Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Week 8 - Classroom Routines

Students feel safe and secure when there is a set of classroom routines. Please reflect upon what classroom routines your cooperating teacher uses in the classroom.


What are the established procedures in the classroom such as attendance, beginning class, ending class, clean up, etc? What is the physical arrangement of the classroom, tables, desks, positioning, etc? How does the teacher transition the students from one activity to another? Reflect upon the classroom routines - Are the routines providing a positive, safe, and secure plan to ensure student learning? do you agree with the routines that the techer uses? Why or why not?

50 comments:

  1. My teacher always puts what is going on in the classroom up on the dry erase board up in front so the students can mentally prepare themselves for what they are about to do. My teacher is a little bit all over the place haha, and she said to me "When you become a teacher, you will learn to just go with it" hahaha. I absolutely love my teacher's personality but I don't know how much she really works on providing a general routine for the students to rely on. Her classes seem spontaneous, and that's okay sometimes. Days shouldn't be monotonous. But I think I might feel a little frustrated in her class if I was her student because she is a little unorganized.

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  2. I am observing PE and my teacher has a dry erase board at the front of the locker room and everyday she puts the daily procedures on there. She includes the warm up, the rules of the game, the basic fundamentals and writes the dress code policy. Attendance is done when they enter the locker room before they change, they must come to the teachers desk in her office located inside the locker room, and say their last name even if she knows them. I agree with what the teacher does, if she is asked over and over what they are doing in class she can respond by simply saying, "Read the board." Then she can always give one reminder of the dress code incase she needs to confront a student she can say your warning was on the board. Then with attendance I like the way she does it because she is reassuring the students that they were not counted absent. The teacher told me she deals with all 'issues and concerns' when they give her their name. I really like the way she has all of this set up, I think it is a very smart way of doing it.

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  3. I am observing a high school religion teacher and the classes I am watching her teach are for upper classmen. They are death and dying and life choices. At the beginning of each class, she prays to get everyone in the mood of the class, but at the end of each prayer, she prays for a specific thing based on the class. For death and dying, she ends prayer by praying for the next person in the room who will die, and in Life Choices, she prays for the men who will one day be these girls' husbands. It is a little thing, but it makes a big difference. It shows that she really cares for the girls.

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  4. Jessica and Dana,

    It seems to be a common thing to use the board and to write the agenda on it for all the students to see. I agree that this is an effective thing because then the students and the teacher are on the same page; the students know what to expect in class. This is a good way to make the students feel comfortable and ready to work!

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  5. Katie,
    Haha, whoa! That sounds like a pretty cool/interesting class to observe. I think I personally am a little creeped out about the prayer for whoever will die next in the class, but in general it sounds like a pretty cool class. I definitely agree that preparing students for what is gonna happen during class is helpful for all kinds of students.

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  6. The teacher I have observed started the day with a note to the students like "Happy Friday sit down and get started we have a lot to do today." They always have morning work for 20 minutes and then go to the carpet for calendar, weather, attendance, and they have time to talk about anything they want to talk about and then they go back to their seats for the first lesson, which is usually reading. The carpet time seems to be a little boring at this point for the students because they always do the same thing. They even sing the same songs everyday. She does a good job keeping their attention though and is always quick to thank the students who raise their hands instead of just shouting out things.

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  7. In response to Dana,
    I agree class should not be monotonous, I have seen some teachers who are also not very well organized and the classroom is a disaster.

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  8. The teacher that I observed had a routine everyday for the students. I was extremely surprised to see how organzied the routine was for the preschool class. The first half of the day for the students was mostly learning. They had three tables in the classroom and during the first half of the day these tables were called "centers." The kids would go to the three different tables and learn different things. For example, one day they learned about vegetables. One table was set up for tasting the vegetables, the second table was set up for painting with the vegetables, and the third table had pictures of the vegetables so the kids could spell and write the vegetables out on a piece of paper. The second half of the day was nap time and mostly arts and crafts time. Each halves of the day was extremly organized, and the teachers always had a plan of what they were going to do.

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  9. In response to Lisa,

    I think it's great that your teacher informs the students on how important it is for them to sit down and get started on their school work. Also, I think it's good that the teacher enforces always using "please and thank you's." If the teacher leads by example as your teacher does then the students are sure to pick up on it.

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  10. I am observing in a fifth grade class and the time that I can usually go is during math, science, and reading. I have noticed that the teacher encorporates group work into almost all of her lessons. The students pretty much know that after she is done teaching they will work together on different projects. She seperates the class into groups during reading class also and each group is doing a different activity. The groups switch daily to mix it up. She sets up the desks into groups also so it makes it easy to participate in the group work... I think group work is a very good way to help students learn and get involved, but sometimes I do think individual work is necessary also.

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  11. Dana,

    My observing teacher tells me all the time to "just go with the flow" also and be ready for any changes that occur throughout a day. After observing awhile I can see what she means, but I also agree with you that a day shouldnt be monotonous and changes are sometimes good for the students to get a short break.

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  12. I am going to comment about one of my teachers at Lindenwood. The class is set up so that all the esks face the front of the room where the teacher gives lectures. He always starts class by taking roll, he calls out our name and we just have to raise our hand. As the year goes on it helps to take role becuase it's easier for a teacher to put a name to a face. Then we go over what we discussed last class, and he asks if we have any questions. Then he goes on to explain new things. It's nice having the same routine from day to day, because you know what the teacher expects from class to class.

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  13. @ Sarah
    I totally agree with you about group work, i think it is very important for students not only to help each other with the work, but also the social part of it as well. Especially when they are younger. It's important to teach them to not only work with them but to come to conclusions together and get along while doing it.

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  14. Bonnie "Katy" DavisMarch 21, 2010 at 7:10 PM

    I'm going to write about one of my Professors here at Lindenwood. At the beginning of the semester, the professor asked everyone to pick a desk to keep for the rest of the semester in order to learn our names better. When class starts, he greats the class, and briefly goes over what he'll be lecturing on during the class. He's gotten most of our names learned now, and for the most part, the class is extremely interesting.

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  15. Bonnie "Katy" DavisMarch 21, 2010 at 7:39 PM

    In response to Katie,

    I think it's awesome that the teacher your observing for prays before each class. It's awesome that she shows her girls that cares for them by praying for their future husbands.

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  16. The teacher I am observing always has what to do when they get in the classroom in the morning like usually it says we are working on this subject and get out your book and pen and get out your lunch cards if you are buying your lunch. Another thing she does to get the classes attention if they are getting out fo control is to start counting down from 5 and put her hand up and when they all are listening she begins the day. Also, another thing she does is she lets the children line up by tables but only if they are quiet. These techniques becasue this shows the children they need to pay attention and they need to be alert and will be rewarded sort of if they are doing what they are told to do.

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  17. In the class that I'm observing, the teacher set several routines such as the good afternoon song that gives to the children a good way to start the class. There is also a cleaning song at the end of each activity where kids have to clean the toys or the tools that they used during the activity and they start when the teacher start the song. There is also other types of routines such as the one where kids have to take a book in silence when they re done with their snacks until everybody finish his snack.
    the teacher often change from an activity to another by asking to the kids to line up or sit down on the carpet in front of the chalkboard.
    The routines also give rules to children, for example when they go outside, they have to line up and there is (each day) a different child at the beginning of the line and the others have to go behing him. I think that routines can be good for children because they learn what they can do and what they can't do. however a good teacher has to be always free in his or her way to teacher because children will start to be bored if the teacher do always the same things.

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  18. In response to Melanie:
    I think that it would be awesome to have a teacher that has the exact same routine every class. Its a little harder to do that for elementary or secondary maybe to do but college I think that would be amazing if one of my teachers did that becasue then you always no what to expect and its nice that he asks if there are any questions about last class. It makes things very simple to understand and get

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  19. I still haven't started observing, so instead, I'll reference a professor I currently have.
    For attendance, my professor calls names. He does this at the beginning of class, and also writes on the bored what we will be doing that day.
    To end class, he summarizes what we learned that day and reminds us of any homework we have due or tests/quizzes coming up.
    The physical arrangement of the desks is typical of a classroom- 5 or so to a row, and 8 or so across.
    The teacher transitions students from one activity to another by wrapping up what they were just explaining and then making a statement such as, "Now we'll move on to..."
    Yes, the routines provide a positive, safe and secure plan to ensure student learning. The professor is very kind and encouraging, and makes it known that if we need extra help, he and tutors would be more than happy to help.
    Yes, I agree with the routines that the teacher uses because I like knowing what is planned for the class. I like being prepared and not surprised; I feel much more confident this way. I think the professor's daily routines are comforting and organized.

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  20. In response to Michelle Spencer...

    I think the "counting down from five" technique is an effective one. I think children respond well to that.
    I also think choosing the quietest tables to go first is effective. I've seen teachers in school do it and even counselors at camp.
    I hope you're enjoying your observation!

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  21. I have not yet observed yet. I would like to share what one of my teachers did was wrote on the board everything you did for that day. I think that really motivates you throughout the day. You know when you are going to end. Therefore in my personal opinion I tried harder to get everything done so I could sit back and relax.

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  22. @ Dana Porter
    I just typed what my teacher did and she does the same as the teacher you are observing. I do believe that it helps to write on the board to have everyone mentally prepared and able to get down to busy!

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  23. I am doing my observations over spring break, so I have yet to observe. I have however been involved in many internships, that range from pre K-12th. One of the biggest things is giving students their own space. Kids need to know where their belongings can and should be. They need a part of the room that belongs to them. Posting of rules is also a good idea. I've observed mostly vague rules posted, so that they include a wide-range. I also have noticed teachers writing the daily schedule on the board. When I was a student this was a great way to keep me focused. If for instance I did not like math, and I saw reading next, I would keep pushing through math just because I knew I would enjoy what's next. Kids need routine.

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  24. @ Kayla Eddy....
    I completely agree! I will write my schedule on the board when I have a classroom. This will help both me (with time planning) and the students.

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  25. The teacher I am observing has good rules..I like that he isnt to strict with the students. They get their work done but he never yells at them.. All he has to do is give them that "teacher look" when they are doing something they shouldnt be. If they keep doing these things over and over again he takes a little time off of their recess but he gives them a chance to earn it back. I think this is really nice, a little over lieneant but I can see myself doing the same thing.

    He has the same schedule pretty much everyday. He sticks with the schedule pretty well but sometimes he is bad about his timing. He will tell the students they have 10 more minutes to finish something but then he gets kind of distracted and doesnt start until 20 minutes later..At the end of the day he has the students write in their journals or planners what they did that day so they dont forget something and so the parents can see what is going on. This is a good way to keep some confusion down between parents and teachers.

    His classroom set up is pretty much like most other teachers. He does have his own little system with the students though. He calls it their own "islands." How it works: there are four groups of tables in the classroom but if a particular student is haveing a bad day and keeps getting himself or others into trouble he moves that student to their own island. where they have to sit by themselves and earn back the right to sit in a group again. This keeps the student focused on the lessons for that day. When the student earns their privileges back they get to choose what table they want to join.

    I like this because the students get to move around and create their own groups with other people in the classroom.

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  26. In response to Michelle Spencer..
    How do you think seeing these techniques will help you in your classroom? or will you even use them?

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  27. As far as attendance my teacher has a student take attendance for the class while she starts telling everyone what the plan for the hour is. There really isn't much clean up, to end the class she will stop a few minutes before the class is over and say how the rehearsal went and what they improved on in the class. The student stand on risers the whole period. I feel that she does a great job and all routines are safe and help the students to learn best. Standing the whole hour keeps them awake and more engaged than sitting. It also help you to breathe properly.

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  28. I still have yet to observe at a school, but one routine that my choir director uses is that she has the older students and more experienced students take attendance and warm everybody up for singing. We also break off into sections and a student will run individual parts to help the group as a whole. I like this because this makes us feel more like a community of students who all help each other. At the end, we all come back and she will help the group as a whole and fix things that the student missed.

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  29. re: Kayla Eddy

    Writing the schedule on the board is great because everyone knows what the plan is... and if you lose track... it's easy to get back on track.

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  30. In response to Danielle Files:

    I really respect a teacher who doesn't have to yell at their students. I know exactly what you're talking about when you say "teacher look"... I'm terrified of that look myself! I hope that when I start the practicum my teacher will be just as respected by his students as yours.

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  31. When the students get to class my teacher has them get out their art projects for the week before. He tells the kids when there 15 mins left in class to give them a heads up.

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  32. In response to Kayla Eddy,

    I agree if you put the objectives on the board it gives the students something to look forward to.

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  33. My host teacher begins class with a “problem of the day” written on the board that the students are expected to work on while she takes attendance and everyone gets settled. She allows two minutes for this activity. If after that time the students aren’t done and settled down, she turns the lights off to get the student’s attention.
    The class is set up into 4 pods of 6-7 desks each. The front of the class has white boards and a magnetic timer is hung on the board. The timer is a critical component of the classroom routine. The teacher asks many higher order thinking questions and often presents the question and says, “You have 30 seconds to talk with your pod.” The teacher sets the timer and then she proceeds with discussion and further questioning. She does this at least ten times every class period.
    For noise control, she has a noise level numbering system from 0 to 3 where 0 is no talking and 3 is freely talking. If students are disruptive, out of their seats, talking, etc. she simply walks by and places a post-it note on their desk. If they receive three post-it notes then they go to the principal’s office. I have not seen anyone get to three post-it notes.
    At the end of class, students are expected to have put all calculators, rulers, pencils, etc. back in the appropriate bins. If all of the items aren’t where they belong and accounted for, then the students are not allowed to leave class.
    I like the procedures the teacher has in place and feel they work well. The students seem responsive, they seem fair and reasonable, and they are clearly explained and understood.

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  34. I have not observed yet either, but a routine that I remember for my math classes were once the class started we would go over any questions on the homework that we might have had. After we went over the homework, we then would take notes over the next lessons. Then we would work out some practice problems to see if we understood it enough to do the homework. After all that we would get the homework assignment and class would pretty much be over.

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  35. @ Dana Porter...
    I have a professor that is like that now and it's quite a shame. The professor is brilliant and has lots of information to share, but is often side-tracked and off-task so we lose much of the value that she has to share. Knowing that student's are missing out, I wonder how this can be addressed with the teacher in a constructive manner (I realize it isn't our place to address it with teachers we are observing).

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  36. In response to Michelle Spencer,

    I think that is a great way to keep control over the class and not seem too strict.

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  37. The routine is very present in the music classroom. I'm observing a high school band classroom and everyday he begins with tuning and warm-up exercises. Then he has the songs that they will be rehearsing for the day on the board. He always expects his students to be in their seats with instruments in hand ready to play everyday. Its pretty straight forward in the band classroom and I really enjoy where I am observing.

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  38. I haven't started my observations yet, so I'll be talking about one of my professors. We start the class going over the homework the night before and asking if we understood everything. Then we discuss what we did the day before and then move onto the new topics. I like it because I always know that if I have a problem with the homework it'll will be explained.

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  39. re Rochoux Melissa

    I love how your teacher sings songs to get her kids motivated for things! When I help do preschool in my high school that was always huge thing that kids loved and it really got them into what we were doing.

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  40. Rochoux Melissa

    I love how your teacher sings songs to get her class motivated! I helped out with a preschool and I know how much little kids love to sing.

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  41. I have not started my practicum yet but last school year ( my senior year of high school)I tutored 5th graders. Every time I came in they would be transitioning from the subject of that time period to silent reading. My job was to help a particular student in reading. All the students knew to get their book out and go to their favorite spot of the room and read. Some days they would be in charge of the recycling in the whole building. each student knew exactly where to go and they helped each other so well. They have a line leader and a student that is in charge of locking the door. It automatic, the students know exactly what to do when its time to go to "special" there elective class. The boys line up in one line and the girls line up in one line. They know they cannot go anywhere until they are quiet. Also if they need a pass to go somewhere the teacher will not let them go unless it is filled out right, the time, place, etc. They were pretty well “trained” lol

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  42. @ Sarah...I never saw my fifth graders do any group work but maybe its because I came at the end of the day. They all worked well with eaach other and got along well... I know that when they can split up during free time they have their little cliques...its so funny.

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  43. I will comment on one of my own elementary school teachers. She would begin everyday with a "mini math" which was a tiny sheet of paper she handed us right when we arrived to class. This was in 3rd grade! This allowed us to instantly become focused and ready for the day. Since each of us came at different times in the morning, some were working on it already when others came in so the classroom was quiet and guided.

    Another experience I had was that same teacher would put sentences on the overhead that had very poor grammar- she would shine it on the white board. We would come up one at a time and use a red marker to correct the mistakes. This was right after lunch and everyone thought it was SO cool we could write on the board!

    I enjoyed these small activities and honestly I don't remember my teacher being involved that much at times; and that's a good thing. I remember learning on my own in a way, not relying on the teacher but learning my own way so I would remember it forever.

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  44. In response to Kayla Eddy,

    I agree that teachers should write everything out for their students to see for the day. I am a visual person and i love lists, so this personally would be a great trait for a teacher of mine to have. I know that as a teacher I will be that way too!

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  45. Students do like a routine, and when those routines are changed the students can sometimes have trouble adjusting. With the teacher I am observing he keeps a routine with time, his students are expected to be on time and the time expected his very routine for the students and none of them have trouble beening on time. He also expects 100 percent from his students and everyone of them are trying to give 110, and the teacher is never let down.
    I beleive that the routines that every teacher places on their students are there for a reason to make sure everything goes according to plan.

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  46. In response to Kayla Eddy,

    I think that its very good to have visuals for your students because it helps keep the classroom flowing but I think that if you do it all the time your students will depend on you to show them every step, sometimes I beleive that students should be given some help but also given the chance to figure situations out on their own.

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  47. In Response to Steven Parks, I also agree that it is good to have visuals and that the students could become dependent on it as well and could become a crutch for them.

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  48. @ Danielle

    My teacher is very similar to yours. she is very good about keeping the class in line and making sure that the class knows what is going on for the day, also she never yells or needs to yell at the class because I feel they respect her. My teacher is also kind of bad about the timing thing too

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  49. In my classroom the students are always there on time. I never saw that a student were to come in late, they were just absent for that day. All students must be in there seats and quiet directly after the bell rings. If not my teacher will write the students names on the board. The teacher may transistion into other activities by making the students put away their current work to start on the next project. The desks are arranged in rows and columns just as most normal classrooms would be. In my opinion I feel that desks should be moved around at times or grouped to help with student interaction. At the end of the day before the bell rings all trash must be picked up and the chairs must be stacked on top of the desks. I beleive that the routines used by my teacher do help effective learning and I do agree with what she does at moments.

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  50. In response to Steven Parks

    I think it is a good idea to keep certain routines for a certain amount of time. This way the students get used to a certain schedule and understanding. I like that your teacher will switch it as well though so then the students are not always doing the same thing and they don't get bored to easily.

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