1st Discussion

How can you improve starting class in your room?

This Venn Diagram shows which issues you are more or less able to influence on your own. The middle section is an area where you can make an impact but it is not just the teacher who will make these changes occur. Issues that are outside of  your direct control can be difficult to change but you can still play a part. We, at CEEAS, have worked with  teachers and secure staff in facilities that have changed their policies regarding pulling scholars from class for the first 15 minutes, began rewarding staff for getting scholars to school on time each, and increased the relevance of those first few minutes of class - all in response to the very issues some of you have raised. There are great ways to work collaboratively with secure staff to empower scholars to learn.  

Below we have shared some resources that will help you work on the goals you have set for starting class. After you have finished gathering the resources you need to meet your goal, please post your plan to achieve success with your goal on the plan Padlet page. That will be the end of our discussion for the first six weeks! Please feel free to incorporate what you see here in your chats with each other.

Scholars Pulled from Class and Late Arrivals

                                                   Time is a thief! ~ B. B. King

If time is worth more than money, then instructional time..well - enough said! While these time issues are often not within our immediate locus of control, but there are three questions that we can ask ourselves: (1) Are there positive incentives to come on time? (2) Are there immediate consequences for being late? (3) Have I spoken to the secure care staff members who monitor student movement to understand the reasons for lateness? If the answers to one or all of these questions is no, well then there are some things we can do!

One way to justify having scholars present during the first 15 minutes of class is to make it meaningful. Without something engaging to do that they can only accomplish during the first 15 minutes of class, many scholars may view this as downtime. Here are some ideas for making that first 15 minutes intriguing!

Scholars Bringing Issues into Class

One strategy is to greet scholars at the door. Below is a step-by-step guide to doing so. Of course you may need to make some adjustments depending on your setting, but oh, it's more than saying hello. : )

Scholars not Following Directives & Talking Excessively

There are few things worse than feeling as if you have to yell to be heard over a group of young people. It is frustrating, exhausting and often counterproductive. Here is a question for you: Do you start your class every day with a routine? Doing so cuts down on the need to give directives related to the routine once it is established. Developing a routine and keeping the activities fresh and engaging will help keep scholars on task! Check out the resources related to routines below.

No, these teachers are not inside locked, juvenile facilities, but check out the ways they begin their class!

Paths to Great Beginnings!

So, how will we arrive to smoother starts to class? It all begins with a plan. Please click above to visit the Padlet. This is where you will put your plan in place for achieving your starting class goal. Please be ready to post the following:

*Specifically state your goal: What exactly would you like to accomplish?

*Measure your progress: How will you know you have reached your goal?

*Attain your goal: What resources will you use? Are there resources you need that you do not have?

*Establish relevance: Why does this goal matter?

*Make your goal time-bound: When will you achieve this goal? What steps are necessary to get there?

Looking forward to reading your plans! Lastly, are there any particular additional resources you'd like? Let us know on Edmodo and we'll do our best to get them to you.