From time to time, teachers will look to bring experts into their classrooms. However, searching for and locating such experts can be a sticking point for many teachers. Having said that, if you have taken the opportunity to leverage LinkedIn to connect with folks over the course of your teaching career - including the alumni that you yourself have taught, then you may be surprised to see how many experts you are already personally connected with. Moreover, LinkedIn provides a great set of tools that enable you to search through your existing connections to identify people who are, in some way, associated with a certain field or topic.
LinkedIn is a great way to leverage your existing connections, and, no - you don't need to search through all your connections by eye. Rather, you can use LinkedIn's own search feature to search through your own connections to find folks who are related to a given topic. To do this, just follow these five simple steps:
Voila! There you have a list of all your own connections related to the topic you are searching for (ex. climate change).
Start using LinkedIn today to locate experts in your community who can bring real-world experience and insight into your classroom... and let me know how it goes!
A Star Chamber is a modified fishbowl discussion activity wherein students in the class discuss a topic, and slowly get persuaded to join one side or the other as the discussion ensues.
The topic of the discussion is given ahead of time (this can be a matter of just minutes, or days). Brief articles may be provided outlining each position on an issue. However, students do not need to limit themselves to the material provided in their preparation for the discussion.
The Star Chamber starts out with a small group of students (relative to the class size). These students either volunteer for the first round, or they are chosen at random. The Star Chamber sits within an inner circle of chairs (anywhere from two to six chairs, with even numbers on each side). Only the students in the Star Chamber may speak. Students outside the Star Chamber must listen off to the side in the gallery until they are persuaded to join one side or the other. Once persuaded, a student may seat themselves within one of the two backbenches of the Star Chamber (see diagram above). After six minutes of discussion, an alarm will sound, and students on the backbench will trade places with their representatives on the Star Chamber.
As students enter the Chamber, they hand their Star Chamber ticket to the teacher (The Star Keep). Students earn a Round 2 ticket every time they coax students from the gallery to join their side’s backbench. (A pat on a shoulder indicates which student persuaded the newcomer.)
All Round 1 tickets must be redeemed before Round 2 tickets can be redeemed.
The side with most participants at the end wins.
See the attached PDF below for blackline masters of the classroom setup and the Star Chamber entrance tickets. Enjoy!
Note: This particular Team Management overview and program kit was originally published on newlearner.com back in 1997. The approach has since been adopted with great success within a number of schools and programs. Give this approach a try if you find yourself looking for a new way to manage large numbers of diverse learners within your classroom.
As education budgets shrink and class sizes expand, teachers may at times wish to explore new ways of managing large numbers of students. Although I have the privilege of working in an environment that maintains a reasonable cap on class sizes, I have none-the-less found a "Team Management" approach to be quite effective within my Grade 9 classes. As a teacher of business studies, I have been quite pleased with how effective this approach has been at encouraging students to take an active role in managing their behaviour, as well as providing them with actual experience in team management. I invite other educators to examine this program and consider incorporating it within their regular class routine.
The Management Meeting
The management meeting at the end of the class is a great way to collect formative data to guide the programming for the next class, and it's also a great way to collect evidence of observations and conversations. Not only do the managers record observations for their teams, but the teacher can just focus on four to six managers on any given class, and has the opportunity to have a conversation with this smaller group at the end of the class.
The Management Binder:
The Team Management binder is comprised of five resources, organized in the following order:
The binder generally requires only one Duty Roster and one Attendance Sheet per term. However, it requires a separate reporting sheet (two-sided, with the Conduct Report on the front and the Achievement Report on the back) for each class.
The entire binder kit can be downloaded as a PDF below. Feel free to use this kit and adapt it to your needs. As always, I invite you to let me know how this approach works for you and your students.
The New Learner Lab
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