Back in the Title 1 Classroom

Reply Thu 14 Jun, 2018 08:35 pm
I’ve loved - and luxuriated in - my two-year sabbatical from the hardest job I’ve ever loved, and I just inked away my life for the 2018-2019 school year in a challenging Title 1 classroom in an impoverished, failing school. I’m effing ecstatic.

There’s SO MUCH I want to do, pages of notes, ideas, etc, but I’m trying to come down to earth, and find my bliss within the rigid structure of a failing Title One school.

To begin with, I want to use my wall space to speak to my kids about their possibilities. I want to respect voices in our history that may speak to them. I want them to know they’re entering a vaunted space whenthey enter our room. Magic happens there.

Teachers, idealists, progressives: if you have ideas that you think will speak to a largely Hispanic, quite poor group of middle school students bound for high school, I’m interested in what you have to say.

While I’m happy to entertain everything you have to say, I think I’d like to start at the door.

I want to create a sense of hallow. I want them to feel that entering our door is almost a Harry Potter experience, leaving the mundane and gathering in an elite, private group, dedicated to a sacred preparation for something quite set apart from every other class in school.

I’d thought of something that is probably too ******* cheesy, but I’m a cheesy, earnest goofball. I thought in the first few days, I’d get them to trace and cut out their hands in various bright colors and arrange the hand cutouts as petals of an enormous flower on our door. Arranged in a flower, the accompanying text might read, “All who enter here are brothers and sisters, scholars and poets, readers and dreamers. We will write our destinies, and you will know our names.”

I know it’s hokey, but I think it may be meaningful to these particular kids.

I want to proclaim their possibilities and my confidence in them on my door.

I’ll also put a sign on the top of my door with my alma mater logo.

Any better door ideas? I’m open.

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Reply Thu 14 Jun, 2018 09:12 pm
I will read along but I don't have anything helpful to offer tonight.
Reply Thu 14 Jun, 2018 09:18 pm
I have the summer to plan, and I’m sure you’ll have some very meaningful ideas in that time. 😎. I’m already looking forward to your opinions.
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Reply Thu 14 Jun, 2018 10:25 pm
Do whatever you can and need to do to help these young folks into a thriving and successful future. Sure, an idea may seem hokey or wild; yet, some of the wildest and hokiest ideas can bring out the best results. You won't know if you don't give it a go.
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Reply Fri 15 Jun, 2018 01:08 am
I want five photo/quotes from Americans.

Choosing from these people:
Maya Angelou
Sojourner Truth
Anthony Bourdain
Shaun King
Bernie Sanders
Abraham Lincoln
Bobby Kennedy
Cesar Chavez
Malcolm X
Frederick Douglass

Quotes will center around equality, reaching potential, and/or literacy/ education.

Pictures will be framed, quote below pic. This will be fun.🎊🎈❤️🎉💕🙋‍♀️🔥🌸✌🏻✊🤘🏼🧠

Reply Fri 15 Jun, 2018 01:21 am
I think this will be my online planning spot.

So far, my favorite Bourdain quote:

It seems that the more places I see and experience, the bigger I realize the world to be. The more I become aware of, the more I realize how relatively little I know of it, how many places I have still to go, how much more there is to learn. Maybe that’s enlightenment enough – to know that there is no final resting place of the mind, no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom, at least for me, means realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.

Malcolm. The future belongs to those who prepare for it today. Malcolm X

It’ll be hard to choose a a Douglass. Amazing wealth of vital statements.
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Reply Fri 15 Jun, 2018 01:47 am
Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.
Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator. And change has its enemies.

So prescient. I’ll have a hard time choosing.

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Reply Fri 15 Jun, 2018 02:25 am
Must get a second-hand document camera.
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Reply Fri 15 Jun, 2018 08:47 am
I'm sure you will do this, but I just want to say it anyway: I would make it a point to say a few friendly words of praise to each individual in the class, every single day. After a time they will wait and look forward to when their turn will come.
Reply Fri 15 Jun, 2018 08:48 am
😀good advice! I’ll do my best.
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Reply Sat 16 Jun, 2018 06:24 am
Lash wrote:

Choosing from these people:
Maya Angelou. Sojourner Truth, Anthony Bourdain, Shaun King, Bernie Sanders, Abraham Lincoln, Bobby Kennedy, Cesar Chavez, Malcolm X
Frederick Douglass

These all all wonderful examples. However, they are famous. My suggestion would be to find local examples from people who walked the halls of the school, recent high school graduates that went on to college, civic leaders in the city or local business owners who you could interview and get their perspective on how their success helps the community.

Let the kids see how success starts right in their own neighborhood. So the next time the kids see those people, they have an understanding of where the person came fom and how hard they've worked to achieve their goals.
Reply Sat 16 Jun, 2018 06:37 am
I really like this idea. I wanted to find a former student from this middle school and interview him/her about the first year in high school for a presentation for my students, but as a first year teacher there, it would seem weird to ask all the questions and track down a former student.

I'm definitely going to do this in future years. I just have to develop the relationship that makes that not stalker-y.

Nice idea. Thanks!

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Reply Sat 16 Jun, 2018 07:06 am
Plannah palooza:

Teachery hacks for cheaper classroom decor.
---Use cardboard, cheap colorful plastic tablecloths from the dollar store for bulletin boards! Use text from TPT posters.

Colorful electrical tape to demarcate whiteboard.

Cheap plastic baskets (dollar store) for library books.

Decide on materials.

Annotate, analyse, summarize syllabus and standards--send home for parent sig. Signed teacher/student contract.

Four corners, luxury seating, Socratic sentence stems.

Tiny red cups, some other color of tiny cups😡

Lollipop sticks randomized

Classroom jobs
--ambassador / emissary
--secret student for you
--secret student for me
--arts and crafts department
--neat police / librarian

Reflection desk with paperwork and accompanying thoughtful wall art

Instruction is King behavior plan wall art with accompanying consequences


Four assessments

Ppt or video -- why we are here
Ppt -- intro to course and teacher

Plan for first three days--orientation
--grading system
--community of learners, scientists
--standards-what, how, why

How to earn perks-list of perks

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Reply Sat 16 Jun, 2018 08:21 am
Mini whiteboards
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Reply Tue 19 Jun, 2018 08:44 pm
Great explanation of jigsaw.

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Reply Thu 21 Jun, 2018 09:02 am
Ceiling art
Text/book chandeliers
Goal pennants

Pendants for leaving class—sign in/out clipboard

Originate reflection sheet—(idea)

1. How did I create a barrier to instruction in our classroom?
2. I could’ve avoided this issue by ____________.
3. If I feel that a situation existed that made it unusually challenging for me to meet behavior expectations, I’ll describe it here.
4. Create and share your plan to avoid this situation in the future.

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Reply Thu 28 Jun, 2018 04:24 am
For any new teachers anticipating your first year before the mast, I'd like to share what I've learned during my first few years--some lessons, hard-learned.

1. You must have several hard and fast procedures for your class. You must practice these with your class like the Death March to Bataan until the class performs the procedures to your satisfaction.

If the class gets shabby with these procedures, stop what you're doing and re-practice the procedures until they're done to your satisfaction.

---------I didn't think I was this person. My first year, I ignored this advice, thinking, surely, my students didn't require this degree of animal training. I was wrong.

A tone needs to be set. Procedures are only one aspect of that tone, but an
important one. These uniform methods of doing things your class does every day provides them with the how-to, but also a sanctuary of comfort in a way. A "here's how to succeed with this small task." And, well-considered procedures cut down on wasted time.

These aren't my procedures, but ideas from another source. Passing and handing in papers, absences, made-up tests, how to leave the class, etc are important procedures to train.

An example:


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Reply Thu 28 Jun, 2018 04:37 am
2. The first three days.
-----orientation, set your tone, gather vital data, syllabus.

I've actually used three full days of block schedule (90 minute classes) to complete my orientation, but I'll have to cram my orientation into 3 60-minute classes this year.

I'm going to pare down my assessments to bare-bones and introduce a stop clock to almost every activity. I really think this will improve my own time management and theirs.

I'm also introducing lessons as part of the orientation, so this luxurious three days aren't devoid of instruction, for instance, classes will watch me model annotation of the syllabus on the overhead, and we'll also practice paraphrasing it to our partners.

*Setting the tone for the year is the most vitally important thing a teacher can do to enhance the odds of having a successful year. I'll peck out some ideas here soon.
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Reply Thu 28 Jun, 2018 06:05 am
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Reply Thu 28 Jun, 2018 07:47 am
Learning Styles
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