Classroom Management, the 4th Unit of the MOOC I am working through (The Goal Minded Teacher: Challenges to Transform Student Learning) is now complete. Each unit so far has had 2 challenges. This unit’s first challenge was to create a teacher’s “Survival Kit,” the second was to create a digital citizenship/safety resource for the parents of the students we teach.
The most interesting takeaway from the survival kit exercise was looking at the “kits” submitted by other MOOC participants. I love how things can be interpreted and acted upon so differently. For many of the “kits” I reviewed, the teachers included water bottles, post-it notes, physical things that are for the teacher. I took a different approach. I remembered how my past school always required us to have “emergency lesson plans” somewhere in the room and have a buddy who knew the place (my plans almost always included crossword puzzles and maps). And there was a time when I had to leave my classroom without warning and didn’t return for several days; that first absence resulted in my emergency plans being used! So for this exercise, I created a digital “emergency lesson plan,” one that could be used anytime during the first 4/5 if not all of a US Government course. The learning activities involved choice, and resources for them could stand alone, connect to past units of study, or relate to what was being studied at the moment.
For the digital citizenship/safety resource for parents, it was again a good exercise. In my new department, we are looking at what support we can provide to parents so it was helpful to have another potential outlet for the creation. It still amazes me that some parents don’t talk to their children about both digital citizenship and safety (and review those same points for themselves).