Instructional Openings

Opening Journal Warm-Up

While I often use a Google Form survey or an opening conversation to start class and set the tone, there is also tremendous value in having students write their individual thoughts in their Writer's Notebooks. Ours is a mostly paperless classroom despite the fact that it is an English class, so these pen-to-paper moments are significant ones. Students understand that these journal entries are silent reflections meant to put them in the frame of mind needed for the day's lessons. 

Strategy Resources (2)
 
Student Work Sample
 
 
Students really get to express themselves via their notebooks. The notebook has a culture of its own.
 
Student Work Sample
 
 
Students really get to express themselves via their notebooks. The notebook has a culture of its own.
Johanna Paraiso
Fremont High School Oakland
Oakland, CA


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Quick
Subject:
English / Language Arts
Grade:
Twelfth grade
Similar Strategies
Blended Learning Model Overviews
Johanna's Model Overview

I would describe my classroom as a mix of a flex and a face-to-face instructional model. During our block periods, my students transition frequently among different learning modalities, including online self-paced learning, collaborative small group learning, and whole class instruction. They use online tools to become stronger readers, to conduct research, to connect with communities beyond our classroom, and to engage civically through blogging, virtual discussions, and community-focused projects. Ideally through consistent student-to-student collaboration, my project-based classroom allows students to see the importance of social justice and how it is infused in the literature content they engage with on a regular basis. Co-teaching and authentic project-based learning are key elements of my model.


Number of Students: ~15-25 students

Number of Adults: one teacher; one student teacher

Length of Class Period/Learning Time: 92 minutes (M, T, Th, F); 35 minutes (W)

Digital Content/Ed Tech Tools Used on a Regular Basis: Google Drive; Google Apps for Education; Gooru Learning; Adobe Photoshop; Newsela; Piktochart Infographic Creator; iMovie; iPhoto; Audible; Quizlet; Jupiter Ed; Google Hangouts

Hardware Used on a Regular Basis: mobile cart with 34 Chromebooks (1:1)

Key Features: project-based; innovative use of time; student agency

 
Academic Culture
Johanna's Classroom Culture

A positive classroom culture promotes student engagement, efficiency, and academic growth. Culture influences how and why students learn and ties the students to the teacher on a personal level. Check out the video below to see how Johanna’s culture impacts student achievement!

 
Instructional Closings
Debrief

As with the Warm-up activity that gets the brain going at the beginning of class, my students end class with an activity that lets them feel closure with the lesson and their work for that day. The activity is almost always an online reflective journal or survey, and the purpose is to have an impact on and inform my planning for the next class. Sometimes we end the period with a whole-class conversation instead, especially after a Socratic Seminar day, because we use the conversation to debrief and think metacognitively about our discussion process as a whole group. Students should develop metacognition skills as a way of understanding how they learn. The debrief looks at the learning process for the day and is that opportunity for me to point out how different students learned well because they have certain strategies they used effectively. In this way, more students can benefit from that reflection. Literacy development requires so many strategies that operate differently given the text. When my students can benefit from understanding how they each learn, a strong sense of community and collaboration develops.

 
 
Something went wrong. See details for more info
Nothing to upload
details
close