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Presentation on theme: "CREATING A COMMUNITY OF LEARNERS"— Presentation transcript:

This session will help you build a sense of community in your classroom that includes both teacher and students. A comfortable, non-threatening learning environment that encourages risk-taking is a critical component for successful Project-Based Learning and your work with struggling students. CREATING A COMMUNITY OF LEARNERS

2 Ice Breakers: Choose one and discuss with a couple of folks around you!
If you could meet and “do lunch” with one personality from history, who would it be? Why? If you were shipwrecked on a deserted island, what two songs would you want to have on your ipod? Why? We’ll begin this session with a little ice breaker to jumpstart our thinking and to allow you an opportunity to get up, move around, and mingle. Choose one or allow participants to choose either. Allow a couple of minutes for activity.

3 Essential Questions How will I…
communicate high expectations for all students? establish or maintain classroom rules and procedures? establish and maintain effective relationships with students? engage students? establish and communicate learning goals, track student progress and celebrate success? The Art and Science of Teaching by Robert Marzano Read slide. These are the questions that are guiding the organization of this session. The underlined words identify the topics that will be addressed.

4 Learning Targets I can intentionally build relationships with and among students through carefully planned activities. I can design instruction that promotes an engaged and active learning environment. I can explain how assessment can be active and engaging. Read slide. Please understand that how you teach is as important as what you teach; Providing your students with rich, shared experiences and engaging instructional activities will help build strong relationships among students and between the teacher and students.

5 Invisible If I stay very still And breathe very quietly, the Magic happens: I disappear - and no one sees me - and no one hears me - and no one even thinks about me And the teacher won’t call on me being invisible. I’m perfect! I can’t make mistakes - at least nobody sees them, so nobody laughs. Text Copyright © 1999 by Jane Medina from “My Name is Jorge on Both Sides of the River,” by Jane Medina. Published by Wordsong, Boyds Mills Press, Inc. Reprinted by permission. Read the poem Invisible by Jane Medina. Can you relate to this poem in any area of life? Remember that all students struggle with something, and it is important for you to build relationships with each one of them and to help them build relationships with others in order for them to become active, engaged learners in your classroom. You cannot have full participation in the community of learners if you allow some students to remain “Invisible.”

6 effective communities of learners in which the needs of all learners
“When we create effective communities of learners in which the needs of all learners are specifically and systematically addressed, we will go a long way toward addressing both equity and excellence in schools.” (Thomlinson, 1999) A strong community of learners honors each student individually and expects excellence from all.

7 What are the characteristics of a COMMUNITY OF LEARNERS?
Think-Pair-Share Looks Like Sounds Like Feels Like This handout is a teacher-generated graphic organizer. You can see that it was designed and created to suit the purpose of this specific activity. You will find that there will be plenty of times when there is not graphic organizer or template that exactly fits your learning goals; this is when you might consider creating your own “teacher-generated graphic organizer” to help your students gather and organize information. You will find the teacher-generated graphic organizer under “Teaching Tools: Increasing Comprehension” on your unit planning template. Based on what we have looked at so far and your own experiences, take a moment to start to fill in this organizer with what you want your community of learners to look like, sound like, and feel like. After a minute, you will share your list with a partner. We will come back to this activity later in this session to add to it. Allow participants to fill out their own community of learners chart, then share with a partner.

THINK BACK….. To a teacher or mentor who helped you learn something that was difficult. Did the teacher directly instruct you? Provide feedback? What made your learning easier? What did that teacher do to ensure you felt safe in the classroom? Jot down your ideas. Read slide This is an autobiographical story about Patricia Polacco’s (Patricia is dyslexic) struggle with learning to read, which she did not accomplish until she was 14 and her disability was discovered. Patricia did not begin writing children’s books until she was 41, but has since become an award-winning author and illustrator with close to thirty books published. This story honors the teacher that took the time to see a child that was struggling alone and in need of individual help.

9 “To this day, I remember the first day that words on the page had meaning to me…Mr. Falker had reached into the most lonely darkness and pulled me into bright sunlight and sat me on a shooting star. I shall never forget him….so this book was written both to honor Mr. Falker, but also to warn young people that mean words have a terrible power…and that they should do all that they can to see that teasing stops at their school.” -Patricia Polacco Read slide. Allow participants to briefly discuss connection to building a community of learning. Be sure to include that the teacher 1)taught her to read, 2)supported her emotionally, 3) gave her confidence, 4) and protected her from bullying. Then have participants get up, take ten steps, and share their own response from the sticky note with a learning partner minutes.

10 You had me at hello… Meet students as they come in the door.
Stand at the door or close to it. Greet them with a compliment or a genuine query about how they feel, why they look happy, worried, tired, etc. Do what you can to let each student know that you consider them a person, as well as a student. One important consideration for building a community of learners is doing what you can to make students feel comfortable. Here are some simple things you can do to make your students feel confident as they enter your classroom. Read Slide. Advance slide. “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” ~ William Purkey

11 Give Them a Stake in the Room
Invite each student to “color” the room with – a photograph, a poster, a piece of artwork, a newspaper clipping or magazine cover of a favorite activity Quote of the day – teacher posts for first 2 to 4 weeks, then students choose and contribute. “Graffiti” Board where they leave messages for each other – appropriate for public viewing. Students enjoy having some opportunities for ownership of the classroom they will share with you. Advance and Read slide aloud. You have a list of success quotes in your materials to get you started with your class if you would like to institute the quote of the day.

12 Team-Building Activities
Birthday line – working in teams of 10-12, get in a line according to your birthday with January at the front. NO TALKING AT ALL. Lifesaver Relay – popsicle sticks, large gummy lifesaver shape. This link has many other team-building activities: Read slide Remember the icebreakers we did at the beginning of the session? These types of activities can help establish that sense of teamwork by allowing risk-free opportunities for you and your students to interact and get to know each other. Here are a few other ideas, as well as a website with other activities to utilize in your classroom.

13 Find Out About Them –What do they read. What do they write
Find Out About Them –What do they read? What do they write? What are their interests? Historical novels Biography Sports Thrillers True crime Romance Graphic Novels Poetry or Drama Mystery Nature Science You need to know what your students like, as well as their instructional level so that you can get materials that they can both read independently and will find interesting. Some things you might try are … Completing “I Am Unique” Sentences Finding out what TV show(s) they enjoy watching or movies they have seen. Getting lists of Places they’ve been, and their favorite song/music… Asking about their hobbies… Their Pets, and Sports/games they especially like. In your materials you will find other interest/reading inventories, as well as other “getting to know you” ideas. Science fiction Magazine articles History

14 Build Self-Esteem – Group Resume`
Together, create a team resume` on chart paper. Include: Names Education Honors/awards Work history Years of experience Strengths Hobbies/interests Another activity for team building is to build a Group resume. We’ll try this one together. Form groups of 4-5 to create group resume. Include the following information: Read slide Each group needs chart paper and marker. Provide 10 minutes & post around the room If you use this with your students, you will need to adjust categories to what a high school student might have experienced. Another idea: Find a partner Interview each other about what you do best or what you are good at. Take 1 to 2 minutes each. You will introduce each other to the rest of the class, so use effective listening skills. ~ Jack Canfield, Mark Hansen, 100 Ways to Enhance Self-Concept in the Classroom

15 Build Relationships and Teams
Skim the article Forming Positive Student-Teacher Relationships. What characteristics do teachers need to form positive relationships? How do the relationship needs differ between high-achieving and low-achieving students? How can positive student-teacher relationships be promoted? Provide a copy of the Forming Positive Student-Teacher Relationships.\ We are going to use a Teaching Tool for increasing comprehension called “skimming” for this article. Remember that your struggling readers probably won’t be proficient skimmers. Be sure to show/tell/demonstrate for them that to skim is to read quickly, looking for key ideas that are in bold type, headings, sub-headings, illustrations, etc. Skim the article and answer questions, and 2 minutes to share.

16 Classrooms are powerful places
Classrooms are powerful places. They can be dynamic settings that launch dreams and delight minds, or arid places that diminish hope and deplete energy. --from “The Engaged Classroom” by Sam M. Intrator. Educational Leadership (Sept., 2004) Read quote. Building a strong sense of community within your classroom will ensure that it is a powerful place in which to launch dreams…… We’ve talked about some team-building activities, but building a community of learners requires more than being a team. Our second target for this session is to discuss how to create an engaging and active learning environment.

17 How do we teach? Understandings Practices & Beliefs & Protocols
Assumptions about Learners Practices & Protocols Understandings & Beliefs Reality of your classroom We know that our understandings and beliefs (advance slide) influence our assumptions about learners and (advance slide) the reality of the classroom we establish. The combination of all three pieces influences (advance slide) our practices and protocols. Take a minute or two to reflect honestly about your own understandings and beliefs, assumptions about learners, your “real” classroom, and your instructional practices and protocols. (Wait time of 1-2 minutes) Discussion questions: How do the practices and protocols you’ve established in the classroom reflect your assumptions about learners? How do your assumptions about learners build from your long-held beliefs and understandings? How does the reality of your teaching experiences influence your assumptions? How do we teach?

18 The Lessons of Martin Haberman
“Success in school is a matter of life and death,” especially for the poor and struggling student. He exposed the paradigm many educators in inner city schools adopted in teaching these students: routinized activity, strict discipline, compliance, teachers teach/students learn. Martin Haberman is a noted researcher and professor of education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Haberman believes that for children in poverty who struggle with school, success in school is a matter of life and death, and they need mature people who have a great deal of knowledge about their subject matter. He has made his life’s work the study of how these students are taught and the most effective ways they should be taught. In 1991, he published “The Pedagogy of Poverty Versus Good Teaching” in Phi Delta Kappan (December 1991 issue). He outlined what he felt was the inadequate paradigm educators gravitated towards in schools with struggling students -- namely that they resorted to routine, strict discipline, and sit-and-get instruction -- and called instead for challenging, innovative, and active teaching practices.

19 Active engagement is happening when students are…
involved in issues they regard as vital concerns being helped to see major concepts, big ideas, and general principles, not simply isolated facts. involved in planning what they are doing. involved in applying ideals such as fairness, equity, and justice to their world. (Haberman) Read the Slide

20 It’s more than just a diamond ring!
Engagement: It’s more than just a diamond ring! Active engagement research tells us that students are engaged when they are doing most of the work. There is a link between learning and movement, and when interacting with others, brains are more engaged. (Teaching with the Brain in Mind, Jensen, 1998)

“Engaged learning doesn’t just happen. It is the result of a cluster of practices that systematically over time build a learning community in the classroom, bolster student confidence and self-esteem, and lead towards greater student achievement because students believe they can accomplish the tasks of learning.” Allow time to read slide. Building a learning community doesn’t happen on the first day of school; it happens every day of school. And it isn’t the result of something you do … it is the result of many things you do as a teacher.

22 Engagement occurs when learners:
Are convinced that they are capable of learning or doing what is being demonstrated Believe that learning has value, purpose and use for them Are free from anxiety Admire, like, respect, and trust the teacher and peers (Cambourne, 1988) Read slide. As an interventionist working with struggling students, it is important that your words and actions never undermine these principles of engagement. As we start a new school year, Mr. Smith, I just want you to know that I’m an abstract sequential learner, and conduct yourself accordingly.

23 Engagement Activities
Give handout Give One-Get One Partner Share Response/Signal Cards Scavenger Hunts Inside/Outside Circles Clickers Four Corners Learning Curve Fishbowl Human Histogram Tea Party/tailgate Discussion

24 Student Engagement… Student engagement is the continuous involvement of students in learning. It is a cyclical process, planned, and facilitated by the teacher, in which all students constantly move between periods of action and periods of reflection. Learning requires engagement in tasks that are structured and are sufficiently similar to allow for effective transfer of knowledge. (Marzano, 2004) Read slide. Activity in the classroom can be intimidating if not managed well. Let’s talk about how you can move students from one activity to another or from active to reflective learning without chaos.

25 Establish Order and Structure – Cooperatively!
“Students need fences to bump up against.” ~ John Leeds, Principal No more than 3-5 basic ground rules…even 2 Treat others the way you want to be treated Respect the learning of everyone Routines Agenda of day’s activities Situational routines Startup, transition, and close-down routines Rules and Routines Regardless of how well-behaved students may or may not be, they still benefit from rules and procedures. These should be established at the very beginning of the year and should be revisited several times throughout the year. Marzano recommends providing one or two rules for your students and then leave it to them to come up with specific behaviors, routines and processes to ensure that rules are followed. “Without effective rules and procedures, teaching, and consequently learning, is inhibited.” (Marzano) Advance slide to show 2 possible class rules. Situational routines are procedures you establish for certain situations, such as when you are moving from the classroom to the library, or when a guest speaker is visiting. Startup routines include the procedures that students follow at the beginning of class or an activity, transition routines are the procedure they follow when moving from learning center to learning center or while changing from group to whole-class activites, and close-down routines are the procedures that you follow at the end of class each day or the end of an activity.

26 Transition vs. Allocated Time
Allocated time: the time periods you intend for your students to be engaged in learning activities Transition time: time periods that exist between times allocated for learning activities Examples Getting students assembled and attentive Assigning daily focus and directing to begin Getting students’ attention away from group work and preparing for class discussion Read slide The Goal is to increase the variety and time spent in learning activities but decrease transition time. Student engagement and on-task behaviors are dependent on how smoothly and efficiently teachers move from one learning activity to another. Consider using cues such as music or established signals to help facilitate quick transitions within your class to maximize instructional time.

27 Rules and Routines Be respectful Make this a place of learning ?
Let’s establish our own rules and routines for ourselves as learners during the remainder of our time together. Two ground rules are provided. Now take a few minutes to brainstorm together to develop two or three rules or routines to ensure a successful week for everyone. Provide these two general rules and allow participants to add rules that will help make this session a more meaningful process for them.

28 Classroom Arrangement
Think through class procedures and learning activities and arrange the room in the best possible way. Make sure all students can see and hear clearly. Allow room and easy access for students with special needs, as well as proximity control. Read slide A variety of classroom arrangements facilitate active learning: circles, partner work, desks or tables, access to technology and supplies for all students. Remember to have procedures in place for quick room rearrangement when needed.

29 Set Students Up for Success:
Assessment of learning Is for students about themselves Involves student self-assessment Helps teachers diagnose and respond to student needs Helps parents support learning Assessment for learning Is for others about students Certifies student competence Helps teachers track mastery of standards Helps parents understand achievement status at a point in time Now let’s move on to our last learning target for this session: understanding how assessment can be active and engaging. Basically, students are assessed in 2 distinct ways: assessments that reflect learning has occurred, and assessments that promote learning. Share the Slide with Participants and ask them to think about examples from each category.

30 Assessment of Learning is Summative Assessment:
writing discussion goals Community of Learners engagement reading motivation Timeline Refer to Unit Planning Template for other examples of short and long-cycle summative assessments. interests strategies Mind Mapping

31 Assessment for Learning is Formative Assessment
Use think, pair, share, or inside/outside circles: What is an important environmental issue in today’s world? Use rubrics with students when assignments are made to help them understand targets and their progress toward them We will talk more about formative assessment and how it relates to the KCLM intervention model in a later session, but keep in mind that anytime you can involve students in the process of evaluation and feedback, their engagement with the learning increases. Refer to Unit Planning Template for other examples.

32 Sample Rubric This is a sample rubric you might use with an oral or multimedia presentation. Using rubrics that are shared with students when assignments are made can really help students get focused on the learning and/or performance targets. Discuss the rubric with participant.

33 Convincing Students that they can succeed is one important benefit of formative assessment Be sure to … Articulate the criteria for success clearly. Assure that the definition of success is clear to everyone. Students need to know when they are doing a good job and when they need to improve. Show students that the skills they need to succeed are within their reach; model these skills. Share slide with participants. Help students to understand that self-monitoring and self-correcting are valuable tools for achieving success.

34 Celebrate Success as Moving Forward
Be a guide on the side. Support the right moves and directions. Conference with students. Ask questions to lead them forward. Be an encourager. Tally the positives, not the negatives. Celebrate their strengths. Students need to be guided in the process of setting their own goals. Struggling students in particular need to be reminded that not every wish can be a goal. For instance, you may wish you could live and stay young forever, but since there's nothing you can do to make that happen, it could never be considered a goal.
In order for something to be a goal: It has to be important to you, personally, has to be within your power to make it happen through your own actions, has to be something you have a reasonable chance of achieving, and must be clearly defined and have a specific plan of action. Struggling students do not have these skills intrinsically. They need your help in defining success and working toward it. Read Slide and advance activities.

35 What are the characteristics of a COMMUNITY OF LEARNERS?
Looks Like Sounds Like Feels Like We’ve really looked carefully at what it means to build a community of learners. There’s a lot to think about! Now, let’s think back about what we’ve learned. Look back to your original chart like the one you see here; determine what you would like to add or change to guide you in the development of your own classroom community of learners. Share changes.

36 Reflective Journal I’ve come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or de-humanized –Haim Ginott Read the slide and make notes in your journal about what you have learned, whether you believe that you have hit the learning targets for this session, or any other ideas you’d like to remember, record, or discuss later in your mentor group. I can use strategies to build relationships within the classroom. I can identify and employ specific methods to establish a safe and productive classroom environment. I can explain how assessment can be active and engaging.

37 Resources Black, P., William, D. (1998). Assessment in education: Principles, policies, & practice, Assessment in Education. Vol. 5, Issue 1., pages Costello, C. (2008, Nov. 19). Building an engaging leaning community in your classroom. PowerPoint presented at The Quest for Increased Student Achievement Conference, Ontario, CA retrieved 4/14/10 at Goodlad, J. (1984). A place called school: Prospects for the future. New York: McGraw-Hill. Haberman, M. (1991). The pedagogy of poverty versus good teaching. The Phi Delta Kappan, Vol. 73, No. 4, pp Jensen, E. (1998). Teaching with the Brain in Mind. Virginia: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. Marzano, R.(2007) The Art and Science of Teaching: A Comprehensive Framework for Effective Instruction. Virginia: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. Pope, D. C. (2001). “Doing school”: How we are creating a generation of stressed out, materialistic, and miseducated students. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.


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