Ready to Learn: Creating a Positive Classroom Culture
Lesson Objective: Build a safe and inclusive classroom community
All Grades / All Subjects / Community

Thought starters

  1. What strategies does Ms. Saul use to create a helpful class pledge?
  2. How does Ms. Saul communicate her beliefs about learning to her students?
  3. What practices and routines could you institute to build your unique classroom culture?
5 Comments
  1. What strategies does Ms. Saul use to create a helpful class pledge?

Have stdents buy into the classroom culture by having them have ownership in the process.  This is with the classroom pledge created on day one of each school year.

 2. How does Ms. Saul communicate her beliefs about learning to her students?

She demonstrate that failing is okay as long as you keep trying.  She shows how mistakes can be corrected and that we all learn from our mistakes. 

 3. What practices and routines could you institute to build your unique classroom culture?

Allow my scholars to create a form of the classroom pledge that are inline with the expectations, but they have ownership in.  

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I LOVE that Ms. Saul allows and encourages failure and makes her classroom a safe place to learn without penalty. 

I also like that she has peer feedback which can be much more powerful than teacher warnings.

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1. The strategies that Ms. Saul used to create a helpful class pledge were a visual pledge that her and the class made. She also discussed with the students and even allowed them to have discussions with each other to further ensure that the class was staying true to the pledge together. 

2. Ms. Saul communicates her beliefs about learning to her students by letting them know that it's okay to make mistakes and shows them how to learn from them, that they learn more from mistakes. She also validates them and communicates when they are doing well, etc. I love this approach! 

3. Some practices and routines I would use in my classroom to help build a unique classroom culture would be to also have some visual reminders for the students so that we can readress them when needed. Going back and reviewing them together ensures that they will always remember it. But also just checking in with my students daily so we know how we can all work together as a team to make sure that all the students and classroom are flowing accordingly. It helps to know where your students are at daily and that the students know where they are each individually at as well. If someone is having a bad day, if someone is celebrating, if someone needs more help, etc. I think having the students know these things as well allows them to step in and offer help, ecouragement, etc. 

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Ms. Saul truly supports her students and wants each and every one of them to succeed.  In the pledge she has created, she demonstrates to her students the idea of a "growth mindset."

Ms. Saul communicates her beliefs about learning to her students by verbally affirming them that they are doing well, that they are going to succeed, and they are going to do great things!  She also has created a classroom culture that encourages students to learn from their mistakes.

I would like to have a pledge within my classroom, as I think that it is great to teach students how to set goals for themselves and to strive for greatness.

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Ms. Saul has a very warm approach with her students. I do like the environment that she has created and how she has allowed the students to have a role in that. 

If a problem or distraction arises, I like how Ms. Saul will stop and have a conversation about the behavior. This not only helps students refocus on their goals, but allows them to recognize good and bad behavior. This seems to be much more effective than just shouting or trying to discipline a student in the middle of a lesson. The methods that Ms. Saul is using can really help these students outside of the classroom. 

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Transcripts

  • [00:00]
    Interviewer: All right, back in 3, 2, 1.

    Establishing a strong classroom culture is essential because it’s sort of like

    [00:00]
    Interviewer: All right, back in 3, 2, 1.

    Establishing a strong classroom culture is essential because it’s sort of like the bed that you plant the flowers in. You have to have that in order for things to flourish and grow. Students have to feel safe in your classroom. You have to normalize air. They have to know that it’s okay to try and try and try again, that you will actually learn more if you fail often.

    I have a really serious conversation with my students at the beginning of the year about their ownership in our classroom culture, and how each of them is responsible for maintaining our learning environment.

    I believe in myself and my ability to do my best.

    We’ve written a classroom pledge together establishing our hopes and dreams and goals for the year that we then use as a measure for our behavior throughout the rest of the year. If someone’s offending or interrupting or not staying on task, we will actually stop and have a conversation as a class, is this something that’s gonna help us achieve our hopes and dreams or is this something against.

    The students are able to make that judgment and respond to each other. Hearing it from your peer that you’re interrupting my learning is often times more effective than me redirecting. Taking the time to really have students buy into the idea that we’re on a journey, and if we’re all doing the things we’re supposed to do we’re going to get where we need to go.

    I am too focused on my hopes and dreams to waste today. I am college bound.

    [End of Audio]

School Details

East Palo Alto Charter School

Teachers

Jen Saul
English Language Arts Math Science Social Studies Arts / 3 / Teacher

Newest

TCH Special

Grades 6-12, All Subjects, Civic Engagement

TCH Special

Grades 6-12, All Subjects, Civic Engagement

TCH Special

Grades 6-12, All Subjects, Civic Engagement

Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Subjects / Collaboration