diverse learning

Inquiry Project: What is the Best Way to Run my Classroom?

My inquiry project is simply put: “What is the best way to run my classroom?” This will be examined in six areas, each of which will examine how I felt before preinternship and then during/after preinternship

  1. Class layout
  2. Diverse Learners & Behavioral Differences
  3. Classroom Rules
  4. Assessment
  5. Teaching
  6. Summary

I’ve touched on all of these in some of my last posts, and numbers 1 – 5 will link to four blog posts that cover how I felt before going into preinternship and how I feel after. I’ve learned how I want to run my classroom (though it’s very likely to change once internship happens). In this post I will try to summarize all I discovered through-out the semester and the preinternship I had.

Classroom environment & layout, student behaviors and abilities, teaching practices and how/what/why to assess are all linked together. When one improves, they can all improve. At the same time, when one needs improvement, it affects the quality of the others. In a small, cramped, cold, and loud environment students will have trouble paying attention, doing quality work, and being taught. This was why I chose to take a broad subject to inquire instead of a specific.

The biggest thing I’ve learned from my inquiry was to have checks & balanced in how I plan and how to do a proper seating chart. Everything I do as an educator needs to have a good reason why it is happening and a proper way to implement it.

Sources:

The importance of a good seating plan | TES New Teachers. (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2015, from http://newteachers.tes.co.uk/news/importance-good-seating-plan/45960

The Psychology and Pedagogy of Seating Plans. (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2015, from http://community.prometheanplanet.com/en/blog/b/blog/archive/2012/06/07/the-psychology-and-pedagogy-of-seating-plans.aspx#.VO5d8_nF-So

Do Seating Arrangements have an Impact on Student Learning? (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2015, from https://k12teacherstaffdevelopment.com/tlb/do-seating-arrangements-have-an-impact-on-student-learning/

Seating Arrangements That Promote Positive Academic and Behavioural Outcomes: A Review of Empirical Research. (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2015, from http://www.academia.edu/706890/Seating_Arrangements_That_Promote_Positive_Academic_and_Behavioural_Outcomes_a_Review_of_Empirical_Research

Classroom Seating Charts. (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2015, from http://www.lessonplansinc.com/classroom_management_seating_chart.php

Seating plans in seconds & super fast behaviour management. (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2015, from https://www.classcharts.com/

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What do I want my classroom to look like?

I’ve tried making a layout on many programs available, but they’re all glitchy and after the fifth time I’ve given up on it. I ‘ve thought about what my ideal classroom would look like… and here it is.

myclassroom

Student Layouts:

  • Four large tables with six chairs around each (two chairs on 3 of the 4 sides of the table… empty side is the one closest to the teachers desk & boards)
  • Each table will have a 3×2 whiteboard that they can have access to (or whiteboard paint on the desk… meaning students can write directly on the desk)
  • Preferable that each student has access to a tablet, laptop, or smartphone… or one for each two students

Boards & Projectors

  • Instead of a smart board like most classes, I would personally prefer a 55″+ HDTV with a chromecast attached to it (assuming internet in the school isn’t the equivalent of a potato)
  • White boards beside or behind the TV/smart board
  • White screen w/ a projector in a corner… within 10 feet of the tv/board
  • Each table has a tiny whiteboard attached to their tables

Miscellanious Things

  • Some noise cancelling ear muffs…. very cheap, and very effective. Have a few pairs attached t the wall for students whom do not concentrate well with noise to use when appropriate
  • Some sofas or bean bag chairs on the corners or against the walls… some comfortable furniture that students have access to
  • a regular desk or two in the corners or storage that can be brought out
  • Smart lights: I have in my own personal room two lightbulbs that are LED. They can be changed to any colour or brightness with a remote control. They can also be turned on/off with a remote control. It seems small and pointless, but trust me they are delightful
  • I’d like an L shaped desk with my own personal laptop on it… or a school one with good specs so I can stream to the chromecast or remote access my computer.
  • A toaster, microwave, and coffee pot in a corner that students have access to…. most students do not eat breakfeast. It’s something simple that can make a big impact

The above is what I wanted before I went into my preinternship. And I still want this after my preinternship. I love the concept of group work and having multiple boards & presentation screens. Now I will talk about what my classroom looked like during my preinternship and examine where and why students with learning problems, disruptive students, unmotivated students and talkative students are placed throughout the room.

jeffsclassroom

After doing intensive amounts of research I’ve found resoures and information that explains where to place students and why. There’s even apps that trace their performance and give you recommended seating plans based on their traits.

There are some pro’s to seating plans:

  • Students were asked how they learn best: In groups reply
  • Lets them learn from each other
  • Optimal for space
  • Gives greater flexibility in teaching strategies
  • Groups in five groups of six
  • Higher ability boys learn best with lower ability girls
  • Can pair students by achievement, learning style, or outcome/content
  • “Seating plans make teachers 2x more effective and raise lower ability student achievement by 2x”

And some cons to seating plans:

  • Will take a while to learn optimal seating plan
  • “condemns the highest ability girls to sit on a table with the three lowest attaining males.”
  • Poor class management with groups can promote tardiness
  • Need to know your students well before this become truly effective

If you want to know more about where to find information about seating plans you can find them at the bottom of this post. I’ll also include some pre-made seating plans that research shows will work (but each classroom and student is different so you will have to throw some personal touches dependant on your layout, your students, and how you teach).

premadeseats

Sources:

The importance of a good seating plan | TES New Teachers. (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2015, from http://newteachers.tes.co.uk/news/importance-good-seating-plan/45960

The Psychology and Pedagogy of Seating Plans. (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2015, from http://community.prometheanplanet.com/en/blog/b/blog/archive/2012/06/07/the-psychology-and-pedagogy-of-seating-plans.aspx#.VO5d8_nF-So

Do Seating Arrangements have an Impact on Student Learning? (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2015, from https://k12teacherstaffdevelopment.com/tlb/do-seating-arrangements-have-an-impact-on-student-learning/

Seating Arrangements That Promote Positive Academic and Behavioural Outcomes: A Review of Empirical Research. (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2015, from http://www.academia.edu/706890/Seating_Arrangements_That_Promote_Positive_Academic_and_Behavioural_Outcomes_a_Review_of_Empirical_Research

Classroom Seating Charts. (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2015, from http://www.lessonplansinc.com/classroom_management_seating_chart.php

Seating plans in seconds & super fast behaviour management. (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2015, from https://www.classcharts.com/

Use this —–>     https://www.classcharts.com/     <—–  Use this