught...

Via Jon Samuelson
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20 Tips To Promote A Self-Directed Classroom Culture

20 Tips To Promote A Self-Directed Classroom Culture | Classroom Climate | Scoop.it
20 Tips To Promote A Self-Directed Classroom Culture

Via Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa)
JennaMRyan's insight:

TeachThought provides a list of 20 tips to promote a self-directed classroom culture.  They say a great classroom culture needs to be a place in which:

Safe Place to FailEncourage CuriosityGive your students a voiceUse tiered responsibilityFoster peer supportConsider natural consequencesConfidence buildingModel how to learnDon’t impose limitations

10. Use real life examples of perseverance

11. Teach students how to set manageable goals

12. Teach students how to overcome disappointment

13. Reward attitude, not just aptitude

14. Believe in their abilities

15. Accept the mess

16. Offer reflection after the project is over

17. Give immediate feedback

18. Give both short and long-term assignments

19. Identify obstacles and negative beliefs

20. Let go of the idea that students success reflects on you

 

To me, the only way to establish classroom culture is for it to be self-directed.  Culture is something that is hard to put your finger on because it really is intangible, it is something that has to be taught, transferred, and supported by everyone in the room.  These suggestions are great guidelines for how to think about student success and believing good things for your class.  Some practical suggestions I would like to use for sure, are peer support and giving students a voice.  I believe kids are more inclined to become passionate learners when they feel like they have a voice in what goes on in the classroom.

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Lauren Yachera's curator insight, March 7, 2014 1:12 PM

Really insightful tips that help to promote a self-directed classroom culture. I came across a few that I never really considered before: making the classroom a safe place to fail, and considering natural consequences. Both of these go together hand-in-hand when it comes to students attitudes towards not doing as well as they may have expected. Students need to know that it is okay to fail (sometimes, not all of the time!) and that they can bounce back from it. They cannot be afraid of failure; if they are, they may never try new things. It's important to build a nurturing and supportive classroom, where the teacher acts as a neutral supporter (rather than an angry, disappointed one) that encourages the student that everything will be okay. We have to help them if they don't do well, not hurt them even more.

Sophia Vitilio's curator insight, March 13, 2014 9:06 PM

I personally really liked these tips and will definitely be using some of them in my future classroom.  I actually really thought it was different and liked that one of the tips was to make it a safe place to fail.  This is because I feel like everything about school is always about getting good grades and students feel ashamed to get a bad grade, especially a failing grade. This makes it very important to create an environment where it is okay to fail.