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sklearner2011

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Posts: 94
Reply with quote  #46 

I tutor small groups of 4 to 7 students at a time for approximately 30 minutes per group.  However, I find many of the Wong suggestions very helpful and they can work for any size group! 

Some things my students could expect from me:  being prepared with a lesson plan, being punctual, expecting each student to be active learners, and to treat each other with kindness.  If a student was absent on a particular day, I was sure to let them know he/she was missed.   Usually on a weekly basis as a reward for hard work, we would have more of a hands on application to apply our learning to.  For example:  Fractions using M & Ms.  Various colors of counting bunnies for sorting /multiplication.

Things I would change/tweak

  • I really like the responsibilities chart on page 18 by Mr. Heintz.  I want to have this clearly posted with tweaking specific to tutoring at my site. 
  • Display a framed copy of my teaching degree. 
  • Procedure for lining up:  Smoother and faster transitioning from one group to another so we can maximize our learning time.  I want to be much more explicit about lining up and the entry / exit to the tutoring area.  Plus practicing it and practicing again as needed!
  • A get acquainted activity.
  • The first day script so students can be sure of expectations.

 

 

tmcham

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Posts: 10
Reply with quote  #47 
@mewisl

You have helped me to think about procedures at the beginning of class and realizing that there may be times I will not be able to or cannot meet my students at the door so I need to be prepared for those times as well.  The students need to know what the procedure is for times that I am not at the door, too, so I need to have them prepared for what they are expected to do no matter where I might be or what I might be doing.  We also have trouble with wall space in our rooms so I like your idea of using their folders or binders to provide some of the information that they need that may not fit up on the wall.  Thank you for these ideas.[idea]
sdcatoe

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Posts: 19
Reply with quote  #48 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teetime9
Thinking back on last year, what could your students expect from you? Page 18—Is this what you wanted from Day 1? What would you change? What will you want to be different next year?

Last year was my first year to teach an inclusion/pull-out program after having taught resource classes for the last 19-years. I did and will always continue to greet students in the hallway regardless of whether or not I provide special education service to them as I teach ALL students and want my classroom to be a safe place for any student who may need help regardless of their struggles and labeling. 

I did share with students that would be entering my class for support what the procedures and expectations were of them as well as the consequences (reward or discipline), but I did not post those expectations as I have always done in my own class per say. I will make sure that procedures and expectations are posted throughout the room this next year. 



I like...I need to make sure that ours are also posted since we normally vocalize them.

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StephC.
sdcatoe

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Posts: 19
Reply with quote  #49 
Quote:
Originally Posted by OnaBethDay
Start with procedures, but make it FUN!


I agree!!

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StephC.
sklearner2011

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Posts: 94
Reply with quote  #50 
I agree pages 16 - 21 have a lot of good pointers for starting the school year off.  The good news is that we have the summer to get our procedures in place.  I hope to get a classroom procedural notebook done too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by theteach

My students knew that I would be at the door to greet them into the classroom and that they would have a “to do” list posted on the board.  Usually the “to do” list would tell the students what materials they needed for the day.  As the school year went on, the students were given an assignment at the door.

Pages 16 – 21 – Preparing before school, was quite an eye-opener!   I learned that I have done a few of those things already; like short, simple, and easy classroom rules. But I have learned that I have many other things that I need to do, like positive expectations of all students, a better first day script, agenda, and assigned seats!  I never thought that not assigning seats could be that big of an issue, but now I do.  I have been allowing my students to control the class from the first day! No wonder I had issues.  Also, by not explaining all of my procedures, my students have struggled.

As a teacher coming down from 6th grade to 4th grade, I have learned many things that I would change due to the grade level and the items listed in the first chapter.

In response to reading this first chapter, I have already started my slide show for procedures, plan to create a reminder banner for the desks, and revisit what procedures I expect from my students. 

Amancillas

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Posts: 37
Reply with quote  #51 
I taught middle school math for 9 years, but have been teaching at the community college for 3 or 4 years now.  I used to do a lot of the things discussed in the book when I taught middle school.  The school I taught at for the first 7 years used to schedule in an entire week of classroom procedures, activities to get to know the students, and discussing expectations before starting the math curriculum.  Many teachers felt it was a waste of time, and I admit I did, too, at the beginning.  I quickly saw how valuable that week was and came to love it.  Being able to learn students' names early on was extremely valuable. 

I agree that making sure the students know the expectations and also that you, as a teacher, have expectations on how to treat the students is important and sets the tone for the rest of the year. 
8thgradeteacher

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Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #52 
I just completed my 4th year of teaching and every year, I learn how to do and not to do things.  Reflecting on this past year, my students expected (and received) from me an agenda of each day's activities.  I posted it on my white board and trained my students to check the board every day for their assignments.  This absolutely makes the class run smoothly because students know where to look to find out what we are doing in class that day.

At the beginning of each semester (I teach a 1-semester class twice a year), I went over classroom rules, information about me, what my expectations were for each student and what they could expect from me.  We talked about procedures for entering/exiting the classroom, turning in assignments, and where to look for work they missed when they were absent.  I realize now that what I didn't do is teach the procedures, model them, and have students role-play them.  Instead, I showed a PowerPoint a few days and then went on to other items.  

This fall, I plan to show a video of what a busy class looks like (I made a cell phone video of my best class this past year because they were all on task and behaving beautifully!). I also plan to make a funny video showing some teachers coming into my classroom the correct way (and the incorrect way).
I plan to spend more time on teaching and reinforcing our class procedures.


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8thgradeteacher

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Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #53 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tamram

"Thinking back on last year, what could your students expect from you? Page 18—Is this what you wanted from Day 1? What would you change? What will you want to be different next year?"

If it weren't for being able to look back and be given it another chance, I don't think I could continue teaching. Two weeks after my first year of teaching, I realize it can only get better. The emphasis that Harry and Rosemary Wong place on the first day of school gives me hope. I was hired two days before school began last year without a clue about my subject--Advanced Quantitative Reasoning (12th grade math class). From day one, I couldn't hide the fact that I was a new teacher, I was learning the topic along with my students, and that I wanted to be their friend. All signs of the ineffective teacher. The Wongs maintain that teaching is a craft, giving me hope that my effort and desire to improve can help me improve what I thought was a innate skill. 

This year I will start the year clearing establishing the classroom guidelines the first week of school instead of focusing on getting-to-know you activities. The syllabus will include more detail with the entire year layed out my month, with topics, homework and project due dates.  The student will be responsible for answering  "When is ___ due?".  In the first week I will establish classroom conduct, cell phone use, bathroom use, showing respectful behavior during my explanations and class discussions. I will try to answer all logistical questions both verbally, on the walls on the syllabus. The hardest part for me will be maintaining consistency in enforcing the guidelines: staying in seats just before the bell rings, honoring cellphone rules, classroom discussion requirements and not rewarding whining.

In summary, one Day 1 I will be better prepared in my subject, have my website available for syllabus access, contact information, and classroom guidelines, and plan to be the teacher not the friend.


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8thgradeteacher

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Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #54 
TamRam:
I completely understand what you mean about trying to be your students' friend rather than their teacher. We want to be liked and appreciated by our students.  Sometimes, it's hard to be consistent with rules and procedures.  In my classroom, I had a young lady who had a terrible home life.  She was desperately seeking a strong female role model and looked to me for advice and guidance. There were times when it was difficult to keep her on task because she wanted to "talk" about issues.  This led to resentment from other students in the class who felt that she was taking up more than her share of my time.

It is a difficult line to follow and enforce procedures every hour and every day. I understand your struggle as I struggle with this too as the year goes by and we get to know each student.  

But....each year is a clean slate and we will improve this fall! [smile]

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eleight

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Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #55 
Quote:
Thinking back on last year, what could your students expect from you? Page 18—Is this what you wanted from Day 1? What would you change? What will you want to be different next year?


Page 18 is what I hoped for from Day 1, but didn't fully achieve .  I had an okay first year, because I did have some procedures in place.  I found it difficult, moving from room to room, to try to have all my materials in place and greet students at the door.  I like the idea of giving students written copies of procedures, as well as sending them home to parents.  I like the idea of spelling out the responsibilities/expectations for both teacher and class.  I will definitely practice procedures more, and not wait so long to change any that aren't working -- such as my attention signal.   I want to not waste as much time during the year reminding students of procedures.
Sharon

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Posts: 57
Reply with quote  #56 
Looking back is something I do at the end of the year. And, I have done this my entire career. My students could expect to know my expectations, policies, and procedures. They could expect that I treat all students as equals. They could expect me to be prepared, and they could expect a smile and a greeting at the door. 

I have a policy and procedure plan to handout to each student. I also give some of my upper classes reading, quiz, tests, assignment schedule which covers the entire semester. My lower classes receive the same, but I give them a six week schedule.

There's not much that I would change, except my students are high school age, and some of the simpler things such as what to do when a  pencil breaks. In my policy procedure plan it explains what they must bring each class period. Plus our district issues I-Pads to the student body at the beginning of school. 

I think I will go back to my script that I used. Actually I had one, but thought I knew what to do and say that I quit using it. I think I need to use it again. 
Sharon

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Posts: 57
Reply with quote  #57 
My expectations as far as what my students could expect from me didn't really change last year from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. I feel like it would have been helpful if I communicated those expectations, however. We went over what I expected of the students at the beginning of the school year (they helped create our class rules/expectations), but I never explicitly told them what they should expect from me. This is something I will change next year.

My students could expect me to greet them at the door each day with a classroom ready and setup for learning, for me to create a positive learning environment for them, quality instruction with differentiated activities, promotion of mutual respect between teacher and student, help when needed, and necessary discipline with positive reinforcement. 

I'm not sure what else I will change at the beginning of next year. It's hard to know at the very beginning what needs your students will have because each class can be so different! I will try to excel in each area I consider an "expectation" of myself as a teacher and maintain that excellence. I feel like it is so easy as the school year progresses and students become more comfortable with you, your expectations, and the routines/procedures...to be more lax as a teacher. To not necessarily "fail" in an area of expectation, but to not do as well as I can. For instance, I would wait till the students started coming in to quickly dash over and put out their nametags, or I'd wait till the last minute to cut out an activity when I should have done it ahead of time. I could have extended instruction and provided more differentiation, but instead I let them read books when finished, or I tended to not be a positive and fresh as I was at the beginning of the school year. So overall, maintaining excellence is an area I strive to be better in next year!

I applaud your efforts, and you sound like a seasoned educator. I want to tell you that I agree that each class is different just as each child is different. Flexablility is an absolute necessity.
eleight

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Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #58 
@tamram:
Quote:
I had many behavioral issues which I let distract me from the teaching that the majority of the students were entitled.

I had the same problem.  I know I was not consistent enough at the beginning of the year with procedures, with consequences for breaking rules, demonstrating as well as telling instructions, and with students talking while I was giving instruction.  I worked hard on improving all of those the 2nd half of the year, and behavior issues decreased, but these are my big areas to focus on for this second year.  
BurntOrangeStrong

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Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #59 

Thinking back on last year, what could your students expect from you? Page 18—Is this what you wanted from Day 1? What would you change? What will you want to be different next year?

My classes all started the same way each day.  On the board I listed the assignments that were due and students knew to get the assignment out and ready to pass in.  I listed the supplies that students would need to accomplish today's tasks and they knew to get out the supplies and have them ready to use.  I listed the day's learning objective so that the students knew what we would be learning for the day.  Finally, I listed the bell work and once students had their supplies out for the day they automatically began completing the bell work.  I tried to create a structured, ordered environment where students knew exactly what to expect once they enter the classroom.

I would also say that my students expected me to be very demanding, but fair with them.  Anything less than 100% effort all the time was going to be addressed by me expediently.  Giving up or throwing in the towel was not an option and my students knew that it would never be accepted.  In math, mistakes are going to happen... it's inevitable.  Therefore, the fear of making mistakes was not a reason to not attempt the work.  Mistakes, if harnessed correctly, can be a powerful tool in learning and growth.  The only way we fail is by quitting and my students understood that I was never going to quit on them or stop encouraging them.

Next year, I would like to open up our math course to allow students to better work at their own speed.  We operate as a flipped classroom, but I would love to shift towards flipped mastery where students must master a concept in order to move on to the next concept.  This allows students who work quickly and master topics faster to move ahead and continue growing while ensuring that students who struggle or work slower aren't skipped over or allowed to move forward before mastery of a topic.  In this fashion, we can continue to teach students the concept of the growth mindset where anyone can learn, it just boils down to matter of effort, focus, and grit.
OnaBethDay

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Posts: 30
Reply with quote  #60 
It is true that at procedures are very important. I like the idea of sharing with the students what you expect of them and also what they should expect from you.
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Ona Beth Day 
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