Academic Culture

Council

Council is a time for my students to share their highs and lows related to academics, and to share what's successful and struggling for them in the class. It is a non-hierarchical forum for discussion. This is important in my classroom because it gives us a powerful practice to understand more fully and appreciate the diverse backgrounds, experiences, and opinions of our classroom. It is a process that continually evolves with each group and in each time in our own developments.  

Strategy Resources (3)
Students In Action
 
 
Teacher Planning Resource
 
 
This sample pacing guide for council breaks down the academic school year into suggested activities taken from the Council Lesson Plans document. It also leaves rooms to address the specific and unique needs of your classroom.
Teacher Planning Resource
 
 
Starting Council in your class? This document details suggested lessons/activities to do with your class at the beginning, middle, and end of the school year during council. Some topics include "getting to know you," bullying, valuing differences, and appreciating others.
Students In Action
 
 
Teacher Planning Resource
 
 
This sample pacing guide for council breaks down the academic school year into suggested activities taken from the Council Lesson Plans document. It also leaves rooms to address the specific and unique needs of your classroom.
Teacher Planning Resource
 
 
Starting Council in your class? This document details suggested lessons/activities to do with your class at the beginning, middle, and end of the school year during council. Some topics include "getting to know you," bullying, valuing differences, and appreciating others.
Mark Montero
Aspire Titan Academy
Los Angeles, CA


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Long
Subject:
English / Language Arts
Grade:
Third grade
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Academic Culture
Council for Character Development

Every Friday we meet to discuss a topic around character development and 21st century skills. This is a vital classroom practice in my class. Because blended learning is so high paced and intense, students need support as not only learners but people as well. Students transition from their seats to prepare to watch videos or form a circle around the perimeter of our carpet. Our council pieces are brought out. Council pieces are small items that both the students and I have brought which hold major meaning to us. Once we meet, the only person who can speak is the one holding the council piece. We begin by making a dedication to someone in our life or someone we have beeng thinking about. At the end of the dedications, we begin our council. The talking piece is passed around and all students share their thoughts or may pass. Sometimes we will bring an on-demand journal to share, or students may respond to a posed question.  


 
Blended Learning Model Overviews
Rotation Enables Small Group Lessons

At Aspire Titan Academy, we use a rotational model where some students engage with interactive software, enabling small group lessons for others. Our students have 90 to 120 minutes of individual computer time daily. Our rotational model is currently evolving to use more programs and create more rotations. The goal is to increase the opportunities for small group instruction where we can better meet individual needs.

Number of Students: 26 students

Number of Adults: one teacher; various other adults support during specific times (e.g., Blended Learning Coordinator, Special Education Teachers, etc.)

Length of Class Period/Learning Time: 60 minutes--two 30  minute rotations (Math Block)

Digital Content/Ed Tech Tools Used on a Regular Basis: DreamBox

Hardware Used on a Regular Basis: Lenovo ThinkPads (1:2 ratio); SMARTboard; Document Camera; iPad (for teacher)

Key Features: station rotation; student agency


 
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