martes, 27 de noviembre de 2012

WEEK 7 – ARTICLE – Rethinking Classroom Management

In order to achieve success in teaching and learning management, it is important to focus on the organisation, the curriculum and the social issues. If we manage to combine these three important aspects for our pupils, we will achieve the perfect learning atmosphere.

Pupils should be aware that there are rules which they have to follow in society, but some rules may seem totally arbitrary for them, so if they negotiate between them, thinking why it should or should not be allowed in class for some issues, and then write them down they will interiorise them and respect them fully. If these rules are written down in a poster and are hanging on the classroom wall, they will be very visible for the students and will therefore be even more effective.

Even though, teachers should be kind to their pupils to maintain a good atmosphere, they also have to be firm in applying the rules of the class.

The curriculum is described as a way to give the children a chance to think critically, to solve problems, to become creative, innovative and to face challenges; whilst managing to engage them with the activities that are needed to be done.

And last but not least, the social issues. They enclose the affection and the understanding as well as the respect, recognition, inclusion, self-esteem, roles and responsibilities that pupils carry with them.

Knowing all this, we should be able to create a good environment around the pupils’ learning space and help them develop values and acquire knowledge as they grow up.

Here I’ve included a blog entry about rethinking classroom management that a primary school teacher wrote and her results in class. It may be interesting to read through to see other points of view and adaptations to real primary school classrooms.

jueves, 22 de noviembre de 2012

Week 6 – Home-school connection / Muffin Mondays

It is well known, and totally proven, that when parents and teachers work together, the children benefit.

Teachers should be aware that they should know some details about children's home life to complete their understanding of each of the pupils they have in class, but this is just possible with the help of the parents, who should keep the teacher informed about the recent changes in the child's family life (divorce, a death in the family, or illness, for example), important traditions or rituals, languages spoken at home, and other significant details unique to them.

Days to share the culture of the children in your class will help to strengthen the pupils’ self-esteem and also create a great sense of community and a respectful environment in the class where they can value the diversity as a way to learn instead of fearing it because they do not know anything about it.

Obviously, to share all this information, the parents must feel that they are part of the school community, so the idea of Muffin Mondays is a really good way to encourage this type of conversation.
Muffin Monday or Muffin for Mums (can be renamed as Muffins for Parents or something along these lines) is a weekly meeting with the parents on Mondays to talk about how is everything going and what are they doing in class.

As we all know parents have difficult timetables to accommodate around school schedules, so it would be effective to send little letters home, where the pupils write about what they do and try to collect them the next day. Here’s a link to an example of how it can it be done:

This blog contains a lot of useful information for teachers, and in this entry you can find some prints related to home-school connection as a blinding contract or what details could be used to improve it.

sábado, 17 de noviembre de 2012

WEEK 5 – ARTICLE – Meeting individual needs.

Differentiation is said to be “an adaptive approach to teaching is responsive to individual differences among learners” in Peter Westwood and Wendy Arnold’s article, but I’d say after reading the article that it is something along these lines:

Differentiation is taking account of children’s background (abilities, knowledge, preferences, interests...).for the student’s success.

In this article we can find interesting differentiated resource materials, examples of some whole group and small group activities and how to make it part of your daily classroom life, and some projects related to computer-supported learning. Also, there’s a part where we can find out about multiple intelligences (MI) and learning styles and preferences.

To achieve a differentiated teaching, it is important to create a nice environment, surroundings and atmosphere, so the students are comfortable to work on their activities, and in their learning process; but not just that, we need support materials that can be useful no matter what are the predominant skills and abilities of our students, the option of our students becoming the main protagonist in the class developing an active and communicative role, etc.

Furthermore, we want our students to become autonomous in their work and in life, so differentiated instruction must provide them the possibility to develop this skill. This can only be achieved if we take into account that every child we have in class is different and has unique skills and needs that we have to work with.

As you may want to have a look at the article, I recommend you to follow this link:

viernes, 9 de noviembre de 2012

Week 4 – Networked teacher.

Alex Couros, a professor of educational technology and media at the Faculty of Education, University of Regina, was the one to pass from this:

and this teaching community ideal:

To the actual PLN/PLE:

and developing it further to the PLCommunity

At some point, before a presentation in the Regina University, he decided to ask his colleagues what they think about “the Networked teacher” and here it is the result: AMAZING!

Here you can find Dr. Alec Couros interviewed by the author, professor and internet pioneer Howard Rheingold.

Also, as it’s mentioned in this video, I leave you the link to Dean Shareski blog entry about 'The Learning Project' (
It may not be totally related, but it’s about transparent teaching and I truly recommend that you take a look.