About two weeks ago, a staff in ducks did a workshop about classroom management, she introduced some new techniques and recommended two youtube videos.
Today is Deepavali, and I watched two videos called The Classroom Experiment. For me, the techniques used in the videos are quite helpful. I would like to know if those videos have Chinese translations, so more schools in China can actually benefit from it. ( I need to check out this later)
So, The techniques used in the classroom are:
1 Names on popsicle sticks rather than asking children to raise up hands ( You can also take two popsicle sticks or ask a student to take out sticks, this will help children to get more involved in the lesson)
2 Traffic light cups. Every child has two cups on the table, green, yellow and red. If he understands everything in the class, he will put a green cup, if he is unsure about certain parts, then yellow cup. If everything just does not make any sense to him, then the red cup. In our class, we did something similar. When children finish their worksheet. They were asked to put green/red/yellow dot at the end of their work. At the end of the class, when children were sitting on the carpet, they were asked to show their feeling about the lesson by showing thumbs up/ flat/ down. For me I think it is a brilliant idea.The teacher can get a quick whole class understanding of children’s feedback.
3 Mini whilte board. Children are asked to put their answers down on the mini white board. This helps to keep high ability children engaged in the class, when they get too frustrated of not being allowed to raise up their hands and shout out the answers.
4 Comments instead of grades. When children got grades, they would immediately start comparing with each other, or maybe show off their grades. Comments help children to keep focused on what they do not know and how they can make progress.
5 Morning exercise. Children were required to come to school early to take 10 minutes PE time. This helped them to get rid of the sleepy face and get ready to learn at the beginning of the day. (That’s what we do in China! But I have to say children did not benefit much from morning exercise because it was quite slow movement activity. We did not do jogging, jumping, or other active exercises. Probably because we did not have enough space. But I have to say morning exercise is quite a good idea, a British school is trying to take this approach- watch the recent BBC program: Are our kids tough enough?)
6 Secret Student. This is a fantastic idea! Among the teachers, they will choose a secret student. If this secret student behaves well throughout the day, the whole class will get a point. When they get enough points, they can go to a theme park and play. In the videos, it says teacher needs to constantly remind the student about the secret student, and sometimes, children will remind each other as well!
I think that’s all the ideas I learned from the videos. The most important thing is to stick to the plan. You can not let children use mini white board once and then put them aside. They have to be used every day. Same as other strategies, difficulties will definitely occur at the beginning, but please remember, everyone needs sometimes to get used to new stuff. Right?
I am very excited about using secret student strategy, but I need to think about the big reward when they get enough point, and also, the reward has to be very exciting, otherwise children won’t be trying hard to earn the points! 🙂
Thank you Dr. Dylan Williams!