Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Curriculum Maps and Part 2 of the Teacher Survival Guide Series

PART 2: New Teacher Survival Guide Series

Summer thoughts about teaching usually include ideas about classroom management systems and procedures.  A month before school starts you are hoping for the perfectly well behaved students that will hang on your every word, laugh at all your jokes and eagerly raise their hand to contribute.  But reality dictates that every teacher needs a bag of discipline tricks when things go awry.  Having reference books on discipline is helpful.  Instituting consistent prevention measures will delay issues.  And also, vowing to partner with parents, which is the cement that provides a foundation for effective discipline.  These are just a few get-you-started ideas that will ease your mind for the fall back to school kick-off.

To begin, explore classroom management advice from an expert.  Check out some of these favorite reference books on classroom management:    
  1. Discipline with Dignity  --New Challenges, New Solutions  3rd edition 
        by Richard L. Curwin, Allen N. Mendler and Brian D. Mendler

     2. Conscious Classroom Management  by Rick Smith

     3. Tools for Teaching by Fred Jones

     4. The Well-Managed Classroom by Harry Wong
For grades 5 and up, I would recommend Rick Smith’s book Conscious Classroom Management.  Each of these books has a good track record of providing practical, workable suggestions.  

Yes, some veteran teachers will advise that a teacher should not smile for the first month of school as the way to assert a no nonsense classroom. But that is not going to serve you well.  Instead, rely on these techniques: build trust with your students, get to know your students, lead by example, emphasize student affirmations , build a sense of community, provide a student friendly classroom that allows students to take more control of their environment, teach students how to work cooperatively with one another, build on student’s strong talents (Howard Gardner’s 7 intelligences), create lessons that are connected to the real world, scaffold lessons for mastery, hang new ideas on student’s prior knowledge to increase confidence and understanding, decide three classroom rules or norms that are emphasized, look for students that are doing what is expected and give them praise, use proximity (standing near a student) to discourage misbehavior.   Decide which idea you would like to develop in more depth and use your colleagues and reference books to launch your program.

Don’t under estimate the importance of communication with parents.  Parents who are given a clear picture of a teacher’s expectations and a window into what is happening in the classroom on a weekly/ monthly basis are more likely to support you when a  classroom behavior issue surfaces.   A newsletter to parents is money in the bank for a teacher, and here are a few more sure fire ways to get parents on your side: email parents when students are doing well, choose a student who is struggling to meet expectations and give him/her five minutes of one on one time with you for a week or more then share some of the positive interactions with the parent.  Schedule a parent conference when you sense you need more information about a student who is acting out.  Parents will sense that you truly care and help you build a plan. 

Stay tuned for more Teacher Survival guide posts to come!!!

Hello sweet teacher friends!  How is summer treating you?  The weather cooled off quite a bit this past week and I am loving the 80 degree temps as opposed to 100+! I took full advantage of the cooler weather and spent a week on house organization.  Check out my before and after bathroom video below.  Do you have any home projects you are working on this summer?

Then I spent three days in my classroom.  Mission:  Jump in and get work done before the custodians start the yearly carpet cleaning.  Oh the purging!  Oh the dust!  Oh the HORRER!  Ok... maybe that is a bit dramatic but STILL!!!! I feel great about all I got done.  Now I can focus on curriculum planning.

Have you entered my Erin Condren $25 gift certificate giveaway?  You still have time!  Click HERE to enter! 

I just uploaded a new video on my Sprinkle Teaching Magic You Tube Channel.  This video is all about Curriculum Maps.  Summer is the perfect time to plan a lunch date with colleagues and create/ revamp curriculum maps.  I design my curriculum maps using Power Point.  This video gives you a taste of how curriculum maps work best for me! Do you use a curriculum map?  Let's collaborate.  Leave me a comment with your curriculum map tips and tricks.

Thank you for stopping by Sprinkle Teaching Magic!  What are you up to this week?  My childhood friend from first grade is visiting today!  Can't wait for some girly time.  Cheers!  

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I am a new fifth grade teacher and would love to see your curriculum map. Is there anyway you can send it to me? We are required to make them now in our district! Thanks!!


Sheila Chako
Sprinkle Teaching Magic