Goals: Explore different styles of classroom arrangements. Explore how different audiences and education styles affect classroom arrangements.
The first link outlines the four basic principles for classroom arrangement: decrease obstructions, teachers need to see all students, accessibility of commonly used materials, and making sure students can see what they need to see. It outlines the pros and cons of four styles of classroom arrangements. The second source uses visuals to explain different arrangements and their usefulness for different audiences and educational needs.
I found that these two resources were extremely useful in understanding classroom arrangements. As a further analysis from last week, I looked into desk arrangements. I learned that there are many different ways to organize a classroom, and that what you decide to do can affect how you teach and how your students learn. Both resources gave positive and negative reviews for the styles, which allow educators to fully comprehend the arrangements and how to integrate them into their classrooms. These resources fulfilled the goals for the week and gave me a really good understanding of how arranging the classroom contributes to classroom management. Through these resources any teacher is able to adapt their classroom to the needs of their students and to suit their educational style, which does in fact change depending on the lesson.
Goal One: To find ways to integrate technology and facilitate participation of information sharing through the curriculum to improve student achievement.
Goal Two: Learn, use, and take advantage of instructional technologies as devices of teaching critical thinking and problem solving skills.
Goal Three: To develop a list of resources to provide each student with a challenging and relevant learning environment as a way to better help each child learn at their own pace.
Goal Four: To learn to use and take advantage of technology for the communication between teachers and other professionals in order to share resources.
Resource Three: www.pinterest.com/classroom-technology-blogs/
Reasons Behind My Resources
By searching Pinterest, a never-ending blog site, you can find thousands of apps ranging from teaching you how to develop a technology-based classroom to apps for connecting with parents to presentation technology tools for kids and teachers. By simply searching key words or specific titles, you will find yourself in a wonder of information that can answer any problem.
The Helpfulness of the Above Resources
Pinterest is a great way for students, teachers, and parents to find resources on educational technology that is both free and user friendly that can assist in learning. Products range from educational apps, games, to learning how to read or how to manage a classroom. Through Pinterest, you can send both private messages and tag students/co-workers/parents to share links between one another. Pinterest can be used as a collaborative app between students and teachers, can assist in the development of lesson plans, and is a never-ending book of learning networks between teachers.
Goal: The goal is to have a resource that can help teachers create their lesson plans as well as help teachers create and use videos with their students as a part of the classroom.
What is Knowmia?
Knowmia is a website and resource app that provides videos for teachers on lesson planning. The videos are posted under pen names by other teachers and cover lessons on various topics, everything from English to art history to different math topics and even languages. There are also videos that show teachers how videos can be used in the classroom and with the students as a part of the lesson and activities.
Why is Knowmia Useful?
Knowmia is useful because it provides helpful videos to teachers that can help them create their own lesson plans. Lesson plans can be difficult and challenging especially for new teachers and these videos give advice, examples, and help to struggling teachers. The video lessons can also be used as they are by teachers who find it extra difficult to create a lesson for any topic.
Learning Goal: To find ways to increase retention in students and to find classroom designs that enhance retention and engagement.
“Wankmuller says seating arrangements should reflect the type of activity going on. “Students need to know that different things are expected of them based upon where they are sitting. They should have a different mind-set [for each area].”
So, he explains, in the lab and cooperative area, they should be talking together and figuring things out. When they’re arrayed in more traditional rows of front-facing desks or chairs, they should raise their hands when they want to ask or answer questions.”
This week the focus was to find ways to engage students during lectures to increase retention. This particular resource was excellent in explaining why having different desk arrangements in the classroom can do just this. A big part of this resource that caught my eye was when the author wrote “seating arrangements should reflect the type of activity going on”. This is excellent as if you want the students doing collaborative work they shouldn’t be in rows. Instead their desks should be arranged so that they can easily collaborate with their peers. If the students should be focusing on lecture, every student should be able to equally see the teacher and the board (or the screen/overhead). During lecture you would also want to discourage talking as this is a distraction and shows students are not engaged, so a different desk arrangement would be beneficial in retention and engagement. To become a better teacher, I would find a way to quickly and easily rearrange desks throughout the day that would reflect the activity they are doing, such as listening to the teacher during lecture or completing a task.
Goals: Explore classroom arrangement in general terms and the effects on classroom management. Learn tips and strategies for classroom arrangement.
Don’t be afraid to change your classroom, but don’t change it TOO OFTEN. Maintain the same seating arrangement throughout a unit. Try the teacher’s desk in the back. Minimize teacher personal effects in the classroom. Will you display student work? Where and how? Utilize bulletin boards and shelving to your advantage! Sometimes technologies or furniture cannot be moved, so make sure you plan your classroom around these things!
The first resource is useful as it gives some general tips on classroom arrangements. It is a good start for teachers who are looking into their classrooms for the first time. There are more variables than simply how to arrange desks, such as how often should you change arrangements, how personal should you make your classroom, and safety and coding considerations. I found this source particularly useful as it does not focus on desk arrangements; I think that too many first time educators are concerned with this when there are other things to take into consideration. I might come up with the grandest scheme for my classroom, but it will change once I see the resources I have at my disposal. Most schools have limited furniture and space available, or materials that are not move-able. These affect classroom management, and must be taken into consideration. The second resource is useful as it outlines other materials beyond furniture that are conducive to good classroom management, as well as tips for arrangements. These resources allowed me to meet my goals and learn more about how classroom arrangement affects class management.
Learning Goal: To learn how to create and implement interesting activities that will enhance student engagement.
#6 Plan Collaborative Lessons
Carefully planned collaborative lessons involve allocating responsibilities to individual students and holding them accountable within their grouping. If you are working in the early years you may wish to begin with simple partner work.
An example could be the creation of a 4 seasons poster. Each student within a group of 4 would be allocated a season to research. Students could then share their findings and discuss and create a “jigsaw” style poster (consisting of 4 jigsaw pieces) which showcases each of the 4 seasons.
This week I chose to find ways to complement an engagement activity that I would like to create myself. I chose this resource to accomplish this task because it provided excellent ways to complement any activities. It reminds new teachers that wait time is important in enhancing student engagement and that collaboration is an excellent way to engage students. With this resource and the resource from week three I thought that an activity where students are actively involved (i.e., moving around) would be an excellent way to engage all the students. One idea would be a math centered activity where students would have to collaborate with their peers to accomplish a task. The task could be real-life applicable and thus further engage the students. Learning is easier when students are having fun completing the task whether that means there’s a competition with a reward at the end for finishing the task, or if the task itself shows where students would use the particular skill in the real-world. To become a better teacher I would further find ways to increase retention after completing a certain activity and having them have the ability to apply the skill in different situations.
Goals: Explore how positive reinforcement and student encouragement is useful for classroom management. Look for ways to be encouraging, what you should and should not say to students.
The first resource lists things to consider when trying to encourage participation in the classroom. It gives examples of things a teacher can do in order to bring about a classroom environment that encourages active, positive discussion and to create an atmosphere where students feel safe and confident to learn and be themselves. The second resource gives advice to teachers on how to behave in order to encourage students: don’t make all the decisions, don’t play guess what’s in my head, talk less, model behaviours and attitudes, ask for feedback, test less, encourage goal setting and reflection, don’t over plan, focus on learning over work, and organize student led conferences.
The resources for this week are similar in their content, but are both useful for teachers who want to create an environment where students feel safe and comfortable. It encourages teachers to foster an environment where students are active participants and have control over their learning. I found these resources to be useful as once the tips are put into action they take considerable pressure off of educators. If you have a classroom of students who are participating and enthusiastic, you have fewer classroom management problems to deal with. Positive reinforcement is a good way to curb issues in the classroom, as it shows students that their good behaviour produced positive results for them. The resources meet the goals of this week successfully.