Getting to Know Your Students - Michael Zimmer
For this issue of ProjectPLN the discussion is on Best Practices for the start of school. I don't currently teach, but several ideas do come to mind to help with classroom management and "getting to know" your students. Below are several ideas for the start of the school year.
1.) Have students create a Word Cloud of words that express their personality, values, and beliefs. If using Wordle
, have them put the most important words in their more then once so that they appear larger. Then hang them up or keep to yourself...that will depend on the personality of your class!
2.) Many classroom management books suggest putting kids in alphabetical order, and I agree. Makes it easy to learn names. For a teacher at my school he made it into a competition. He drew the class layout on the board and told the kids to find their seat according to their last name. The class that did it the fastest won a prize. He also did not allow them to talk. Talk about a interesting first day.
3.) I would give my kids a challenge of building the tallest tower out of straws and only provide a certain length of tape. They would work in groups. The could not talk so they had to communicate in other ways. It really helps develop team work in the first week of school and shows that talking does not necessarily help with an assignment. :)
4.) Bellringers are a huge deal. Our school recently purchased large TV's for the classrooms and hooked those to the computer. Several teachers have created PowerPoint's to display their bellringer. Therefore they can save them for future use and it is easy for the kids to always know where to look when they come to the classroom to have something to work on.
Learning Beyond Walls- Games and Wikis- Shelly TerrellMany of you have started school already and are integrating new technology in your curriculum. Wikis are one of my favorite tools for encouraging learning beyond the classroom walls. I’m sharing with you this post I originally wrote for one of my favorite blogs,ELT Digital Play, back in May. I hope you find the tips useful when creating your class wiki!
Extending Learning Beyond the Classroom Walls
Did you know that the average time spent playing video games per week is 18 hours? Imagine if your students spent 18 hours a week practicing their English or studying your subject voluntarily. Perhaps, you won’t be able to persuade your students to practice English for this amount of time, but you can get them to practice their English outside the classroom in a fun way! Many of the free games online are fantastic for language learning. My class time is highly focused on having students speak English, therefore, we rarely spend a lot of class time playing online games. Instead, the games are put on my class wiki for students and parents to enjoy at home. These games are optional, but I find that most of the children will play them at home with their parents guidance.
You've seen the crazy videos, you've heard the chatter on Twitter, you might be asking yourself, what is this Project PLN and why are we doing it? Teaching can be a lonely profession in some schools. You teach all day in your classroom and enjoy brief encounters with colleagues in the teachers lounge or passing quickly in the hallway. There isn't a lot of time to have a meaningful conversation about education and learning. Project PLN aims to connect educators.
One day I woke up and thought it would be a cool idea to have a collection of posts in one spot to send to other teachers. I contacted Kelly about the idea of creating a magazine that would collect posts from educators around the world in one spot. After a few DMs on Twitter, we created Project PLN.
The goal of Project PLN is to provide a collection of posts on a specific topic that can easily be shared with educators all over the world. Kelly and I will select from submitted posts and compile them into a monthly issue. We want to give teachers a place to write and think about various topics related to education and learning, a digital magazine seemed like a great way to do this. The magazine can be saved as a PDF and shared with your school through email or even printed and placed in teacher mailboxes. We want Project PLN to be another tool to educate and connect teachers.