or How Our Classroom Operates
All children can learn, however
not all children learn in the same way or on the same day.
Children can learn through play and by using their imagination. Learning at this age can and should be fun.
Everyone enjoys doing things that
are fun. So it makes sense that if
school is fun, they will want to come to school and most likely be more connected
while they are there. Increased
buy-in will usually result in increased
Student buy-in can be achieved by
allowing the children to move about,
to work on the floor or to decide what they want to work on first. Students
like the choices or freedom in their learning.
In addition, I further believe
that establishing a positive rapport
with each child is essential. People, including children, know if someone cares
about them and enjoys being around them. Developing a good relationship with
the kids is therefore critical.
Going a step further, I want my
classroom to be a risk free environment.
This means that kids are free to take chances in their learning. To not be so
concerned with having the right answer. This especially is true with regards to
trying to sound out new words, solving the math problem in a way that they
understand, writing about what interests them,
and spelling the way it sounds. We call this invented
This process can be enhanced
further when the learners can progress
at their own rate. Human nature being what it is, most people do not
respond favorably when told what to do. But if given the choice to decide how much they will
do, many children will actually do more than expected or what was originally
asked for. Often times this is when real growth occurs.
With all these ideas in mind, our
class is designed to enhance individualized
instruction as much as possible. Allowing the children to select their own
books to read, progressing through spelling lists at their own rate, having kids
working on different skills at the same time, letting the children have a say
in which activities they will complete and the order in which to do them, and where
in the room they want to work are just some examples of individualizing the
daily class routine.
When reasonable high expectations are set for the
children, most will work to reach those goals. Students are held accountable for their work. Material or
concepts that were once demonstrated to have been mastered are expected to
continue to be done correctly. Poorly done work will not be accepted. Great
effort is put forth in helping the children to develop quality work and hopefully in gaining a sense of pride for work well done. Students are
continually held accountable for their work and actions. We want them to take PRIDE in their work.
We do not do a lot of worksheets or dittos in my class. So
students will bring home very few papers.
Instead, they will be doing more hands on activities, using computers and
problem solving in small groups.
Parents are welcome in our class and encouraged to become involved. We hope that you take the opportunity to come and visit.
In conclusion, there are days
when our classroom is noisy, very active and may appear unorganized. However,
if one takes a closer look, I hope you can see little minds actively involved
Welcome to Mr. Hardy’s Zoo!