Sunday, December 7, 2014

Class Meetings: How I Started

     In the past I was not very consistent with how I managed my class meetings. I conducted them very irregularly. Essentially, I would conduct class meetings as issues came up. This meant that we had no real routine, day or set time that we would hold class meetings. They were as sporadic as could be.
     This year, everything changed. I made it a personal goal to really improve my class meetings. I knew that if I wanted class meetings to be successful in my class, then I was going to have to do things differently. So I did. I decided on a set day and time for my meetings. That was the best thing I could have done. I decided on every Friday morning, first thing in the morning. Now that I have that day and time set aside for class meetings, I never have to worry about what I am going to have to cut out of our day. The time has already been set aside to ensure it happens. This has been the most crucial part of class meetings working in my room.
     Another step I took to help improve my class meetings was to start them right away at the beginning of the school year. I wasted no time in getting started. The longer you take to begin a routine, the less chance you have at building that routine in to your day. The very first Friday of our school year I began to talk to my students about our class meetings we will be having. We practiced greeting each other. We dicussed the rules of our meetings. We discussed the importance of our meetings. We kicked off our meetings from the get go, and not procrastinating getting our class meetings started really helped me toquickly establish powerful and effective class meetings.
     Now, I have never read a book or even taken a workshop on class meetings. I know I still have a lot to learn. I know my class meetings are not perfect, but they are do much better than the class meetings I have conducted in the past. I am still on the journey, learning as I go, but I am extremely encouraged by the progress I have seen.
     Do you hold class meetings in your own classroom? I would love to hear about them.

Parent-Teacher Conferences: Keeping the Humanity

         As I write this, it is currently parent-teacher conference season. We've been in school for a couple of months, and finall...