Friday, March 30, 2012

Guidelines for new (and not so new) teachers Part 1

One of the most significant things you can do to affect student conduct is to establish effective daily events in your classroom. Doing so will allow you to be organized and appear in control. It will also allow students to take responsibility for themselves because they will know what to do. Time is also used more effectively in classrooms with established daily procedures. The tips that follow offer suggestions that will help you establish effective daily procedures in your classroom.

What You Should Do:
Set up procedures for the following classroom activities:

  • Entering the classroom
  • Taking roll
  • Dealing with tardy students 
  • Dealing with students who lack materials 
  • Labeling student papers 
  • Preparing to leave at the end of class 

  How To Do It: 

Entering the Classroom 
Begin each lesson with a brief warm-up or ice breaker activity such as a game, vocabulary review, etc, in the following link you can find many warm-ups or ice breaker activities to use in your classes:
Warm-ups and Icebreakers for classroom games and activities

Before students arrive, post the warm-up activity on the board and make a list of the materials needed for the lesson. If there is a new homework assignment, post it on the board, too. If necessary, remind students to sit in their assigned seats. It may be helpful (and even necessary) to attribute a small portion of a daily grade to these warm-up exercises, you can then include it as a participation grade, but being a fun, short and interactive activity, everyone would be delighted and eager to participate.

Taking Roll
Use a quick method of taking roll as students participate in the opening activity or as they turn in their homework. On the first day of school, set up a seating chart, which you can use to support the students in sitting in their assigned seats. Throughout the year, use the chart to take roll quickly. If students say someone is not absent, but the student is not in the room, simply state that to be considered present a person needs to be working or sitting down when the bell rings or when you enter the classroom.

Dealing with Tardy Students 
Have a plan for dealing with tardy students. An alternative would be to allow a small interruption, quickly update your attendance sheet and move on. Be sure to point out to the tardy student the consequence of habitual tardiness. You may be able to prevent a majority of late students by holding them accountable for lateness. For example, you might dock a student's participation grade by half a point for every three times tardy.

Dealing with Students Who Lack Materials
If you are unable to get extra copies of your books, have students who arrive without their book share with classmates whom you designate. But not bringing the school materials should have a consequence; permitting students get by without the required materials might send the signal that it is okay to leave materials at home.

Labeling Student Papers
Ask students to write their name, the date, your name, the period number, and the assignment on every paper they turn in to you. You will probably need to remind students of this often. Don´t accept any unlabeled paper, returning it immediately to the student that turned it to you and asking him to write the proper information. Explain that if you cannot determine to whom a paper belongs or which assignment it might be, you cannot give credit for the work.

Preparing to Leave at the End of Class
Everything that has a beginning should have an end to be complete, have a signal for when students may prepare to wrap up the class. For most students, the bell means it is time to drop everything, stuff it all in their backpacks, and leave or wait for their next class, lunch, or home. You can ask students not to leave until you have signaled that class is over. Request that they not pick up their backpacks or other bags until they are dismissed. Allow time for closure and clarification of assignments. Then give your dismissal signal. Try always to include a game, a song, an activity which is fun, short and interactive as a wrap-up to leave them craving for more, but also that has something to do with the day´s lesson.

To be continued………………………

 If you have any comments or more ideas on this topics, please share your insights and knowledge!

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