Reflection: Routines and Procedures History of Earth Part 1: Problem Solving - Section 6: Use Information


About four years ago I went from teaching GT classes at an upper middle class school to teaching mainstream classes in a high poverty area. This was such a shock to my system that I realized that our ways of looking at teaching as "one profession" are entirely wrong. There is nothing the same between teaching high poverty children and privileged children. But that is a soap box for another day!

This giant change in students meant I needed a giant change in routines and procedures for class. Everything had to be scripted out and practiced well so that the students could be successful. One area in particular that was a problem was independent work time. Students did not seem to be able to get started and work on their own. Part of this was a serious problem with learned helplessness where they have realized that if they simply don't get started they won't have to do any work. But a bigger part of this is that they simply need better structures. Now when I ask my students to do independent work I use the structures below to make it an effective use of time.

1) I always write the task and the success criteria on the board so that students can access that,  I also list the resources they should use and have those ready on their desks.  This takes away their need to wander.

2) I play soft music on my computer at a level that covers little irritating noises but also lets me monitor student talking.  

3) I walk immediately to my problem students and get them started on the first task. Before I leave I let them know that I will be back to check on them in 2 min and give them a task to have completed in that time.

4) Then I walk around helping my less distractible students with any questions. However, one key aspect to classroom management is never turning your back on the class. So if you are helping a student, you might kneel down to their level, but you are also constantly scoping the room. This "with-itness" solves problems before they start. 

5) I spend the rest of the work time walking through the class, redirecting with non verbal and verbal cues and using praise- prompt-leave.


When I taught at my old position I would be able to assign students work and then go to my desk to grade or plan. Now, I really get my steps in!

  Helping kids work in class
  Routines and Procedures: Helping kids work in class
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History of Earth Part 1: Problem Solving

Unit 12: History of Earth: Part 1
Lesson 5 of 7

Objective: Students will be able to recognize and record important events in Earth's History.

Big Idea: Geologic events change biology.

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7 teachers like this lesson
Science, earth, History of Earth, TIP Chart, flow chart
  70 minutes
cretaceous meteor
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