Your students need a model for improving their work; with timely and specific feedback, it will be easier for them to work to improve in certain areas. Student feedback identifies particular areas of student performance and provides insight into their strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, feedback should be a natural component of most assessment methods you provide in your classroom. This article will give you a brief set of steps to help you build timely and targeted student feedback.
In your classroom, you likely have identified specific problems impacting student behavior or performance that needs to be solved in a certain way. You might be utilizing a specific instructional method, assessment, classroom management strategy, or something else as part of your classroom routine to help address the issues you see. Or, you may begin utilizing something new in your classroom that can help make positive changes in your students. But, does it work? Is the selected approach the most effective for your students?
Icebreakers are activities that help students connect with one another in a new setting. It can help set the tone for a year of fun collaboration and allows students who may not have made many new connections to begin to feel comfortable with their classmates. In addition, combining movement with dialogue can help students mentally “branch out” to make new friendships within the classroom.
Cooperative Writing is a paired activity where two students complete a writing task together. Cooperative Writing can be an excellent support strategy for struggling students, students with special needs, or English Language Learners (ELLs), because it can be an opportunity for stronger writers to help their peers who might struggle with writing. For example, ELLs can learn new vocabulary from native English speakers and improve their speaking skills as they communicate together about the given topic. Or, advanced students can coach each other on ideas for providing additional detail within their sentences. Students can share ideas and collaborate verbally on the writing before drafting, which takes some pressure off the more struggling writer. It can also help to build the confidence of both students, encourage the growth of social skills, and help to improve the sense of classroom community. It's a simple, fun activity for students that maintain engagement throughout your lesson.
Classroom management involves strong routines and procedures, setting clear expectations within the classroom, assigning appropriate behavior-aligned consequences, and methods for motivating students to meet expectations. When the teacher rewards behaviors, that is extrinsic motivation. A student who experiences extrinsic motivation will follow instructions, complete a task, or meet other requirements to receive a specific reward. On the other hand, intrinsic motivation occurs when a student has an internal desire to complete a task to receive some internal reward- like satisfaction, pleasure, or happiness. Teachers must juggle a tricky balance of providing some extrinsic motivators to teach students basic and simple behavioral expectations or tasks but must also create a learning environment that heavily favors intrinsic motivation to develop children into individuals that will work hard and persevere based solely on internal rewards.
In a classroom context, positive affirmations are phrases and acknowledgments of positive aspects of a child’s personality, effort, behavior, or other characteristics. When affirmations are present in your classroom daily, it helps to set a positive tone within your classroom environment and enriches children’s perceptions of themselves. You may be most familiar with positive affirmations as a way for students to acknowledge aspects of themselves and use them as a mantra to help them continue to behave in a certain way. For example: “I am kind. I am smart. I am a hard worker. I am a helper. I am a leader.” Recited often, individuals may begin to have a healthier outlook on life, their character, and what they are capable of. The point of positive affirmations is to acknowledge yourself and others from a place of positivity and not criticism. This helps create motivated and happy children who value themselves, their work, and their peers.
The Pyramid Analysis: An Effective Grouping Strategy to Promote Engagement and Dialogue Among Your Students
Grouping your students in the classroom can be an excellent way to help promote dialogue and critical thinking within your classroom activities. While there is a place for independent work, direct instruction, and other models in your classroom, student grouping can also be incorporated to build more powerful lessons. With busy classroom schedules and arduous lesson planning, sometimes planning methods for grouping students can be placed on the back burner, resulting in the teacher repeatedly falling back on the same grouping methods. Adding a unique grouping structure occasionally to your classroom, when designed with a purpose to align with and enhance your lesson, can not only add some excitement but can help launch creativity within your students. This article will address a grouping type called the Pyramid Analysis, also known as a Pyramid Discussion. This article uses the term Pyramid Analysis to reinforce the notion that this grouping strategy works well at the analysis level or higher for activities that can enhance critical thinking.
Social and emotional learning (SEL) is defined by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning as the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. That definition can seem overwhelming to educators when they are told to include SEL in their curriculum. Read on to find out three simple strategies you can incorporate into your daily classroom routines that encourage the social-emotional growth of all your students.
Are current events forcing you to move your regular classroom teaching online? Do you struggle to stay connected with your students without seeing them face-to-face each day? Read this article to learn key strategies you can implement right away to bring a sense of community to your online class.
When you want your students to engage in lively discussion, choosing the right format makes all the difference. Use Round Table Circles, a powerful tool that will keep your students engaged.