This is a professional development blog. We'll be discussing books we read as a group. Our discussions will be focused on gifted children.
On pg. 79 under the notes to the teacher, I liked the inventory to analyze the classroom setting. I would like to apply this to my own classroom this year. This would help not just my gifted students, but all of my students. After I go through these questions & answer them, I can see areas I need to change for the year. Classroom management is all about consistency, so the more consistent I am the more successful my students can be!I also like the notes to the teacher during a crisis on pg. 96. Speaking in a calm voice to me is the hardest because you immediately want to regain control of the situation and usually my voice is raised.
I like Jeanette Choy's about the classroom inventory. It's very useful and I see myself in the same boat with Jeanette regarding raising my tone to get control of the situation. I think this tip sheet can provide a very resourceful reflection of your teaching and help you to reflect and change the setting of your class. Thanks for sharing Ms. Choy.
In response to jchoyJuly 1, 2014 at 10:54 AM, i agree completely about remembering to speak in a calm voice. This is also something i struggle with...I have found that if i remember to speak calmly, it helps to diffuse the situation but of course my gut instinct is to raise my voice which does not help
In response to J Choy, July 1st, There is always room for change and I am excited to start with this classroom inventory! It may take a few reminders on my part to make sure I am following my new set of expectations, rules and consequences. Overtime it will come naturally.
I agree with all of you about using a calm voice in crisis situations. It is amazing the effect using a very quiet calm voice can have on a student in crisis. Not only does the calm voice help the student it also helps calm everyone involved in the situation.
In response to Jeanette Choy, I have to agree- nothing feels calm in any classroom. It's really hard not to raise one's voice, if not as a method to regain control, as a countermeasure. However, I have tried to remember this with my own children: speaking calmly often diffuses tension and can help the kid to acknowledge that you aren't out to get them- you just need them to listen.
I like the strategy that the author provides starting on page 73 about how to maintain a well-run classroom is classroom meetings. Looking back, I did not have many of these kinds of meetings. I was pressed for time but mainly because it didn't seem to me that I needed to nurture their social skills in the classroom, that I believed it was authomatic. However, I realize now that it is not. I thin starting this new year, I'd like to promote an more positive social skills in my classroom. I like the the Tip Sheet suggestions on when to hold a classroom meeting found on page 73-74. I will definitely remember to " allow for participation and creative problem solving," rather that me being the only one to solicit the ideas and getting student feed backs.
In response to Sarah Chu, July 1st, I never thought about holding a classroom meeting (a little more official). This way you don't stray away from the subject at hand. You are more direct and assertive when you stick to the topic from the agenda and have the students take ownership by contributing.
In response to Sarah Chu (July 1,2014) I think classroom meetings would be a great forum to solve issues effecting the entire class such as talking during instruction or problems in the cafeteria or recess. I think students will definitely change their behavior if they are part of the process for creating the solution.They are taking ownership.
In response to Sarah Chu: I run classroom meetings regularly, and they help tremendously with teachable moments. I would, however, be curious to focus more on the stubborn aspect of gifted children as I push them toward not hooking other children into their drama.
I will use the classroom inventory on page 80. This got me thinking about how i set up the discipline in my room. A lot of times I feel like I am just reviewing the rules and expectations that my g/t students have heard in other classrooms and i think i sound like a broken record so I sometimes feel like I tend to just "jump over" the rules and consequences. By using page 80, i feel like all students would know what is expected in my science classroom...I also think it would help me to not sound like a broken record repeating what they have already heard most of the day in every other classroom..I am looking forward to trying this..
I too, love the classroom Inventory on page 68 because these are changes that can be made quickly with better results. It is a reflection on my own classroom as well as my parenting skills. If I can do all these things in a positive and meaningful way with my GT students and all other students my classroom will be somewhere that kids feel safe and know what to expect. I find on page 68 one of the most important inventory question is "Do you try to connect with the students on a regular basis? I think "regular" is key.
Hurray 4 u Ms. Tatro. We cannot forget about the importance of connecting with our students. If our students do not feel a real, genuine connection to their teacher, meaningful learning cannot take place.
Amen in response to C Tatro and Judy B-song! I pride myself on connecting with my class on a regular basis, but I have a new understanding of emotional connection since reading this text. I connect with my students, but it will be in a different and different way next year. I also will connect with my GT parents so we, together, will connect more deeply.
I commented on the classroom inventory in the last question. But I do like what C Tatro found about connecting with students on a regular basis. All students, and therefore teachers, can benefit emotionally and academically when time is spent building relationships.
O.K., I am going to have to be a copycat and say I will be using the classroom inventories to support classroom teachers. I look forward to using the different types of inventories for different teachers. As we all know, teachers have different management styles. I like thar there are a variety of classroom inventories to use, (I really like the inventory on pg.80) Teachers come with a variety of concerns with student behaviors, It will be great to pull out this book and find an inventory that fits the teacher's needs for her classroom,
Something that I would apply to my class is the Tip Sheet 2: Overcoming Communication Difficulties between Teachers and Parents on page 81. People have told me that I have a gift when working with difficult parents. I have to say it was all of my training I received working in the 5 Star hotel and hospitality business prior to becoming a teacher. I love finding new ways to reach parents.I think the check list is something mentally I can remember with opening up lines of communication with parents.
I agree that Tip Sheet 2 is great. This is another piece of advice that is not isolated to GT kids and parents. It is just a resource of things to consider and prepare with when dealing with any parent. We all have a vested interest in the student.
I agree that is a great resource to consider when interacting with parents.
A Mitch, I smiled when I read that working in a 5 Star hotel prepared you for difficult parents. Oh my, I bet it did prepare you- so funny! Our job is like that. As far as what I will be trying from this section, I will be doing things both at home and school. At home, I like the family meeting where expectations for behavior and consequences are spelled out. I love teaching kids that it is okay to say I need a breather, when they feel an outburst coming on. The first part of Chapter 7 (remember I have a Kindle, which I will never again use in a book study b.c I have no idea of the page numbers!!) deals with escalation cycles. I want to do a better job of helping kids figure out how they respond to stress and how they can develop the vocabulary to move forward. Phrases like, "not right now" and "I need a breather" could probably really help my family life at home with a GT student, as well as in the classroom.
Thank you! Customer service on so many levels!
Helen Roberts...I too am going to use the Classroom Inventory (Worksheet 4) as my guide when I begin the new school year. I teach Kindergarten and sometimes I feel sorry for my students because they leave being able to touch and use everything in the Pre-K classroom and then they come in to Kindergarten and they must wait, listen and learn ALL THE RULES of kindergarten. Last year I had a student that really helped me to realize how badly I was beating the dead horse with going over the rules. I noticed the kiddo looking down and holding his head and when I asked him if he was alright he simply replied, "When are you going to stop talking? You haven't stop talking all day!" I was shocked of course that a kindergarten kid would say such a thing but he was totally right....I had been preaching the rules nonstop for 2 days and he was sick of them and I bet the rest of my kids were too. The truth be known they probably all stopped listening the day before. So this year my plan is going to be different! I am excited to use this classroom inventory...I think my students will be thankful as well!
I really like the Classroom Inventory sheet. It fits right in with establishing a healthy, safe, school environment at the beginning of the year and the worksheet is something that can be revisited regularly during class meetings. It not only keeps the children "in check", but the teacher as well. As a teacher, I need to work on the Stable Reactions From The Teacher section. I need to make sure that I am fair and consistent with my responses. That will be a goal of mine this year, most definitely.
Agreed, I will be using it at the beginning of the school year as well. So much of the students' behavior depends on the consistency and emotionally "even" responses we give as teachers.
The Classroom Inventory sheet will be a HUGE help at the beginning of the school year - we can totally use this and then go back and change and or add to. This will help with classroom mngt.
I LOVE the Worksheet 4: Classroom Inventory - I plan to use this in the upcoming school year. I think this will help guide my thinking about classroom behavior for the 2014-2015 school year and beyond. I do feel that I preach the "rules" at the beginning for the year and I'm sure as Mrs. Rincon stated, my first graders have tuned me out by the end of Day 1 on the rules. This will be a different start to the school year!
I agree with Helen Brasher! The rules sometimes get tuned out after the first few weeks. It is a nice reminder.
I like Tip Sheet 3: Developing an Emotional Language (p. 75), and I plan to use it in my classroom next year. I like the idea of developing a common emotional language such as using the word "spinning" when things are getting out of control. (p. 74) Giving kids an understanding of their emotional status is something I am willing to try in hopes to avoid any explosive moments in the classroom.
In response to D. Machen, I agree that the emotional language development is something I'd like to try also. Let's get together in August and discuss some ideas.
For this question I want to refer back to my last answer- I think we need to first of all, not feel guilty if a child has a breakdown and then remember to disengage and then be there to support the child.
I like page 80 the classroom inventory. I think I will put this in the front of my class binder so that I see it every day as a reminder that clear expectation etc. should be reinforced all year not just in the first few weeks!
I like the classroom inventory as well. I was thinking of posting it and referring to it when needed. However, I do like the idea of including it in the front of the student's notebooks. I may even have them write it in as a way of taking more ownership of the plan.
I like the technique that Fonseca describes on page 77-78 for the student with extremes in the psychomotor domain. She describes how developing "a word used to cue the child when he is talking too much can be highly effective in teaching the child to monitor that aspect of his personality." I could see using this individually if necessary but I could also see using this across the board in my "rowdier" classes. It might take the edge off the usual discipline language and even induce a laugh from the high school kids which might be enough to positively redirect.
I completely agree with having a word cue for these students. It would be less distracting, and it could be done quickly. I'm actually wondering if it would work for my own 4yo.
I agree with the "word" cue will be extremely effective for these kids. It's easy enough to use in a variety of settings without drawing attention to yourself or the student.
Introversion, page 47, is something to apply in my classroom. "In an effort to help the child, parents force more social contact, not realizing that it will have the opposite effect, driving the child into greater levels of frustration." This is true of all children, not just the GT ones. As teachers, we often group the more reserved with those who are the most outgoing in order to balance the classroom. The introvert then shut down and their participation and comprehension diminishes. It is natural to want to coax these children out of their reserved self. I love the example of Andrew on page 48 just needing quiet and solitude to renew. Poor Emily can't understand her need for solitude on page 49. The understanding of how this impacts these children and how it effects their learning is insightful.
I have used classroom meetings for years now to discuss my rules and expectations for the class period. Going forward, I will use the checklist on page 73 to center and focus my meetings.
p.81-82 “Teaching the entire class ways to relax during tests or when the students are faced with learning challenges is a good way to avoid many of the problems that can arise in a classroom.”We do this, but I plan on introducing and practicing these earlier in the school year especially during the time I am getting to know the students. Combining this with mini class meetings will help us develop some class “emotional language.”
The Bullying scenario in teacher notes on pages 139-142 will be extremely beneficial. When this happens at school, and it will, the dialogue presented in the book will be the best way to handle to the situation. In addition to this note, I believe that the discussion on pages 159-165 about the middle school student not turning in his work is just as beneficial. All that being said, it takes a lot of thinking on the teachers part to get the dialogue straight—the first few times. Once this type of discussion becomes natural, many other issues can be de-escalated without even thinking about it. “ It’s just what you do” in your classroom to handle problems.
I loved the classroom inventory on page 79- every year I try to do things better, and I like this approach because it works the way spring cleaning does- if it hasn't worked, don't use it. If you aren't doing it, give it a try but don't be afraid to let it go.
I can see myself using the Mirror Technique on p.87 and the Behavior Reflection on p.89. These are great conversations to have with a student in the event they do have an emotional crisis in the classroom. It also is a great way for them to reflect on their behavior, and figure out what they can do the next time or to prevent the situation from happening again.
Reflection is such an important part of behavior management for adults and children alike, Lucy. I think that the more we are aware of our feelings, the more we can harness our emotions and use the energy for something productive.
I found the Time Away Technique in Ch. 7 (43%) to be especially informative. As teachers, we often want to solve problems right away, but often these issues are best handled with a clear and calm head. Reasoning with a student in the midst of an outburst will rarely end positively, so taking time away (for all parties) seems like a helpful way to approach an explosion.
In Chapter 7, pg. 126 (eBook), I would love to implement the 'Mirror Technique' in order to have the student and myself reflect after an emotional crisis and use it as a way to review and reteach proactive strategies. I am so happy the crisis has deescalated, that I just want to move on to happier times and do not want to rehash the entire incident. I like that it allows the student to reflect after the situation and have input on how they can better handle the crisis in the future.
Ok, I see that everyone has said the classroom inventory sheet, but this is such a great checklist! I will be re-reading this at the beginning of the school year as I go over classroom rules and expectations with my students. I also love the household inventory for my teenagers/school aged kids at home!Tip sheet 3 on developing an emotional language can also pertain to all students. So many times, students have no idea how to express themselves emotionally. Establishing common language in the classroom is so helpful.I also like the relaxation techniques for the class. My Pre-AP students are most uptight, but some of these techniques can be used to refocus the class as well as to get them to relax.