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Reflection 2: Behavior and Reinforcement

I have had the most trouble getting the 8th graders to respond to positive behavior. I did
not spend as much time cultivating that first week atmosphere of routines and procedures with
them and setting expectations for behavior in the classthinking that they were older and
needed less guidance. I was more focused at how deep we can go into discussions and content
with abstract topics. That was my mistakethey are still kids. They may be older but they
needed more guidance than what I gave them and instead of starting off strong then releasing
responsibilities and authority, I started off too weak. The students arent necessarily being mean
or rude but they are a little chaotic and too chatty. Its not the most conductive for a learning
environment.
This week I focused on re-introducing myself to the students through a few key moves:
1) Sitting at the teacher desk as the students enter the classroomgreeting students and asking
for homework straight away. 2) Having an activity on the board that requires quiet, and
immediate, note-taking and contemplation. 3) Really circulating the classroom to each group and
not being afraid to break up chats and off-task behaviors. 4) Explicitly stating the requirements
for participation in the classroom as a grade.
I plan on breaking the 8th graders into 3 groups/teams and having them hold each other
accountable for on-task behavior and participation. Each group starts off with 10 points on the
board for each class session. If the students are off task and need more than 1 warning, they lose
a point on the board (their grade for participation that day). They have until the end of class to
earn those points back by re-engaging and modeling good behavior. At the end of the week I will
post their Week 2 Participation grades on PowerSchool and meet with the teams to make action
plansDo you like your participation grade for the week? What can you do better next week to
get more points? Some things that I noticed were _____, ________, and ________. What do you
think about that?
By the end of the semester I hope to remove this group support and have students
participating and behaving how they are supposed to. These teams will also be for funat the
end of each week we will play vocabulary games to earn extra credit on the quizzes!
Free Topic: Assessment Tools

I am having the 6th graders slowly fill in a Robinson Map by general climate regions:
Tropics, Temperate, Arcticand habitats: tropical rainforests, temperate rainforests, deciduous
forests, boreal forests, savannas, grasslands, deserts, mountains, tundra, and polar ice caps. As
we integrate each new part of the map key (color coded) we discuss the features of that land, the
people and animals that live their, the climate, and the global habitat issues that have arisen from
human impactcombining global issues and geography analysisa very close relationship.

I wanted the students to deeply interact with the concept that nature influences humans, as well
the fact that humans influence habitats. Initially, I meant this to be an introduction into
biodiversity as well as a way to segue into the National Geographic Case Studies that zoom in
and focus on one area of human/habitat issues (For example, the threat to pandas in China
looking at the climate/habitat map in combination with human population maps, students can
infer that habitat loss is complex issueswith most of the Chinese population pushed to the
central plain and coast due to the harsh conditions of the Gobi desert and Tibetan Plateaus.
Leaving humans and pandas limited space to share with every growing population that needs to
farm for food and build homes for shelter).
Human population map

I had only thought of using these student-made maps as an engagement and learning toolas
well as a formative assessment. My lead teacher, however, met with me today and urged me to
consider integrating the maps all throughout the course as well as a project for summative
assessmentby laminating the resource and using it for rational to explain a variety of issues
that pop up in geography and humans.

Im going to have to strategize my lesson plans and unit plans to incorporate the mapswhich is
easybut am not quite sure how I want to use it for a summative assessment. Perhaps, after
ending the Unit I am working on, I could incorporate the map into the test? Where are the
tropics? Where is the Amazon rainforest? What continent is comprised of almost all desert?
Where do most tropical forest grow? Make a map key that shows where the Sahara desert is, the
Gobi desert, etc.?