Creating a Positive Classroom Environment

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Creating a Positive Classroom Environment
A classroom should be one of inquiry and open-mindedness. In order to foster a classroom of students who feel comfortable asking questions and are open to other students’ ideas it is imperative to create a positive, safe environment and learning community. I believe that students should feel like their classroom has high expectations, in how everyone treated each other, and in how learning took place. Creating a classroom environment where all students feel emotionally and physically safe enough to take risks is a real challenge and one that is worthy of the time it requires. The key to an inquiry-based curriculum is a safe, positive learning environment, therefore, it is foundational that the teacher work to provide, establish, and maintain that throughout the year. In the classroom, the teacher should be working on ways to develop a positive learning community by finding out more about my students. For example, each student should fill out a Who Am I questionnaire so that the teacher can get to know their student's personalities, hobbies, likes and dislikes and therefore include them in lectures, discussions and explanations through out the year. The teacher should also engage in differentiated instruction in my classroom so that he/she can tailor specific lessons to fit different viewpoints, and abilities of students. This is also a demonstration of care and respect for students as they see their teacher notice certain aspects about their learning or personalities and tailors their instruction to meet their needs. One of the ways I would engage in differentiated instruction is by walking around the room and constantly being available to assist students. By offering them one-on-one assistance I can better gauge where their personal understanding and misconceptions are and tailor my teaching to them differently than I would to the class as a whole. In order to maintain a positive classroom environment, a teacher must use the ability to make quick decisions and to be flexible in the classroom. The teacher needs to make decisions and adjustments to enhance the student motivation, engagement, and productive work. One way I would make adjustments when there are issues in the classroom hindering the productive learning community is to create a new seating chart. I find that this act is often used enough to nip any potential social problems in the bud and sends a message to students that if they want to sit with their friends, they need to earn the privilege. You would be surprised with how a new seating chart for the class can increase productivity and engagement in core subject content instead of social life information. In a science classroom, experiments and lab work are an important way for students to engage in the content. All students in the class should work on labs at the same time with minimal supervision. The teacher must also be cognizant of how the resources of time, space, activities and attention are allocated to students throughout the short hour that they are in class. However, there are more traditional strategy for lab work. The difference comes in how many materials you have for certain labs, how much time it takes for each group of students to complete the experiment, and how tricky the directions are. Deciding which method to employ for a given lab and analyzing the classroom environment to decide which will work best in a given situation. In the Collier County School District it is acceptable to have up to 30 students in each classroom. It is difficult in this type of environment for students to feel that they are an important member of the learning community. I found that it was easy for certain students to disengage from activities and it was hard for the teacher to pick up on their lack of involvement because of the sheer number of other students in the room. Therefore, I thought up of an activity that would give the teacher time to walk around to...
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