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Great Expectations

9 Apr

Central High School is very excited to have accomplished our goal of being a Progressive School for Great Expectations.  We are the first in the United States to accomplish this.  It has been a long journey which continues in our goal to become a Model High School for Great Expectations.

Great Expectations is a program that gives a culture to your entire school.  Their 17 practices and their Tenets are shared with all teachers and are expressly taught to the students.  

It is now very uncommon now to hear students say “Well, Mr. Adams lets us do this” or “What rule?”.  

As a bonus, our four year journey has caught the attention of Harvard University. They have visited us twice this year.  The first time to see what is going on to have raised our test scores and lower our discipline issues.  They did a case study and praised us exuberantly about the rapport between staff and students, staff to staff and students to students.

They are here again this week filming.  They are creating a video documentation of effective teaching and establishing a culture of caring in our school.  My class was videotaped yesterday while students were doing verb cards.

I just had to share my excitement.  I will be training to teach other teachers the Great Expectations way this April and June in Oklahoma.  When asked about Great Expectations, I like to say that it has taught me to make connections instead of confrontations.

Congratulations Central High School!

Gracias, Penny

Flipping the first week of school

29 Jul

I just mapped out my first week of school.  There is never any Spanish content involved. At least, not from the chapter they will begin with.

Here is what I have.  It’s about the same as last year.  I am just trying to decide how to make it flip-like so as to start the year the way I intend to teach it.

Day 1: Syllabus; Participation grade; Introduction to our classroom; notebooks (headings, dating, grading); Spanish rhyme; everyday Spanish class phrases.

Day 2: (In computer lab) Pre-test; Introduction to collaboration with classrooms in Maryland & California; Schooology, Edmodo & Skyward (and probably more as I get organized).

Day 3: 8 Expectations; Life Principles; 17 practices.  These are a part of our school’s culture.  We use the Great Expectations Model school wide.

Day 4: Multiple Intelligence testing; Discuss flipping; Demonstrate the best way to watch videos, read sections & take notes; Forming a great question.

That is my first week.  We begin with a 4 day week.

My initial thoughts about how to approach week one, are to disseminate the information and have students do activities to demonstrate understanding.  This is how it will work in succesive weeks, so I would like to start off that way.  I jusst haven’t ccreated the details yet.

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Gracias, Penny

Flipped Classroom daily routine

28 Jul

Here is how I imagine my 70 minutes of Spanish in my advanced classes using the flipped approach.  Eventually I will teach all classes using the Flipped concept.

Following the advice in the “Flip Your Class”book I will begiin class by answering questions.  Students are required to form a relevant question while watching the video or reading the section of the book.  I had thought maybe I would ask them as I was walking around, but then I figured that either there will be lots of the same questions or students would learn from the questions other students had as well.

After that, I plan to run through the current set of Quizlet flashcards.  Then students will start where they left off the day before in their progress towards finishing the chapter.

While students are working, I will be walking about the room.  I will have a clipboard with the list of student names with me.  Across the top of the chart will be a list of all of the activities they are required to do.  As I look over notes, questions, worksheets and other learning activities, I will either put a check next to their name for full credit, or write in the number of points earnedd.  I believe this chart will be very valuable because I can tell how far ahead some students are (they may be able to peer tutor for a class period) as well as how far behind some students are (the ones who need tutoring).  

When I mapped out a full chapter, it appeared that we will finish a chapter a lot more quickly this way.  I have scheduled the lab for Wednesdays for taking qquizzes online and doing some collaborating with our classroom friends in Maryland and California.   They may also need that time to do some research foor the proficiency project and their culture project.  

I feel I will have to have a lot of sponge activities available.  I am still thinking through that.  I also am getting rid of my teacher desk in the classroom and amm working on the class set up.  As I said in my last blog post, I need to figure out a way to direct students who are working on the same activities to thhe same area of the room.  It seems the configuration of studnt placement couldbe different everyday.

This is my proposed routine.   As always, I would love to hear your ideas.  In my next post I will share my ideas for the classroom set up.

Gracais, Penny

 

Cheating: It will happen (Centers & Groupwork)

13 Jul

Dealing with cheating is one of my least favorite things to do.  I am not sure if it is the confrontation with the student or the student not valuing their education.  It’s a toss up.

There is a great section in Nooks, Crannies & Corners dealing with cheating in center work.

Forte and Mackenzie give this advice:

When dealing with cheating, they have observed the following strategies and the results associated with them:

1.  Students will hide cheating better

2.Students feels punctures ego & guilt.

3. Can be positive depending on rapport. Conference centers on leading student to see cheating as a deterrent to goals

4. Lazy day cheating is born.  Cheating because of anxiety remains.

5. “Hopefully” symptoms disappear.
6. Student learns something from copying that he may not have learned at all.

 

7. Students learn to work cooperatively. If partners are weak/strong-require they alternate days of who leads the work.

 

 

 



1. “Cheating is Cheating!”
Declare it loudly

2.”I can’t believe you would do such a thing!”

3. Private conference with student(s) caught cheating.

 

4. Ignore it

 

 

5. Pretend to ignore it

 

6. Encourage it

 

 

7. Require it (design carefully)

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have searched the Internet for suggestions for teachers to deal with cheating.  I didn’t find much.  Do you know of any resources?

In other discipline advice, the authors say the following:

**Rules should be developed by the group.  Form “Thou shalls” instead of “Thou Shalt Nots”.

** Unacceptable behavior should be re-directed.  Present them with an alternate activity.

**Behavior discrepancies should be viewed as challenges, not threats.”

Some students may lack the independence and self-direction necessary to work in centers or groups.  They may require more structure.  If this is the case, their work should be planned to operate concurrently and not interfere with the centers.
More great advice!  That concludes the center based posts as far as what to consider when creating them.  I promise future posts on specific activities that I assign at centers.  I look forward to hearing about some great activities from all of you too.

Gracias, Penny

Class Room

11 Jul

Class Room.

Wiki with several Classroom Management Tips

Thanks @coolcatteacher  @cybraryman1

Education World: Ten Activities for Establishing Classroom Rules | Lesson Plan

11 Jul

Education World: Ten Activities for Establishing Classroom Rules | Lesson Plan.

Thanks @coolcatteacher

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