Blog 5

Classroom Management Strategies
1. Opening: At the beginning of each class, the teacher puts up the day’s agenda on the ELMO projector. The agenda includes students’ tasks before, during, and after the class. It also has a pre-lesson question to get the students’ minds working.
2. During: The teacher likes to walk around the classroom and talks to each table group to see where they are at in their work. Also, I’ve noticed that the teacher takes what the students tell her and affirms that their findings are relevant to what the lesson is about.
3. Closure: I think it is important to end the day with a short summary of what happened, and the teacher definitely did that. She mentioned what the homework is for the night, and she gave a preview of what the students should expect to be learning for the next time they’re in class.

Common Transitions
1. I noticed that the teacher does a heavy, comfortable sigh to get the attention of the classroom when she wants to talk. I think showing this body language and making sure that the students know this body language is important in a transition.
2. When the teacher does want to go to a different direction in a discussion, she weaves in the last bits of the previous topic into the next topic. I find it a skill to segue from one subject to another with such finesse. It shows that the teacher wants the students to know that there are always connections in what they are learning, and that they should connect everything that they are learning.
3. I observed a classroom one day, and there was an intercom announcement. The teacher had to stop the lesson for a couple of seconds. Once the announcement was over, she made a joke about it and resumed the lesson. I think using humor to ease back into a lesson after an interruption is a good way to bring students back into focus.

Strategy that I Observed
One of the things that I liked about my classroom is their rewards system. It is called 50 Miles to Donut town. The goal is for the class period to get 50 points in order to get donuts for the whole class. What I find interesting about this is that it is not only individual students that are responsible for the points gained in class; the class as a whole can also earn points. (Of course, they —— meaning both the students and the whole class —— lose points too, but I’m going to focus on the rewards). For example, if a student turns in a paper that had an 90% or higher, the class gets 1 point. But if half of the class turns in papers that gained over 90%, then they can potentially earn 25 points (which is halfway to Donut Town!). If the whole class reaches that 90% grade, they can potentially earn 50 points, reach Donut Town, and have donuts as treats for the class period. I think this system super great because it tracks both individual and group progress, and it also fosters teamwork in the classroom!

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