Tips for Teaching an Overcrowded Classroom

July 30, 2014

crowd

Courtsey of Rebecca Alber from the fabulous website edutopia.org:

Tip #1: Don’t Give up on Collaborative Grouping

Students need opportunities to check in with each other around their learning, ask questions, guide each other and reflect together. And this is even more crucial with a large class. If a tight classroom space won’t allow for quick triads or quad grouping, use “elbow partners” — two students in close proximity. Do this often. As we know, with large class sizes, quiet students tend to get even less airtime. With less one-on-one time with small groups and individual students, teachers need to keep that large number of kids talking and being listened to!

Tip #2: Accept that Things Take Longer

Know that a learning objective that maybe took 20 minutes with that smaller class in the past, might take twice as long with this larger group. You might also be lamenting over the days when you could whip around the room and spend a few quality moments with each student or group. Or when you could offer immediate and thorough support. Unfortunately, if you did that now with 35 in the room, you’d find yourself out of time before coming close to accomplishing the daily learning objective.

One remedy, especially when it comes to checking for understanding? Strategies like thumbs up/thumbs down, or having students hold 1 to 3 fingers on their chest to let you know how well they understand (3 is, “I’ve got it!) Other quicky formative assessments, such as sentence starters, can help beat that Time Thief in the room. You can also use exit slips to see if they “got it,” asking one strategic question about the day’s learning.

Tip #3: Find New Ways to Know Students

Unfortunately, the larger the class size, the more the relationships with students suffer. Consider creating surveys once or twice a week where students can answer questions on a likert scale and also ask questions of you. Invite students to write you a letter about their learning, their accomplishments, challenges, and interests.

You can also rotate your focus every few days to 5-6 different students. That way, no one will slip through the cracks. Often with large class sizes, the squeaky wheels, so to speak, are the one’s that receive much of the teacher’s time. Make sure you check in regularly with your “proficient” students, and continue to create differentiated assignments for those gifted kids in the room.

Tip #4: Be Okay with Loud and Letting Go

Start saying this mantra immediately, “just because it’s loud doesn’t mean they aren’t learning, just because it’s loud…” Somewhere along road, we began to attribute silence to deep thought and high-level learning. It’s more often just a sign of kids being compliant. So go ahead, take those 37 kids and put them in groups! Give them a challenging task and some supplies. Let it be loud! Roam from group to group and if your door suddenly swings open to visitors from the district… Let them get an eye full of engaged, enthusiastic learners!

As for the letting go, if you are still passing out papers, collecting supplies, stamping homework all on your own — stop. Assign students “jobs” immediately. By giving up these managerial tasks, you will have more time free to check in with a child who has been absent a lot, add a step to an assignment for that advanced student, crack a joke with the quiet, moody teen who avoids others, or pose a strategic inquiry question to the whole class.

 

Click on the link to read The Most Over-Crowded Classroom in the World (Photo)

Click on the link to read Meet the School Consisting of Only 1 Teacher and 1 Student

Click on the link to read Classroom Free Schools

Click on the link to read Teaching 150 Students in the One Classroom!

Click on the link to read What is the Perfect Class Size?

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The Teacher as Superhero

July 29, 2014

super

 

The Top 10 Teacher Super Powers courtesy of Annie Condron. Love the one about the bladder!

 

X-Ray Vision

Superman’s X-ray vision has nothing on you. You can see eyes roving onto their neighbor’s test, covert texts, uniform infractions or a dozing student from a mile away.

Super Educational Gadgets

Batman’s known for his gadgets, just like those techie teachers who rock the projectors, interactive whiteboards and all things e-learning to live up to 21st century expectations… and beyond.

Elasti-teacher

Physics can’t explain how you’ve stretched yourself to do everything a crazy classroom requires – from differentiating instruction for every student, finishing mountains of paperwork in a single bound, keeping in touch with parents, researching new teaching tools and techniques, attending innumerable meetings and much more.

Bladders of Steel

Lifting heaving objects might be impressive for some superheroes, but not nearly as impressive as holding it from 8-3 after your large morning coffee (because the caffeine fix isn’t an option).

The Firestarter

You light the spark of learning that is the most important tool for young students. Once you light the fire, you extend those super powers to your students as they learn and grow.

Power of Super Patience

Thought not as glamorous as invisibility or flying, the indestructible patience you show in class is more important and more challenging than lifting an 18-wheeling over your head.

Webs of Knowledge

Take notes, Spidey! Students can’t help but be caught up in the enticing web of knowledge you create with engaging lessons, fun projects and boundless enthusiasm.

The Hammer of Teacher

Keeping discipline and rogue classroom behavior in check is your super skill. Like Thor, you can’t be afraid to bring down the hammer when necessary.

Super Distraction Deflectors

While Wonder Woman used her magic gold bracelets to deflect attacks, you use your super wit and classroom command to deflect distractions and students trying to get you off topic.

The Powerful Protector

You’ve created a safe classroom environment that welcomes students, no matter what they experience outside your doors, to create a force field around them while they learn (and hopefully outside the classroom too).

 

Click on the link to read I Wish All Principals Could Be Like This

Click on the link to read The 6 Most Inspiring Teachers of 2013

Click on the link to read Brilliant Teacher Alert! (Video)

Click on the link to read Teachers are Better with a Sense of Humour (Photo)

When Teachers Prank Their Students (Video)

July 28, 2014

 

I just love it when teachers go to the trouble to make their students laugh. Laughter in the classroom, when it isn’t at someone’s expense, adds so much to the environment.

Take the above April Fools Day prank this teacher organised.

 

Click on the link to read 18 Tips For Getting the Best Out of Your Students

Click on the link to read Michael Michalko’s 7 Principles of Creative Thinking

Click on the link to read Why Many Teachers Don’t Bother Making Their Lessons Interesting

Click on the link to read Why is it Always the Kids’ Fault?

Click on the link to read Student Shot by Teacher Protests His Sacking

Click on the link to read Science Not For the Faint Hearted (Video)

Girl Gets taped and tied to tree and ‘sexually assaulted’: Where Were the Teachers?

July 27, 2014

vest

I am not privy to the reasons why no teacher spotted an incident which one would think is fairly easy to pick up, but even if there was a valid reason for not identifying it, one has to wonder about general standards in yard duty. I find it ironic that by law teachers have to wear a fluro vest to stand out among the students at recess. Perhaps the problem isn’t of students finding the teacher but vice versa.

I hope this awful story doesn’t just highlight the bullying problems our schools confront but also the importance of proper supervision during recess:

 

A STUDENT at a metropolitan high school was taped to a tree, bound with a garden hose and allegedly repeatedly sexually assaulted in an incident recorded and posted on social media.

The Year 9 girl was filmed, allegedly distressed and screaming, while a gang of eight boys humiliated her during a recess break, just metres from the western suburb school’s staffroom.

The incident, in which the boys allegedly rubbed their buttocks and genitalia against the girl, is now the subject of SA Police and Education Department investigations.

The gang, meanwhile, has continued to harass its victim as recently as this week.

Her mother, who declined to be named, said her daughter was a “confident, happy child” when she began her studies at the school in 2010.

In mid-2011, she “became withdrawn”, performed poorly in class and received “particularly nasty” messages on social media.

For three years, the mother sought help from teachers and counsellors with no change in her daughter’s “extreme stress, anxiety and depression”.

In April, the girl told a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service worker and her mother she was being bullied by a girl and a gang of eight boys, culminating in the recorded incident.

“(The girl) taped my daughter to a tree out the front of the school and staffroom where most students gathered at recess and lunch,” the mother said.

“My daughter noticed a gang of boys approaching … she began to ask (the girl) to let her free … as the boys drew closer they grabbed the hose and sprinkler.

“By this stage my daughter was screaming and begging (the girl) to untie her; however, the girl chose to laugh at her and do nothing.”

The woman said the gang of boys wrapped her daughter in the hose and, while filming her with mobile phones, “dropped their pants and rubbed” their buttocks and genitalia on her.

“She said she felt so humiliated and so frightened … everyone around her stood there and did nothing or were laughing in the distance,” she said.

The woman has spoken out about the incident for the first time after she was prompted to come forward by the historic first-ever prosecution of a teen under the state’s new “humiliating and degrading” filming laws.

The laws, introduced last year, carry a maximum one-year jail term for anyone who subjects another person to a degrading act, or one that would violate their privacy.

 

Click on the link to read Start Being Proactive When it Comes to Bullying
Click on the link to read The Real “Mean Girls”

Click on the link to read Anti-Bullying Song Goes Viral

Click on the link to read Some Schools Just Don’t Get it When it Comes to Bullying

Click on the link to read The Bystander Experiment (Video)

Unintentionally Funny Excuses Written by Parents

July 26, 2014

excuse

These are real excuses by parents courtesy of sarcasticsarcasms.blogspot.com.au:

 

1. My son is under a doctor’s care and should not take PE today. Please execute him.

 

2. Please exkuce lisa for being absent she was sick and I had her shot.

 

3. Dear school: please ecsc’s john being absent on jan . 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 and also 33.

 

4. Please excuse gloria from jim today. She is administrating.

 

5. Please excuse roland from p.e. For a few days. Yesterday he fell out of a tree and misplaced his hip..

 

6. John has been absent because he had two teeth taken out of his face.

 

7. Carlos was absent yesterday because he was playing football. He was hurt in the growing part.

 

8. Megan could not come to school today because she has been bothered by very close veins.

 

9. Chris will not be in school cus he has an acre in his side.

 

10. Please excuse ray Friday from school.. He has very loose vowels.

 

11. Please excuse Lesli from being absent yesterday. She had the sh*ts.

 

12. Please excuse tommy for being absent yesterday. He had diarrhea, and his boots leak.

 

13. Irving was absent yesterday because he missed his bust.

 

14. Please excuse jimmy for being. It was his father’s fault.

 

15. I kept Billie home because she had to go Christmas shopping because I don’t know what size she wear.

 

16. Please excuse Jennifer for missing school yesterday. We forgot to get the Sunday paper off the porch, and when we found it Monday. We thought it was Sunday.

 

17. Sally won’t be in school a week from Friday We have to attend her funeral.

 

18. My daughter was absent yesterday because she was tired. She spent a weekend with the marines.

 

19. Please excuse Jason for being absent yesterday. He had a cold and could not breed well.

 

20. Please excuse Mary for being absent yesterday. She was in bed with gramps.

 

21. Gloria was absent yesterday as she was having a gangover…

 

22. Please excuse Brenda . She has been sick and under the doctor.

 

23. Maryann was absent December 11-16, because she had a fever, sorethroat, headache and upset stomach. Her sister was also sick, fever an sore throat, her brother had a low grade fever and ached all over. I wasn’t the best either, sore throat and fever. There must be something going around, her father even got hot last night.

 

24. Toney could not make it in because me alarm clark didn’t go off because I was tired after partying all night.

 

25. Amy did not do her homework last night because we went out to a party and did not get home until late. If she is tired, please let her sleep during recess time.

 

26. Diane was late on Wednesday. She fell asleep on the bus and was taken back to the bus yard.

 

27. Please excuse my son from being absent yesterday, because there is a river in our house.

 

28. Henry stayed home because he had a stomach ache from eating too much frosting.

 

29. Ralph was absent yesterday because of a sour throat.

 

30. Please exscuse John from being absent. He was lost.

 

31. Cody was absent yesterday because we were out bowling until 2 AM.

 

32. It was my fault Mike did not do his math homework last night. His pencil broke and we do not have a pencil sharpener at home.

 

33. Please excuse Wayne for being out yesterday. He had the fuel.

 

34. Tommy wasn’t in school yesterday because he thought it was Saturday.

 

35. Please excuse Lupe. She is having problems with her ovals.

 

36. Scott didn’t practice last night because he lost his tooth in the mouthpiece of his trumpet.

 

37. Mike was absent yesterday because he had a sore trout.

 

38. Jerry was at his grandmother’s yesterday, and she did not bring him to school because Jerry couldn’t remember where the school was.

 

39. Please excuse my daughter’s absence. She had her periodicals.

 

40. Please excuse my son. He will be out next week slaughtering goats for his manhood ritual. Thank you!

 

41. Please excuse Burma, she has been sick and under the doctor.

 

42. George was absent yesterday because he had a stomach.

 

43. The basement of our house got flooded where the children sleep so they had to be vaporized.

 

44. Please forgive Clarence for being absent from school the past few days. He was home sick from an operation. He had penis trouble and had to be serpent-sized.

 

45. Please excuse little Jimmy from missing school yesterday. His father is gone and I could not get him ready because I was in bed with the Doctor.

 

46. Ronnie would not finish his work last night. He said his brain was too tired of spelling.

 

47. Please excuse Loren for being absent. She was in bed with minustruation cramps.

 

48. Eric hurt his knee in a karate tournament over the weekend. He won his age group, but was in too much pain to do his math assignment.

 

49. Please excuse Tommy for being absent. He was out with the swan flue.

 

50. Please let Jean leave the room if she asks. She has been sick with dire rear.

 

Click on the link to read More Proof that Schools Operate Like Prisons

Click on the link to read Truant Teachers

Click on the link to read How Do They Come Up With These Ideas?

I Love it When Children Think for Themselves

July 24, 2014

I love it how this 7-year-old doesn’t let his high principles get muddied just because he is a child talking to a persuasive adult:

 

 

Click on the link to read 10-Year-Old’s Marriage Advice to His Teacher

Click on the link to read The Science of Parenting

Click on the link to read Why the Call to Fine Parents for Not Reading to Their Children is Utter Stupidity

Click on the link to read Children are Precious!

Click on the link to read Is it Ever OK to Lie to Your Kids?

Click on the link to read 9 Characteristics of a Great Teacher According to Parents

Start Being Proactive When it Comes to Bullying

July 23, 2014

push

You can understand why parents gloss over their children’s bullying issues. Our generation, and the ones before, had to deal with bullying in the most unpleasant of ways. We were instructed not to tell on the bully, but rather to stand up for ourselves or ignore them. Parents need to have the message reinforced that we know better now, and therefore should take these instances more seriously.

But what excuse do teachers and school administrators have? Remember, these are the same schools that are happy to parade their glossy brochures with lines like, “we offer a safe environment in which your child can thrive.”

They have no choice but to take an active role in ensuring that bullying doesn’t go unnoticed.

But many don’t.

There is a misconception among the wider community that nowadays schools are extremely proactive when it comes to bullying. Some are (I know mine is), but most are unfortunately extremely reactive. You see, the biggest concern for schools is not that they have cases of bullying within their grounds, but that they could potentially be sued for it.

That is why the methodology for many schools concerning this issue is to have a anti-bullying policy in place. This policy usually contains a pretty standard set of procedures a school must undertake when a case of bullying has been presented to them. As long as they follow the steps – no lawsuit.

But just wait a minute, I hear you asking. What is the motivation for a school to uncover bullying that hasn’t been reported to them?

And this is where we get to the crux of the problem.

Parents are not confronting the school and neither are students. School employees are happy to play the “as long as I don’t know about it, it must not exist” game, and thus, bullying continues to be rampant. Even when teachers do notice a possible bullying incident, they often find ways to dismiss it as a natural conflict rather than a case of bullying.

So I am not in the least bit surprised when I read articles like this one?:

 

If the thought of your child being bullied at school breaks your heart, then consider this – you might not even notice.

Analysis of a study of more than 4000 children has found parents and teachers often do not realise children are being bullied.

For more than half of the children who said they had been bullied, their parents were either not aware or did not consider the actions were bullying, research from the Australian Institute of Family Studies shows.

And the vast majority of teachers – four out of five – did not report the child had been a victim of bullying, suggesting they need more training on how to respond.

One in three 10-year-olds said they had been bullied in Australian schools, the research found.

Being bullied at a young age was a sad precursor of things to come, with one in seven children persistently bullied or picked on throughout their entire school life.

“One of the obstacles to adults understanding is that parents and teachers dismiss teasing or name calling or put downs as normal or harmless,’’ researcher Jodie Lodge said.

“Bullying is not a normal behaviour, it’s not just part of growing up, it is a serious concern.”

When children do talk to their parents about it they need to be listened to, otherwise they start to doubt their own feelings and views, Dr Lodge said.

I suggest parents and teachers share this film with their kids. It is the best resource around at defining bullying, offering advice on how to deal with common incidents and suggest when students should handle issues on their own and when it is best to get the teacher involved.

Click on the link to read The Real “Mean Girls”

Click on the link to read Anti-Bullying Song Goes Viral

Click on the link to read Some Schools Just Don’t Get it When it Comes to Bullying

Click on the link to read The Bystander Experiment (Video)

Click on the link to read Tips for Managing Workplace Bullying

Click on the link to read 12,000 Students a Year Change Schools Due to Bullying

10-Year-Old’s Marriage Advice to His Teacher

July 22, 2014

Absolutely priceless:

 

advice

 

Click on the link to read The Science of Parenting

Click on the link to read Why the Call to Fine Parents for Not Reading to Their Children is Utter Stupidity

Click on the link to read Children are Precious!

Click on the link to read Is it Ever OK to Lie to Your Kids?

Click on the link to read 9 Characteristics of a Great Teacher According to Parents

Click on the link to read 9 Secrets for Raising Happy Children

Another Brutal Corporal Punishment Incident (Video)

July 21, 2014

 

As if torturing these kids weren’t enough, the fact that they were blind children makes it seem even more inhumane and brutal. Those involved should be jailed for a very long time:

In a shocking incident from the town of Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh, a video has surfaced showing some visually-impaired children being beaten by their school principal and another unknown person. The children can be seen and heard screaming, begging to be spared in the video.

While the children plead, the teacher is seen caning them mercilessly.

A case has been registered and both the accused have been taken into custody. The state’s Child Rights Commission has said that it will separately investigate the case.

 

 

Click on the link to read If My School Approved of Corporal Punishment I Would Resign Instantly

Click on the link to read A Message to Those that Advocate Corporal Punishment

Click on the link to read YouTube Clip of High School Student Getting Slapped by Teacher

Click on the link to read 19 US States Still Allow Corporal Punishment in their Classrooms

Click on the link to read The Disgusting Act by a Teacher that Drove a Schoolgirl to Attempt Suicide

Click on the link to read Legalised Corporal Punishment = Legalised Physical Assault

The Science of Parenting

July 19, 2014

Courtesy of

 

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