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March 2007
Vol 4 No 3
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About Effective Teaching

The most important factor in improved student learning is with an effective teacher.  Written ten times a year, Harry and Rosemary Wong feature effective teachers and administrators and what they do to enhance student learning.  The columns provide specific strategies and activities that you can download and use.  An archive can be found at the end of every column.

These strategies and activities are all based on the teachings and works of Harry and Rosemary Wong and they are happy to share the work of effective teachers with the profession.  If you have an effective strategy or technique that works, please share this by sending it to hwong@harrywong.com.

About Harry and Rosemary Wong...

Harry and Rosemary Wong are teachers. Harry is a native of San Francisco and taught middle school and high school science.  Rosemary is a native of New Orleans and taught K-8, including working as the school media coordinator and student activity director.

Harry Wong has been awarded the Outstanding Secondary Teacher Award, the Science Teacher Achievement Recognition Award, the Outstanding Biology Teacher Award, and the Valley Forge Teacher's Medal. Rosemary was chosen as one of California's first mentor teachers and has been awarded the Silicon Valley Distinguished Woman of the Year Award.

Harry Wong is the most sought after speaker in education today. He has been called "Mr. Practicality" for his common sense, user-friendly, no-cost approach to managing a classroom for high-level student success.

Nearly a million teachers worldwide have heard his message. Because he is fully booked for two years, he has agreed to and has invited his wife to join him in doing a monthly column for Teachers.Net so that more people can hear their message.

About Their Work...

Harry and Rosemary Wong are committed to bringing quality and dignity to the materials they produce. For this, they have formed their own publishing company, of which Rosemary is the CEO. They have dedicated their lives to leaving a legacy in education and making a difference in the lives of teachers and students.

Their latest contribution to helping teachers succeed is an eLearning course on Classroom Management.

1. The course can be taken in private at the learner's convenience.

2. The outcome of the course is
a 2 inch binder with your own
Classroom Management Action Plan.

This Action Plan is similar to the organized and structured plan used by all successful teachers.  Details for the classroom management course can be seen at www.ClassroomManagement.com.

The Wongs have written The First Days of School, the best-selling book ever in education. Over 2.9 million copies have been sold.

A third edition of The First Days of School includes an added bonus, an Enhanced CD featuring Harry Wong. The Enhanced CD, Never Cease to Learn, is dedicated to those teachers who know that the more they learn, the more effective they become.

The Wongs have also produced the video series The Effective Teacher, winner of the Telly Award for the best educational video of the past twenty years and awarded the 1st place Gold Award in the International Film and Video Festival.

They have released a new set of CDs with Harry Wong LIVE, speaking on How to Improve Student Achievement, as he speaks at one of his many presentations. He is the most sought after speaker in education and his presentations are legendary.

When the book, video series, and CD, and eLearning course are used together, they form the most effective staff training tool for developing effective teachers. Staff developers and administrators who would like to know how to implement the aforementioned book, video series, and CD are encouraged to consult the book, New Teacher Induction:  How to Train, Support, and Retain New Teachers. Information about these products can be found by visiting the publisher's website at www.EffectiveTeaching.com or www.HarryWong.com.

Best Sellers

The First Days of School with Enhanced CD, Never Cease to Learn
by Harry & Rosemary Wong
$18.30 from Amazon.com
More information

 


The Effective Teacher (Video Set)
Presented by Harry Wong

8 DVDs, with Facilitator's Handbook in PDF, book The First Days of School, and storage case, $695.00 from EffectiveTeaching.com (volume discounts available)
More information

 

Classroom Management with Harry and Rosemary Wong
eLearning course for individual use, CEUs available Preview the course and order at www.ClassroomManagement.com $124.95 (Group discounts available.)

 


How to Improve Student Achievement
Hear Harry Wong Live! in this 2 CD set
$31.95
More information

 


New Teacher Induction: How to Train, Support, and Retain New Teachers
by Annette L. Breaux, Harry K. Wong

$23.07 from Amazon.com
More information



Pathways: A Guide for Energizing & Enriching Band, Orchestra, & Choral Programs
by Joseph Alsobrook

$12.57 from Amazon.com
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Results : The Key to Continuous School Improvement
by Mike Schmoker

$20.95 from Amazon.com
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Improving Schools from Within : Teachers, Parents, and Principals Can Make the Difference
by Roland Sawyer Barth

$13.30 from Amazon.com
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A First-Year Teacher's Guidebook, 2nd Ed.
by Bonnie Williamson, Marilyn Pribus (Editor), Kathy Hoff, Sandy Thornton (Illustrator)

$17.95 from Amazon.com
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Schools That Learn: A Fifth Discipline Fieldbook for Educators, Parents, and Everyone Who Cares About Education
by Peter M. Senge (Editor), Nelda H. Cambron McCabe, Timothy Lucas, Art Kleiner, Janis Dutton, Bryan Smith

$24.50 from Amazon.com
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The Courage to Teach : Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life
by Parker J. Palmer

$16.76 from Amazon.com
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If You Don't Feed the Teachers They Eat the Students : Guide to Success for Administrators and Teachers
by Neila A. Connors

$13.96 from Amazon.com
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Effective Teaching...
by Harry and Rosemary Wong

March 2007

Classroom Management Applies to All Teachers


“I don’t see how this applies to me.  I teach high school and this all looks so elementary,” is a statement we hear all too often – with embarrassment.  When we respond to these teachers and tell them we want to help if they would tell us what they want as a high school teacher, we never hear from them.  Follow us and you may understand why we never get an answer.

An Aha Moment

Stacey Allred is a special education teacher in Hobart, Indiana.  Her success as a teacher is based on her knowledge and experiences that special education teachers, as well as all teachers, must be effective classroom managers to become effective teachers.

She says that what we, the Wongs, teach in our books, videos, and eLearning course about classroom management is so easily connected to all teachers whether a person is teaching in a regular classroom, a resource setting, or in an inclusive setting.  Children with behavior problems or learning problems need structure and routine even more than the typical student!  She continues that structure is simply a form of task analysis, which is the breakdown of a task step by step.  Read October 2004, “The Saints of Education,” for a similar story.

Stacey also teaches at Indiana University Northwest and her students are general education students.  She focuses on assessment and remediation of students with mild handicaps and learning disabilities, which she teaches to special education teachers as a method of teaching.  Her class also focuses on procedures and routines as the basis for classroom management.

To see what she teaches, click here for a sample of some her visuals.

She uses an “Aha” (pronounced Ah-Ha) method to engage her students.  She distributes “Aha” sheets and stops at intervals during her presentation and discussion to allow the students to write “Aha” or light bulb moments on how they can implement what they see or hear to their own classrooms.

For instance, effective teachers know about using “bell work” to get their students to work when class starts.  Click here or see page 121 in The First Days of School for an explanation of this technique.

Five high school physical education teachers at Spaulding High School in Rochester, New Hampshire, heard Harry at a meeting talk about bell work.  They did not complain that they did not have a chalkboard to write down the bell work assignment.  They had an Aha moment.  When their students walk into the gym, this is what they see:

By the way, the teachers are not standing behind the assignment when the students walk in.  They posed for the picture knowing that Harry would show this picture all over the world when he lectures.  They wanted to show how well they can think and implement.

If you want to see how another high school physical education teacher implements this technique, please go to November 2001, “The Effective Teacher Thinks.”

Like Stacey, we do not believe in giving teachers pat answers on what to do.  We would prefer to share what other teachers have done successfully in their own classrooms, regardless of grade level and subject matter, and allow each teacher to generate his or her own classroom management plan.

This is the approach we take in our eLearning course on Classroom Management.  We present how over 30 teachers manage their classrooms, ranging across the spectrum of teachers.  Over half of the examples are high school teachers.  In fact, in the opening graphic two of the three teachers are high school teachers.

Our assignment to the person taking the eLearning course is to reflect on what these teachers are doing and create a binder with their own classroom management plan.

When Susan Riedel of Galveston, Texas, finished the online course, she said:

“I have come away with a great binder that will help me
organize my classroom.  This was truly an exciting course.”

See www.ClassroomManagement.com for more information.

Procedures, Procedures, Procedures,

Effective teachers have procedures and these procedures are part of a classroom management plan.  Procedures transcend all grade levels and all academic subjects.  Classroom management applies to ALL teachers.

What we share is not just for elementary teachers.  It is not just for secondary teachers.  It is for all teachers.

In fact we received a letter recently from a college instructor, Susan Monfet, of Montclair State University and Bloomfield College in New Jersey.  She says, “I teach Classroom Management.  In searching for information for teaching the course, I came across your book and the online program.  I have since adopted your book as a text for the class.  The information was not only useful for my students for the management of their own classrooms, I also found the information useful for me as a college instructor in managing my college classes.”

Regardless of the grade level or subject area taught, all well managed classrooms have similar procedures, such as:

Bell work assignment

Opening morning procedures

Students entering procedures

Students leaving procedures

Walking in the hall procedures

Procedure if student finishes early

Getting the class’s attention

Quieting the class procedure

Listening to/responding to questions

Getting the teacher’s attention

Roll taking procedure

Collecting papers

Distributing papers

Disaster drill procedures

End of class/day dismissal procedures

And more…

Investing in Student Success

Sue Moore teaches kindergarten in Hobart, Indiana.  She was present at one of Stacey Allred’s classes and was introduced to The First Days of School and saw the video series, How to Be an Effective Teacher.  She said she had an immediate Aha, because she recognized the positive impact that specific procedures and routines could have in her kindergarten classroom.

She reflected on areas in her classroom that needed consistent procedures the most.  She thought.  She implemented.

She began by writing and implementing carpet time, center time, and table procedures.  Later, she added restroom and coatroom procedures.

These procedures were so successful that she incorporated procedures into her Writer’s Workshop curriculum.

Then she had a magnificent Aha.  She made visual charts to remind her students of all the procedures.  These were created because she wanted all of the procedures to be seen and understood by all of her students:  non-readers, as well as students with special needs.

She searched for clip-art to illustrate each procedural step and then hung the charts at the appropriate locations within the classroom.  Additionally for the table procedures, she placed them in stands so everyone at the tables could see them.  It worked great!

Click here to see more of her classroom procedures.

She taught the procedures using the three-step method explained on page 177 of The First Days of School.  She happily remarked that the procedures became automatic routines in several weeks.

Sue said that the time invested in practicing and rehearsing the procedures was well worth it!  For instance, when one of her students ran from the classroom to the coatroom, another student corrected him by pointing to our coatroom procedure sign and reminding him that our first procedural step is to “Walk.”  She says, “My young students have become much more independent and are very clear of my expectations.  Consequently, I have more opportunity during the school day for individualized instruction.

“My kindergarten classroom is on the road to becoming a well-oiled learning machine!”

She Stole a High School Technique

Before going further, please review last month’s article, “Students Want a Sense of Direction.”

We featured three teachers; two of them were Diana Greenhouse and Karen Rogers.  Diana used a technique called “Inner-Outer Discussions."  This is how she got or “stole” the technique.  She has a daughter in tenth grade and this technique was used by her high school English teacher.

Diana took this high school technique and modified it for her fifth grade class.

Procedures Are a Work in Progress

Karen Rogers is a high school teacher in Kansas.  Last month she shared her scoring guide or rubrics in "Student Wants a Sense of Direction."

This month we are excited to share her first day of school script or classroom management plan.

Click here to see a Power Point presentation of her classroom procedures.

Here are some of Karen's comments about her presentation.

1. As a master record of classroom procedures
It is a great feeling to have all my classroom procedures written down in one location.  On Power Point, my list is easily accessible and can be modified as needed.

2. At the beginning of the school year
I think it is very important to explain, rehearse, and reinforce procedures at the very beginning of the school year and throughout the year as well.  I spend about 20 minutes explaining procedures with the Power Point.  Sometimes I give students points for writing down the most important procedures, such as entering class, quieting the class, and dismissing class.

3. As a reminder, or reinforcer
I print, post, or refer to certain slides on the Power Point to reinforce a procedure.  For example, if students start lingering at the door or talk as they enter the classroom instead of getting seated and getting to work, I remind them of the proper procedure to enter the classroom.  Sometimes I will hold up a printed copy of the slide.  Then I check on them the next day.  I either thank them for doing it properly, or I remind them of the procedure again and have them practice the proper procedure for entering the classroom.

4. Something to share with others
The key to good classroom management is having procedures and routines in place.  I am happy to share with other teachers who can use my Power Point presentation to customize and create their own master list of procedures.

5. Work in progress
I review and revise my classroom procedures every August before school starts.  It helps me reset myself so I am prepared for students.  Procedures and routines improve the classroom climate and maximize the learning time for students.

Karen says, “Procedures are such an important part of classroom management. They work at all levels.  In my high school classroom, if I don't reinforce a procedure throughout the year (for example, being seated for dismissal) it becomes a management problem later in the school year when I spend time at the end of the hour repeatedly saying, "Be seated."

“With procedures, I take time to remind students about the dismissal procedure, I practice it that day, and I thank students for doing it right.  Students get used to it and they expect it.

“I simply and strongly believe in the power of procedures.  I used to lack confidence thinking teaching procedures seemed like I was talking down to high school students.  However, if I didn't rehearse and reinforce, I regretted it later.

"Now I embrace the fact that I teach procedures in the classroom and I make a big deal about procedures.  It gives me student engagement.

My high school classroom flows much more smoothly with procedures than without!

Observe, Reinvent, and Implement

What works in a kindergarten class works in any other classroom.

What works in a high school classroom also works in any other classroom.

All you have to do is observe what successful teachers do, regardless of what or where they teach.  Then you prepare yourself to have an Aha moment and modify the technique for your classroom.  It’s then all yours to use with success.

And don’t forget to share your success with others.  Allow others to observe what you do in the classroom, share a list with a colleague, demonstrate a technique at a workshop so that others can steal from you and modify your work for their classrooms.

Become a catalyst of success for teachers—no matter what
grade or subject matter they teach!


For a printable version of this article click here.

Harry & Rosemary Wong products: http://www.harrywong.com/product/
Email Harry Wong: harrywong@teachers.net


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