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The Primary Learning Environment

Module 2: ch. 6 &7

Vicky Meakings

on 29 June 2013

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Transcript of The Primary Learning Environment

The Primary Learning Environment
Classroom Design
Everyone has their places
Blooms Taxonomy
Based on 6 levels of questioning starting with knowledge and ending with evaluation .
Teachers can work their way up to higher level questions.
The types of questions that are asked help to elicit the types of answers that teachers are looking for.
Bloom's Taxonomy starts with lower level questions that are key for younger children and moves to more appropriate questions for older learners.
All types of questions can be asked but asking younger children higher level questions will not have the same answers as asking them age appropriate questions due to their lack of experiences
Organization at its finest
Each student has their own storage space
Sometimes you have to keep your cool and just go with it...
ETFO Strategies
(Arquette, 2)
How to Create Classroom "rules" that work
Make them easy to understand- no complicated wording, especially in primary
Don't make too many (5 or less usually works best)
Give them a positive spin (keep your hands to yourself vs. Do not touch others)
Keep it consistent (if you enforce them all the time they become second nature)

Government of Manitoba, Classroom and Behavioural Strategies and Interventions, 5.2)

Build your own classroom with Classroom Architect (click the link below to open a new window)
Build your Dream Classroom ...
Fall 2013- Welcoming Kids back to an after school program
All of their names were on apples in the basket, and as they made fall themed art it was posted
(McComas and Abraham, 9)
(McComas and Abraham, 9)
Personally, I think having a balance of different types of centers is crucial to learning. I would implement a variety of centers as well as set up areas for different types of learning. I find having an area for quiet/ individual play is very important. Sometimes students just need time by themselves to think or calm down, and a spot away from everyone else, yet still in sight of the teacher, is a perfect way for young students to have a bit of time away from the hustle and bustle of a classroom.
How I would and have used "rules" in the classroom
I have found that student involvement and clear concise rules have the greatest impact for students.
Much like success criteria, expectations that are posted and created with the assistance of the students, helps to ensure a positive classroom. They allows students to have a constant reminder of what is expected of them and the class as a whole.

I would tie the idea of creating a class made expectation chart with the idea of rules at different levels (home, school, community, globally) and how we are all responsible for different things in different places, as well as the consequences when we do not follow the rules and expectations. (if we don't put our garbage in the bin = messy classroom, if we run in the halls = you could fall)
(Auger and Rich, 168)

Rewards for Positive behaviour
Sit at the teacher's desk.
Take care of the class animals for the day.
Have lunch with your favorite person.
Have lunch with the principal.
Join another class for indoor recess.
Have the teacher phone parents to tell them what a great kid you are.
Draw on the chalkboard.
Be first in line.
Do only half an assignment.
Choose any class job for the week.
Use colored chalk.
Do all the class jobs for the day.
Be a helper in the room with younger children.
Help the custodian.
Help the secretary.

Use the teacher's chair.
Work in the lunchroom.
Take a class game home for the night.
Choose a book for the teacher to read to the class.
Move your desk to a chosen location.
No homework pass.
Lunch with the teacher.
Operate the projector.
Use the couch or beanbag chair for the day.
Go to another class for lunch.
Use the computer.
Be the first to eat.
Use the tape recorder and tape a story.

(Auger and Rich, 205)
Tips for Asking Effective Questions
Anticipate Student Thinking
Link to Learning Goals
Pose Open Questions
Pose Questions that Actually need to be Answered
Incorporate Verbs that Elicit Higher Levels of Bloom's Taxonomy
Pose Questions that open up that Conversation to Include Others
Keep questions Neutral
Provide Wait Time
(Ontario Ministry of Education: Asking Effective Questions, 2-3)
Wait Time and Cooperative Learning Strategies into Questioning
"Wait Time":
Wait time is crucial for understanding.
Teachers need to wait longer after asking a question for a response and before asking another question. Teachers tend to want an immediate response after asking a question which can stifle the thinking of students.

Cooperative Learning and Questioning:
Incorporating questioning skills into cooperative learning can help to elicit more in depth responses and helps students to asks questions on their own. The strategy of Think, Pair, Share enables students to have time to think about a question, find a partner and discuss their ideas, then share their ideas with the class.
This strategy is simply yet effective in facilitating learning on a different level and helps to keep everyone involved. (Auger and Rich, 210)

(Ontario Ministry of Education: Asking Effective Questions, 4)
Personal use of Questioning and Classroom Applications
During my practicum in a grade 4/5 class, I hard a difficult time asking higher level questions, relied heavily "how many of you" or "why do you think" type questions. My associate teacher advised me to do some research on Bloom's taxonomy to get a better idea of the types of questions I should be asking. It took a little time but I was able to get better at asking more in depth questions and get more thought out responses with higher level thinking

Now as an occasional teacher I try to vary my questioning, and try to go a little deeper. I have begun to use more of the verbs associated with higher levels of Bloom's Taxonomy. I try and work my way up through questioning and end up somewhere near the evaluation level of the taxonomy. Since I work in jk/sk and grade 1 most often, I try to make sure that they actually understand what I am asking. I;m trying my best not to confuse them, but still get them to think I little harder about the information I have presented.
The 5 "W's" and digging a little deeper
As student we are taught the 5 "W's" of questioning (who, what, where, why, and when). Although a good introduction to asking questions and getting basic information, , students are just scraping the surface. These are the types of questions that elicit a "right" answer, or convergent thinking (Auger and Rich, 207)

As teachers we need to teach our students that there is more to asking questions then just who did it. Teachers need to ask questions that go a little deeper and include process questions as well. (eg. how? why? what if?) These are the types of questions that elicit divergent thinking (more area for interpretation and personal ideologies. (Auger and Rich 207)

It is the combination of the 2 types of questioning that teachers need to use in the classroom.
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