Author: cmsandgren

Blog 6: Philosophy on Creating a Productive Learning Environment

I would say that my philosophy on creating a productive learning environment for students would go back to when we talked about class room rules.  The classroom, especially mine, should be a place where students feel safe and comfortable.  When a student enters my classroom for any reason I feel that it is important for them to feel welcome and respected.  A classroom with these qualities will create an environment in which students will be better focused and willing to learn.  Classroom rules play a part in my classroom management philosophy because they establish what is expected of every person that enters the room.  I believe that if classroom rules are well written and clearly posted then they are most likely to be followed and that allows for people to be productive.  A good atmosphere and a clean, well-organized room also contributes to a productive learning environment.  People respond to positive situations better and it has been proven that people work better when there is clear space in which to work.


Classroom Observation: Blog 5

Classroom Management Strategies

Opening the lesson: The teacher started classes by quietly standing at the front of the room until all students were quiet and ready to pay attention.  As soon as the bell rang to begin the period the students knew to stop talking and to listen to the teacher.  If there were a certain group of students he would stare in their direction to try and get their attention and if that didn’t work he would say their names and ask them if they wanted to participate in the class.  I liked that the students generally knew that the bell meant it was time to stop talking and listen to the teachers directions.  Also, since he had been prepared before class started it helped the students become focused.

During the lesson: The teacher was more relaxed during the lesson.  As the students had a deadline coming up for a draft of a paper he expected them to use their class time wisely: ask questions, get one on one help, and write.  He designated a spot of the room where students could come sit with him to get advice or help.  If there was ever a question that he thought should be introduced to the whole class he would ask for everyone’s attention to share the important, relevant, and useful information.

Closing of the lesson: The teacher walked around the room and checked in one final time with each student.  He also recorded each students progress on the first draft.  Right before the bell rang he let the class know what the status of their progress was as a whole and encouraged them to talk to him if they had any questions about anything.

Transitions: During my observation the main transitions happened when the teacher went from talking to giving students their freedom and then going back to talking.  In one class two boys walked in right as the bell rang and had no book, paper, or pencil.  Obviously, they were unprepared and the teacher told them to leave and come back with tardy passes and appropriate materials.  After opening the lesson the boys had still not come back.  While the students continued with their work he had to call the security officers to let them know that the two boys were asked to leave and had not come back.  They had either left the school or were wandering around the school and he had to make sure that administrators were aware.  After making this call he returned back to the lesson and at the end of class the boys returned with passes and their materials.  They had missed the lesson and they did not ask him for any assistance.  Also, when the teacher was not speaking students knew that it was okay for them to leave the classroom to get something from their locker or to use the restroom.  There were two passbooks by the door to the classroom, as long as one was available to take and there was no immediate instruction going on students could grab a passbook and leave to do what they needed to do.

In my classroom: I definitely liked that the students understood that if they gave him their attention at the beginning of class then they would have the majority of the class to do work on their own.  As soon as the bell rang most students became immediately quiet and were ready to listen.  I think it is important for students to understand that when it is time for the teacher to talk they need to be ready to listen and he did a good job at enforcing that.

Blog 4 – Student Teacher Relationships

This is a video of a high school teacher who talks about what it means to build positive teacher-student relationships, why they are important, and the best way to establish them.  I think it is important to hear first-hand from teachers who have experienced both good and bad relationships with students because they are the best at giving advice on the subject.

This link takes you to a website with a lot of valuable information and videos.  It gives valuable information on how you, as a teacher, should act in order to create the positive relationships as well as what kind of effects it has on your classroom.  There are videos showing real classroom scenarios that exemplify teacher-student relationships.

I found this blog very cute and simple.  A psychologist who has worked directly with teachers took each letter in the words “positive relationship” and described what she believes are the ingredients to create positive teacher-student relationships.  Her ideas make sense and will definitely help a teachers relationships with their students and the overall classroom management.

Blog 3 – The Future of Alaska Native Eduation

This article was written to explain reasons why it is necessary to Alaska Native students to be taught based off of their own culture.  The authors point is that education in Alaskan Native Villages need a curriculum that teaches to the culture of its students.  He points out that Alaska is making efforts to change the curriculum in order to achieve this, which is great.  I think that it is sad that there are cultures, like the Sami and Maori that were treated so poorly when it came to getting an education and learning about their own culture.

When I was in high school I got to visit Napaskiak, an Alaska Native village along the Kuskokwim river.  It was amazing to see the different way of life and culture that was included in their days.  I spent five full days attending their school and shadowing in each of the grade levels.  The school was very small, kindergarten through twelfth grade were in the same small building.  Students from kindergarten to high school were only taught in their yupik.  Many of their teachers were Native and from the village.  In high school students took many classes online and they had teachers that were not Native and were not from the village.  I could definitely tell that there was a difference in the teaching styles and because of this I greatly agree with the authors point in this article.  The culture of the Alaska Natives should definitely be preserved in the school curriculum.  I do believe this will be a hard task but it is possible.


Blog 2: Classroom Rules

4 rules that I would use in my classroom:

1) Always be respectful to yourself, to your teacher, to other students, and to guests.

2) You may sit wherever you would like until it becomes a distraction or disruptive during instructional times.  If it ever becomes a distraction or disruption I will create an assigned seating chart.

3) Ask questions! There is no such thing as a stupid question and if you are confused about something it is most likely that someone else is too.

4) Do not interrupt other, if you have something to say wait until you are called upon.  Everyone will have the chance to voice their opinion on things.

*I would include my classroom rules in the syllabus for students to refer to.  I do not believe that in a high school classroom it is necessary to have them posted on the walls as reminders.

The following website contains very good information about professional development as well as developing and implementing classroom rules and procedures:


Blog 2 Wordle

Introduction – Chynna Sandgren

Hello! My name is Chynna Sandgren and I am a Senior at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  I plan on graduating in May 2015 with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Secondary Education.  I plan on going to Graduate School to get a MED in School Counseling.  I moved to Alaska 11 years ago because of the Air Force and I hope to be able to move to a much warmer state soon.  I work part time in the Admissions Office on campus and I was a member of the UAF Cheerleading Team the last three years. I look forward to this class and hope you all have a great semester!