I can maximize academic learning time in my classroom by having clear procedures for each student to follow. These expectations have to be taught on the first day of class and practiced by the students until it becomes second nature. I really liked the classroom entry procedures that we went over in class today and want to modify them to fit my style. I like teaching students to enter the classroom respectfully to make a clear difference that our learning space is sacred. The classroom is different from other locations that they will find themselves in throughout the school day. The students need to learn that this difference exists, and that a separate set of actions and behaviors are demanded by the classroom setting.
I really like the concept of bell work, or “board work” in my case since my school does not have a bell. This maximizes academic learning time because it forces students to start to think in a different mindset the moment they walk into my classroom. By having a task at the beginning of class this also gives me the opportunity to take roll in peace. In my past experience, I have easily wasted valuable learning time by calling out roll at the start of class. In Wong’s video on effective teaching, he highlights the example of a student being absent. In this situation, the entire class erupts in a protest because the student is physically on campus. This has happened to me many times, and I should have learned my lesson early on. The students say, “But Jimmy’s here!” and I say “But he is not in this classroom and in his seat”. We then go back and forth, wasting class time. The board work will not only maximize student learning by getting them to think right away, it will also minimize classroom interruptions that distract from learning.