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 of
past articles can be found at the end of every column.
strategies and activities are all based on the teachings and works
of Harry and Rosemary Wong and they are happy to share with the
profession the work of effective teachers. If you have an
effective strategy or technique that works, please share this by
sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Wongs will consider it for sharing in future Effective Teaching
About Harry and Rosemary
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.
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. He was
recently selected as one of the most admired people in the world
of education by readers of Instructor magazine. Rosemary
was chosen as one of California's first mentor teachers and has
been awarded the Silicon Valley Distinguished Woman of the Year
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
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, Classroom
Management with Harry and Rosemary Wong. The
course can be taken in private at the learner's convenience.
The outcome of the course is a 2 inch binder with a personalized
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 3 million copies have been sold.
The 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
The Wongs have also
produced the DVD 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, called How
to Improve Student Achievement, recorded 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, 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
The First Days of School with Enhanced CD, Never
Cease to Learn
by Harry & Rosemary Wong
$23.96 from Amazon.com More
The Effective Teacher (Video Set)
Presented by Harry Wong
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
Script for the First Day of School
Homewood-Flossmoor High School
Have a clearly marked sign on the door and on the front chalkboard that indicates the name of the class, the teacher, the hour, and the room number.
Place a copy of the Student Information Survey on every student desk to be completed as bellwork.
Setup individual trays for every handout the students will need to pickup. Place a sign that reads "Please Take One" near the trays.
Setup a copy of the textbook, a sample binder, and a sample notebook on the chalkboard sill.
Use the overhead projector to display the seating chart.
Greet at the Door
Welcome each student with a handshake and hello.
Look directly at each student, not the busy hallway or the growing line of people at the door, when they introduce themselves.
Make sure every student is in the right place at the right time.
Tell each student the following:
They can find their seat by referencing the seating chart on the projection screen.
They should grab the 3 handouts on the table at the front of the room.
They have a bellwork activity waiting for them at their desks.
Welcome and Introduction
Welcome everyone to the first day of school and ask the students to take a few more minutes to finish the bellwork.
Take attendance by referencing the seating chart.
Welcome everyone again and introduce yourself.
Provide a few tidbits of appropriate personal information (educational background, family, etc.).
Explain your personal educational philosophy.
Stress that you are very excited to be back at school and that you look forward to a successful year ahead.
Syllabus Explanation (Handout 1)
Ask the students to reference the Course Syllabus handout.
Explain the basic course information.
Provide instructor contact information.
Discuss the course objectives.
Identify the required class materials and reference the items setup on the chalkboard sill as a visual reminder of what each student will need.
Explain the grading scale.
Discuss specific academic requirements.
Class Policies Explanation (Handout 2)
Ask the students to reference the Class Policies handout.
Discuss your overall discipline philosophy.
Stress that a student chooses to break a rule.
Explain the short list of simple class rules and ask the students to explain why they are in place.
Stress that the class rules will be consistently enforced.
Explain the detention policy.
Explain the tardy and late arrival policy.
Discuss the importance of academic honesty.
Discuss the attendance requirements.
Explain the late work policy.
Explain the make-up test policy.
Ask each student to sign the back of the Student Information Survey in the space that indicates that they understand and agree to all of the class policies.
Class Procedures (Handout 3)
Ask the students to reference the Class Procedures handout.
Explain the purpose of class procedures by using an appropriate analogy.
Promise the students an organized and efficient classroom.
Explain the importance of following procedures.
Explain the difference between procedures and rules.
Explain and rehearse the following procedures: entering the room, bellwork, picking up materials, coming to attention, arriving late, and leaving the classroom.
Explain that other procedures will be explained and rehearsed as they become necessary (getting absent work, make-up tests, using the bathroom, getting a detention, getting extra handouts, handing in homework).
Dismissing the Class
With a few minutes remaining, reiterate your excitement for the upcoming year.
Tell the students that it was nice to meet all of them.
Rehearse the procedure for leaving the classroom and require the students to wait for teacher dismissal before leaving the classroom.
Collect student information sheets as the students leave the class.
A. Note from the Instructor
I will lead a respectful and disciplined classroom. To achieve this I have established a few simple policies. As a student, it is your responsibility to comply with these policies. If you decide not to comply, there will be logical consequences. By enforcing these policies, I promise to you fairness and order in our classroom.
B. Class Rules
Watch Your Mouth- Students will exhibit courtesy and respect toward all other students at all times. Hateful comments concerning race, gender, sexuality, political views, appearance, or of any other type will not be tolerated; this applies to serious as well as "joking" comments.
Keep Your Hands to Yourself- Physical contact of any kind is not permitted. Violation of this simple rule will be punished by the most severe consequences possible.
Stay in Your Seat- Do not walk around during class unless directed to do so. Have everything you need ready before class begins.
Leave the Food at Home- Students may not eat or drink in the classroom. This includes gum and candy. Closable containers of water are permitted.
I Need to See Your Eyes- Students may not sleep in class. To prevent this, students' eyes must be open and visible to the instructor at all times.
Nothing Goes Airborne- Nothing will go airborne in class at any time. This includes pens, paper, and other students.
Do Not Say "Shut Up"- This phrase has no place in school. Do not use it.
C. If YOU CHOOSE to Break a Rule:
Punishments will always fit the crime. Of course there are behaviors that will warrant a Dean's Referral immediately. Examples of this include gross insubordination or violent behavior. Behaviors that are less severe, but in violation of the basic rules of the class will be dealt with in the manner described below. This format is in no way all inclusive and is subject to change:
1st Incident -- Warning and name on board 2nd Incident -- 30-minute detention and check next to name 3rd Incident- 60-minute detention, phone call home, and second check 4th Incident -- Dean's referral and phone call home Warnings carry over for the entire week. Name and checks will be erased on Fridays. However, continued violations will be noted and dealt with appropriately.
All detentions will be served on Friday. Detentions can be served before or after school. One day notice will always be given. Students receiving a detention on a Friday may serve it the following Friday if necessary.
E. Tardies and Late Arrivals
A Student who is not in the classroom when the bell sounds, is considered either late or tardy. A student is tardy if he is without a pass after the bell. A student is late if he arrives with a pass after the bell. Tardy and Late students need to sign-in at the clipboard by the door, and are not to disrupt the class. Late students need to pin their pass to the wall above the clipboard. There is no penalty for arriving late with a pass. The tardy penalty is explained below:
Definition: A student is tardy if he is not inside the classroom when the bell stops ringing and does not have a pass.
First Tardy -- Student receives a warning.
Second Tardy -- Student is referred to the Dean.
Further tardies will be handled by the Dean's office as indicated in the student handbook
F. Academic Honesty
It is expected that students will use genuine, sincere, and fair means for the accomplishment of the tests, tasks, or projects from which evaluations of progress shall be determined. Students found plagiarizing, copying or cheating in any way will receive automatic zeros and have phone calls made to their parents. In addition, a write-up of the incident will be given to the student's counselor. Flagrant or repeated offenses will result in a failing grade for the quarter or semester depending on the nature of the incident.
If a student has an excused absence from class he or she is responsible for the assignments/ homework that missed. The student has as many days as he or she was absent to make up the assignments. It is up to the student to inquire about missed work and tests. Zeros will be given if a student fails to make up work within an acceptable time frame. Unexcused absences void all make-up privileges.
H. Late Work
Homework assignments may not be turned in late. Papers and projects may be turned in late with a penalty of one letter grade for each day late.
I. Make-Up Tests
If a student has an excused absence for a test day, he may make up the test in the morning or afternoon on Fridays. Arranging a make-up requires signing in with the instructor. A missed make-up appointment without notice will result in a zero. Quizzes are not to be made-up. Instead, the previous night's homework will be handed in and graded in place of the quiz.