Class EnvironmentHow many times have you returned to class after a weekend or even the next day, where your teacher asks you to state what you most prominently recall from the prior class? A majority will recall what occurred in the last 15 minutes of the prior class; perhaps one or two will recall information from the beginning or middle of class.Too often teachers become frustrated because they perceive their students do not care, don?t take the class seriously or worse yet, are unable to learn. Teachers experience immense levels of frustration when they know they have taught salient content but students either fail to provide correct answers in subsequent classes or they miserably fail classroom assessments. This can lead to the ?If you can?t teach them, test them? strategy where a ?pop quiz? is administered. The deleterious effects of this method are manifest and the placement of the grade into the student?s record is at best unjust. Here is why.The student recall (or lack of it) is completely predictable, given sequence theory and recency and primacy effects an educational misbelief is alive and well today: teachers often irrecusably link the antecedent I have taught with the consequent therefore, students have learned. View the Sequence Theory PowerPoint in the Required Studies section. The reality is their patterns of recall must be intentionally prompted.Understanding Sequence Theory, which indicates students will most likely recall the first (primacy effect) and last (recency effect) parts of a lesson allows the educator to plan for intentional, meaningful recall-making (Glanzer & Cunitz, 1966, in Ormrod, 1999). One strategy, the 10-2 Rule capitalizes on Sequence Theory. Read the 10-2 Rule PDF linked in the Required Studies section. The 10-2 Rule states a lecture should last no longer than 10 minutes without at least two minutes of ?downloading? (Think-pair-share, list and compare, 60-second PowerWrite, etc.) so learners have an opportunity to be more than passive observers and potentially will enjoy more substantive long-term learning. You will also want to include ?Wait Time I? and ?Wait Time II.? linked in the Required Studies section.Another outcome from this dilemma is ?Learned Helplessness? (Seligman, 1975). View the corresponding Power Point and website in the Required Studies section. Teachers unwittingly contribute to defeating students? best efforts, which leads to a cycle quite difficult to escape. One of the more unwitting yet deleterious responses a teacher can use is that of rewards to elicit positive student behavior. Reading the Effective Teacher PDF linked in the Required Studies section. See what Alfie Kohn means when he says children (and adults) are ?punished by rewards.? Read the Why Incentives Don?t Work, and Punished by Rewards PDF in the Required Studies section.Emotion shows up in the classroom in a variety of forms and packages. Some tidbits to remember:Acting out is an act of sanity. Some children must cope with intrusive memories and intrusive thoughts. If your classroom is a safe place, typically the only way they can give you cues or messages is by acting out. They simply do not have the words necessary to describe their pain or trauma. It is an honor (although it may not feel like it at the time) if a student feels safe enough to act out in your classroom.Boys are shame phobic. Girls are shame sensitive. Do everything you can to protect a child?s dignity and self-respect. Boys who appear belligerent, angry, disrespectful or indifferent to an adult are often trying to hold back a flood of tears. Boys react to shame in tactile-kinesthetic ways and often express that through their fists. Girls tend to turn shame inward, and seek to become perfect, which brooks all sorts of behavioral manifestations from trying to become model-thin to overcompensation (becoming the perfect student) to becoming the rebel. Rarely are these responses located in the middle of the behavior continuum; they tend to be outsized and even exaggerated responses to what adults perceive as trivial stressors.Investigate Dr. Bruce Perry?s work with children. As a pediatric neuroscientist, he sheds light on how the child?s brain responds to stress, trauma and abuse. It is simply astonishing. Take a look!View the Child Trauma and American Experts in Traumatic Stress links in the Required Studies section.Examine Ausubel?s explanation about ?obliterative subsumption?. See the link the Required Studies section. How have these patterns affected you and your learning? How can you address them in the classroom, workplace, or in your family to facilitate positive outcomes for teaching, giving directions or remembering to feed the dog?Based on your review, answer the following questions:What information was new for you?What information surprised you?What do Jensen and Gladwell say about these topics?How will you apply this information to your classroom, workplace or family life?Make a summary statement about your ideal learning environment, as it relates to your classroom.!
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