Standard #3: Learning Environments. The teacher works with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.
3(a) The teacher collaborates with learners, families, and colleagues to build a safe, positive learning climate of openness, mutual respect, support, and inquiry. (Performances)
3(i) The teacher understands the relationship between motivation and engagement and knows how to design learning experiences using strategies that build learner self-direction and ownership of learning. (Essential Knowledge)
3(n) The teacher is committed to working with learners, colleagues, families, and communities to establish positive and supportive learning environments. (Critical Dispositions)
In my words: I will create a positive classroom environment that incorporates both individual and group learning, with a student-centered approach that encourages personal responsibility and self-motivation.
Gallery of Artifacts:
Introductory Letter to Parents
My Classroom with ‘I Can’ Standards hung in the front. I created this to hold the standards/statements for students to view every day.
‘I Can’ Standards Bulletin Board
A sample of my group project sheets. This is for Group One. I adapted these and made them my own!
Google Classroom Discussion Board – Is Love Rational or Irrational?
Peer-editing for the Old Man and the Sea papers–gives ownership and responsibility while encouraging students to work together.
‘P’ for Peanut-Butter-Hater, ‘A’ for Anarchist, ‘H’ for fear of Heights, and ‘I’ for Innocent.
I was able to join in on the discussion and give information, feedback, comments, and pose questions.
Sentences Competition! I created this as an extension activity for my students!
I gave a book talk on one of my favorite books for the second day of classes to introduce myself to students and connect with reading!
Book Club is all about collaborative, engaging learning environments! Students got to know one another at first, then they talk through assignments and we discuss as a group.
List of Artifacts:
Adopt a Pet Activity-Once my students moved from their How Do I Research? introduction presentation to The C.R.A.P. Test worksheet to help them find credible sources to gather notes from, they were finally ready to take notes! Yay!
Boys vs. Girls-I wanted to do something fun with my eighth graders today--a discussion/debate between girls and guys--that related to House on Mango Street.
My Favorite Book-My Book Club is made of eighth grade Reading Intervention students who really struggle with reading. One of my girls told me, point blank on the first day, "I don't read." My goal is to change that by making reading fun and by caring about the students and working with them individually over the course of the three/four weeks.
Sentences Competition-Today my sixth graders were finishing up the editing process for their personal narratives. They were all at different places--just starting, halfway through, almost done--so I decided to create some fun, Halloween-related extension activities for those who were finished.
Book Talk: A Face First-Encouraging students to read is important. As a teacher, modeling reading is even more important! So today I gave a book talk on one of my favorite books from elementary/middle school: A Face First.
Discussion – Let’s Get Moving!-"How can I make teaching this book interesting?" I said to myself aloud, in the middle of the library, like a crazy person. It was a Sunday night and I was putting together my teaching plans for Monday. My Honors 10 students were just starting Part I of To Kill a Mockingbird and I wanted them to have fun. I needed some inspiration.
Modern-Day Scarlet Letters-I truly believe that students learn best when they are asked to relate content to their personal lives. That was my goal with this ending, fun activity–Modern-Day Scarlet Letters–applying the theme of hidden vs. exposed sin to students’ own lives.
Peer Editing-Peer editing is a wonderful tool...if done effectively. When students read one another's work, they are able to see and fix errors in their peer's papers, as well as translate those changes to their own papers. They also are able to take a critical eye and put themselves in a teacher's seat for a moment, hopefully looking at their work from a flipped perspective.
Scarlet Letter Discussion Groups-My American Seminar students have read up through chapter 18 in The Scarlet Letter. This point in the novel is filled with important themes, changes, symbols, and relationships, and to make sure my students were noticing and understanding these, I made a group discussion activity for them.
Old Man and the Sea Projects-For today's lesson, I wanted to spice things up a bit. Over the past few days, the students in my Honors 10 classes had read The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. The book is small, easy to read, but packed with symbolism and author influences. I wanted to see how much the students had comprehended, but I also wanted to challenge them to think deeply about the book--going beyond the simple plot line.
Name Tags!-One of the first activities I had my new students do is make name tags. Okay, sounds a little elementary, right? Wrong. Even though making name tags on the first day might be something done back in Kindergarten, there’s a way to make it relevant for even secondary students. [Or at least somewhat!] And that’s by making it a name activity rather than just a tag.
‘I Can’ Bulletin Board-To prepare for my classroom, I decided I wanted to make a bulletin board. And since this bad boy was picked up for only $1, I thought it would be perfect to recycle, revamp, and decorate for my 10th and 11th graders!