I found a very interesting blog site from Childswork Childsplay. The article stated, “Think about different ways to arrange your students’ seating to change the conversation pattern in the classroom.” For classes that are larger, seating the students in a “U” shape helps to open up the conversation with other students because they face each other. I also believe that seating in a large circle and sitting with the students helps their willingness to share and respond to others. Another blog site I found was “Bloglovin.” An article there called, 30 Most Important Classroom Procedures, was interesting and something that seemed doable in an elementary classroom. I believe these procedures could help me have a successful teaching experience. The website was well organized and easy to follow.
On the Edutopia website, Mark Phillips, a Teacher and Educational Journalist wrote an article titled, “A Place for Learning: The Physical Environments of classrooms.” He believes that the classroom should be inviting and make students feel good to be there. He had two main points that are important for most classrooms. One, Phillips stated, “The physical structure of a classroom is a critical variable in affecting student morale and learning,” and two, “Students involvement in the process of creating their environment can empower them, develop community and increase motivation.” David Bill also a contributor of Edutopia, believed that getting the students involved in classroom arrangement is a huge motivator where the students take ownership and have great pride in their learning environment. This website also had links that were valuable in visualizing what some great classroom arrangement can look like.
In a blog by Lily Jones on the website Teaching Channel, she gave some great tips on teaching strategies for the diverse classroom. Her blog specifically had the new teacher in mind and is something that I appreciated greatly. Her differentiated strategies for new teachers are ones that will be important for me when I am in my own classroom. Specifically, using sentence frames in both speaking and writing. Lily states that the “frames can give students a way to begin or access the task, and support all students’ in participation in discussions and/or writing.” I believe these sentence frames will help English language learners to extend their language skills and help support their organizational thinking. Another strategy that I found helpful on Lily’s blog was, “Share air time.” She explained that, “Each student gets a set of colored cotton balls, and put one of their balls in the center of the table every time they add to the discussion.” The teacher reminds the small groups to pay attention to the colors and asks the students to add to the discussion if some of the colors are not equally represented. I feel this task is especially suited in a student centered classroom. Children can develop socially and mentally when these activities are introduced in these small group settings.
In a website called “We are Teachers,” one of the blog site contributors by the name of Samantha Cleaver shared her “50 Tips, Tricks, and Ideas for Pre-Kindergarten.” Her classroom organization ideas were very clear and detailed. With each tip she also provided pictures as well as links to click on for additional strategies. Samantha believes that “classrooms are bright, welcoming, warm and never dull!” Classroom organization should be a high priority for all teachers. A few of her suggestions that I particularly like were to make sure to have a clear and predictable schedule so your students know what to expect each day and color code everything in files and bins as well as month by month. With an orderly classroom, students stay on task which enables them to obtain the goals and objectives they need to learn.