Hacking classroom management part 3

Hacking classroom management part 3. We’ve been looking at classroom management through the lens of the book, “Hacking Classroom Management” by Mike Roberts. Teachers can’t effectively communicate content to their class if the class is not well managed. Post number 1 dealt with Hack 1 It’s a classroom, not a bootcamp and Hack 2 Expect their best in and out of the classroom. The second post covered Hack 3 Take in a game, concert or play and Hack 4 Get ’em up and get ’em moving. Today’s post will cover the next 3 hacks: Walk their walk and talk their talk, let’s get personal and reassess how you assess.

Hack 5 Walk their walk and talk their talk

I have heard teachers say that they, “don’t do” technology. Sometimes I feel like they think technology is a fad that will pass. The students are highly engaged in technology. We can gain a great deal of ground with students when we not only recognize technology but also leverage its use in our classrooms. Here are some ideas.

Have the students write a tweet that summarizes the day’s lesson. Encourage them to use hashtags and emojis. You can have the students create an instagram post. Try using a short YouTube video to help make your point.

I have a beautiful interactive board in my class. Last year I realized that I wasn’t using it much. One day I decided to start playing a YouTube video on the screen. I’d play a fly over video of a different country each day. I initially did this just to use the screen and to have something beautiful to look at. The kids loved it. Some of the classes enjoyed trying to guess what country they were seeing. This doesn’t have anything to do with my class content, but the students became engaged!

Hack 6 Let’s get personal

This hack is all about understanding the differences in each student. Good teachers know that students learn differently. You have to vary both the way you deliver content and the assignment style. Mike Roberts puts it this way, “You must teach the student and not the content.”. Classes should be more like a video game and less like a movie. In other words, the class should be interactive. They shouldn’t be sitting and staring at you. Make them part of the process.

Instead of lecturing, try listening to a podcast or watching a short video. If you are doing a small group assignment, let the students pick their group instead of assigning them their group. Make them engage and choose. Give options for assignments. Tell them they can either: write a paper, or make a movie, or write a graphic novel.

Hack 7 Reassess how you assess

The standard assessment hasn’t changed much in school. We sit the students down and hand them a test paper. They put their name at the top and fill in the answers. Some students do well with this method and some do not. Can we come up with ways of supplementing these paper based tests? Here are some ideas from the book.

Let students take some ownership in the assessment process.

Have the students self assess their assignment. You’ll need to provide guidance. Provide a rubric and have them assess based on the guidelines you provide. Once they give their score, have them write 3 – 5 sentences indicating why they gave themselves their score. They turn this in to you and you give feedback to the students.

Have the students use a discussion based assessment. Each student grades their own paper. When they finish grading the paper they turn to their groups and discuss their answers. This gives them time to talk through why they gave certain answers and gives opportunities for follow up questions.

Peer review

This type of assessment not only gives a different way to assess, but also gets the kids up and moving (hack #4). Have the students create their own rubric for their assignment. Students then circulate around the room and critique 2 different assignments based on the stated criteria. Each student then writes 2 positive comments and 2 suggestions for improvement.

Students return to their desks and read the 2 critiques that they have received and give themselves a score. They then write several sentences indicating why they gave themselves their score.

I like the way this system requires students to justify their score. It is easy to give a score, it’s much more difficult to justify that score.

I hope these posts are helping. The next post will deal with the final 3 hacks!

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