The Garden in my Mind is a picture book that teaches students how to make positive choices. In the story it mentions that if you make a positive choice you are watering your seeds in your garden and when you make a bad choice your flower begins to fade. I would love to read this to my students as it is an engaging way to teach them about positive choices and decision making, while making personal connections throughout the story. I could tie this into Language Arts by doing a shared reading and asking discussion questions. Through Language Arts I could also get students to make charts about their interpretation about the story, posting them around the class. This artifact exemplifies classroom management as students learn the consequences for making bad choices while relating the flower to real-life. While the flower fades, so does the classroom environment. When people make bad choices, it affects the rest of the class and makes for poor classroom atmosphere. I am modelling the expectations I have of my students by reading the story to them, a strategy I learned in Week 5, Focusing on the Third Teacher
This artifact is a parent communication log where the teacher records what method of communication he or she wishes to perform along with the reason for contacting them and additional notes. I like the idea of every student having a duo tang with this sheet in it for parents to review as well as teachers having their own personal copy in a separate binder so that both teacher and parents are on the same page. It is always effective to have documentation of such communication so that there is always proof that the type of communication occurred. This artifact ties in with Week 8, focus on communication, as we mentioned all of the different ways to communicate with parents, and to consider which is more appropriate for the certain situation. I hope to use this in my classroom as it keeps everything organized and up to date.
I love this language for classroom collaboration resource as it outlines how to agree, disagree, state an opinion, ask for clarification, paraphrase, and ask for a response, in a positive and appropriate manner. Though this, students will be able to voice their opinion and are allowed to agree and disagree as long as they are able to justify their opinion. This can be used during group work where students are collaborating with each other. This artifact ties in nicely with Week 6, focus on collaboration, where students are encouraged to collaborate with their peers and give reasons for why they agree, disagree, etc. To incorporate this into my own classroom, I will write it on chart paper and put it up when students are working in groups, so that they know how to collaborate positively with their peers.
I found an resource that outlines 7 ways to understand and know your students. The first thing that the author mentions to know your students is to talk to them. The second way is to observe them, the third way is to look at past school records and IEP’s, the fourth is to give students a survey that asks them questions about themselves. The fifth way is to get involved in extra curricular activities, the sixth way is feature a student week of the week on the bulletin board, and the final way is to use icebreaker games. This resource includes the icebreaker activity, as well as student and parent surveys. This artifact ties into Week 3, focus on knowing your students, as it describes the 7 different ways that you can understand and get to know your students better. I will definitely refer to this resource in my own classroom to get to know my students as well as allow students to get to know other students.
In Week 2 the focus was on learning. I chose this artifact to exemplify that all children learn differently, whether it be through the use of a laptop, through art, reading, listening to music, or through a science experiment. I chose to focus on the term “differentiated instruction” to show that all students should be able to learn in the way that they feel most comfortable with learning in, and should be given the opportunity to express their knowledge through unique means. I will definately consider differentiated instruction in my teaching in order for my students to get the best education they can receive and learn in the ways that are best suited for them.
I really like this quote by John C. Maxwell as it demonstrates what exactly a leader is, someone who has the knowledge of what the right thing to do is, does the right thing, and encourages all to follow in their footsteps. I think this is important for teachers to understand as an effective teacher is one who has the knowledge and must transfer it to their students. This artifact ties in to Week 7, focus on leadership, where we were able to speak to administrators and find out how they manage the whole school through their leadership skills. The excessive knowledge they had was transferred to us students, which exemplifies a real leader. I will always keep this quote in my mind as I find it significant when deciding what kind of teacher I want to be, one that leads and sets the right examples for her students.
This poster could be hung up on the wall so that students can refer to it when something is bugging them. Instead of getting mad at their classmates, students are encouraged to use these positive prompts. I could use this in my future classroom as a way to teach students about feelings. I could make the prompts with my students, asking them what kinds of things they could say when someone or something is bothering them. I could also use this as a tool for journal writing, where students are expected to write down who is bothering them and why they are feeling the way they do. I like this poster because it is not telling students to not feel angry but rather allows students to express their anger and make reasons for why they are feeling bothered. This artifact helps with classroom management as students are encouraged to express their feelings but in a respectful way. Students will learn that it is okay to feel angry and to talk to the person who is bothering them but in a polite way, not leading to fights or more anger. Students who are bothering others will learn that their behaviour is not necessary and must know that their actions hurt others. We talked in Week 5, Focusing on the Third Teacher, about ways to create a positive learning environment for your students, as this artifact captures the idea that all students should be respected within the classroom and be able to express what is bothering them.
First you create a tub filled with plastic ice cubes with which have different suggestions for cooling down. When a child with known behavioral issues becomes stressed or agitated, you place this on their desk. The student then takes a cube and carries out the recommended action. Hopefully over time the student becomes familiar with all the suggestions on the cubes, and is able to calm themselves down without it. I like this strategy for working with those students who have behavior issues because you are directing your attention to him or her and giving them the tools they need to cool down and get on the right direction. They may also like getting the plastic ice cube placed on their desk because no one else has it and could make them feel special. You are not signaling them out by yelling out their name, but rather quietly going over to their desk and giving them a suggestion. This is easy to make and the irony of “cooling down” and the materials are plastic ice cubes is neat. I could definitely see myself incorporating this technique into my classroom as I found it quite cute, the whole idea of using plastic ice cubes to represent “cooling down”. I like the idea of using the cubes to let the student know that they need to calm down and control their behaviour. This artifact is a great classroom management tool as it allows students to do something about their behaviour. It allows students to calm their bodies and minds and to not let their behaviour affect the rest of the class. When they become agitated they can do something about it before it escalates. In Week 4, Focus on not taking behaviour seriously, we talked about how as teachers we must respond to behaviour not react to it, so this artifact exemplifies that we must approach the behaviour appropriately, not make it worse.