Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Daily Assignment #35: Predicting What Can Go Wrong

We can never predict everything that can go wrong within a lesson, herding students or any other situation within a school day.  However, we can try to be mindful of possibilities e.g., challenging vocabulary within a lesson, confusing directions for an activity, obstacles blocking a passageway, students upset over a change in the schedule, conflicts on the playground, and the list goes on.

How can we prevent these situations?  As you plan the day, take a moment and think what might interfere with a smooth flow within a lesson, transitions, recess, rescheduling, etc...   Then try to plan for it.

For example, look at the vocabulary within a lesson, list challenging words, teach the meaning, clarify questions, then do the lesson.  For some lessons it is hard to know what can go wrong until you've taught it.  Then it may become crystal clear as to what to anticipate the next time.

When giving directions for an activity ask the students for thumbs up if they understand, thumbs in the middle if they have one question and thumbs down if they are totally confused.  Then clarify the misunderstandings and/or confusions.

When herding students be mindful of obstacles e.g., other classes moving in the hallways, equipment (video, carts, wastebaskets, furniture, etc....) in awkward places, puddles of water (dare I say, even bodily fluids).  Don't be unnerved if you must take a different route and have to move things around to create that passageway.

If during recess you know that some students may have a difficult time, plan for it.  Hold them back and have a conversation with them about appropriate behavior during recess.  In this way, you are giving them notice and being very clear about expectations.

In our profession, change in the daily schedule is inevitable.  There are so many unpredictable events that can impact our day e.g.,  an unplanned assembly, fire drills, conflict among students, specialist absent, announcements on intercom, someone getting hurt emotionally/physically, etc...  All of these impact instruction.  How you handle these events will be a model for your students.  Remain calm and flexible.
Have back up plans that you keep on hand.  Refer to Daily Assignment #22 for ideas to fill those down moments that may result from a schedule change.

Having said all that, please know that you can't predict everything.  Learn from each event.  Build your repertoire.  And be calm.

Please share this blogsite with colleagues and friends.  If you haven't already, become a "Follower".
Thank you for your support.
Best Effort,

No comments:

Post a Comment