Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Class Meetings & iPod Guidelines

You know when you are thinking about how to manage your time in classroom better?  You know when you are thinking how to create more time for instruction in your class?  You know when you think I could get rid of this and put in that?  Well I am so thankful that I did not give up class meetings.  It was on the chopping list at the beginning of the school year, but I believed it was too important for building of community.

Ever Monday, we start our week with a class meeting called "Weekend Share" every student gets to share their #1 favorite event of the weekend.  In fifth grade, that is not always easy to choose 1 event but it is another part of the communication indicators-choosing important information.  The students share about their families, sports, boy scout camp outs, visiting relatives and some even travel on the weekend.  I listen with open ears because I learn so much about them and more importantly I learn about their lives outside of school.  I can follow up later if someone shares they were at the hospital visiting their sick grandma or their dad did not get to come home from India.  Those are the connections that I believe are important and I want to build throughout the school year.

Every Friday, we end our week with our class meeting.  I have written about it before because this is where we choose our top ten events of the week.  But prior to this, we always have the QUESTIONS, COMPLIMENTS and CONCERNS.  This is a chance for the students to voice their thoughts in this area as well as for me to bring up concerns which brings me to last Friday's class meeting.  This year's group have been not focused during study hall, so we developed a T chart on the dry erase board.  On the left hand side, What should study hall look like and sound like? I wrote ideas down as they told me their list included:  finishing HW, getting extra help if needed, studying for tests, and if time play on the iPod.  "Playing on the iPod" was the interesting part of the conversation as you can see from the chart below. This list started in green with what does study hall look like now...it is....

We set new guidelines for the  iPods this year.  I told them the "play" is all connected with their learning as well as the opportunity to review skills.  Look at the very bottom of the chart-people might take advantage.  That was great conversation about how they needed to make the correct choices for them and not always follow their friends-a life lesson from our class meeting.

No comments:

Post a Comment