I apologize for the late post; I decided to do zero work over vacation and forgot about my responsibility to blog.
With the help of JoAnn Morreale, we explored all the various aspects that are encompassed by the term “classroom management.” As the most effective way to teach classroom management, JoAnn taught our class using the techniques as she presented them to us.
From the very start, with a new desk layout and a bell work designed to cater to the various intelligences. Each of four groups took on a different task, ranging from listing components of classroom management to drawing classroom that reflects our classroom management philosophy. (As it turns out, the arrangement of our classroom that day was quite close to the sketch that group came up with).
As we moved on, it occurred to me that we were not only learning about how to manage a classroom, we were also learning how inclusive the term “classroom management” is. Anything that is done in a classroom, in preparing for a day in a classroom, and in debriefing after a day in the classroom can fall under classroom management if the related actions are carried out with the students in mind. For example, preparing a lesson that includes differentiated instruction, though it may be part of planning, is also classroom management. So is putting up an agenda, laying out the classroom, and chatting with students outside the classroom. In the classroom, actions such as giving specific praise, highlighting student achievements, and extending wait times are all aspects of classroom management. After classes, prompt feedback on graded work, specific comments on papers, and collecting pencils for future use also fall under the umbrella of classroom management. These techniques, and many more, were all demonstrated by JoAnn over the course of the class.
In highlighting the work of members of our cohort, JoAnn provided us all with a few resources that may be useful in the classroom.
Heather showed us a youtube video that was very effective in her class which can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnhcjEjvbrw. Videos are often successful because they are entertaining, provide variety in lesson format, and often connect to popular culture. They can be very effective as openers to start lessons with, as Heather did, or to summarize content that has already been presented in a different format.
Heather also provided a link to a macroscopic cell, which can be seen here: http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2008/11/20/gromia-zoom.html
A question about viewing/downloading youtube videos came up. Miro and Vtunnel were both suggested. Personally, I use a FireFox addon called DownloadHelper (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/3006), which allows youtube videos to be downloaded as .flv files. I use VLC Media Player (http://www.videolan.org/) to play back .flv files.
In addition, Chris shared one of his classroom management techniques, namely providing the students with a step by step guide through the day’s activities. This has already been described on the blog.
I apologize if I have omitted any parts of the session, please feel free to drop me an email or post follow-ups if I have.