I’ve been following a discussion on another organization’s website on the topic: What is the number one thing students think they need to learn? So far there have been more than 20 responses, and the majority mention teachers who know the students, care about their learning, provide a “safe” environment for questions and discussions, and meet the needs of students in a variety of ways. The responders were all adults, but in focus groups I’ve conducted with students, I’ve heard similar comments.
During the last few years, the Ms Mentor blog addressed questions from both new and experienced teachers, and many other teachers offered their suggestions as comments. Here are a few that may be helpful in connecting with students to promote participation and create a positive learning climate:
- Getting to Know Your Students—How can you get to know students when you meet 150+ every day?
- Encouraging Class Participation—How can you provide opportunities for all students to participate in a discussion?
- Participation Rubric—What do we mean by “participation?”
- Cooperative Learning—How can you set up cooperative learning groups in science classes?
- Cooperative Learning in the Lab—How can you structure lab activities to promote participation from all students?