Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A letter and some new ideas

A few days ago I received an email from my cohort coordinator for this semester. She is the professor for our Classroom Management II course as well as the person keeping up with our practicum experiences. Her letter provided some necessary information about the semester, our field placement schedule, and what to expect this fall. It also included the syllabus for her course.

Now, I know most people would probably not be excited about receiving an email like this. However I was thrilled! Looking through the calendar allows me to get a grasp of how the semester will be paced.... how many holidays we have and how long they will be, spacing of CM2 classes, observations, etc. All of these things help me plan out how I will approach my courses. Obviously I will have a more complete plan once I receive all my course syllabi, but at least now I don't feel so wound up without any type of outlet.

Another reason I was excited to get the syllabus so early is because it also allows me to begin looking around for ideas that fit my assignments.

Within my Classroom Management course we have a few projects for the semester, most of which are lessons we develop and implement within our practicum classrooms. Last spring we did lessons using large, interactive props as well as some transition practice as our semester projects within Classroom Management I. According to the syllabus, we will be focusing on community building and overall classroom management philosophy this semester and doing projects which reflect those ideas.

Obviously I popped right over to pinterest once I read our assignment list. :)

As annoying as that website can be with all the wannabe fashionistas and blinding amounts of chevrons, sometimes there are educational gems to be found. Better yet, there are links to a HUGE amount of education blogs I probably would not have found otherwise. As with everything else, there is no small amount of sorting to be done to find the good stuff, but it is really fun and exciting when you do find something you can use.

For example:
This image grabbed me on pinterest and led me to the blog of a first grade teacher with some excellent room decoration and organization ideas. Just from my experience last semester I can tell that getting organized is a HUGE part of being a good teacher and having a happy, bright, engaging room helps the students feel excited about learning. Ideas like this will help me get there without going broke!

The idea for a classroom QR code to provide essential information to parents on open house night really got my attention. It is very easy to set up and a great way to include technology as well as getting parents included in the classroom. Obviously this would be a better fit for some schools than others, but a great idea either way. Definitely a good inspiration point for other parent-inclusive ideas.

And possibly my favorite community behavior incentive ever:
When the class receives a compliment for good behavior outside the classroom (hallway, bathrooms, lunchroom, etc) they get to add a feature to Mr. Potato Head. Once he is completely assembled, the whole class gets a reward! I have seen compliment jars and several other variations, but this particular version just makes me smile.

These are just a few of the ideas I came across in my searching and sifting over the past few days. If any of you find other community building or general management style ideas, I would love to see them! Although I am working with lower elementary kids this year, who knows where I will end up once the job hunt begins next year. :)

No comments:

Post a Comment