Technology Tools For Your Classroom

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Free, Cheap, & Easy! Technology Tools For Your Classroom
Today, technology tools for education abound! I’ll share what works for me in my classes. ClassDojo, Voki, Storybird, Padlet – just to name a few. What do they do? How can we use them in class? What secret jewels do you have to share with the group?

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Technology Tools For Your Classroom

  1. 1. Sample letter explaining how Class Dojo works or ways that you can set it up in your class Behavior Management: Rewards & Consequences Class Dojo: This semester in Social Studies we will be using a classroom behavior plan based on a web tool called Class Dojo. Students will be given positive points for good behavior and points will be subtracted for negative behaviors. Some things students can earn points for are teamwork, raising your hand, stand & deliver, completed work, helping others, and participation. Some things that can cost points include talking out of turn, being out of your seat without permission, profanity, disrespecting others, not following directions, being off task or failing to complete homework. Rewards: Class Dojo rewards that can be earned are as follows: Monthly – 1. Classes with 80% or higher positive behavior for that month will be given reward time to be spent as the students desire 2. The student in each class with the highest number of positive points will be awarded a special prize and the title of “Student of the Month” to be displayed on a poster in the classroom. Weekly – 1. Students with 80% or higher positive points for the week will be given extra credit tickets. Students may earn 5 points of extra credit for each week at 80% or higher. These can be added to any assignment (class work, quiz, test) 2. Classes that earn (as a whole) 100% positive behavior for a whole week will be given a special reward as determined by the teacher. Consequences - Each student is given "3 strikes you're out" every week. This means that the students are allowed 2 negative points per week with no consequences. However, as in baseball, once a student gets a 3rd negative point, I will contact the parent and we will work out how we should address the issue- either with detention or some kind of intervention from home. Students who cause major disruptions may be given silent lunch or told to stay with me during electives for a day. In a case such as that, the parent will be contacted immediately. Students who earn more than 3 negative points during the week, are a major disruption, and have not responded to the interventions placed by the teacher/parents will be written up and sent to the office. This should result in fewer office referrals as it means the students will have been given the chance to redirect themselves first before it turns into a write up. Access Class Dojo at home: Parent and student access codes will be given out for each parent and student to be able to sign up and view at home their Dojo points and behaviors. Students will also be able to change their monster avatars using their access codes. Parents can send in their email address to receive a Dojo behavior report every Friday. Many have found that this is an easy way to stay involved in your child’s behavior during Social Studies class. Website: http://www.classdojo.com/
  2. 2. Example of a grade level behavior strategy 8th Grade Proposal for Motivational Incentive for Behavior Observations:Apathy among a small, but growing percentage of our students is very evident. These students are not motivated to work, complete assignments or stay attentive in class. This results in students making poor decisions and not using self-control concerning behavior. We have also noticed an increase in students not complying with the dress code policy. Implementation: The 8th grade teachers would like to implement an incentive to be given to our students who follow the guidelines of our behavior/academic rubric from Monday to Friday of each week. This rubric will be posted in all 8th grade classrooms. We are open to extending this to the elective teachers to add their input regarding grades and behavior as this may help in their classes as well. We would like to allow those students who qualify to go outside with strict supervision from 2:10-2:30 on Friday of each week. We may also provide a small snack such as a candy bar, ice cream sandwich or something of that nature once analyzing our resources. In the event we provide a snack, we will be prepared with trash bags to collect all trash and students will be brought back into the building to be seated in their classrooms by the 2:30 announcements. Students who do not qualify will stay back with an 8th grade teacher in one classroom and will be provided with an alternative assignment specific to the subject area the student may be weakest in. This will give the student another opportunity to raise his/her average. Students staying back specifically for behavior will be given a writing assignment to reflect on his/her behavior. This assignment may also be used as a tool to raise his/her average at the discretion of the teacher. Predicted Outcome: All students will be motivated to show a better work ethic and adhere to the rigor that is taught in our lessons. They will also be motivated to make better choices when it comes to behavior, show respect, and follow our PBIS matrix. This should result in lower behavior infractions and higher achievement in all core subject areas. 8th Grade Behavior/Academic Rubric My goal is to:  Come to class prepared.  Stay attentive in class and take pride in my work.  Maintain at least an 80 average in all core subject areas.  Complete all of my assignments, make-up work and homework on time.  Follow classroom and school-wide rules at all times.  No disciplinary referrals  Stay in compliance with the higher standard dress code policy.
  3. 3. Behavior Contract I,_______________________, agree to make the following positive behavior changes: _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________ When I successfully complete this contract, I will be rewarded by: _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________ If I don’t make the appropriate changes, I will have this consequence: __________________________________________________ We will review my contract on this date: __________________ Child signature:_______________________ Date: _________ Parent signature: ______________________ Date: _________
  4. 4. Personal tips for effective classroom management 1. Find out who you are as a person; find your strengths, weaknesses, and how your chemistry works with others 2. Pay attention at all times 3. Keep your word 4. Be excited about teaching what you teach 5. Study leadership and be a leader 6. Accept responsibility for everything that happens in your classroom, whether good or bad 7. Assume the role of a captain of your classroom and be in control at all times Student and parent relationship tips for effective classroom management 1. Improve students’ self-concept 2. Greet them at the doorway before they enter the classroom, use handshakes, high fives, nicknames, whatever 3. Joke around with you students, but have a way to get them back on task 4. LOVE! If we authentically show students that we are dedicated to loving them, believing in them-they will allow us to teach them 5. Authentic honor, respect, and admiration goes the distance when you want students to engage deeply in learning 6. You have to reach them before you can attempt to teach them 7. Get to know them really fast; names in less than a week, absolutely 8. Assign “math autobiographies” (or whatever) early, and learn more about them 9. Share control where there are choices that control the environment, and where there really is a choice, give the kids that control (Which game will we play today if we finish fast? Would you like to take the quiz now, or go over homework first? Do you want sparkly stickers or smelly stickers?) 10. Kids get told what to do all the time; make your classroom a place where they get to make some decisions 11. Try to make a personal connection with each child — find out what their interests and activities are; if you know they have a game coming up, wish them luck, or ask how it went the next day 12. Share (limited) personal information with them; this helps to establish a connection with the students 13. Speak to students with respect, even when they are not acting respectfully toward you 14. Praise! Praise! Praise! But make it specific — instead of saying, “You guys were so good at the assembly!” tell them you’re so happy they all stayed flat on their bottoms and listened quietly to the speaker 15. Stop whatever you are doing whenever you see something remarkable happening in the classroom and point it out 16. Do not try to make the kids like you; as you make them behave, they will like you 17. Do not give in to every request, “This isn’t Burger King, you don’t have it your way all the time” 18. Give in to some requests when it is educationally appropriate, “Fine, this is Burger King, have it your way” 19. Do not be afraid to ask parents for help in the classroom or with events 20. Keep parents informed about what is going on in your classroom (I first set up an email list, then turned it into a blog with email subscriptions) Organization and teaching tips for effective classroom management 1. Keep impeccable records. Pamela wrote about this in great detail 2. The students need to be working on something constructive and meaningful from bell to bell 3. Follow a regular structure; this will also help students know what to expect; establish a weekly routine like Jeremy Aldrich 4. To keep focus, you need to break focus, never expect half an hour of silent attention to anything if you are lecturing, interrupt yourself (with jokes, stories, off-topic nonsense, discussion of what is happening
  5. 5. elsewhere in school, random knowledge, etc.); plan a variety of work, so that they will need to take out notebooks, or put them away, or move desks, or stop writing and start talking 5. Focus on what needs to actually get done; never walk into a class thinking “we’ll see how far we get” — have a target, reach it, and the other time, to the extent that it exists, is used to build a class that kids are comfortable in, that they look forward to coming to each day 6. Teach students — even the youngest ones — to be responsible for their own learning; let them know that you expect them to use their class time for learning Behavior and rules tips for effective classroom management 1. On the first day, give kids really easy things to do, like raise your hand if your last name begins with “G” and sit in assigned seats. have them fill in basic info cards, stand them up, sit them down, get them used to following directions and doing what they are told 2. Whatever your rules, make them clear, keep them concise, keep them consistent, keep them fair 3. Make your expectations (for both behavior and learning) high and very clear and reinforce them regularly (relentlessly pursue classroom management) 4. Don’t make threats you won’t follow through on; actions speak louder than words 5. Set the boundaries fairly close at first, then relax them later, once you’ve gotten to know each other 6. If you have the kids seated in table arrangements, give tally marks to tables for doing the right thing — i.e. being the first to have all members with homework turned in or with book open to the right page, etc.; this speeds up transitions immensely 7. Use behavior contracts 8. Stay mobile; as they work, pace the room and watch for signs of confusion or distraction 9. Gently tap off-task students on the shoulder 10. Spot check what they are supposed to be working on 11. I establish as few rules as possible, and then jealously enforce the ones I have — too many rules mean too many things you have to track 12. Overexplain — ALWAYS review your expectations and go through the “What if?” scenario list before assemblies, field trips, guest speakers, substitutes, etc., no matter how many times you’ve discussed it before 13. Find ways to correct students with as little distraction to your lesson as possible; develop “the look“ 14. Use silence or whispering to your advantage — students are uncomfortable with unexpected silence; there will always be a few students who don’t immediately look up when you stop talking, so other students will start nudging them and pointing for them to pay attention, when all eyes are back on you, ask, “Are we ready to continue?” with an “I’m not very amused” look on your face 15. Catch the students doing something right; if that doesn’t happen, lower your expectations for what they should do, and find someone who exceeds the expectations 16. Do not be afraid to make kids call their parents and explain their misbehaviors during class; it’s amazing how much that fear of being found out does to your overall class behavior 17. Don’t yell — or at least do it VERY sparingly and know that it will carry a lot more weight if and when you do; for example, saying “Don’t take that tone with me” to a disrespectful student will often escalate the situation

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