1. Random collections on Fridays, return the next Friday. My department head does this, where Friday is an organization day. She tells the kids that everything they do is subject to being collected and she won’t tell them what until Friday. The random element (she says) makes them do most of the work, and since it’s several assignments, it’s very difficult for them to just complete that day.
2. Signing for absent students. When students return from an absence, the assignments are in a binder, easily accessed, written by day. The student must sign that they received their assignment, and also sign when they turn it in. A little different from my original “pink slips”, but I think I like it better.
3. I need an actual drama curriculum. That will be this summer.
4. Better planning needed for plays. I need to make sure my stage manager is on top of things, and keep it smaller to save all of our sanity.
1. Permissive “dances” look like this: student (S) disrupts, teacher (T) asks politely and feels annoyed, S disruption continues, T repeats and reminds, S disruption continues, T Gives warnings & 2nd chance, S disruption continues, T reasons/lectures and feels angry, S disruption continues, T yells/threatens, S disruption continues, T sends kid outside, S disruption stops. The only teacher ACTION is in bold - all the rest are VERBAL steps. (p. 84)
2. “‘I thought I was giving them every chance to cooperate, but I can see I was giving them opportunities not to cooperate.’” (p. 85)
3. Punitive very similar but T verbals look like this: shames & feels angry, writes name on the board, argues/blames/complains & feels very angry, writes name on board/gives final warning, threatens/challenges, argues, sends kid to office, makes kid write sentences. (p. 92)
4. Mixed “dances” leave the kids really not knowing what the signals are.
5. “The best way to stop a classroom dance is not to start one. Teachers can avoid dances altogether by starting off with a clear verbal signal and by supporting their words with effective action.” So skip the verbal steps (except the first, where you clearly tell them to stop and explain the consequence THAT WILL STOP THE BEHAVIOR. If the disruption continues, follow through with the consequence.) (p.101)
6. For me, this requires planning. I need to know exactly what I can do for consequences, because so many options are removed due to legal issues (can’t send a kid outside, but sending them to another class is supposedly forbidden, as well). So if I sit down with an administrator, I think I could reason out what I can do to stop misbehavior.
My aunt - who was a high school English teacher for almost 30 years - got me this Great Courses DVD set on the best practices of teaching. Thought I’d sit down with it and type out my notes here, because I’m such a professional student that I can’t remember much unless I write it down. It’s not so much that I’ll go back and read it, but more that the physical act of writing cements the information into my brain.
And I figured maybe some of you could get something from it, too. So I’ll set my notes down as I watch, and see if anything cool comes out of it.
From The Art of Teaching: Best Practices from a Master Educator from The Great Courses (Professor Patrick N. Allitt from Emory University)
Ok, this is a little boring, but it’s only 1/2 hour lectures - 23 more - and I think this guy might have some really great things to share, so I guess I’ll stick with it for a bit.
1. “…children’s beliefs are largely determined by what they experience with their senses. What they see, hear, touch, and feel determines how they think things are….only our actions are concrete. Actions, not words, define our rules.” p. 63
2. “Compliant children don’t do a lot of testing….Their underlying desire is to be compliant….To strong-willed children the word stop is a theory waiting to be tested.” p.66
3. Although strong-willed children constitute less than 15 percent of the school population, they are a powerful minority because they’re responsible for nearly 90 percent of classroom discipline problems.” p. 66
4. Explaining why the rule is in place seems to do nothing. The child already knows that information. What the seem to want to know is what you will do. What they hear when you explain only what you want them to do, then explain your feelings about what they’re doing (“I’m uncomfortable with you doing that because you may get hurt.”), is only that you are uncomfortable. That doesn’t affect them. “‘You can put that away in your backpack…or I can keep it in my desk for the rest of the semester”” works much better…the student has all the information they need now to make a decision. p. 78
5. Students don’t take anything away when we explain the rules. Then they only learn that there are 2 sets - the ones we say and the ones that we follow through on. p. 79.
5. “‘You can put that away in your backpack…or I can keep it in my desk for the rest of the semester.’”
Ch 2: How Teachers Teach Their Rules
Click on the link to read the rest. This blogger has some fantastic insights and like I always tell my own students: “Smart gets you there. Only hard work keeps you there.”
An outstanding collection of insight from reddit user lnri137. Here’s an excerpt:
You got A’s because you studied or because the classes were easy. You got a B probably because you were so used to understanding things that you didn’t know how to deal with something that didn’t come so easily. I’m guessing that early on you built the cognitive and intellectual tools to rapidly acquire and process new information, but that you’ve relied on those tools so much you never really developed a good set of tools for what to do when those failed. This is what happened to me, but I didn’t figure it out until after I got crushed by my first semester of college. I need to ask you, has anyone ever taken the time to teach you how to study? And separately, have you learned how to study on your own in the absence of a teacher or curriculum? These are the most valuable tools you can acquire because they are the tools you will use to develop more powerful and more insightful tools. It only snowballs from there…