We have hit the ground running with our first facilitations of the new school year. What better way to start off than with classroom management.
Active Engaged Learning
Our new Book GRAND DESIGNS: A Teacher’s Guide to Engineer Learning is available at our website www.lavenderhillpress.com . A perfect sequel or prequel to CLASS ACTS, our book about student engagement, our new book GRAND DESIGNS is about curriculum engagement. Both books are the perfect summer read to help you be first-day ready for next school year.
Foster Student Perseverance – Teach the Habit of Effort
We are approaching the end of the semester. Any chance you might have this experience? Students are receiving their grades for the semester. As your students are leaving your classroom you hear a couple of your students say, “I can’t believe Mr./Mrs. (insert your name) gave me a C.” In your mind you are thinking, “GAVE YOU! GAVE YOU! You earned that C or didn’t earn a B. You think of all the times you attempted to assist this student so they could “earn” a higher grade – but John wasn’t willing to try harder – wasn’t willing to persevere.
This leads to the age-old question: Can perseverance be taught? Van Overwalle & De Metsenaere, 1990, found that students who were taught about the relationship between effort and achievement increased their achievement more than students who were taught techniques for time management and comprehension of new material.
Students generally contribute their success or failure to one of four causes:
Teaching students how to link effort with achievement will lead to the skill and habit of perseverance.
I am at Starbucks (as usual) planning for the upcoming weeks. This week is filled with on-site visits with principals working on everything from inter-rater reliability with formative observations, debriefing conversations, PLCs, planning for next year, etc…
Today I will be doing a training on Tough Kids for first year teachers. Think about the “tough kids” in your world… Do we, as teachers, ever (unintentionally) make them tougher?
Stop and ponder the emotions you are feeling when you are reprimanding the same kid for the upteenth time… Anger, frustration, helplessness…. The interesting thing is that students when being reprimanded by their teacher for the upteenth time feel these same emotions. This is a situation called parallel processing. Only, we, the adults, can break this cycle. Stop for a moment. When you interact with these students, try to keep in mind your positive expectations. HOW would this look??? HOW would this sound?
Try using phrases that lead to internalization of behaviors rather than external directives:
|What are some things…||You did this and this…|
|How might you…||You had better…!|
|What could you…||This is what needs…|
|What are some strengths..||You’re good at…|
|What problems might you..||You’re going to run into…|
Today, I was in Texas for my fifth day at a high school. I have largely focused on the 17 ELA teachers in this VERY large school! We started our work in October with initial drop-in diagnosis. We then moved (from this initial diagnosis) to focusing on Tasking (active student engagement). Next we focused on prioritizing and differentiating core standards. Teachers learned about differentiation in planning and differentiation during the act of teaching. Today our focus was Depth of Knowledge. I then spent time observing in many, many, many classrooms. WOW! I saw HUGE growth in active student engagement! Way less “teacher talk” and way more active student engagement. I saw teachers using proximity not only for behavior and assessment – but also for having DOK 3 (strategic thinking) conversations with individuals and small groups of students.
These teachers are 100% committed to differentiating their teaching to meet the needs of all learners and infusing higher order thinking into strategies for all levels of learners.
Now, I’m at the airport headed to St. George, UT to do demo lessons tomorrow. Yup, the flight layover is the airport closest to my home…