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Classroom Management

paperairplane's picture

Sleeter's piece on Unstandardizing Cirriculum included some really engaging ways to incorporate students' personal experiences into the classroom as materials for cirriculum. The passage about how the teacher organized a classroom courtroom kind of relates to a challenge I'd noticed at my own Praxis: behavioral management. Angela wanted to incorporate group work and hands-on learning into her curriculum, but many times it would result in losing control of the classroom and taking away time from the lesson. Even if a teacher has a really interactive and well-planned lesson, if she cannot keep the students' attention focused, then she won't be able to facilitate the lesson in the way she wants to. Angela's courtroom simulation brought structure to the classroom by assigning each student with a specific role, and an interesting activity.

There are several students at my placement who, when upset, refuse to participate in activities and keep to themselves in silence or they might find very loud ways to direct the other students' attention towards them. It is not okay to just let the students who consistently act out keep on sitting out from activities. But it's also not okay for the teacher to spend too much time trying to get these students to participate, when the majority of the classroom is paying attention. In many cases, she just continues the lesson while avoiding the students who are trying to bring attention to themselves. I wonder what other ways incorporation of the students' experiences might make classroom management easier.