How do you feel today? (via “the Pierian spring” – ramblings of an English teacher)

June 7, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This blog always has highly useful and interesting postings. This one is timely for me because of students have been more than a little bit crazy lately. See my previous posts on my little caged monkeys.

This tool, “How do you feel today?” would be a particularly useful counseling tool for my students and I. My students, second graders, may not have the maturity to express their feelings appropriately and act out instead of stating their feelings. In particular, because it is the end of the school year and a lot of things are going on, my students are stressed and undergoing a lot of anxiety. With this tool, I can understand their emotions and teach them to react appropriately.

How do you feel today? Working at a school this Friday, I came across a resource that I really liked but I could see that, with a few tweaks, it could be even more useful. So, I've made my own version of it. Each 'emoticon' has beneath it a strip of five boxes that could indicate intensity or that could be used to track emotion over a period of five lessons. The sheet is purposefully made using outline drawings so that colour might also be used to develop an emotional … Read More

via “the Pierian spring” – ramblings of an English teacher

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THWACK! Keep those kids in line!

June 7, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Posted in behavior, best practices, culturally relevant teaching, inner city, learning modality, strategies | Leave a comment

It’s the end of the school year.  The students are tired.  You are tired.  The kids act more like caged monkeys than students.  And by golly, three weeks can last an eternity.Students act more like caged monkeys.

At this point, I don’t know who’s behavior is worse, the students or the teachers!

Now is not the time to slack off.  For the last few weeks, I noticed a definite pattern.  When I feel tired and plan for “fun” activities so that kids are “enthusiastic” about school is when I have the most behavior problems.  When I plan and execute rigorous lesson plans, my kids revert back to their pleasant, well-behaved student mode.

Here’s a link to a Responsive Classroom strategy, Interactive Modeling, that I’ve been using to remind my students of proper behavior.  I’ve noticed a significant difference in my students behavior after I’ve started using this strategy.  At the very least, my students don’t act as if I’ve never taught them rules and routines before.

Interactive Modeling uses several forms of modeling to teach rules and routines.  The teacher models, the students model, and then the students practice.  The interactive and physical modeling is far more successful at teaching rules and routines than simply telling students what to do.  This is particularly true of inner city kids, many of whom are English Language Learners and Standard English Learners and need the scaffolding that Interactive Modeling provides.

I’ve only discovered this strategy in April when this article came out, but I have added it to my repertoire of teaching skills.  I definitely intend on using this strategy repeatedly at the beginning, middle, and end of the next school year.

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