Developing a Learning Classroom: Moving Beyond Management Through Relationships, Relevance, and Rigor

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Corwin Press, Jun 12, 2012 - Education - 152 pages
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Discover powerful ways to connect with your students!

All too often, managing a classroom means gaining control and implementing rules. Designed for any teacher struggling with student behavior, motivation, and engagement, this book explores how to create a thriving, learning-centered classroom through relationships, relevance, and rigor. Filled with classroom stories and immediate action steps, the book shows how to:

  • Develop an interactive learning mindset
  • Create a safe environment where students flourish
  • Uncover a student's learning profile as well as your own teaching style
  • Create classroom practices and procedures with student input
  • Use brain-based instructional strategies to keep students engaged


 

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Contents

WHAT IS A LEARNING CLASSROOM? HOW TO DEVELOP RELATIONSHIPS RELEVANCE AND RIGOR
1
The Three Rs Revisited
3
Mindsets
5
Understanding the Importance of the Survival Reflex to Teaching
6
Creating the Learning Environment
7
The Process of Developing a Learning Classroom
9
Reflection
10
WHO AM I WHO TEACHES? HOW KNOWING ONESELF IMPACTS PRACTICE
13
Reflections
62
Actions
63
HOW DO WE TEACH OUR STUDENTS? HOW TO ENGAGE STUDENTS IN THEIR OWN LEARNING WITH RIGOR AND RELEVANCE
65
Deciding How to Teach
68
Beliefs Affect How We Teach
69
Teach the Way They Learn
70
Brains Are Wired for Learning
71
Address Relevance and Rigor for Problem Solving
73

SelfTalk
14
Hot Buttons
16
Family of Origin
17
Biases Values and Beliefs
19
Thoughts and Feelings
21
Balance
22
Strengths
23
Closing Thoughts
24
Reflection
25
Actions
26
WHO ARE THE STUDENTS WE TEACH? HOW KNOWING OUR STUDENTS AFFECTS TEACHING AND LEARNING
27
Understanding Uniqueness
28
Getting to Know Our Students
30
Beginning of the Year Talking Stick Group
31
Ongoing Assessment
32
Responsive Journal Writing
33
Student Drawings
34
Get to Know Students Family Background
35
Build Relationship With Parents
36
Becoming Familiar With Cultural Perspectives
38
Getting to Know Students Educational History
39
Getting to Know Their Talents
41
Knowing Our Limits
43
Reflections
46
HOW DO WE REACH OUR STUDENTS? HOW PROCEDURES AND CLEAR EXPECTATIONS DEVELOP A LEARNING CLASSROOM
47
The SettingInvitation to Learning
49
Tips for Classroom Organization
50
Emergency Procedures
51
TimeSavers to Maximize Instruction
52
Reaching The Difficult Student
54
Building Alternative Approaches
60
Closing Thoughts
61
Knowing Your Stuff and How to Teach It
75
A Few Fundamentals
76
Closing Thoughts
82
Reflections
83
Actions
84
HOW DO WE KNOW IF OUR STUDENTS ARE LEARNING? HOW TO ASSESS AND MOTIVATE STUDENTS
85
Relationships Relevance and Rigor
86
Science and Art of Assessment
88
Kinds of Assessments
89
Analysis of Student Work
92
The System We Have
94
Assessing Higher Level Thinking
96
SelfAssessment and Peer Assessment
99
Closing Thoughts
101
Reflections
104
HOW DO WE STAY IN THE GAME? HOW TO CULTIVATE LEARNING COMMUNITIES FOR CONTINUAL PROFESSIONAL GROWTH
105
Relationships
106
Rigor
107
Communication
110
Reflection in Action
112
Building on Strengths
115
Purpose
116
Reflection
118
Action
119
APPENDIX A INTRODUCTORY STUDENT SURVEY
121
APPENDIX B ADVANCED STUDENT SURVEY
123
TOOLS TO STIMULATE CRITICAL THINKING
125
APPENDIX D FLEXIBLE LESSON DESIGN
127
APPENDIX E PERSONAL EDUCATION PLAN
129
REFERENCES
131
INDEX
133
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About the author (2012)

Nic Cooper, Ed.D., LPC, LMSW, has 34 years of experience in public education as a counselor, alternative education developer, assistant principal and principal. He spent most of his career at the middle school level after beginning as a high school counselor. Prior to his retirement, his middle school was named as one of Michigan’s first Schools to Watch in 2006. He has also worked as a substance abuse counselor and a probation officer. After his retirement from public education, he became a full-time faculty member in the teacher education program at Baker College in Jackson, MI and a part-time leadership coach for the Center for Excellence in Education at Central Michigan University. A certified counselor and social worker, Nic also works part-time as a therapist at Still Waters Counseling in Saline, MI. He is the state director for the Schools to Watch program, a recognition program for exemplary middle schools presented through the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. He is the co-author with Rick McCoy of a book for parents of adolescents entitled How to Keep Being a Parent When Your Child Stops Being a Child. He is a board member for the Michigan Association of Middle School Educators and the Michigan Association of Teacher Educators and is a member of the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. He presents at state and national conferences on classroom development, healing teaching staffs in conflict, and addressing the needs of at-risk students, among other topics.

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