Week Two

Digging Deep Into the Material

Classroom Systems That Work

All of us have had the experience of being a student in a classroom. Some of those experience were likely amazing and inspiring while others may have been rather difficult. Without question, the difference between a positive learning environment and one in which little learning occurs has to do with whether or not the teacher has a sound classroom management system. This week we dive deep into understanding some of the factors that can ensure the building of a positive and effective classroom management system while analyzing the factors that enhance motivation.


Teacher Versus Student Centered - What is the Difference?

Who is in charge? The Student or the Teacher?

Whose in charge in the class is not a question many of us would debate. Most, if not all, people would say that the teacher is in charge of the class and is the leader. But it is worth asking whether this model is an outdated one. After all, is the teacher really the person that should be driving all learning? Can a teacher be expected to always be the cheerleader, the nurse, the teacher, the parent, etc.... In today's day and age we expect individuals to be learners and not depend on being spoon-fed information in their jobs. And yet, our schools still model the idea that the teacher is the one who "dispenses" knowledge.


Today's classrooms are expected to put students front and center. Take for example the message that is sent when you enter a classroom. What does it mean to have the teacher desk centered at the front of the room verses having no teacher desk? What message does it send to have students sitting in rows versus having them sit in small cooperative groups where desks are clustered together? Lastly, how do you think students feel about their classroom when they are able to help craft the class rules versus one in which the teacher simply tells the students what are the rules of the classroom?


As you think about your classroom (or future classroom) think about the hidden messages that are evident throughout the classroom. Are there some worth reinforcing or some worth changing?




A FEW CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT MODELS TO CONSIDER

Positive Discipline

Lee Canter's Assertive Discipline

Love and Logic

Teaching with Love & Logic

Conflict Resolution

Resolution of Conflict Model and How to Resolve Conflict by Jeff Muir

Tips to Create a Successful Classroom Management System

Check out the article below. The tips will help you plan and develop an environment in which teaching and learning are the focus of classwork and not setting the teacher up as a referee in the classroom.


Motivation and Creativity - Are They Connected?

As you think the readings in Chapter Five, it is worth considering not only how motivated students are but also how activities that spur creativity can spur student motivation, engagement and learning. Watch the video below and analyze how the two components can connect to make the classroom a great place for learning, while also ensuring the classroom environment encourages learning.


Do Schools Destroy Creativity? - Ken Robinson

Expectations for this Week

In most other courses the discussion posts last for only one week. In this course, and, in particular, beginning this week, we will carry on the conversation we began in our discussion posts last week. In fact, Discussion Post One is a continuation of the conversation we began last week. During this week, you are expected to dive deeper into your discussion posts and analyze what aspects of an effective classroom management plan with high expectations might need to be considered to ensure the development of these twenty-first century skills. This will help you develop your critical thinking skills and also encourage you to understand perspectives that may be different from your own.


In Discussion Post Two you are asked to analyze the comments by Sir Ken Robinson that schools are killing creativity. In your response, you are expected to provide concrete examples to back up your opinion and point of view.


This week, I will be looking closely at the quality of your writing. Please make sure you have someone edit your work. Lastly, make sure you set up your e-portfolio so that you can use it beyond this course.

Assignment

It is essential that you put together a thoughtful and expansive classroom management plan. You paper is required to be three and five pages and be divided into sections clearly delineating what is being addressed. At a minimum, your plan should include the following:


  1. Goal of the plan, including the grade level(s) it addresses
  2. The set of rules and expectations
  3. The role students have in the classroom
  4. The role you play in the classroom
  5. Implementation plan (how will this plan be implemented in the classroom)
  6. Physical arrangement of the classroom and students


This paper is an artifact that could be used for future job interviews and can also help anchor your current classroom management system.