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The Ten Commandments of the Classroom

The Ten Commandments of the Classroom

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03/18/2014

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THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF THE CLASSROOM.
Federico Arteaga C.

When we talk about \u201cLanguage Study\u201d our mind wanders all the way back to the classrooms where we learnt the almighty \u201cSubject \u2013 verb\u2013 object\u201d formula, and quite rarely to the place or situation where or when we applied such knowledge. Therefore we can easily tell this knowledge was learnt rather than acquired.

THE CLASSROOM

When I was attending eighth grade of high school at a public institution in Bogot\u00e1, my algebra teacher used to preach the Baldor book, and I never grew to like algebra. In the other hand my English teacher was a very active lady who would take us outside the classroom and have us do little role-plays in the yard, we all had to impersonate different people in different situations. And the whole class\u2019 best grades were the English ones. Then I learnt that the worst place to learn a foreign language is a classroom.

i.
thou shalt recognize the space.

The first thing when a class period starts (before getting to know the level or the students) is to check the \u201ccampus\u201d where the learning process and experience will take place. Why do we talk about campus? Because when teaching in non-target-language- speaking countries, specially Colombia, having the students carry out activities where they don\u2019t feel concerned or contextualized is nothing but a waste of time. The teacher must set the classroom playing the hunter setting a trap (bait) in order to catch the students\u2019 general attention towards a new world that reveals itself very appealing for any audience.

When recognizing the classroom the teacher must take into
account:
-

Acoustics: The setting of the students and the teacher in the classroom. Remember, the teacher can set the students in the classroom the way he thinks will be helpful for the learning process.

-

Sources of noise: such as doors, windows, damaged walls or roves and proximity to offices and/or streets. It is important that if these sources of noise will not help the process move forward it mustn\u2019t pull it back. Since most sources of noise are joined to a visual element they can come in helpful by proposing them as conversation starters or topics.

ii.
thou shalt recognize thy students.

Once you are familiar to the physical space where the class will be developed, the next step is to recognize: first, the class as a whole and second, the student as an individual.

-

The class as a whole . The group will be the immediate amount of neighbors needed to establish an adequate environment to unfurl the language study. If the class has been together for some time, then it already has a well- defined personality. However, this group is formed by single individuals that may have different and well-divided learning strategies and styles.

-

The student as an individual . These learning strategies and styles vary, mainly, depending on which of the brain\u2019s multiple intelligences the student has grown to develop and master. We can divide these multiple intelligences into eight recognized fields.

1.Literature and linguistic intelligence: This type of individual has the ability to understand and handle the words whether written or orally (Structures). They often grow and their majors trend to written word handling (Writers, storytellers, orators, journalists, teachers).

2.Logical-Mathematical intelligence: They can, obviously, use numbers, statistics and have to organize information in a systematic way; you will frequently find them in class making charts in their notebooks and highlighting exceptions to rules. Their majors? Scientists, statisticians, mathematicians, computer programmers and most engineers.

3.Visual-Spatial intelligence: These people conceive a 3D image in their minds before visualize the written code of a lively object (Word). They can transform images into messages. They will use colors, lines, shapes and space

to locate the knowledge in their minds in a harmonic
way (Artists, architects, photographers).

4.Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence: These individuals first in- hand tool to express him/herself is not a book or a pencil, it\u2019s their body. They will move and are gifted to it. The always trend to propose parties and integration activities where they can use all their stamina (Sports people).

5.Musical intelligence: This people depend on rhythm for living. You will easily find them tapping on the tables with their fingers, drawing zigzag lines on their notebooks and repeating your intonation after you finish speaking (Musicians, speakers).

6.Interpersonal intelligence: They perceive and care for the people around them. They are sensitive to gestures, intonation and the feeling people show, for this reason they may seem apart from the teacher or very fond of him/her (Counselor, teacher, spiritual leader\u2026).

7.Intrapersonal intelligence: Contrary to the interpersonal kind of people, they would rather interact with themselves than with people; they know and are aware of their abilities and limitations. They will avoid working in groups, and if made, they will block.

8.Naturalist intelligence:

They understand the vital relation between the Earth and humans, the environment as a part of oneself and feel very concerned about a proper space to learn (Biologists, ecologists).

These eight types of intelligences are also contained in four
major categories named after colors.

The left hemisphere processing contains the Blue color which represents an objective kind of thinking, a problem solving ability, numerical skills, awareness of the importance of money, fast calculation methods, a highly developed sense of logic a strong like for concrete operations.

The Green color is also found in the left hemisphere of the brain and its main features are the need for thorough processes (from games to work), systematic, disciplined and technical thinking, they are somewhat picky for everything, they are routinists and, therefore, dislike changes.

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