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Joycooley001
Provide purposeful teaching for stu... Star this Commitment
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Joycooley001
Joycooley001
March 22, 2023, 4:55 PM
Mindset - The Graduation Mindset

Assessment - At Spartanburg Day School 100% of students graduate and get accepted to college. This is a success and it is impressive. I do think these numbers are becoming harder to maintain as the school is accepting more students from different backgrounds. SDS has guidelines and assessments students must pass to get accepted into the school. As the world is evolving so is the school. As a school community this year we have accepted more students with learning disabilities than years past. I think to accommodate those students and keep up the high graduation numbers, the school will need to higher specialist to support student needs. One main factor of student success is parent involvement. Students who are in poverty, the majority do not have the support at home to help them maintain their college readiness. Study skills, organization, and communication skills, all start in the child's home. If the foundational skills are not met at home, it is the teachers responsibility to also teach students these skills to help them be successful in academic areas. To help students in this area, I strongly believe that an organized classroom with solid practices and procedures will help students improve academically. Students who are not usually organized learn the flow and expectation of the classroom and then are able to focus more on the task at hand, than trying to find their pencil and notebook. Having schedules posted, expectations repeated, and everyday transitions, helps students concentrate. I do believe that high poverty schools can achieve high graduation rates. It all depends on the leadership, the person who is in an administrator role determines the work ethic of their teachers. Administrators whom teachers respect, with high school morale, teachers have more of a drive to help students succeed, instead of feeling hopeless. Teachers with administrative support feel they can help their students be college and career ready. Teachers that are committed to cutting out the ‘extra noise’ and focusing on student need and differentiation can help each student succeed with their own learning style. Arts education and physical education heavily influence student achievement. The arts allow students to work on their auditory, visual, and tactile skills. The arts keep them engaged, and also gives them an outlet to show expression. The arts help students grow their short-term and long-term memory. Physical education helps students heighten their dopamine levels which increases their effort, optimism, and working memory. If you connect the arts and physical education back to the engagement mindset, this shows that physical and art education helps students have a high level of engagement, which in turn allows them to have a high level of achievement because they are motivated to succeed. I feel that all students should be at least work force ready. Not all students will want to go to college, and some will already have the foundation of a work position before they even graduate. The importance of being ready for the ‘world’ is more important than just being college ready. My husband, for example, barely graduated high school, for lack of attendance, he never studied, but almost made a perfect score on the ACT. He could have easily gone to any college he wanted to. But it was not the path he wanted to take, he went into the workforce with no degree and now makes 6 times the amount of money I do, and I have a degree.
Daily Reflection -

Take Away 1: My students have middle school mentors. I can use these mentors as examples for success, and show my students how they will one day be in their ‘shoes’ ready for high school and one day college or the work-force.

Take Away 2: Implementing running in place as a quick ‘brain booster’ is a great way to get my students dopamine levels to rise and get them engaged.

Take Away 3: Giving students more worldly experiences will help them be prepared for college or the workforce.


Implement -

In the future I would like to evaluate my grade level curriculum and find ways to implement culture, arts, physical movement, and partnerships with other grade levels into our lesson plans. Overall each mindset revolves around how we can empower our students. Having their bodies, minds, and personal culture implemented into the curriculum is a perfect way to bring real life experiences into the classroom. I would bring in speakers, and people that spark their interest. For example, we have a student who wants to be a veterinarian. I can bring in a friend of mine that is a veterinarian to the school to speak to students about their career. These real world examples give students a sense of purpose and help explain the why. Why do I have to do this, is often the most asked question during a lesson. Having the arts and physical education be integrated into these lessons as well, will keep their brains ‘sparked’ and ready to absorb the information during lessons.
Joycooley001
Joycooley001
March 20, 2023, 4:53 PM
Mindset - The Engagement Mindset

Assessment - First impressions are everything. At least that is what we are told when we are growing up. During a first meeting with a student, as a teacher I am analyzing their language, how they speak to their parents, how they are walking, what they are wearing, if they can sit still, follow directions, and many more. All of these things I take into consideration and I make a decision in my head, based on those items, if I think the student is going to be successful or if they are going to have a difficult time. As a teacher sometimes those thoughts are pre-placed by past teachers comments when they find out you have a past student of theirs. I have come to the realization that my opinion on the student and parent is usually very different from their past teachers. Many students have proved my predictions wrong about their abilities, when they are participating in class. As a teacher I do think it is expected for us to quickly analyze a student, and give immediate feedback. I also think great teachers' perspectives on student achievement should be that all students can achieve something great, but it is how we as teachers help them find that goal. I am ashamed to point out that my internal thoughts sometimes come across externally. Students can tell through my questioning, body language, and facial expressions that I am disappointed or confused by their responses. For my students in poverty, my behavior impacts their confidence and it also affects the relationship between teachers and students. It is crucial for teachers to stay neutral and excited for all students to join their class. Once a student is evaluated or the teacher has evidence of abilities, should the teacher then approach the parent and student to seek enhanced support. All students are different, and learn differently. Based on student experiences they will each approach their learning differently. Emotionally students in poverty go through high anxiety, these emotions may cause them to not approach their assignment with gusto, they have more pressing things to think about, like what will be for dinner. Experiences heavily influence how students approach their learning. If students have many positive experiences, in particular with education, they will more likely thrive. I frequently have to remind myself how old my students are, and how their home life may impact their learning. I work very hard to ensure I am asking purposeful questions during lessons, always circulating back to the why. Giving students the opportunity to approach assignments differently that align with their learning styles, and giving them choice, helps students think critically and be excited about their learning. When I teach, I always present multiple strategies on how to study, or approach a math problem for example. Students then get to choose what strategy works best for them to get the correct answer. I also present students with multiple strategies on how to control their emotions. If students are not emotionally ready for the school day, the day will be wasted.

Daily Reflection -

Take Away 1: High levels of engagement helps students manage their stress, allows the school day to run smoothly, and keeps students on their toes for the next task.
Take Away 2: I have used many of the arousal strategies to maintain alertness, without knowing they were heightening my students' engagement through movement. I will be trying the ownership strategy next, I love how it is a small, but impactful way students can own their learning.

Take Away 3: “If you don’t play the game you will never lose” I see this consistently through education, where students do not even try because they are afraid to fail. They give up instantly, because they are not interested in the subject and have learned through chronic stress, helplessness.


Implement -

Today my co-teacher was absent, and I taught the main lesson for the week. This lesson is what we call “copycat”. Students have to copy my drawings and writing. These lessons are very boring, and I often find students talking out of turn, and constantly fidgeting. Today I tried to implement as much movement as I could when teaching the lesson. When the lesson started, I told the students to put their marker holder caps on the bottom of their tray, and then give me a thumb in the air when the task was completed. Every student participated and was quiet. I told them this was a signal to show me they are ready for the next task. I then asked students to write their name at the top corner of their paper. Once their name was written they had to stand up. Once all the students were standing, I said “once, two three clap!” This signaled my students to clap once. All students then sat down to get started. Throughout the lesson students held up markers, made sure their markers had ‘magic’ and made funny noises “beep, beep, beep, la, la, la,” to see if their marker was ready to draw or write. The level of engagement was so high, it was the first time, no one interrupted a lesson! At the end of the lesson students held up their paper in the air, I collected them, then told students to stand up, put their hands in the air, wave them around like they just don't care, and give themselves a pat on the back. Afterwards they were all excited to sit on the rug for the next activity for the day. This high level of engagement, set up the class for a day long of continual longing of engagement and excellent listening skills. I was shocked to see how well these strategies worked. Most of them I made up on the spot. I have learned that even the smallest implementation of movement/engagement needs to be consistent and it will work to help run your classroom and it gives your students a longing to stay on task.
Joycooley001
Joycooley001
March 14, 2023, 4:53 PM
Mindset - The Rich Classroom Mindset

Assessment - In my classroom the culture is how we present ourselves and how we treat others. Respect is key in facilitating our classroom culture. Our climate is a happy, positive, inviting environment. I establish this climate by modeling how we speak to others, and how our moods or actions can affect someone else. The climate can change quickly based on a student or even me as the teacher. Mood heavily influences preparation for learning. To encourage our class culture, my class shares a ‘paper bag me’ show and tell. In the paper bag are a few items that tell the class about their family, their beliefs, and things they like and dislike. This is one small piece that gives us all an insight into someone's life. As the teacher I use these presentations to help me incorporate student culture into my teaching. My main resource to implement student culture is to find relevant books they can make connections to. Students may come up and talk about their own experiences. To allow students to feel comfortable and safe I share my own life stories, sharing my hardships and successes puts me in a vulnerable position, and it helps them be comfortable to share their life experiences, or failures with me and their peers. Coming up with a solution to their classmates' problem is also a great way to cultivate community. My number one rule in my classroom is respect your classmates, your teacher, and yourself. When the class takes this rule to heart, they understand that if they respect themselves, they will not want to treat others badly, steal, cheat, lie, make fun of or hit others. The rule of respect allows students to feel safe emotionally and physically. When the rule is broken, we reflect, and often I pull students aside to talk through their behavior. We discuss what the student should have done differently, express that they are not a bad child, but the action they chose was not okay and that our actions have consequences, good or bad. I then issue the consequence. When I approach behavior in this manner, there is no student backlash, and it shows them that all actions have a reaction. Being able to show real life examples of success in my classroom helps students believe they can succeed too. It also shows a realistic example and can be a visualization of my expectations. This helps students know what questions to ask for clarification and helps them pursue mastery. I encourage my students to ask questions, and even ask the same question more than once! Student clarity is one key success.

Daily Reflection -

Take away 1: Be an advocate for your students, make your classroom a safe space for them to make mistakes and grow, stick up for them when they need it most.

Take away 2: Make your classroom responsive, give students a chance to voice their opinions, feelings, and thoughts. Giving students a voice gives them a feeling of importance and safety.

Take away 3: adapt your plans to enhance student culture, and help them set micro goals to help each student move forward.


Implement - Circle time plays a huge role in the elementary school setting. This time allows students to speak about their week, their feelings, struggles, and successes. Circle time is typically done in the morning and in the afternoon. In the morning each student is given an opportunity to share something about themselves. If there is a hardship, as a class community we try to help find a solution. If there is something exciting a student shares, we all congratulate them on their success. If a student shares about their goal being met, we praise them and students are able to ask questions on how the goal was achieved and what the next goal will be. In the afternoon, each student is given the opportunity to speak again, this time about their school day. What they thought was hard, important, fun, and they are given the opportunity to present ideas on the following lesson. Student feedback is one way I am given a guide as the teacher to see what they enjoyed in the lessons and how I can continue to facilitate the excitement for the next lesson. I adjust my lessons to cater to their opinions and ideas. This gives the students control of their learning and helps them take ownership of their assignments. When I abide by their feedback or suggestions, it motivates students to complete assignments with excellence.
Joycooley001
Joycooley001
March 13, 2023, 5:18 PM
In my personal classroom we are learning about life cycles, many students in my classroom, those less fortunate and those that are, have never seen chickens before and how they grow. I have set up someone to come in and bring in their chickens, baby chicks, and eggs to come give a real life example!
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In my personal classroom we are learning about life cycles, many students in my classroom, those less fortunate and those that are, have never seen chickens before and how they grow. I have set up someone to come in and bring in their chickens, baby chicks, and eggs to come give a real life example!
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