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Twenty-two–year-old Kara Moore was hired as a 6th grade teacher to start the August 2011 school year. One week before school began, the principal called her into his office and told her that her teaching assignment had changed. How did Kara turn her situation around and create the positive year she and her students had?  What happened? If you do not have a plan for this coming school year, the students will plan the school year for you and you will be chasing after the class every day. As Kara was busily creating a stimulating, welcoming, and positive classroom, her principal called her into his office and broke the bad news to her. Although the room brought a rush of memories, Kara set out to make this old classroom her new classroom. We met Kara before her school year began as a first year teacher when we spoke to the teachers in the Coal Grove, Ohio, area in August 2011. She says, “I honestly have to say that starting off the year prepared with a well-organized plan gave me a good foundation for the rest of year. Kara reflects on her college days and says, “Besides The Effective Teacher video I saw in high school and my student teaching experience with Ms.
Effective teachers view classroom management as a process of organizing and structuring classroom events for student learning. Creating a well-managed classroom with established procedures is the priority of a teacher the first two weeks of school. Kara says, “Because my students know what to do, it is now the 5th week of school and I am absolutely in love with my job.
Kara has different ways of pointing out to the students what they are responsible for learning.
Amanda Brooks, another successful first year teacher, was featured in our August 2010 column. When the students enter your classroom this school year, will they be welcomed with who you are and the anticipation of an exciting school year?
Effective teachers include the answers to these questions as part of their classroom management plans to share with students on the first day of school. Harry Wong has been awarded the Horace Mann Outstanding Educator Award, the National Teachers Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award, the Science Teacher Achievement Recognition Award, the Outstanding Biology Teacher Award, and the Valley Forge Teacher's Medal. Harry and Rosemary have been awarded the Upton Sinclair Award and were nominated for the Brock International Prize in Education. The Wongs are the most sought after speakers in education today, booked two years into the future. Harry and Rosemary Wong are committed to developing effective teachers, one teacher at a time.
How to Be an Effective and Successful Teacheris an audio CD set that was recorded live before 800 teachers in St. The Wongs have also produced the DVD series, The Effective Teacher, winner of the Telly Award for the best educational video of the past twenty years and awarded the 1st place Gold Award in the International Film and Video Festival.
When the books, video series, CD, DVD, and eLearning course are used together, they form the most effective professional development training tool for producing effective teachers.
My educationalphilosophy relies heavily upon playful creative exploration; as such, I want my students to have the independentfreedom in my classroom to create and reflect upon their work and their selves.


These sharpscan range from such common tools as scissors, to more uncommon materials such as lino-cutters, etchingneedles, sewing needles, and sharp clay carving tools. This award is pre-chosen and can be something like choosing the music for an entire class (pre-approved by the teacher), to a lollipop.Lining Up Students sit quietly at their assigned table at the end of clean-up.
Such an open atmosphererequires strong classroom management in order for quality learning to occur. I stand at my door and ask the quietesttable to line up first and continue until everyone is lined up. Additionally, I would rather avoid negative behavioral situations and prefer prevention to redirection. I alwaysremind students to go silently to their tables, and if a student forgets, I have him or her walk back to theclassroom door and re-enter the correct way.
I use scissors with handles that match the color of the number of student tables in order to quickly assesshow many scissors are used, and how many are returned. Inorder to prevent negative behavior, strong classroom management must be in place and utilized at all times.
If a majority of the class forgets to do this correctly, we all goback outside the classroom and line-up and begin the entire process again. Istrive to maintain a positive caring environment wherein my students are excited to visit and find it easy tolearn.Room ArrangementSeating Students are seated four to a table in a staggered design with the tables facing the white boardhorizontally. I gently remind everyone during thisprocess that this is time they could be enjoying class, but instead are having to line up and re-enter theclassroom.Beginning the Class Students begin class by participating and completing a small warm-up assignment that is on theprojector as they enter. I have a red scissor cup, an orange scissor cup, a yellow scissor cup, a green scissor cup, a bluescissor cup, and a purple scissor cup.
At the end of class if all four scissors aren’t in a cup, I am able to quicklydetermine this and take the next steps necessary for recovery.
When using sewing needles, which my classes do during some sculpture projects, I use a similarmethod.
I try to make this outline aslively and interesting as possible so as to engage students in the class. At the end of class, one student is assigned to return thecupcake pincushion to me; if there are any needles missing, I am again able to quickly ascertain this and followthe necessary steps to recovery. I find that if I seem excited to teach thestudents about a subject, they are excited to learn about it.
When the sharpitem is dispensed, I hand the item out individually to each student and count the total number of items out.
This practice also allows for students to scaffold moreinformation onto a lesson, and to add their own knowledge to a lesson. At the end of class I assign one student at each tableto collect the sharps, and to hold on to them until I tell them otherwise. I have found it to be a very positivepractice, and as such, utilize it daily.General Dispensation of Materials Student responsibility is crucial in my classroom. At the end of clean-up I ask the fourstudents to come to me at the front of the class, and as a group, we count the items.
As I wish for my students to be independent, and liketo give them as much creative rein as possible, they need to be able to obtain their own materials from time totime.
This encourages classparticipation in safety practice and gives me time to make sure that all sharps are accounted for and if some aremissing, to take the next steps necessary for recovery.Procedures During Work-Time It is essential to me that my students have as much working time during class as possible. Rules allow my students to know that not only do limits exist; it also allows them toknow exactly what these limits are.


I teach students where items can be found in my classroom, and which items are always open for theiruse. However,many students find it difficult to stay on-task for any length of time and this can lead to their need forredirection. This saves a lot of time about material questions in my class, and it also gives the students the empoweringresponsibility to obtain materials on their own. I prefer prevention to redirection, so I try to organize the working time in such a way that studentsare as wholly absorbed in an activity as possible. One way I do this is by designed consistently challenging projects that not only engage the student butalso require a lot of thinking. I try to keep the languageof my rules simplistic so they are clear and easy for students to understand. My projects are always just at the top edge of student abilities and typically take two to three classesto complete. When students know what isexpected of them daily, their actions and behaviors reflect this in a positive manner.
While my projects andpresentations change frequently, the essential procedural workings of my classroom do not. So, often, while I am circulating the classroom, I will tell thestudents either an appropriate story from my own life, a fairy story, a tall tale, a story from my childhood, or agreat story that happened to someone else. During a project, I place all necessary materials to complete aproject on the center table. As students work, they are able to go to and from their seat to the center table to getnecessary items that may not have already been dispensed. This system works especially well for situationswherein there is not enough of an item for everyone to have their own, such as certain colored markers forinstance. Instead of a shortage item sitting unused at a student table, the item waits for usage at the centertable.
So, for my most engaging projects I do not tell stories and instead play music toallow myself more time for my students.
Obviously, when the class initially begins to work, there could be some issues with everyone visiting thecenter table at the same time.
This music ranges anywhere from golden oldies, classical music,electronica, pop, and bluegrass.
This ensures four or fewer students arevisiting the center table for their initial (and usually longest) center table visit. Additionally,I have found that when I play current music it encourages students to argue amongst themselves about their owntastes in music and leads to redirection. I often observe themmaking calculated choices about their material selections, and it isn’t unusual for them to ask to use a materialnot at the center table. Since I prefer prevention to redirection, this arguing is easily avoidedby playing older genres of music in class.Gaining Class Attention Quickly There are often moments wherein I need to gain the attention of the entire class very quickly. Whenever I am met with such a request, I ask the student to explain, and based on theirreply I will allow them to go to the cubby unit and remove another material cubby for usage.



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