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NYC Helpline: How To: Manage Your Classroom
View Instructional Videos for Teachers about Classroom Management

Classroom Management (Secondary)

A high school science teacher demonstrates how her structured and routine-based classroom environment is the key to success.

Classroom Management (Elementary)

An elementary school teacher guides us through her daily classroom routines and shows how consistency and structure are essential.

Classroom Management through Cooperative Groups

View two elementary school teachers demonstrate how they engage their students through group work to help them learn.

How to Home
NYC Helpline: Manage Your Classroom
NYC Helpline: How To Get Started

Manifesting Strengths and Interests
Charlene Davis

Teachers often report seeing a different side of students during class performances. Rehearsals can give cause for panic, leading some teachers to believe their performers may not be ready; but the day of often yields very different results. The “wall flowers” often emerge—the timid burst forth; and sometimes the outspoken child retreats.  The day of performance is often also the day that hidden talents are discovered.

The traditional, early childhood curriculum has an age-old practice of incorporating various opportunities for children to perform on a regular basis. Students sang, spoke, and roleplayed their way into stronger communication abilities. I fondly remember my own early childhood days spent in nursery school. There was “show-n-tell,” daily sing-a-longs, puppet theater, and more. In elementary school, there were current events presentations, as well as class plays. I would like to submit, for your consideration a re-emphasis on opportunities for weekly performances. I believe that teachers can find ways to strategically weave these opportunities into their curriculum and across the various areas of discipline.

Career Digging to Strengths! is an article in this series which focuses on presentations about careers. Students can present their insights about anything that you are teaching in the form of rap, mini-news reports, song, poetry, informational speeches, drawings, paintings, word maps, any kind of writing, and so on.

1. Talk about it!
Discuss with your students the different ways they might present their newly discovered revelations from recent lessons. Chart it under, “Ways We Can Present What We’ve Learned.”

2. Plan it!
Groups, partners, and/or individuals should be given designated times to plan. You may want this to be an activity at the end of each unit of study! Performance dates will need to be assigned. Will props, outside assistance, technology, practice time, an emcee, or a schedule be needed? In choosing the topic, students should try to focus on areas they are really interested in. However, sometimes teachers will have to assign areas. Possible topics could look like these:

Narrative Writing Done Well!

Steps to Solving Geometry Proofs Successfully!

Overlooked Factors of Importance in the Civil War

Ten Important Tips for Being a Better Speller!

Etymology Strategies to Enhance Comprehension!

Easy Ways to Remember Your Multiplication Facts!

How to Write Interesting Poetry!

How to Have a Good Interview!

How to Know if your Sentences are Complete!

By moving beyond rote assignments in the content areas toward allowing students to present what they know, children’s competency is validated. Of course, they will need coaching to make their presentations zing. They will need modeling of how a thinker compacts information to bring out the key details. Good classroom management will be a pre-requisite to any constructivist activities engaged in. However, the cooperation, maturity, and appreciation for other gifts youngsters will develop will be well worth it!

3. Manifest it!
Invite parents and school leaders to the event. Use feedback sheets (design them with students) to get visitors’ reactions. You may want a mix of written, video, and verbal interviews as feedback methods. Remember, not all adults are comfortable with writing, or with the English language, so these other methods should be strategically utilized.

I can see this catching on, can you?

As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to e-mail me.


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