The following in-class activities are in the specialized area K-8. The first in-class activity is the use of centers. In this activity student are able to pick their center that they would like to participate in. Students are given a 20-minute center time that is split into two 10-minute sessions. This allows the students to stay interested in the activity. Types of centers that the students can choose from are: Reading Center, Write the Room, Money Center, Art Center, Listening Center, Pattern Block Center, Puppet Center, Computer Center, or Poetry Center.
While students are seated, the teacher reminds the students of center procedures. The children have previously been instructed how to utilize each center. The teacher will choose a stick with the child’s name on it, to determine who gets to pick first and there after. They are reminded that no more than 2-3 people can be at each center, and because of this should be thinking of another center in case the center they first choose is full.
Students will remain in there seats until everyone has picked a center. The children will hear a bell and are asked to stop what they are doing, clean up their center, and go to their desk where the teacher will now assign them to a different center.
During this activity one of my behavioral expectations will be that students are quiet during their center time. Quiet doesn’t mean that the student can’t talk, but they must whisper to their fellow center members if they need too. Center time is still learning time and I want each student to respect that. Students are told that should they break that rule, a warning will be given and then if broken again, they will have to go to their seat until it is time to switch centers. The second expected behavior is that the students stay at his/her center, until they are told to switch. The students are not permitted to roam around the room and visit with classmates at other centers. It is important to maintain a structured, well-balanced classroom environment where students carry over my behavioral expectations from activity to activity.
The second in-class activity is the morning meeting board. This activity is done first thing every morning. During this activity we discuss what our schedule for the day will be, take our lunch count, practice our days of the week, months of the year, what the temperature for that day is, daily smart board activities, and many other repetitive activities we do on a daily basis. This activity requires students to be on the floor in front of the meeting board facing me. The morning meeting board requires individual student answers and a high level of engagement. Students are required to sit in an assigned seating area on the floor and remain there until meeting board is over.
During this activity one of my behavioral expectation is that there is no talking. Children are not allowed to talk, as it is a distraction to the learning process. Children are told that they are not allowed to talk unless their name is called to answer a question or a group response is needed. The no talking rule, fixes the need for a child to blurt out the answer when it is not their turn. The next behavioral expectation is that students will keep their hands and feet to themselves. It is very tempting to distract your classmate while seated on the floor close to each other. By implementing this expectation, students are learning self-control and the skill of accountability. Students are expected to be able to stay in their assigned area and engage in the activity with little or no distractions.
There are many opportunities to take students on the adventure of learning outside the classroom. The first activity is a school wide assembly that would require K-12 students to meet in the gymnasium. The assembly is in an environment that is energetic and fun. The students listen to music by the band, watch or participate in a fun activity with older students, and listen to administration lecture about upcoming events and other important information. This atmosphere will bring out many different behaviors from my students. It is important that I allow them to have a fun, positive experience but with expectations on how they need to behave.
My first expectation is that the students will remain in their seats and not move around. With the energy that this assembly will bring, students will need to stay seated so that they are not distracting the other students or those who are putting on the assembly. Students will also be expected to not visit or talk with their classmates during the assembly, as it is a classroom rule to sit quietly while others are speaking. Setting these expectations and explaining why I have them is important for the student to understand.
The next out-of-class activity is a field trip to a pumpkin patch. This field trip is a fun, hands on learning experience. The pumpkin patch has a petting zoo, zip line, corn maze, tractor rides, train rides, face painting, pedal tractor racetrack, and many engaging activities. This activity can also bring out an array of different behaviors in children, which the teacher must be mindful of. On field trips there are teacher helpers like volunteers/parents, who go along to help keep a watchful eye on the students. Students are split into small groups and are teamed up with a teacher helper.
Teacher helpers are given instructions as to what I expect from my students. One of my behavioral expectations is that the students remain in their group at all times. Students are told that they will not be able to roam about the pumpkin patch without their group and their teacher helper. They are told that the teacher helper will be the one who decides when to move on to the next activity. My next behavioral expectation is that the students respect the property of the pumpkin patch and those who work there. This is already one of our classroom rules and they will be expected to follow it even though we are not in school.
A teacher must try to always be one step ahead of their students when it comes to how students will behave in situations. It is extremely important that students always know what is expected of them. A teacher may continually have the child recite the rules over and over, but that doesn’t mean they understand what it means. A teacher may think that the classroom rules are clear and concise, but to a few students they many not be. The first way a teacher can evaluate what her students understand about those expectations, is through discussion.
The teacher must state the rule and then explain what it means. The teacher’s explanation should provide examples and scenarios that the student can understand. Allowing the children to give examples that they can relate to, can also help evaluate their understand of the expectation. Another way to evaluate is through role-playing. Children are given scenarios on how to break the rules or follow the rules and then they act it out. The class audience can then determine what rule is broken and how it could have been prevented. The students may also act out how it looks to follow the rule. The teacher can then explain what consequence would be given if rules are not followed. This is fun for the students and allows the teacher to see who is or doesn’t understand the expectations.