Academic Culture

SMART House Rules

My co-teachers and I use a simple set of three rules to guide our blended classroom: 1. Respect all people, property, and ideas; 2. Follow directions the first time; and 3. Be prepared. The consistency of these rules is really important for middle schoolers and creates a great culture of learning in our House. We share these rules with students at the beginning of the year in a community-wide Town Hall Meeting.

Strategy Resources (2)
Teacher In Action
 
 
 
Student Handout
 
 
This slide lays out the foundation of our academy's (called SMART House) culture. All of my colleagues throughout the academy use the same rules to foster a common culture.
 
Teacher In Action
 
 
Student Handout
 
 
This slide lays out the foundation of our academy's (called SMART House) culture. All of my colleagues throughout the academy use the same rules to foster a common culture.
Aaron Kaswell
Middle School 88 Peter Rouget
Brooklyn, NY


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Long
Subject:
Math
Grades:
Sixth grade, Seventh grade, Eighth grade
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Collaborative Student Groups
Shoulder Partners and Pop-Up

My students respond well to kinesthetics. Popping up for an answer choice or when they are ready to move on to the next topic is a way to keep the students engaged and also check for understanding. Turn and talk - students turn to talk to their neighbor about a question/problem/scenario that was posed. One of the partners then reports out by either being chosen from the equity sticks or by volunteering by putting their thumb up. I use Shoulder Partner strategy to give students the opportunity to talk, share and explain content to each other. This strategy is good to increase the accountable talk in classrooms and to practice speaking and listening skills.

 
Independent Student Learning
Independent Performance Task

Students rarely have the opportunity to show in an authentic what way what they have learned and what they can do with the knowledge they have obtained. To this end, it has been my philosophy to provide students with a task that requires a deeper depth of knowledge rather than traditional paper-pencil assessment. Performance task data that reflects a deeper understanding of content and tasks students to transfer their knowledge to novel situations matters most. As a school community, the transition to a competency based learning model has signaled a change in the way teachers deliver content and the way students are assessed. Independent Performance Tasks measure student learning when they are ready to assess. Similarly, leveraging the power of technology has been instrumental to making the assessment process a positive experience for students.


 
Whole-Group Instruction
Math Advisory

Once a day twice during a two-week unit, students will come back from their individualized assignments and group as cohort. This gives them opportunity to take their assessments as a class as well participate in full class discussions, mentoring, study sessions, and peer to peer advisory.


 
 
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