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Principles of Teaching and Learning: Classroom Management

Since my very first post, I am not quite aware about the comments that I have received from some of the readers who came across this blog. And I am glad to know that there are a lot of comments especially from my posts about principles of teaching. I personally believe that once an education student have mastered all the principles of teaching, he/she doesn't need to memorize all the facts (Well, if we are only talking about the courses Principles of Teaching 1 and 2...hehehehe. Memorizing some important facts is also very vital especially in Content Courses. If you'll ask and "idealist", he might say that facts are important building blocks for higher thinking skills.) In this regard, I am now going to discuss some principles in teaching particularly in managing the class (Actually this is a more comprehensive discussion of my previous post about this topic. In short this is just a repost. hehehehe) It is a cliche to say that a teacher must also be a good manager. Although we have heard this how many times, this is really so true (really and so...redundancy...hehehe...for emphasis's sake). What we have prepared for a day's lesson will be useless if our class is uncontrollable. Below are some of the principles of effective classroom management. 1. Proactive discipline over counteractive discipline. This means that we must do certain actions before disciplinary problems will occur. We must impose rules and policies inside our class and consistently implement these. We must not wait for troubles before we will take solutions. If pupils will be cleared with all the rules they need to follow, disciplinary problems will least likely to happen. 2. Routines are best ways of minimizing disorders inside the classroom. It is good to start the school year establishing routines with the students/pupils. These routines, like passing of the paper, reading textbooks, checking of answers, etc, can lessen interruptions and can save a lot of time. If the students/pupils are made to know what they have to do, the flow of the class will be more smooth and orderly. 3. Avoid having "dead air" in the class. The class must run smoothly so as not to give a chance for students to do unnecessary things. This makes the class's attention focused on the lesson and not making them restless. . 4. Make the activities interesting and challenging. Perhaps this is one of the primary principle in minimizing mismanaged class. If pupils/students are provided with various challenging and interesting activities, they will never think of doing things that may interrupt the class. These do not make them bored, because if pupils/students are bored, then expect chaos inside the classroom. 5. Teachers must have "with-it-ness" (LET alert...this always comes out in the exam...remember this..."with-it-ness"). When we say "with-it-ness", a teacher must be aware of what is going on inside the classroom. He/she must be vigilant and sensitive enough with his/her pupils/students. If the students/pupils feel that their teacher is watching over them, they become more conscious with their actions. As teachers, we must have eyes in our backs and make use of the whole classroom space while teaching. 6. Respond and resolve minor problems before they become a major one. We must not wait for our classroom to be out of control before we make a move. Let us put a small spark out before it becomes a fire. 7. Provide positive reinforcements for good behavior. Token management (giving of rewards) can be used. This is far better than giving punishments. However, positive reinforcements do not necessarily mean giving of material things. A praise or an approval is sometimes enough to do this. One thing to take note is that to make this more effective, it must be appropriately and sincerely given. Give pupils/students what is due to them. Don't underpraise nor overpraise students/pupils. 8. Treat minor disturbance calmly. Don't spend the whole class giving "sermons" because of an inappropriate behavior. (Some teachers are so guilty with this. They will give a long sermon and if it is time already, pupils/students will say "The mass has ended".hahahaha). If this can be settled even by just giving of a stern look or gesture, then it's over, done, finished, etc...hahahaha... 9. Check the physical environment. Sometimes, the main reason why the class is restless and noisy is because of the physical feature of the classroom. Perhaps the class is too congested, overcrowded, disorderly or hot. Fix these things and the class will be far much better. 10. The last but not the least, minimize discipline time to maximize instructional time. Avoid long sermons...period. hehehe...very self-explanatory,..no need to discuss...

Principles of Teaching and Learning: Assessment of Learning


Assessment of Learning is one of the, shall I say, "challenging" topics in education. This is so because it involves a little bit of statistics. Since, I lack time to discuss the various topics involved in assessment, I will just present the principles behind assessment of/for learning. Remember that LET will not really focus on the technicalities, like what is variance, how to get the

standard deviation, what is the difference among the mean, median, mode, etc. Rather, it is more focused on how will we interpret these statistical data in understanding the learner's achievement and to improve our instruction. These principles are again, "adapted" from Corpus and Salandanan, 2007) 1. Teaching and learning is never complete without assessment. This means that assessment is an integral part of the teachinglearning process. We need to test how far the learners have learned, either before, during or after instruction, in line with our objectives. Thus, if learners are made to realize about this, negative attitudes about assessment will be minimized since the quizzes and tests will be just "usual" to them. They will come to realize the purpose of assessment, that is, to check how far they have learned. 2. Assessment tool and objectives must be colinear. The test/quiz or any assessment techniques must be in line with the objectives. This also includes the type of assessment appropriate for a certain objective. This is like a teacher who has an objective about "Singing the Philippine National Anthem". Which is more appropriate assessment tool: let the student write down completely the anthem, or let them sing the anthem? Reflect. Hehehe... 3. Assessment results should be fed back to the students. This is one of the mortal sins of some of the teachers. They will give quizzes, tests, projects, etc yet they fail to return these to the students, or to just inform the grade/score the students acquired. The purpose of assessment is to give learners a feedback to what extent their learning is. How will the learners learn this if the teacher won't give their scores or return their papers? 4. In assessment, consider learners' multiple intelligences and learning styles. The traditional paper and pencil test puts verbally and linguistically intelligent students at the advantage. Let us take into account the learners multiple intelligence and learning styles in assessment. Give various assessment techniques in order to cater individual differences. 5. It is wise to give some positive feedback as well as constructive criticisms. Don't forget to praise the students on a job well done. This can boost their morale to study and appreciate the value of success. Further, let's give them some constructive criticisms on the areas they need to improve. Remember that the biggest room in the world is the room for improvement. 6. Emphasize self-assessment. Assessment must be intracomparative rather than intercomparative. In short, if learning is as well a personal process, then, let the learners assess their performance on their own against a certain criteria(is this "in short"? Hehehe). Let them be aware of and reflect on their own progress. Rather than comparing themselves with other people, let them compare their "then" self to their "now" self. Competitive nature of learning must be as much as possible avoided. If there is a competition, let this be between the students and their own prior performance. One thing more, always remember that self assessment must also be in line withteacher assessment. This can avoid overestimation or underestimation of students' performance on themselves. 7. Build the culture of success in the classroom. Avoid the bell curve mentality, or the belief that it is normal that some students pass while some fail. Have that mentality that ALL learners can achieve. 8. Never use assessment as a disciplinary action or a punishment. This distorts the true purpose of assessment. This will enkindle the negative attitudes toward assessment. 9. Assessment should be communicated regularly and clearly to parents. Take note however the importance of accountability, transparecy and confidentiality. 10. Emphasize on real world application that favors realistic performances over out of context drill items. Hence, assessment must focus on real life application, as well as developing higher ordered thinking skills such as analyzing, evaluating and most of all creating. (Sorry if the explanation on the last principles are short, out of character spaces in my cellphone.hehehe...)

Principles in Teaching and Learning: Classroom Management


3 days more to go before the LET. I really hope that I get to hitch these principles because these will really help a lot in answering situational questions. I will just go away with the LET tips as of this moment to pave way for essential concepts needed for the exam. Below are the principles behind classroom management. Please reflect on these okay? 1. Be consistent and proactive with your classroom management. This means that classroom discipline should be preventive and consistent. Preventive in a sense that we must, as much as possible, settle potential problems before they will destruct the classroom. Being consistent on the other hand means we must mandate rules and routines fairly and not only on case to case basis.

2. Routines will really save a lot of time for it maintains the orderly transition and sequence of classroom instruction, not to mention that it avoids disruptions and breakdowns among the students. 3. Have a smooth transition and continuity of momentum throughout the day. This means that every second of our teaching instruction should be as much as possible moving, engaging and active. This avoids "dead air" or the sense of restlessness that will surely result to disciplinary problems. 4. Novelty and Competence among the activities given in the class should be balanced. Novelty in a sense that activities must be new to the students and not too repetitive and "used". When we say competence, this means that we must provide activities that are challenging enough, not too easy or too difficult, and will enhance learners' competence and motivation. This also includes a balanced among different multiple intelligences and learning styles. 5. "With-it-ness" is important. This means that we must be aware of what is happening all around the classroom. As teachers, we must have "eyes at the back of our heads". 6. Settle minor problems promptly before they become major disruptions. Let's not wait until our class is out of control before we move. This is similar with principle number one, let's be preventive with our approach in classroom management. 7. Give positive feedback among students if they have shown positive behavior. This way, students will appreciate the values of good behavior and conduct if they are recognized and reinforced. Take note however that praise should be sincere and appropriate. 8. Don't make a big deal out of minor problems or disturbances. If a frown, a stern look, a gesture that will relay the message to the students to behave, so be it. Don't consume your precious instructional time just to resolve it. In short, don't make a mountain out of a mole hill, okay? Okay! Hehehe... 9. Arrange the classroom that caters interactive teaching and learning. The classroom must be flexible enough, can be arrangedrearrange, depending on the activity in order to enhance interaction among the students. 10. The last and final principle, and the most important: Make every instructional moment a meaningful one. The major major principle behind classroom management is to minimize discipline time to maximize instructional time. We want to do the preceding principles because we only have one aim, that is, to spend that precious time for teaching and learning.

Principles of Learning (Horne and Pine, 1990 in Corpuz and Salandanan, 2007)
In the professional education part of LET, most of the questions are situational. And one of the common mistakes about the LET is that it is said to be "easy". The reason behind this is that all the choices seemed correct, and yet there really is one correct answer. But how will one know that the choice is the correct and best answer? This is where the principles come in. In answering the questions that are situational, keep in mind the principles of teaching and learning. These will guide us to choose the "best" answer among the choices. Actually, there are a lot of principles of teaching/learning. I just would like to present these, shall I say, principles discussed from one of the current textbooks used nowadays. Hope you will learn a lot... 1. Learning is an experience which occurs inside the learner and is activated by the learner. This means that learning will not take place unless the learner her/himself allows it to happen in his/her mind. It is not primarily controlled by the teacher, rather on the learners' wants, interests and motivation to learn. In real classroom setting, the teacher must engage learners in activities that are connected to their lives. 2. Learning is the discovery of the personal meaning and relevance of ideas. This is somewhat the same with principle number one. Learners can easily understand concepts if these are relevant to their needs and problems. Hence, as teachers, we must relate the lesson to the learners' needs, interests and problems. 3. Learning is a consequence of experience. In short, use experiential learning as much as possible period. Hehehe... 4. Learning is a cooperative and collaborative process. Learners will learn more if they are given chances to work together and share ideas. Make use of group activities. 5. Learning is an evolutionary process. Learning especially if this means a change in behavior, does not happen in a click. This requires time and diligence. So as teachers, be patient. Be patient. Be patient. Be patient. 6. Learning is sometimes a painful process. This means that learning requires sacrifice, hardwork, study time. Let the learners

realize this okay? 7. One of the richest resources for learning is the learner him/herself. Let's not be too "centered" upon ourselves. Let's draw the discussion not only on our own experiences as teachers but on the learners' experiences as well. Listen and let the learners share their prior knowledge, stories, information, etc that can enrich the learning process. Encourage free sharing inside the classroom. 8. The process of learning is emotional as well as intellectual. Learners can't learn that much if they have something that is bothering their minds. These can be problems and worries they have either in or out of the classroom. Thus, as teachers, let us be sensitive to our students' problems. We can't teach learners with empty stomachs remember? 9. The process of problem solving and learning are highly unique and individual. Make use of different teaching strategies that can cater multiple intelligences and learning styles.

Content Based Instruction: This is really it.


Content Based Instruction is like learning a subject primarily Language (English or Filipino, but also can be used with other subjects) using the content of another subject. This way, learners can connect and and can cross the barrier between one subject (like Language) and the other subjects (other academic subjects). As a matter of fact, one of the aims of language teaching is to develop among learners language and communication skills necessary for them to acquire knowledge to other subject areas. This is so true since language is the basic medium to convey information. If one learner is deficient with language skills (i.e. reading, writing and listening skills), he/she may find difficulty understanding the other subjects. For example, when a teacher teaches about a lesson in English, like "Good Qualities of a Paragraph", he/she may use sample paragraphs with topics containing or relating to other subjects like Science or History. Or when teaching a lesson about Filipino, he she can utilize selections pertaining to Araling Panlipunan or HELE. Content Based Instruction is not only limited to Language Teaching. As a matter of fact, other subjects can also be integrated. For instance, a lesson in Math can be integrated with Civics or Science by giving sample problems relating to the given subjects. As a concrete example, let's say that a teacher has addition as a topic. He/she can give a problem like this: "In his journey, Magellan started out with 5 ships. At the end of the journey only 1 was left. How many ships were destroyed along the journey?" This is just a simple sample but I hope this can present that even Math can be integrated with History. In this case, learners will not only learn about arithmetic but also a a bit of History. This is like hitting two birds in one stone. This strategy lies on the teacher's creativity. As teachers, we should be creative enough to at least present the lesson as meaningful as possible and in a way learners can make connections rather teaching isolated facts.

Principles of Teaching: Integrative Teaching Strategies


I said on my previous post that I will just "copy-paste" some articles from the net. However, I was not satisfied by what I found especially about integrative teaching. Consequently, I'm back to giving my own perspective rather just "copy-pasting". And now let me present to you integrative teaching. Integrative teaching is one of the emerging trends in education for the past years. It focuses on connections rather teaching isolated facts. For instance, a certain different subject may be integrated in teaching another subject (Like the content of Science be taught in teaching Language). With this, learners will be able to realize that subjects being taught to them are not separate and isolated field of knowledge, but are linked to each other in order to achieve understanding and concept attainment. Furthermore, integrative teaching aims to connect what is learned in school to real life situations, thus it is more on developing problem solving and discussions of issues in the real world. Learners will learn to relate what they learn and apply it to their own daily lives. In addition, integrative teaching involves consideration on the learners' individual differences. These include multiple intelligences and learning styles. The teacher therefore must present the lesson in various ways that can cater each learner's uniqueness. Finally, when we say integrative teaching, we must remember the ABC domain of our objectives. The cognitive, behavioral and affective dimensions in teaching must be given balanced consideration. Values must be integrated in instruction across all subject areas. Through this, we are molding "integrated" learners, or well rounded individuals.

Examples of integrative teaching include Content-Based Instruction, Thematic Teaching, Focusing Inquiry and Generic Competency Model. Watch out for my post about these.

Diversity of Learners
Diversity of learners includes different areas that teachers must be aware of and be sensitive of if they wants to cater each learner's needs and interests. As teachers, it is important to consider how diverse learners are especially in planning for effective instruction. Learning and Thinking Styles refer to the preferred way an individual processes information
I. 1. a. b. 2. a. b. 3. II. 1. 2. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Sensory Preferences- individuals tend to gravitate toward one or two types of sensory inputs and maintain a dominance in one of the following types: Visual Learners may think in pictures and learn best from visual aids like diagrams, illustrated textbooks, overhead transparencies, videos, flip charts and hand-outs Visual Iconic- prefer visual imagery like film, graphic display or pictures Visual Symbolic- prefer abstract symbolisms like written words or mathematical formula Auditory Learners learn best through verbal lectures, discussions, talking things through and listening to what others have to say Listeners- remember things said to them and make the information their own Talkers- prefer to talk and discuss Tactile/Kinesthetic Learners prefer learning by doing, benefit much from hands-on approach, actively exploring the physical world around them Global-Analytic Continuum Analytic Learners- tend toward the linear, step-by-step processes of learning and see finite elements of patterns rather than the whole Global Learners- lean towards non-linear and tend to see the whole pattern rather than particle elements Multiple Intelligences (Howard Gardner) Visual/ Spatial (Picture Smart) Verbal/Linguistic (Word Smart) Mathematical/Logical (Number/Logic Smart) Bodily/Kinesthetic (Body Smart) Musical/Rhythmic (Music Smart) Intrapersonal (Self Smart) Interpersonal (People Smart) Naturalist (Nature Smart) Exceptionalities These refer to learners who are different in some way from the normal or average. Most of these learners require a lot of understanding and patience as well as special education and related services if they are to reach their full potential and development. 1. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Other Factors 1. Learning Disabilities Intellectual Differences (Gifted and Talented) Emotional and Behavioral Disorders Visual Impairment Hearing Impairment Oral Communication Problems Orthopedic Impairments Gender

2. 3.

Racial, ethnic or cultural background Socioeconomic status

Applications in Teaching and Learning Process 1. Encourage learners to share their personal history and experiences. 2. Integrate learning experiences and activities which promote students multicultural and cross-cultural awareness. 3. 4. Aside from highlighting diversity, identify patterns of unity than transcend group differences. Communicate high expectations to students from all sub-groups.

5. Use varied instructional methods to accommodate student diversity in learning styles and multiple intelligences. 6. Vary the examples you use to illustrate concepts in order to provide multiple contexts that are relevant to students from diverse backgrounds. 7. Adapt to the students diverse backgrounds and learning styles by allowing them personal choice and decision-making opportunities concerning what they learn and how will they learn from it. 8. Diversify your methods of assessing and evaluating student learning 9. Purposely, form small-discussion groups of students from diverse backgrounds: different learning styles, multiple intelligences, different cultural background, etc.