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Reflection: The Significance of Clear Expectation in Blended Learning Environment

Reflection: The Significance of Clear Expectation in Blended Learning Environment

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Author: Kathleen Johnson
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Guide learners in ways to reflect on the concepts related to the significance of classroom expectations in blended learning environments

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Source: Digital Access Key Image; Morgue File; http://mrg.bz/xJqkIW

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Hello, ladies and gentlemen. I hope you are having a wonderful day today. Today we are going to be focusing in on reflection. Specifically, looking at the significance of clear expectations in a blended learning environment. For today's lesson, I've chosen a quote by Confucius, which states, "By three methods we may learn wisdom. First, by reflection, which is the noblest." And being the noblest, it is what we are focusing in on today.

By the end of today's lesson, you will be able to reflect on the benefits of creating clear classroom expectations aligned to policy. Let's take a look at reflecting on the expectations that we have created in our classroom. We're going to reflect on the importance of establishing clear classroom expectations aligned to policy by using Marzano's framework.

Let's take a look first at design question six, which primarily establishes the rules and procedures. Here we're going to look at key strategy four, establishing classroom routines. This is where you want to reflect on whether or not you have really created those routines in your classroom. These routines can look very different depending on the type of classroom that you have and how long you're with those students.

For some of the elementary teachers that are with us, you're looking at a classroom of students that you see all throughout the year that you have come in in the morning and that stay with you throughout the majority of the day until they leave and go home. For some of our middle school and high school teachers, you're looking at a classroom where students come in maybe throughout the entire year, maybe for just a trimester or a semester, or for some of you even just a quarter. And they're only in there for anywhere between 45 to an hour and a half, depending on whether or not you have a block schedule.

So the way in which you establish your classroom routines are really going to depend on what kind of classroom you have. But no matter what, you're going to want to make sure that you have established certain elements that students feel consistent and confident about what they should and shouldn't be doing. Do you have a routine for what students should do if they want a drink of water or if they need to go to the bathroom?

Do you have a routine set in place for how you start your class or how you end your class? Do you have a routine for certain days of the week where perhaps Wednesday is a novel day and every Wednesday students are able to read? And when you've set those routines, you've established them, how good are you at keeping them going?

Next I want to focus in key strategy five, which looks at organizing the physical layout of the classroom for learning. This gives you an opportunity to reflect on the way in which you have structured your classroom. This isn't necessarily when you are teaching what, but, quite literally, what is the physical layout of your classroom? Where are the desks of the students? Where is the teacher's desk? Are there any areas where students will need to go for paperwork? And have you made the flow of this conducive to your learning?

One specific example I could give you is that in my classroom, I have two walls that are solid walls, one on which is now currently at the front of my classroom where I can write on the board. The other two walls in the classroom both have giant windows, one looking out into the parking lot, the other looking into the hall.

I had arranged my classroom seats so that I was in a U formation, but this presented a really big problem because I only had a third of the class looking up at the front of the classroom, which is where I wanted most of their eyes to go. 2/3 of the class was either had a direct vantage point looking out towards the hallway and could see all of the students walking by or they were looking out at the parking lot and I got to tell you if you are not super excited to be in a class, then, man, those cars can look really interesting.

So by adjusting the layout of my classroom, the physical layout, and turning those desks to where I wanted them to be, I started to notice that I had much more student buy in purely because I had helped to physically focus them where I wanted their eyes. This also looks at where you're placing certain students.

I have found that a good seating chart will work wonders for my classroom management. If you have students that tend to be excessively chatty, putting them either right next to you or as far away as possible can be really helpful for the learning. Sometimes having a student like that right next to you really helps to keep that student under wraps and focusing when they need to. Sometimes that student is verbalizing the information but it just gets distracting to you so place that student farther away. That way they can verbalize the way they need to learn, but you don't have to hear it.

Next, let's focus in on design question seven, recognizing adherence to rules and procedures, the first of which is key strategy 33, demonstrating withitness. This is the teacher's awareness of what is going on with all learners at any given moment in a lesson. . This is something that is exceptionally difficult to do because it requires you not only to be present in the teaching but also, in some ways, floating above yourself to be seeing what's happening. One of the best things that you can do is to ask another teacher or perhaps a mentor to come in, to sit in your classroom, and to collect some data for you.

So for example, I have asked various peer leaders at my school to come in and I say I want to get a solid piece of data on which students are raising their hands to participate, which students are engaged but not actively engaged, and then which students are actively disengaging, those students that are doing their homework, or laying their heads down to sleep, on their phone, or talking to another student not about classroom material.

I'll give them a seating chart. And they give me a plus if a student is actively engaged or a minus if they're actively disengaged. And this has worked wonders to call my attention sometimes to students who I didn't even consciously recognize were participating as much as they did or some students who I thought were with me but in reality they weren't.

Key strategy 34 in this reflection focuses in on applying consequences for lack of adherence to rules and procedures. How consistent are you at applying the consequences for not following the rules or procedures that you've established in your classroom? It's important that once you establish these rules, that students know that you will hold them accountable for complying with those rules. If students are a part of the rule creation process, but it becomes clear that there is no consequence, then it becomes very difficult to ensure that students will follow them.

Now this doesn't mean that a consequence has to be failing a project, or getting sent to the principal's office, or getting a detention or an in school suspension. Consequences can be much smaller but there needs to be a reflection on what you are doing to remain consistent with those rules.

Finally, we're going to look at key strategy 35, acknowledging adherence to rules and procedures. Just as it is important to apply those consequences for not following the rules and procedures, it's really important that you help to acknowledge those students in those classes that are adhering to the rules and procedures.

One of the greatest tips that I learned from a mentor teacher, especially when I need to talk to the entire class because a number of students have not been complying with those rules and procedures, is to make sure that I tell the class those of you out there that are doing your job, I see you. We need to make sure that we are validating and affirming the students who are adhering to those rules and procedures so they don't start to feel like their good works are going unnoticed.

Now that we've reached the end of today's lesson, you are able to reflect on the benefits of creating clear classroom expectations that are aligned to policy. Now I'd like to take just a moment for reflection. After you've finished all the elements of this tutorial, what do you think will be the most difficult part of creating clear classroom expectations that are aligned to policy within your teaching environment? Please pause the video for a moment to reflect upon your answer to this question.

What I would like you to do now is take just a moment of reflection. And as you reflect on how this new information can be applied, you might want to explore the additional resources section that accompanies this video. This is where you'll find links to resources chosen to help you deepen your learning and explore ways to apply your newly acquired skillset. That's all we have for right now. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day.

Notes on "Reflection: The Significance of Clear Expectations in Blended Learning Environment"

(00:00-00:34) Intro

(00:35-00:39) Objectives

(00:40-05:15) Reflecting Using Marzano’s Framework Domain 6

(05:16-08:42) Reflecting Using Marzano’s Framework Domain 7

 (08:43-08:55) Review

(08:56-09:44) Reflection

Additional Resources

Behavioral Expectations in the Blended Learning Environment

This is an example of a set of behavior expectations from Enlace Academy which are clear and simple for students, parents and teachers to understand. The expectations can be used to build your own classroom expectations.
http://enlaceacademy.org/school_model/behavior_management


Montgomery County Public Schools: Classroom Culture

Scroll Down to How Is Culture Developed. This professional learning section provides teachers with step by step processes on how and why to build a strong classroom culture. In addition, the site connects culture to student achievement.
http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/info/baldrige/staff/classroomculture.shtm