Where Should I Start?

Sprinkle, Splash, Flood, Drip, Drip, Drip

Your Classroom Is Your House

Remember as teachers we are building our house, which is our classroom. Our home includes a sub-foundation, foundation, walls, roof, and decorations. We can not have one part our home without having other structures in place, all the structures construct our classroom which in turns allows students to build their homes. The following is a brief summary for each part of your home:

  • Sub-Foundation - Our beliefs, concepts, commitments, and ways of being in order to have a highly effective learning environment
  • Foundation - Our fundamental practices and commitments that ensure excellence for learners
  • Walls - Our practices that allow a deeply engaging and effective classroom
  • Roof - The skeletal structure that is essential for supporting learners in achieving all standards
  • Decorations - All the critical elements that make our home unique in order to provide a pleasant place to be, live, learn, and work

Knowing where to start may be hard but remember that our classrooms are always under construction. Just like in construction, we need to remember that our focus should always start with the sub-foundation and foundation. "Commit to taking big steps that will significantly increase achievement. Think big, start small, but start at the most basic level for what will build a successful classroom." Once a solid foundation is establish then you can continue with the rest of your house. Always remember that the sub-foundation and foundation may need to be continually revisited.

The Sub Foundation

In order to have a stable sub-foundation for your classroom, several commits should be made. These commitments ensure that your classroom has a solid structure for learning to take place. Commit to: engagement, viable curriculum, eliminate sarcasm and put downs, commit to student learning, encouraging students to make reasonable and appropriate choices, and accept responsibility for supporting learning.

The Foundation

The foundation continues to build on the sub-foundation. A foundation should be of the following: creating a safe, respectful learning environment; instituting continuous expressions of positive affirmations, standards, and gratitude; ensure safe and smooth transitions and instruction; and build and maintain positive and healthy relationships with learners. Remember the learners in your classroom will build a house with you as long as respect and safety are in place.

The Walls

The walls allow for learning to transpire. Within the walls of the classroom, teachers provide aligned, engaging and effective instruction and ensure effective homework and independent practice methods are followed.

The Roof

The roof is the teachers unrelenting coaching to standards and ensuring that the students within the classroom are successful with the standards.

The Decorating

The decorations are the teacher tools and techniques incorporated to manage and maintain a safe, structured, orderly, well-managed classroom in order for each student to succeed to reach the standards that need to be meet.

Striving for High Achievement with ALL Kids

"Students who have been successful in school respond differently from those who haven't been. Struggling students strive to protect their sense of self esteem and feelings of success. When working with traditionally lower achieveing students, adapt your methods to maintain your learning standards while increasing steps taken to ensure the standards are met. Students, like all people, seek ways to maintain their needs for dignity, power, success, freedom and belonging - so teach in ways that allow them to do so while learning in your classroom.

  • Protect Kids from Embarrassment
  • Provide Students with Options
  • Build Growing Success
  • Provide Indications of Respect, Value, and Caring
  • Maintain a Structured and Safe Environment
  • Use Effective Visuals
  • Prepare to Ensure Fast and Smooth Transitions