Classroom Environment: Disney vs. Disneyland

Posted on May 27, 2010. Filed under: Classroom environment, Elementary math | Tags: , |

Today I was talking with a friend about a really rowdy class.  We both try to help the teacher.  We were discussing strategies to help her given the context of her classroom.  She has some rough customers.  She has some great kids with some really  bad habits.  She is a new teacher and her response has been to be very stern. She never cracks a smile and she uses her voice in harsh tones alot.  So, we were talking about the ideas of classroom environment–Madeline Hunter’s  famous notion of “Feeling tone”  (A way of being and knowing and learning in the classroom environment).  Classrooms can’t be a free for all.  There have to be rules and consequences so we can all learn together in civilized fashion.  It’s not Disneyland.  It’s  school.  But, at the same time, there should be some “Disney” in the land (classroom).  By Disney, I mean fun.  School should be fun and exciting and  something children look forward to.  They should want to come to school and when they get there, there should be magic.  They should feel the magic of learning!  When we are doing whole group work, they should enjoy it.  We should use picture books and songs and videos and you tube clips that “catch and hold” their attention. They should look forward to being pulled in small groups and working the math out with each other.  They deserve it.  We all deserve it.  We all need to enjoy learning and teaching with each other, everyday, in this place called School:)


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