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Life in 4B...: We're Baaaack!

Life in 4B...: We're Baaaack! | EDCI397 | Scoop.it
Matthew Turner's insight:

While I found most of this article very interesting, I found this picture of a Purposeful Talk poster most intriguing. This is something I would hang in my classroom because group work is so important, but some students might not feel comfortable or get the most out of it. Making sure every student knows why it is so helpful and giving them basic ideas about what you expect in daily work will help produce smoother group work. This would also be a useful thing to have for regular activities and assignments. Ensuring kids feel comfortable and know what to do will save a lot of time and create more confident learners. 

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My Teaching Life: in Spurts of Raw, Real, & Random Thoughts: First Day of School 2011-2012

My Teaching Life: in Spurts of Raw, Real, & Random Thoughts: First Day of School 2011-2012 | EDCI397 | Scoop.it
Matthew Turner's insight:

While this post is a few years old, I found the author's thoughts about her first day of class eye opening. From the sound of the article, her classroom is somewhat similar to the makeup of the one I was in when I did my 280 field work at Mother Jones. One new thing she tried was giving simple directions and routines in Spanish, given that the majority of students were ESL students who spoke Spanish. This encourages kids to be comfortable in the classroom and will allow them to learn the best way they can. If I stay in the area, I will most likely get another school like this, and although I'm not fluent, I speak more than enough Spanish to have trouble doing this in my class.

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Why I No Longer Use Bellringers | CTQ

Why I No Longer Use Bellringers | CTQ | EDCI397 | Scoop.it
Matthew Turner's insight:

Paul brings an interesting solution to the table for teachers who want to do something more with their warmups and starting activities. Instead of starting with questions or an activity, he starts his class with a few minutes of meditation and relaxation. He found that he got better participation had less distractions than he before. It is a good way to make sure everyone is physically and mentally ready to learn. I find this particularly useful for fifth grade, because at that age, stress can start to become an issue. If I have students who seem stressed or just don't seem to be on the right track, this is a good activity to calm everyone down, get them on the same page, and establish the mindset you want for the rest of the day. 

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Creating a Classroom Everyone Can Learn In

Creating a Classroom Everyone Can Learn In | EDCI397 | Scoop.it
Matthew Turner's insight:

Creating difference spaces for students is a good way for them to get away and focus on one specific area, away from distractions. These distractions can come from other students, noises, or even simple things like chairs. By offering something like an adjustable desk, students can choose to sit or stand without interrupting the class. This will allow the student to be more comfortable, while still able to learn effectively.

 

Most students need space and quiet to write effectively. Offering a small space, for about 5-8 students, off to the side or away from the main source of noise/teaching can be useful for students trying to get some writing done. Granted, this space is not large enough for the whole class, but if the whole class needs to write at once, they will be in a situation where the class is quiet and organized anyway. The center should include essential supplies like paper, pens, dictionaries, thesauruses, desks, chairs, etc. Creating an effective writing space for the whole child and resilient learner means giving them a place where they can sit down with everything they need to write without any interruption.

 

Along with a reading space could come a space dedicated to art and creative work. Here, students would be able to sit down and have access to plenty of art supplies, used for working on projects or for pleasure. Having everything organized and ready to go in one area will encourage creative, engaging work. The area could also include special math supplies, like rulers, graph paper, etc.

 

Along with these physical spaces, it might be beneficial to include a virtual space as well. A virtual space could be a simple homepage for the classroom, including important information and dates as well as a simple chat that students can sign up for. (Registration will have to be approved by the teacher so only students would have access to any chat features.) It might not seem like much, but having a little place for students to come together in a classroom-like setting outside of school is another right step in creating globally competent learners.

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Creating Classroom Routines & Procedures | Scholastic.com

Creating Classroom Routines & Procedures | Scholastic.com | EDCI397 | Scoop.it
Matthew Turner's insight:

Having effective organizational routines in the classroom will lead to less distractions and downtime and more learning. Even if these routines save a few minutes every day, that's a few minutes more that can be spent on lessons and that time will add up fast.

 

1) The morning routine will be pretty simple. Have students enter the classroom and put their backpacks and jackets away. Next, students should look to the front of the classroom for a warm-up activity or question. Students will work on the warm-up or talk quietly with their peers until the teacher starts the class. This routine will set up a classroom that is safe, engaging, and easy to get into.

 

2) When getting ready for recess, lunch, or any other break, students need to make sure they are leaving their classroom in a fairly neat and organized fashion. Assignments and supplies should be put away unless still being worked on after the break. When the class is all ready to go, students will leave. To promote a globally competent classroom, this should be introduced as a group effort. Even if a student's area is clean, they should help their peers. It's a community classroom and students should work together to take proper care of it to better their own learning.

 

3) At the end of the day, students need to have a few priorities. They need to make sure they are organized and ready to learn both outside the classroom and back in the classroom the next day. The whole child must be well organized and a responsible learner, and this routine can help. At the end of each day, there will be a slide or note that reminds students of key points from that day and what is expected of them for homework and later on that week.

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Building Relationships with Students

Building Relationships with Students | EDCI397 | Scoop.it
Matthew Turner's insight:

Effectively communicating expectations for classroom behavior requires you to "watch what you say". Teachers need to make sure they explain rules and expectations in a way that makes things clear and concise. Consistency is key. Expectations should be fair and constant in order to establish routine and order in the classroom. Teachers need to be wary about reprimanding students, taking a more neutral tone than a negative one. This ensures a comfortable environment where there is no need to be negative or rude and students are more inclined to act appropriately.

A useful weekly routine could involve short updates or class discussions about rules, norms, or even just about what's going on in the classroom. Students can discuss what they feel helps help or hurt the community and make adjustments to ensure a more nurturing environment. Students could also discuss aspects of the classroom that distract or take away from learning (noises, poor organization, etc.) , and what promotes learning (reading areas, ability to work closely with peers, etc.). Through this exercise, students will consider others' perspectives and feelings and work together to contribute to a better classroom. It is a great way for students to do some problem solving that doesn't involve "school work", and helps students become more adaptable. A discussion like this would students become resilient and globally competent.

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Fun Tech-Based PBL's for Elementary Geography, Digital Citizenship, and Friendship

Fun Tech-Based PBL's for Elementary Geography, Digital Citizenship, and Friendship | EDCI397 | Scoop.it
Have you seen the @CallyCCow and @HoraceKansas interactions over on Twitter? The backstory here is that Horace, who is a horse puppet, tries to be a travel agent for education consultant,  Kevin Ho...
Matthew Turner's insight:

This project is a fun way to integrate technology in a lesson that teaches global competence. A travel agent puppet "travels" around the world and leaves videos from each location. However, some of his information isn't correct, and it's up to the students to jump in and correct him. Not only will the students learn about a lot of new places, but they'll need to recall previously learned geography and history.

 

It will teach them useful skills like determining correct/incorrect information and researching correct information. In a future lesson, one might even go further and contact students or people from each location to share a little insight from both sides.

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Education to the Core: Five Ways To Strengthen Your Classroom Discipline

Education to the Core: Five Ways To Strengthen Your Classroom Discipline | EDCI397 | Scoop.it
Matthew Turner's insight:

This article gave me some perspective on how every interaction makes a difference in the classroom. It's important to set clear and fair guidelines that best foster a safe, nurturing environment. Making students more responsible and aware of their actions will prevent issues and allow the teacher to focus on the lesson.

 

The article talked about the importance of tone, and how talking in a different tone can get more out of some students than others. As a male teacher, it will be a little different. There may be a few students used to only having female teachers, and I might notice a difference here. 

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classroom

classroom | EDCI397 | Scoop.it
I love the desk arrangement in this classroom. Open group concept. Student desks are in groups, but all face the smart/white/chalk | http://desklayoutideas.blogspot.com
Matthew Turner's insight:

This is one layout I'd like to explore using in my classroom. Putting desks in rows at a 90 degree angle establishes groups that are easy to get into, but provide a proper view of the front of the classroom too. I would even try angling the desks in more of a V shape towards the front of the classroom so that some of the students on the sides don't have trouble seeing. Because these groups are compact, there will be a lot of other space to work with in the classroom. It looks from this picture that if the front two groups of desks were moved, even more space could be opened up in the center of the desks. This could be used for other learning areas, or to better facilitate group or whole class work.

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Ideas for Classroom Seating Arrangements -

Ideas for Classroom Seating Arrangements - | EDCI397 | Scoop.it
What’s Here Need ideas for seating arrangements in your classroom? On this page, you’ll find tips on arranging student desks in four different formations, complete with photos from My Classroom Tours. You can click on most of the pictures to view the complete tour for that particular room. Whether you’re looking for a classroom seating …
Matthew Turner's insight:

There are many ways a teacher can make learning better even without changing a lesson. There are many other factors that affect student learning, especially the physical layout of the classroom. A flexible teacher will have the tools and knowledge to set up a class effectively for each lesson.

 

The way desks are organized can have an impact on students' ability to learn and contribute to class. For collaborative work, desks should be organized into small groups to allow students to face each other and better interact. For solo work, desks are better organized into rows or just further apart from each other.

 

There are many different ways to organize desks, and each way has its ups and downs for both students and teachers. For example, stadium seating is a good way for students to better see the front of the classroom and allow the teacher to see all the students, but may make some students too far away to see properly. A U-shape would allow more desks to fit in a similar fashion, but spreads some students too far out to either side, making it harder for collaboration and monitoring the class. Group or cluster seating will enhance collaborative work but can introduce more distractions. In my 280 field class, my teacher always had the room set up in clusters of 5. Because it was a science class, this allowed her to more easily incorporate more experiments into lessons. This seating did invite a little side conversation and distraction, but for the most part she kept the class well-behaved and attentive.

 

A good teacher will know how to incorporate these different layouts to promote globally competent, resilient learning. The layouts should also be in sync with other spaces and should be set up in a way that encourages using those spaces.

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Warm-up Ideas

Warm-up Ideas | EDCI397 | Scoop.it
Matthew Turner's insight:

Having effective warm-ups or activities in the classroom will give teachers effective ways to get started with or transition into new lessons. Each situation may call for a different activity based on what the teacher wants for the class, but there are some activities that could be used regularly that could significant effects on the whole child, resilience, and global competency

 

One effective activity or warm up is called Yesterday. Students can work in small groups or as a class. One student will stand up and share one or two sentences about their previous day. Students will then take turns asking the student questions about their day. This activity will help students get comfortable talking in front of groups or the class and the discussion will foster a friendly community.

 

If it serves a good purpose, a simple question on the board never fails.  It helps students get organized and settled in, more comfortable in the classroom. Two types of questions could be asked for separate benefits. Questions that require students to think critically promote resiliency, but also get students ready for more complicated tasks to come. Questions that call for more creative responses get students ready for more creative and innovative work.

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Classroom Management and Organization A Game Plan for Success

Classroom Management and Organization A Game Plan for Success | EDCI397 | Scoop.it
Matthew Turner's insight:

Having students take the perspective of the peers and work together to solve conflict will promote global competence in the classroom. Peer mediation can be used in some cases to help students work out there conflict and be more likely to prevent future conflict or problems. Teachers should work with students on conflict resolution and talking problems out in an effort to avoid conflict. The teacher should still enforce rules and expectations in the classroom, but can just monitor the situation. This way, the community becomes a closer and more supportive environment to support the whole child.

 

Teachers should be consistent and use neutral language when resolving conflict in the classroom. That doesn't mean the teacher should stay out of it, but shouldn't speak in a way that belittles or defends one side. The teacher is there to provide a safe, nurturing whole child environment.

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edutopia-stw-louisville-sel-what-are-standards-norms.pdf

Matthew Turner's insight:

Establishing norms and behaviors in the classroom is a job for both teachers and students. The teacher must be there to lay out expectations to the class about how they should act and go about the class. Laying these out will make the class a safe, but engaging and challenging learning environment that encourages appropriate behavior for the whole child.

 

From there, students will naturally develop norms as a community other while they get used to each other. Teachers should guide the class as they come together to agree on some written norms (to possibly go on a wall or somewhere easily accessible) that promote friendly, interactive learning. Remember that the teacher is included in the community, and students should be clear on how they are expected to interact with teachers, not just students. This collaborative effort will promote resilience and foster a strong, nurturing environment for students.

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5 Tips for Flipping Your PBL Classroom | Edutopia

5 Tips for Flipping Your PBL Classroom | Edutopia | EDCI397 | Scoop.it
I am of course a huge project-based learning (PBL) nerd and advocate. I am also an advocate for the flipped classroom, yet at the same time I also have my concerns about flipping a classroom. This model still hinges upon ...
Matthew Turner's insight:

While nothing can replace a standard classroom setting, more and more classrooms are flipping. There are many uses for flipped learning, and it especially encourages further learning at home. With increasing technology and tools for flipping classrooms, it is becoming a more widespread method of teaching. This article provides some tips on how to mix Project Based Learning into a flipped classroom, which otherwise could be extremely difficult to implement without face-to-face interaction.  It also includes general tips on how to improve flipped learning.

While in my EDCI280 field class, my teacher had been strongly considering flipping her classroom. In the end, after weighing the pros and cons, she decided this wasn't the best for her students, but the potential benefits were still clear. 

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