Using the strategies described I was able to keep my students on task and more focused on the learning at hand. The students understood what they needed to be doing during the group work and were more productive during that time. By setting clear expectations, having better time management strategies, and being more assertive, I have been able to keep my students on task more during the class period. I still have not hit the 95% marker but there has been significant improvement from my students (especially the ones that have been struggling in my class). There are still things that distract my students and get them off task, but I'm doing a better job of keeping them on task. I'm going to keep working on strategies to help keep my students on task and work with my cooperating teacher to come up with ideas to help my students stay on task.
I have noticed that my students are off task when they are confused about what it is that they need to be doing or learning. This confusion usually causes the students to get off task and distract others around them. I want to work on keeping my students informed and making my expectations of them very clear. I wanted to do a few thing that would help clarify my expectations to my students. I decided to begin to write the learning goals of that day on the board for all of the students to see, that way they would know what it is that I expect them to learn that day.
Sharing the learning goals everyday didn't really have an impact on most students. When I would begin to talk about the learning goals for that day most of the students would lose interest while I talked about them. I was really hoping that most of the students would take an interest in what it was that they were learning that day and want to know whether they met the goals or not. There however was a few students, and one student in palatial that has been struggling in my class, that really benefit by having me go over what it is that they are going to learn that day and what I'm expecting from them. The student who has been struggling has started to ask more questions about the material. I was explaining that our goals for the day were to multiply rational expressions and simplify them, later that day he asked me about simplifying rational expressions and how far he needed to go to be able to multiply them. I was really happy that he knew that he needed to simplify and was curious how to simplify the rational expressions after multiplying them. I had the opportunity to explain that he could also simplify before multiplying them to make it easier to multiply. This understanding of what needed to be learned today helped him know when he needed help and I was able to help him. For that reason I'm going to keep spending a minute in class going over the learning goals.
Another thing that I have been trying in my class has been when I go over instructions I stand in one spot in the class, so students know that I am explaining what it is that they are doing. Also I have tried to be more loud and clear when I go over the instructions for the activities. I was watching a video that I recorded for the TPA and was going over some of my weaknesses and I found out that when I go over instructions I speed up and talk a little quieter. Being aware of that I have told myself to slow down and really speak clearly, that way I do not need to repeat myself multiple times for students to understand what it is that I'm expecting them to do.
The positioning in the class when I explain instructions has helped because when I go to the instructions spot and stand there quietly, students quiet down and pay attention to what I have to say. It has made behavior management easier and the lessons move a little quicker into the group work or activities that I have planned. Also explaining the instructions loud and clear takes a little longer the first time but I have found that I don't have to repeat myself multiple times. Mission success, I really like using these strategies and there has been less confusion about what students should be doing. The students are on task more and working toward the goals that I'm setting.
For my professional development I wanted to work on managing time in my classroom to help keep my students focused and on task. I talked with my master teacher and also did some research online to find some resources to help my manage time in my classroom. The first thing that I tried was to use a timer app on my smartphone.
In my class I have found that I sometimes remain passive while students start to get off task, I want to change that. I am trying to be more assertive within my classroom and help refocus students when they start to drift off.
I needed a way to approach the group of students and interject in their conversation. I wanted a way to get them re-engaged in the material that we were learning. I looked online for some ideas and I actually came across some really good information.
Aspect of teaching that I want to improve on
Measureable Action Plan
Students will be on task 95% of the class period
Research and Ideas to help meet that plan