Saturday, September 6, 2008

Year 3-Week 1: Applying some workshop lessons

The first days of school have come and gone and I have to admit that it was great! I applied a couple of the techniques discussed at the Fred Jones Workshop in Santa Cruz I attended in June and also tips from the First Days of School book.
I have been steadily working on the goals for the school year I had listed here. I am happy to say that I did learn all of my students names and also met some really great 7th graders, who are not in my class. My students are pretty eclectic mix of personalities like every class room and about a 1/3 of them went to the same school. I learned that this is the only class where they actually have more than 1 or 2 people from their old school in the room. How does this happen? And why does it happen to me? I swear, sometimes I think someone is plotting against me :) It is not so bad though I have been re-arranging my seating chart every class meeting. I actually like doing this because I can see who talks to who during the period and then I can adjust accordingly next class meeting.
Learning all of their names before hand has made a huge difference. Who would have thought? Ok, every person who has written a class management and first days of school book! But remember I am not from a education background, I'm a librarian/art history major! Whether they are conscious of it or not, I think, they are pretty happy when you see them and know who they are. I even greeted them at the door and have made it a point to be there when they walk through the door of my class. Last year, I would be rushing from lunch and the set up was not very conducive for greeting them because there were 2 entrances. When you are standing right there when they walk in and are not hovering in the back somewhere, it makes a huge difference.
I have also been "working the crowd" and it has changed the talking level of the room though I work in a computer lab with a strange L-shaped set up so it makes it difficult to keep the space between me and a student to a minimum. I have been picturing the red/yellow/green zones and it has helped me immensely with keeping on moving and checking my students.
I really should keep writing about my class managment progress and in the end, I will probably write a letter to Fred Jones thanking him for a great workshop.
Hope everyone else's beginning of the year is off to a fabulous start as well!

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