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sexta-feira, 27 de janeiro de 2012

My TOP 15 must- do things before classes begin!

There are a number of things that are not necessarily included in lesson plans steps, though they are extremely important issues to be reflected upon before classes begin. Given that, I suggest below a TOP 15 must-do things list for teachers who are willing to play safe the class game and antecipate some possible classroom situations!

1.  What will you use as your signal to get the children's attention?  Flashing the lights, ringing a bell, singing a song, raising your hand and expecting them to do the same, etc.?

 2.  How will you choose a student helper the first day of school, to do things like turn off the lights when leaving the classroom, help pass out papers, get necessary material in the teacher's room or school office, etc.?

 3.  Where will your students line up for activities outside the classroom?  Will you have one line or two?  Alphabetical order or whoever gets there first?  (ABC order really cuts down on pushing in line or, maybe raffling numbers in the beginning of the lesson, so they will line up according to the order of the numbers they picked).

 4.  What is your policy about excusing children to go to the restroom during instructional time?  (3 to  6 year olds *all* need to go to the bathroom as soon as you let the first child leave, so be sure you've decided how to handle this :)

 5.  How often will you send homework and when will it be due?  What is your procedure going to be for collecting and recording homework?

 6.  What activities have you chosen for the first week of school, when teachers are often busy with tons of paperwork and are frequently interrupted by the arrival of new students, parents, and notes/phone calls from the office?

 7.  What type of behavior reinforcement/positive discipline plan are you going to use?  You will probably need a pocket or wall chart to keep track of color changes if you are going to use that type of system (I like to use a calendar pocket chart with 3 colors of apples (red, yellow and green).

 8.  What other class rules and procedures are you going to have?  Be sure to have them in writing before or during the first day of school, and spend time the first day explaining them to your students.  Realistically, you'll have to go over class rules and procedures every day for at least a week, to help your students learn your expectations.

9.  What will you do about students who consistently don't complete their work?

10.  What are your policies for allowing children out of their seat during worktime?  Will most of your work be assigned seatwork, or will your students spend most of their time out of their seats, doing individual and group learning activities?

11. What is your plan for making sure that students who are absent are able to catch up their work?  (I have the helper of the day get a yellow "We Missed You" folder (or any other color) and he will write down the textbook pages seen in that lesson, assigned homework  and put all the paperwork in the folder until the absent  child returns to school).

12.  Do you have mailboxes for your students? This is a nice strategy to give feedback on student performance or specific tasks, inform the kid about special date activities or specific material needed or even comment on the student behaviour in class.

13.  What will your rule be about interrupting you when you are working with a student or a group?  (In my classroom contract, students may only interrupt me for B Emergencies ... blood, bathroom, and barf :) , otherwise, they must wait for their turn)

14.  If a parent shows up unexpectedly and wants to conference with you during classtime, what will you do?  (It's a nice idea to ask them to have a seat and let them know when you will be able to talk to them)

15. What strategy or activity will you use to show the school premisses for your students? This must be extremely necessary if you have new students.

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