Obtaining a maximal focus from students must be initiated from the beginning of class. Wong states, “Your very first priority when the class starts is to get the students to work” (Wong, 2012). This can be accomplished by, clearly communicating and modeling expectations at the start of class. Some teachers might utilize exit tickets as one way of assessing a student’s work in an efficient way and cultivating thought for the upcoming class (What will you do at the beginning of the next class?). Establishing clear, concrete and accessible expectations is essential.
Teachers must treat the end of class equally to the beginning and end. Often time’s teachers will dismiss class without a conclusion, a reflection or lead into the next lesson. Checking for comprehension can range from “think pair shares” to “standardized tests.” A quick journal entree, an exit ticket, thumbs-up/thumbs-down; checking for understanding after a question, are all examples of quick meaningful approaches to conclude a lesson.
Turning in Work
Students are anxious to submit and then receive feedback from the teacher. Teachers must provide clarity on the expectations of submission. Where, when, why and how would be a good place to start when describing the submission of assignments to students. A clear understanding of where a student should submit the assignment, specific deadlines, how to turn in an assignment fully completed is also an important factor. These methods will help reduce miscommunication and anxiety for students.
Using the Restroom
Students will definitely need to use the restroom at some point during the day. The rules/expectations for using the restroom should vary from grade to grade and the personal expectations of the teacher.
Asking for help During Work Time
Students should be comfortable to ask for help or clarification during the day. The methods in which students can ask for help should vary per grade level. Teachers should have age appropriate expectations that are accessible. Methods can range from post-it-notes, a color/sign, or a “question box.”
Absences and Make Up Work
Upon an unplanned excused absence students are allowed to make up work within a predetermined amount of time set by the teacher. The teacher using fair judgment should determine the amount of time provided for submission of the late work.
-If the student has an unplanned unexcused absence they must meet with the teacher to evaluate the expectations of the make up policy. The student should make up the assignment.
-For a planned excused/unexcused absence the students must collect assignments from the teacher prior to the absence and submit the assignments accordingly.
-Expectations regarding make-up work should be clearly posted and available for students to understand. Within my PE class I utilize the Google drive containing multiple options for make up assignments. Students know where to find a make up assignment and can even accomplish the make up work before missing a planned absence.
Transitioning between activates or class can create a void in teaching or learning time. If the students are prompted before class with an agenda for the day and transition directions they will reduce the amount of time a teacher spends directing the transition. Teachers should have an agenda clearly posted for the students to understand when start and finish times are.
Students are often distracted within personal conversations, group work, or personal thought. Teachers might utilize methods such as non-verbal noise (clap, whistle, chime, bell), simply raising a hand, one-clap/two clap “if you can here me clap once, if you can hear me clap twice,” or raising their voice to acquire their attention. In PE the most common method is to use the whistle. However, students should be able to be aware of their environment without a teacher having to use the whistle. Sometimes the silent raising of a hand is an equally effective method.
Spending time picking up and placing equipment on the floor can be inefficient for a teacher. Within PE we may use students to help organize equipment. Throughout the school year different students can be equipment managers for the week. They must work with the teacher before and after class to be responsible for the equipment that is needed during a particular lesson.
Showering After Exercise
Showering after exercise is important for maintaining hygiene. Students are often uncomfortable with showering and teachers also might be uncomfortable with checking on students if they shower. To help accommodate comfort for students and teachers is to have proper facilities to ensure privacy (doors on showers). Teachers can also send different groups and different times to reduce the number of students in the locker room at one time.
Wong, Harry K.; Wong, Rosemary T. (2012-05-11). The First Days of School (Kindle Location 16). Harry K Wong. Kindle Edition.