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mandiem
Provide rich teaching for students ... Star this Commitment
Week 4 of 5

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mandiem
mandiem
May 8, 2021, 7:12 PM
Week 4: Rich Classroom Climate Mindset
Self-Assessment: Assess Your Understanding of Classroom Climate and Culture
Having a rich classroom climate is important. It makes kids happy and excited to come to school and learn. After reading the sections on rich classroom climate, I think I do a pretty good job. My class has a generally positive climate. The majority of my students are happy when they are at school and enjoy the activities we do in class. I always start my year off teaching my students that we are a family and we will act like family. We laugh and tell stories. I make time to talk to them about their lives outside of school and we connect that back to what we are learning. I try to make whatever content I am teaching relevant to them my kids. They get so excited when I use them as examples. I do try to help them see their future and the vision of who they want to be. I will say things like, “Well, when A & A make it to the Olympics….”or “When W is racing at Daytona….”or “One day Dr. C will be helping us all.” It lets them know that I am listening to them and gives them confidence to go for their goals. My students also know that they are safe in my classroom. Because my class is a “family”, they know they are not to make fun of each other or hurt each other’s feeling. They also know that if they do have a problem with someone in the class that we will sit down and work it out. I teach my kids that we cheer each other on and help each other out.

Reflect on Rich Classroom Mindset: Insights and Questions
1. One new insight I gained about the rich classroom mindset is the importance of affirming student voices. I love when my kids tell stories, especially when they are connecting to our studies. I will usually say something like “Thanks for your story” or “Great connection” or “That’s awesome”. I have not really thought about how it makes the kids feel when I say those things, because I was saying it as a way to show good manners and be polite. I realize now that it is also making them feel heard and important.
2. Another insight I gained is the importance of having students create a sense of ownership in the classroom climate. I have always used classroom jobs as a way make transitions in the classroom move quicker and smoother. Everyone knows their job, does it quickly, and the class moves on. I like the idea that classroom jobs empower the students. It helps them see themselves as a necessary and important part of the classroom climate.
3. Having a positive classroom climate is important. I can see how it relates to the positivity mindset. With that being said, how do we help our colleagues create a positive classroom climate when they are not in a positive mindset? Looking around my hallway, I have noticed that certain classrooms have more behavior problems, the teachers are constantly fussing, and the kids hate being there. How can we help the teachers change if they don’t realize that they are part of the problem.
Implement one strategy
One strategy that I will implement next year is the job application for the new classroom jobs. I like the real world job titles and the fact that they must use the real world skill of completing a job application. Filling out the job application will help the students think about the role they want to have in the classroom and why they want that role. The application will also make them think about the skills they have and skills they may want to improve on. The references section of the application will help them reflect on how they work with others. This strategy will help teach my students to take ownership of the classroom climate and culture and reflect on their role in the class.
krharrison
krharrison
May 6, 2021, 6:13 AM
I know you have a difficult job. I believe your words of affirmation are sticking with your students even though you might not get confirmation of it. I know your encouragement matters to them. Yes, the traditional reward systems so many have in place really does need to be revisited.
The reporting feature still isn't working. I apologize for the inconvenience.
mandiem
mandiem
May 1, 2021, 6:48 PM
Week 3: Positivity Mindset
Self-Assessment: Assess Your Understanding of How Poverty Affects Student Achievement
Being positive all of the time can be difficult, especially when working with students who have difficult home lives. Many of these students come to school with the attitude that education is not important. I have heard countless times, “Well, my mama didn’t graduate” or “My dad didn’t go to college, so I don’t need to.” I once had a student tell me that she did not need school because she was going to get “a baby daddy” to take care of her because that is what her mom did. Many of these kids see the lives their parents live and see no other options. Education is not a priority. As a teacher, I try to stay positive at school. I encourage my students to do their best in school and set goals for their future. I let them know that they are the ones in charge of their brains and their actions, and that they can choose to do more. I try to teach them responsibility for their actions and their learning.

Reflect on Achievement Mindset: Insights and Questions
1. One new insight I gained on the positivity mindset is effects of the three types of happiness have on students, especially hedonic happiness. Many schools base their behavior plan on a reward system, rewarding students for “making good choices”. This reward system seems to work for a while, but then the incentives and rewards have to become bigger and better. This happens because “the pleasure response diminishes, and the rewarded behavior becomes a letdown,” (89). Maybe we need to rethink the behavior and reward systems we use.
2. Another insight I gained is the importance of service work in helping students become more positive. Doing service projects not only affects the ones we are helping, but it helps our students experience the joy of helping others. This helps build their character and allows them to see that doing good makes you feel good.
3. This section talks about building positivity in our students and changing their mindsets, but how do we help our coworkers with this change? When our co-teachers have a negative attitude about their job, it affects everyone. It makes working with them difficult. It is seems it would be harder to get adults to change than students.
Implement one strategy
One strategy that I will implement is the “Stack up the Kindness”. As a “Leader in Me school”, we teacher our students to be leaders in the school and community. I not only want my students to be leaders, but I want them to be good people. Part of being a good person is showing kindness to others. I have tried to teach my students the importance of helping others and doing good deeds. I think using the “Stack up the Kindness” strategy and tracking their good deeds will encourage them to want to do more. I want them to want to be kind, good, helpful people.
krharrison
krharrison
April 26, 2021, 8:22 PM
Hey, Mandie. I'm having trouble marking your commitment journal post as successful due to a technology glitch. I'm working on it. I just wanted to let you know that I ready your post and it's great.
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