Posts Tagged foundation

Foundation: Starting the School Year off Right

Last  week, we talked about the new school year sneaking  up on us. Setting a strong foundation is pivotal in the first few weeks of school. It is a time where your students are learning you, and you are learning them. Here at Quantum Learning, we start our teacher training’s with a system we believe  makes great teachers greater.  Our acronym FAD²E (the core of our methodology), stands for:

  • Foundation
  • Atmosphere
  • Design and Delivery
  • Environment

Each one of these points is a pivotal role for teachers, and how to create the best situation in their classroom.  Foundation needs to be strong if you want any other aspects of the model to work as well. Like anything all parts of this system need to be working at top notch.

In effective classrooms, a strong Foundation creates an aligned community of learners through a shared vision, intentions, values and principles and clear expectations. These are not just posted on a wall. They are taught, discussed, modeled, and consistently reinforced. For example, the educational vision and values of the school are understood and shared by everyone and are made relevant in the classroom by the teacher. There is a clear understanding regarding expected behavior, quality of work, interactions, and daily procedures. These FOUNDATIONAL elements are communicated clearly and reinforced each day.

To get started on your search of what foundation you want your classroom to be set on, you can take a personal activity we have set up on our site here.  Sometimes just taking a step back can help us see something we normally wouldn’t have.

Once you have set up your own clear idea of foundation, it is then time to deliver the information to your classroom. What expectations do you have for your students? What is the correct way to turn in their homework? All of these things need to be told in a clear way at the beginning of the year. Once you set your foundation, your students will understand you better, and know what you expect from them. Besides the great personal activity, we also have three short lesson plans to help set up foundation in your classroom.

How do you set a good foundation in your classroom? Let us know in the comments below.

Image Credit: Riverstone International School

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Orchestrating Your Classroom to Its Full Potential

OrchestratingFoundation is what holds everything together—metaphorically and physically. How solid your foundation is can set you up for success or failure. Here at Quantum Learning we understand this, and we constantly educate our clients on how important foundation is in the classroom.

A strong Foundation of aligned principles, beliefs, agreements, policies and rules (community) will make the teacher/student relationship run much more smoothly. While easier said than done, there are many ways you can build a strong foundation each and every school year.

First Day of School
The first day of school is exciting, potentially nerve racking for the students, but most importantly, it’s where you can start to establish that strong foundation. Letting your students know the  rules and beliefs you have set in your classroom will set a strong foundation from day one.

As soon as your students set foot in your classroom they are already getting a sense of who you are as a teacher. Is your classroom inviting? Does your room have posters and colorful pictures as opposed to stark white walls? A good Atmosphere helps to create a strong foundation.

Classroom Management
When you have a strong foundation, classroom management is much easier. Incorporating an atmosphere of engaging  traditions and other strategies will help create a sense of belonging and safety, focus attention and motivate students to increase participation in learning.

Design
How are you designing your curriculum? Are you putting in enough student engagement? How many times have you sat in a class and the teacher/professor was lecturing—not engaging you? Coming up with creative ways to Design a lesson can make the difference in your students’ engagement.

Verbal and Non-verbal Communication
As you probably know, there are two types of communication—verbal and non-verbal. You could be teaching the most important information of the year, but if you aren’t energetic in your voice, or if you’re yawning the entire lesson, you could lose your students’ attention.  Your Delivery is everything.

Classroom Setting
The way you set up the physical space that supports the classroom culture can enhance learning.  The ideal classroom Environment is inviting, comfortable, and stimulating. Because everything in the classroom sends a message about what is important, the environment is purposefully constructed with the use of plants, lighting, décor, furniture arrangement, content-related and inspirational posters, and student-generated work.

An acronym to easily remember these points is FAD²E (foundation, atmosphere, design, delivery and environment).  Using the FAD²E model we build effective teaching by having:

  • a strong Foundation of aligned principles, beliefs, agreements, policies and rules (community)
  • an empowering Atmosphere of trust, safety and a sense of belonging
  • a dynamic and engaging curriculum Design and a great way to Deliver the material
  • a supportive Environment that enhances the learning

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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