Archive for the ‘Relationships’ category

U is for Understanding Friendship

June 10, 2017

F is for understanding friendship. Friendship plays a part in many of the novel studies we constructed and so we developed a stand-alone lesson plan about friendship. In Friendship Investigation Lesson Plan, students identify elements and benefits of friendship as they analyze their own friendships. The purpose of this lesson is to enhance and extend students’ understanding of what it means to be a friend.Friendship

 

SALE 20% OFF June 11-12

Friendship Investigation Lesson Plan

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T is for Thriving in the High School Classroom

June 8, 2017

T is for Thriving in the High School Classroom, an E-book that provides practical suggestions, tips, and strategies for building a community of learners in the high school classroom. It’s researched and classroom based. Here’s what you will find.

  • Chapter 1: Rest, Reflect, Renew
  • Checklist for Last Week of School
  • Checklist for Summer—Personal and Professional
  • Checklist for New Teachers or Teachers with New Positions
  • Checklist for Month and Week before School Starts
  • Checklist for Home Visits
  • Chapter 2: Family Engagement
  • Sample Course Syllabus (Includes Letter to Parents and Students)
  • Help Me Get to Know Your Child
  • Parent Questionnaire
  • Help Wanted Form
  • Sample Newsletter
  • Sample Unit Letter to Parents
  • Chapter 3: Beyond the Classroom WallsSecondary Book
  • PIN Handout
  • Conference Note Taking Form
  • Student Input for Conferences
  • Student Portfolio Choices
  • Teacher Conference Sheet for Individual Students
  • PowerPoint Presentation for PIN
  • Chapter 4: Engaging in School Culture
  • Substitute Feedback Form
  • Substitute Folder Checklist
  • Movie Activity 1 & Activity 2
  • Chapter 5: It’s About Time
  • Unit Calendar
  • Task List
  • While You Were Absent
  • Grouping Techniques
  • Chapter 7: Building Relationships with Students
  • Alphabet Squares
  • Class Bill of Rights Lesson
  • Classroom Bingo
  • Student Assistant Application
  • Game On
  • If You’re Looking for…
  • Inventories—Reading, Writing, and Math
  • Not Just a Number
  • Questions to Prompt Student Thinking
  • Student Information Sheet
  • Sign the Brick Wall
  • Student Interview Activity/Collage Activity
  • Student Search
  • Team Statistics Group & Team Statistics Individual
  • Team Building Activities
  • Getting to Know Your Students PowerPoint Slides (Stand Like Me and Dragon
  • Introducing Yourself to Students PowerPoint
  • Chapter 8: Responding to Student Behavior
  • Problem Solving Plan
  • Teaching Tolerance Anti-Bullying Pledge
  • Chapter 9: Professionalism and the High School Teacher
  • What is Professionalism?
  • What is Professional Behavior
  • Chapter 10: Last Words, Next Steps
  • Books that Inspire and Teach
  • Movies that Inspire and Teach
  • Quotes to Contemplate
  • Questions to Ponder
  • Renewal

SALE 20% OFF June 9-10

Thriving in the High School Classroom

J is for Just Adjectives

May 21, 2017

Getting to know students and encouraging students to get to know each other is an important step in the process of building classroom community. Taking time to complete getting-to-know-you activities always pays off—go slow to go fast.

This mini-lesson came out of our Wonder unit plan because it is a great getting-to-know-you activity that could easily be used during the first days of school. It’s also a nice introduction to adjectives. Students explore adjectives with the ABC of Adjectives, then using adjectives, students complete Who Are You. The result is an I AM poster that can be displayed in the classroom—great for open house. The mini-lesson includes:

  • ABCs of Adjectives
  • Who Are You?
  • I AM Directions

SALE 20% off Adjectives and Me Lesson Plan

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C is for Colleagues

May 9, 2017

C is for colleagues, those persons with whom we share our professional and personal lives. I have had two experiences working with colleagues that almost seem like Camelot. At Burlington High School I worked with Carl, Patti, and Judy. I learned more about my own teaching from Carl and Patti than any other colleague—we teamed taught, experimented with block scheduling, and established site-based management. Judy was my life-saver when I had to call in sick because one of my kids was sick. But, more than that she and I shared our ideas about how high school English should be taught. Judy was innovative and supported my own innovation—gave me courage to go ahead and try it.

At Cadinal Stritch University, I worked with Linda and Jennifer, among others, to develop a Masters of Arts in Teaching program, designed for people who had a non-teaching degree who wanted to teach. I’m very proud of the teachers we turned out and to this day, those teachers are making a difference for kids. Linda, Jennifer, and I published two books together on classroom management, one for elementary and one for high school. We presented together at national conferences and area school districts—what fun! Today we are partners in Surviving to Thriving LjL and continue to create teacher materials that engage kids and are easy to implement for teachers.

When we presented, we always had give-aways which included bookmarks with inspirational quotes for teachers. So, we decided to offer those bookmarks to teachers free of charge. This product includes 16 reproducible bookmarks with directions for 7 Ways to Use Bookmarks with your colleagues. Each bookmark has a graphic and teacher quote. As you think about your own colleagues, think about how much you appreciate them and their role in your professional life.

16 Free Bookmarks

Building Trust with Students and Among Students

July 31, 2014

An optimal classroom climate for learning is one that generates an atmosphere of trust—a climate in which it is understood that it is okay to make mistakes because mistakes are the essence of learning. In so many classrooms, the greatest reason why students do not like to expose their mistakes is because of their peers: peers can be nasty, brutal, and viral! Expert teachers create classroom climates that welcome admission of errors; they achieve this by developing a climate of trust between teacher and student, and between student and student (Hattie, 2012, p. 26).

Community_circleThe first days of school for most are just around the corner—we know this because the “Back to School” ads have already been up and running. Teachers everywhere are preparing for those first days of school. The expert teachers are planning activities for students to get to know their teachers, for teachers to get to know their students, and most importantly for students to get to know each other. This is always time well spent and often sets the tone for the rest of the semester and/or school year.

Building relationships with students and among students is the key to building trust with students and among students as well as creating a classroom climate that facilitates student learning. When students know you care about them and their learning, they show up physically and mentally. I am always reminded of one of my high school students who had perfect attendance in my class, Early American Literature, and proudly told me that my class was the only one he attended on most days. While he may have had an overwhelming interest in early American Literature, he also knew that he was welcomed, supported, and part of a community of learners in my class.

Thriving in the HS Classroom

My colleagues and I have a new book out, Thriving in the High School Classroom, available from Teachers Pay Teachers. We share many strategies grounded in best practice and our professional experiences that facilitate building trust with students and among students. We also published a book with Lorenz Press, From Surviving to Thriving: Mastering the Art of the Elementary Classroom, also available on Teachers Pay Teachers. While both books are great for new teachers, more experienced teachers might be reminded of strategies they successfully used in the past and perhaps a few new ones too. Check out our other products on Teachers Pay Teachers!  Oh, and we’re having a sale on Monday, August 4, and Tuesday, August 5!!

 Hattie, J. (2012). Visible learning for teachers: Maximizing impact on learning. London and New York: Routledge.

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Browse/Search:surviving%20to%20thriving%20ljl

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Thriving-in-the-High-School-Classroom-1326075

http://www.amazon.com/Visible-Learning-Teachers-Maximizing-Impact/dp/0415690153/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1406818434&sr=8-1&keywords=John+Hattie

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/From-Surviving-to-Thriving-126820

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5 Things Middle School Students Want Their Teachers to Know

October 27, 2013

The quality of the relationships that students have in class with their peers and teachers is important to their success in school.  Bob Pletka

We recently completed a study that surveyed over 300 middle school students about their perception of effective instruction.  And, you know what?  Student comments regarding effective instruction connected to student readiness for learning, learning styles, and teacher and student relationships. Basically middle school student perception of effective instruction reflected those experiences with teachers and learning where teachers responded to students as individuals, attended to their learning needs, and created a classroom environment that facilitated community and learning.   Here’s just five things middle school students want their teachers to know.  Each item is followed by a quote from a middle school student.

5 Things Middle School Students Want Their Teachers to Know

  1. Make learning relevant to our lives. “Introduce how it will relate to anything else we’ve learned so far, or how it will help us in everyday life.”
  2. Start lessons with engaging activities. “Good teachers start teaching with a fun activity or brain teaser.  Good teachers start with a fun experiment or project.”
  3. Vary activities and include movement.  “The teacher teaches in different ways (audio, visual, and hands-on) which helps a lot.  We always get to get up and move around.”
  4. Plan less teacher talk and more student talk.  “Don’t lecture so much, find activities that make us talk but productive.”
  5. Be excited about teaching.  “I want teachers to be excited about being here and have a good time with their lessons.”

We will be presenting more about our research and what middle school students know about effective instruction at the Association of Middle Level Educators Conference in Minneapolis, November 7-9, 2013.  Hope to see you there!

Thursday, November 7, 9:45 AM

Here’s What Middle Level Students Think about Good Teaching
Linda Neiman, Linda L. Carpenter, Jennifer Fontanini
We surveyed middle school students to find out what are their thoughts about what good teaching is and what good teachers do. Their responses may surprise you and affirm what you already knew about effective teaching and student learning. Join us for discerning discussion about what middle level students are thinking about good teaching. Walk away with a sometimes humorous, always insightful look from the other side of teaching.

AMLE Conference Information

http://www.amle.org/annual/Home/tabid/138/Default.aspx

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Grouping to Build Relationships

August 10, 2013

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another:  “What!  You  too? I thought I was the only one.”

                                                                                            C. S. Lewis

August is the month of anticipation—new school year coming, football season beginning, fall and holidays around the corner—and we are still enjoying summer.  The creative energy emitting from teachers planning for the upcoming school year is electrifying.  Students are eager to reconnect with school pals and anxious about meeting their new teachers and class mates.  Good teachers know students learn best in a positive, nurturing learning environment where relationships between teachers and students and students and students are carefully constructed, day by day.

Build those relationships directly with getting to know you activities and indirectly by grouping students creatively.  One way to build relationships among students and form small collaborative learning groups is to use getting-to-know-you prompts on grouping cards.  Create a table with two columns and four rows on one page, forming eight “cards.”  In each space, write a different prompt and make four copies of the page.  Cut and distribute to students, directing them to find three other students to form a group.  As they form their group, they should respond to the prompt and share their responses with each other.  Time permitting, you can direct students to reform with three other students who have different prompts, and repeat.  Here’s a list of prompts you might consider using:

“Best”   Prompts

You, too!   Prompts

Best Sandwich

Best Superhero

Do you have   sisters or brothers?

Do you have   pets?

Best Sport

Best Holiday

Do you play a   sport?

Do you play a   musical instrument?

Best Book

Best Movie

Do you play   video games?

Do you like   the Muppets?

Best Video Game

Best Dessert

Do you know   how to dance?

Do you speak another   language?

For more ideas about grouping techniques, check out Grouping Techniques for the Classroom.  If you have a novel way to form groups, let us know!

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