Discussion in 'High School' started by gr8_life, Jun 8, 2009.
Jun 8, 2009
What kinds of things do you do to create a positive classroom ? Awards ? Recognition?
I send letters to parents. Actually, they aren't letters. They are postcards I had printed at VistaPrint and I write a note on the back about the student's success.
I use a lot of praise.
But, what I think contributes most to making my classroom positive is mutual respect. I also use a lot of humor.
Jun 9, 2009
Oohh.. I like your postcards, KU! I think I will use it next year, when I teach freshman academy-many unmotivated students.
I also use lots of humor in class, although sometimes only a few students get my jokes.
Respect, constant praise, and treating kids like they are worth a million bucks.
Jun 10, 2009
As others have already said, I think a combination of respect and humor works well. As a history teacher, making fun of history seems to work well. When they walk in for the 1st day of our unit on the New Republic, seeing "George Washington, Sexiest President?" on the board, they seem to listen a heck of a lot better than usual.
I'll admit I'm a bit over the top sometimes (as above, obviously), but it seems to work well, and keeps their heads in the game whenever I say something completely absurd. I just have to watch a fine line and make sure the jokes are ridiculous enough that the students realize they're jokes.
I also use recognition postcards and humor. I call my students "Team K" and refer to them as "my Darlings" (part of this is because I have a terrible memory for names - I can get away with saying, "what is it, my Darling?" to any question :lol
Also, on the first day of school, I promise them that on their last day of my class, I will feed them freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies (courtesy of my DH, the family baker), read them a story (Dr. Seuss' Oh, the Places You'll Go), and cry. And every year, I keep my promise!
Like the others have said, I use a lot of humor in my class. I like to laugh A LOT, and I laugh at myself and tease them all the time.
I think the most important factor though is that they know I believe in them and support them. Even when they act silly or dumb or make bad choices, I'm still going to keep working with them and trying to help them. That doesn't mean that I don't hold them accountable; it just means that, just like with my own daughter, I'm going to be there no matter what.
Jun 14, 2009
Every Wednesday is "activity day". I take about the first 10 minutes or so of class and we do a team building, critical thinking, or fun activity. After the first couple of weeks, they would run in on Wednesdays wanting to know what we were doing to be doing. I searched the internet for cheap, quick ideas for activities. Some involved no props and some required minimum prep. One day it was spaghetti towers - each group got a box of spaghetti and a bag of marshmallows and they got 5 minutes to build the tallest towers. The balloon towers - each group got a bag of balloons and a roll of tape. They had to work with their groups to build the tallest balloon tower. They catch to that one was they could only use one hand. They had to work together to blow up the balloons, tie them, and tape them into a tower. I found word puzzles on the internet for them. I think they really helped some kids look forward to class and they (even if they didn't know it) learned to work together to solve problems.
Jun 21, 2009
Though sometimes I wonder if it works or not..some things I do.
I give out little treat bags for Halloween and Christmas. For Easter, I put various extra bonus points on little pieces of paper and put them in eggs. Each student pulls out an egg-either winning 10-50 bonus points, free pass on a test of their choice or candy-ironically, some want to switch out bonus points for candy-talk about instant gratification!
I also refer to the kids as 'my kids, my children, darling' etc..not because I can't remember names, but..well not sure why sometimes it just flows out. I may say Okay my people, let's get started. I do use humor and some sarcasm-its funny when one student gets the joke and is laughing with me (the rest of the class just stares at us) I will use their language on some things in history-sometimes referring to small battles as "shoot 'em ups" and telling students that some of the people we are studying couldn't 'play nice in the sandbox with others'. They laugh, but they 'get it'. I always try to reference some real life points-either pulling in emotions towards parents or students' personal property, something that makes them go..oh yeahh..I laugh in each class pretty much every day-even if its been a bad class period and I've had to reprimand them. I like to make them feel like they matter.
I use the following...
-A lot of HUMOR! I make up funny puppet shows, make faces, sing silly songs, cool chants, and anything that I can quickly "wit" up.
-Music...I am always making up songs and playing them with my guitar while singing along. The children pick it up and b4 I know it they have it memorized!
-I talk to the PARENTS EVERY chance I get!
-I make sure I remember something FUNNY or COOL each child did and that is what I share with his/her parent. Of course, if there was any negative thing it will be shared too, after the positive thingy.
-I keep the board updated with the daily activities SO nobody can say, "I didn't know we were supposed to bring that." etc.
-I find out the FAMILY MEMBERS Birthdays, so the children can make special cards for them.
-I MAKE LEARNING FUN, COOL AND RELAXING. There is nothing worse than a child feeling PUSHED to do stuff because it will make him/her HATE SCHOOL.
-Pick Helpers For The Day. Children love to help.
-One of my walls has each child's designated "SHOW OFF SPOT" of their latest Art or anything cool they made. The parents check the wall to see what their s made for the week.
-Student Of The Week poster is another cool thing to do.
-There is a Wall of Family pics and something that each child said about his/her family written on it.
-Last, but not the least, GET DOWN TO THEIR EYE LEVEL AND GIVE A LOT OF POSITIVE PRAISES AND HUGS and don't let them see you sweat!
Jun 22, 2009
For starters, I genuinely like kids, and I think it shows.
I'm fairly consistent-- none of that "don't smile until Christmas" stuff. I start teaching on the very first day-- and assign homework!-- so there's no doubt that we WILL be working in my class.
But I do kid around a lot as well. And I laugh at mistakes-- certainly my own as well as some of the kids'. I share little pieces of my life with them-- nothing major, but enough that I'm more than just a math-teaching-machine to them.
I realize that my class is NOT the only priority for my kids, so I try to be accomodating. They're allowed to make up, without penalty, up to 3 homeworks per marking period. I give them the year's test schedule on the first day. I tell them they don't need to bring their text to class-- in math, it's easy enough to just put practice problems on the board.
But I think it really boils down to my first point: I LIKE them and fully expect that they'll like me back. Most do.
Jun 25, 2009
I start everyday with strange factoids. I have a whole collection of pictures, facts, and videos.
Ever wonder how the Marines do bomb disposal?
Jun 28, 2009
Mrs. K you sound like an awesome teacher.
Jul 6, 2009
I like a lot of those ideas...to add to those this is one thing I plan to do
Show a youtube/some other funny clip each monday and wednesday...the start of the week and hump day just to lighten the mood...doesnt have to be long...just something for the students to look forward too
One thing a few teachers have suggested me is go to extra curricular activities; it shows the students you care and will make your class more positive.
Jul 7, 2009
I teach Foods I and II. When a kid does something like the second day of class they turn in the paper work I send home for the parents to fill out or answer a question or does anything positive I give them a ticket. They put their name on it and then about once a week I have a drawing for candy, a potholder, etc. They love it. Candy is really cheap after Halloween and you can freeze. When we are cooking I play rock and roll music. I have a vase with pens and pencils in it with red flowers. They can borrow one and most times it comes back. I have a trash can on the desk and if they have a comment and do not want to bring it up in class they put in the can and I get the message. The second day of class we make omlets in a baggie to get them excited about cooking and you can make ice cream in a baggie too.
Sep 6, 2009
Thank you !!!! I didn't realize I already had these responses when I asked again.
Sep 17, 2009
I do "Good News" on Monday. Students share how their weekend was and also anything exciting they have going on for the upcoming week. They love it.
I give my students a lot of choices (choose topic for writing assignments, choose own independent reading books, plan own literature circles book groups, etc.)
I make the room comfortable--floor pillows, camp chairs, rugs for independent work time.
I play music while we are doing the Do Now and Independent work.
I treat them with respect and I laugh and joke a lot.
I ask for feedback from the students.
I am consistent in class structure and assignments.
Sep 18, 2009
I don't always do the typical English teacher stuff. No Shakespeare posters, I bring in news items, politics and I treat them like the young men and women that they are. So far so good. Although 1 student is probably mad at me because I complained about him to his football coach. He certainly earned it though.