Classroom Management Tips

I came across a website called careervendor.com that states some good techniques for classroom management in the intermediate grades.

The top 5 strategies were:

*Use your voice

*Keep the lesson moving

*Publicly announce classroom management goals

*Collaborative or quad grouping

*Policy of the carrot and stick (rewards system)

Check out careervendor.com’s  Top 5 Strategies for Classroom Management for further details on these techniques!


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“Adult” Types of Projects and Lessons

One thing I found works really good for keeping intermediate grades focused/interested in their lessons is to make them seem sort of meant for “adults”. For example, create their own cheques/chequebooks when learning about financial literacy; going through an actual catalogue to “shop” and budget; allowing them to “buy” and design their dream houses, etc. It gives them a sense of responsibility and importance, as they are doing “real-world” activities, and they get to be creative and have fun with it at the same time!

They like to do more “adult” things, but still like to enjoy things like kids so you can actually have a lot of fun with planning lessons!


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Teaching Second Language with Technology

Victoria and I worked together to find ways to incorporate Technology into teaching Second Language. Teaching a second language or teaching English Language learners can be tricky, or an area some are not as confident in. We found many resources and engaging ways to make teaching this more enjoyable for both you and your students.

Below is a link to a Google Doc where we discuss ways to implement it into your teaching.

Examples Include:

Apps

WhiteBoard Activites

Videos

Blogging

And more…

 

Check it out!

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NO7Hs0_Y_hic5QbWu0V8IXM__A7lTcHUpKECrwPGVcI/edit?usp=sharing

 

(Victoria gave permission for this to be shared)


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Introducing Mindfulness to your Primary Students

Mindfulness can be a difficult topic to introduce to young children; however there are many books available that explain it in a way that makes sense to them. One book that provides a good starting point for incorporating mindfulness into your classroom is I am Peace by Susan Verde with illustrations by Peter H. Reynolds. It starts with a young child who says that they feel “like a boat with no anchor” and that “there are times when I worry about what might happen next and what happened before.” When reading this book to your students, it would be useful to stop for discussion and ask students if they ever feel this way and what causes these feelings. Encouraging students to make connections to the story will help help them to build an interest in practicing mindfulness which will result in more engagement.  After the child in the book explains how they feel, they use breathing, acts of kindness, connecting to nature, and their senses to become more centred and learn to live in the moment. By practicing the techniques that the child from the book uses, your students can learn to find peace in the classroom, on the playground, or at home.

Resources:

Verde, Susan, and Peter H. Reynolds. I am peace: a book of mindfulness. Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2017.


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AES Christmas Concert

Tonight (December 20th) was the AES Christmas concert. I volunteered to help out with the concert, and was assigned the job of being backstage behind the curtain managing the grade 7’s by myself. This entailed making sure they were on-task and silent while the concert was happening on the other side of the curtain. I had to make sure they were seated, and not talking, as the people on stage, as well as the majority of the audience would be able to hear them. I also had to make sure the right people were transitioning onto the stage at the right times when it was their turn to talk (concert was student-led by grade 7’s). I was super nervous to do this particular job, as I have had zero prior experience with grade 7’s, and the Christmas concert is a huge deal at my practicum school, so I had to make sure everything went smoothly backstage!

It went a lot better than I had anticipated it would, which was great. I found that grade 7’s are EXTREMELY chatty, but that I could manage them similar to how I have been managing my 4/5 class. You have to be firm, but fair with them. I explained my expectations of them during the concert, and why it was so important to follow these expectations. There were a couple of times where I had to walk over and tell a few “reindeer” to quiet down, or give them a “look”, but overall, it went really well. It is really important to start off firm, as it is way easier to back down from there than it is to become firmer as time goes on. It also helps that they are at an age where they’re old enough to know better/know how important the concert is, so when i’d tell them to stop doing something, they would.

Everything was going great, and then at the very last song of the night, where the choir comes up and sings a version of “Joy to the World”, a member of the choir fell backwards off of the bench and almost tore the whole curtain down! So of course when that happened, the entire room of grade 7’s started cracking up laughing. I had to silently run back and fourth trying to quiet everyone down while some of them were literally rolling on the floor laughing, while the choir continued their song (the curtain never fell down). Thankfully they were able to get a hold of themselves, and the concert continued on without anyone seeming to notice what was going on backstage! Where’s Rudolph? was a success, and I got a taste of managing a bunch of grade 7’s!

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The Catalyst

Inquiry Through Play (in a primary setting) has been a year and a half investigation and professional development project that started with the viewing of Most Likely To Succeed.  This documentary left me in awe! The dedication, creativity and curiosity that both staff and students projected was inspiring and exciting. Most Likely To Succeed also got me thinking…What does inquiry look like in a primary setting? This site documents my learning journey in answering this question.

Make sure to check out Most Likely to Succeed!


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Og Auction

Our class has been doing a novel study on The Secret World of Og, and as a fun way to wrap it up, we decided to have an “Og Auction”. This is where the students would bring in new or gently-used items that they no longer needed, and donate it to the class’ Og Auction. The more items donated, the more for the class to choose from come auction time! We had so many items donated! We held our Og Auction today (December 14).

This relates to a form of classroom management as the students “purchased” their items with “Og Dollars”. Og Dollars are slips of coloured paper with varying dollar amounts on them. Students who are on-task, do a good deed, have a good day, etc could receive one of these Og Dollars. It worked as a sort of rewards system; students wanted to collect as many Og Dollars as they could, so they were usually trying to stay on task incase we may be handing some out that day. It also worked where as soon as one person (usually someone who got straight down to business and were focused on their assignment) was granted an Og Dollar, the rest of the class would miraculously be on their best behaviour! Funny how that happens!

We made three different bill amounts: $2, $5, and $8. Even though only some students may have received them on one day, we always kept track of how much “money” each student had so it was for the most part equal when it came time for the Og Auction. We also made sure that we only handed out one $8 bill to each student, to keep things fair.

Today my sponsor teacher and I set up the classroom during recess when the students were outside. We organized the items on four different tables: we had a $2 section, a $5 section, a $10 section, and a $15 section. When the students came in, we had them sit in the centre of the room with their Og wallets, while we explained the rules and how the auction was to work. It was supposed to be a fun event; that it was okay if someone got an item that you were after. Students walked around the tables and picked what they wanted to spend their hard-earned Og Dollars on, and then took them to the banker (myself or my sponsor teacher) to hand in their money and get a shopping bag.

At the end of the auction, the students took a seat again in the centre of the room and we all had a class discussion on how they thought it went (what worked, what they may have changed, etc). They self-evaluated, which worked really well with this activity.

I can’t wait to do another activity like this in the future; it was a total success, and fun for everyone!

 

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