See Left: Teacher Example for Students to See While They Create their Student Info Note Cards
Level 1: Create a Caring Community
I want students in my classroom to feel that they are part of a team and a family. It is crucial to establish a caring community in the classroom where students feel safe, encouraged to do their best, and striving for perseverance will set the students up for successful futures. I want my students to get to know each other and myself as well as trusting me with their education. Respect is the number one rule in my classroom so all students and myself are in safe and comfortable learning environment.
*Learning Names and Getting to Know You Exercises
In order to create a safe, comfortable, and creative environment, students need to get to know the teacher as well as each other as the students will be together throughout the semester or year. It is a goal of mine to get to know every student, their learning needs, and their backgrounds. During the first week of class, the teacher will allow students to sit wherever they wish to allow teachers to develop a seating chart to enhance learning not distractions. The teacher will provide activities to help the class get to know each other. Two examples are:
- Creating Student Info Note Cards-
Teacher will provide a note card to each student and ask students to write name + nicknames, birthday, favorite color, favorite food, goals & aspirations, and attach a picture. I will share mine as an example and pass it around so students can observe how I created my note card. I may use note cards as a way to call on students and monitor participation. I would put a tally/check on the note card every time the student volunteers. It will help me determine who volunteers and who doesn't (Renee Marquis, 2014).
- Interviewing Each Other-
I will write a list of questions on the white board and students will get paired together. Students can choose which questions they
want to ask their partner. One will interview and write down answers, then swap roles. The students will present their partner to the class.
* Greet the Students at the Door-
I will greet each student as he/she enters the classroom. I am recognizing them for their presence at school and I am displaying
my happiness for them being in my class. It is important to acknowledge students' good behavior because it triggers a feeling of importance and feeling included. I will make students feel welcome and important and I will make school resources and involvement accessible to all students and their families. (Gorski, 2008). I plan to have a relevant and engaging curriculum to get students' undivided attention and full commitment during lessons.
* Explain Classroom Rules with the Class-
I will explain my class rules for the teacher and students to follow. I will explain I have few class rules but I expect them to be followed to ensure class focus and safety for everyone. Be Respectful, Be Prepared and On Time, No Electronic Devices, No Food/Drink except Water, and Use Hall Pass for Bathroom. As the teacher, I will explain I will follow the rules as well so the students can look to me as a role model for following rules. Students are to be respectful to each other and the teacher. In return, I will give my students respect. I will keep my phone in a drawer out of sight just as I ask students to keep the phones in backpack or purse. Each lesson will be prepared and ready to go by the time the bell rings. I will drink only water and no food in the classroom so students know to only drink water, no food, coffee, soda, Starbucks, etc.
* Seating & Classroom Arrangement-
The desks will be arranged with the desks in rows, the teacher's desk and table somewhere in front corner of the room by the window, and student desks moved far enough apart to prevent easy wandering of eyes during tests. Students can easily push desks together during a Think Pair Share discussion or group activity. Classroom walls will be decorated with student's work, flags, vintage style posters, and war propaganda. *See image at bottom of page*
* Explain my Expectations-
I will pass out a copy of the Class Syllabus to every student and I will go over it with them highlighting my expectations of them. Students can reference the syllabus if they need to be reminded of the expectations. Some expectations I have are to Use Effort and Participate throughout class during note taking, class work, homework, behavior and class etiquette. Homework is assigned/posted Monday and Due every Friday, No tolerance for Cheating and Plagiarism, Partial points given for Completed work after issued late or incomplete, I expect open communication (Emergency, Email, Schedule a time to Make-Up Test, HW, etc. if absent, Open-Door Policy to provide help), use MLA format on graded assignments, Be Responsible for your grade (I will not hunt a student down to make up points he/she will need to come to me), and I expect students to do work for their grade I will not provide full answers or award points for no work.
* Assignment Expectations-
I will provide Rubrics on the Syllabus and a Sample Assignment to display in class to show students what I am looking for in the way of Format, Length, Proper MLA Citations, etc. I will allow students to bring me rough drafts of the assignment so I can provide feedback and whether it needs improvement or not, Emphasize student effort and trying their best, Refer to Class Notes/Readings/Textbook for help or evidence, Partial credit for Late/Incomplete Work, Schedule meeting to receive make up work if Absent. All class and reading materials/documents are provided by teacher and a home copy of the class textbook is provided for each student.
* 10:2 Rule-
Research has shown the majority of students' attention spans last in ten to fifteen minute intervals. I plan to use the 10:2 Rule during my lessons by lecturing or leading an activity for 10 minutes then give them 2 minutes to process the content and ask questions. I will often allow them to process content by using the Think Pair Share strategy with another student. Through this rule, I give my students time to comprehend what they are learning. As their teacher, I can ask them to:
a. Explain it to someone else
b. List the main points
c. Draw what they are learning
d. Explain how it makes sense
e. Explain how it reminds them of something they already know
f. Create a graphic organizer
g. List content, ideas, interesting facts they had not heard of before
h. List questions about content/activity and ask teacher or ask classmate
The 10:2 Rule will ensure the students are developing their critical thinking, reading comprehension, listening, and speaking skills. This will help them complete the tasks of the day by keeping the content fresh in their minds instead of overwhelming their attention spans.
* Engaging Activities-
I will provide interactive and engaging lesson plans to meet the learning needs of each student. I will also use differentiation strategies while creating the lesson plans to ensure my ELLs and SPED students receive all the resources they need to do well and comprehend the content. I will create a routine where a class activity(CNN Student News or review from previous lesson) is conducted after I take attendance, State the class objective, and use the 10:2 Rule throughout class (lecture, group work, video clips, document analysis activities and answering discussion questions with partner using Think Pair Share). I will use multimedia resources such as PowerPoint, video clips, using the Doc Cam to analyze a primary source document with entire class, and making colorful chapter posters while in station groups and present content to classmates.
Essentialism in Community:
Through Essentialism, my approach to education is the teacher is the authoritative figure who is transferring knowledge and skills to the students. The class rules and expectations of the class environment will be explained during the first week and students will be given a copy of the syllabus. There will also be a copy of the student handbook in my classroom for students and myself to reference if necessary. I will enforce the class rules and expectations but I will allow students to use their creativity and make the classroom an environment they want to be in as well. I want to be my students' guide through their education and be a good role model. In my positive communication, I will provide positive feedback and encouragement to my students for putting in effort and trying their best. The students can depend on me as well as each other through peer support and collaboration.
- Gorski, P. (2008). The Myth of the Culture of Poverty. Educational Leadership, 65(7), 32-36. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/apr08/vol65/num07/The-Myth-of-the-Culture-of-Poverty.aspx
- Kohn, A. (1999). The schools our children deserve: Moving beyond traditional classrooms and "tougher standards" Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
- Marquis, Renee. Observations and Strategies Used at SMHS US History with CT Kim Navarro. Fall Semester 2014
- "Student Handbook." San Marcos High School, http://www.smusd.org/cms/lib3/CA01000805/Centricity/Domain/1359/2014-2015%20BH%20Stu_x007E_PlannerND2.pdf
- Use the 10 – 2 Rule – Eight Useable Ideas in One. Teaching for Excellence™ [Web log post]. (2013, November 12). Retrieved from http://www.teachingforexcellence.com/use-the-10-2-rule-eight-useable-ideas-in-one/
- Van Bockern, S., Brendtro, L., & Brokenleg, M. (2010). Reclaiming our Youth. Retrieved September 19, 2014, From http://www.augie.edu/dept/nast/Projects/doc6.htm
- Villa, R.A. Thousand, J.S. & Nevin, A.I. (2010). Chapter 9: Students as Collaborators in Responsibility, Collaborating with Students in Instruction and Decision Making, Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, p. 173-178.