Best Practice Do's and Dont's?

Question:Hi everyone,

I'm student teaching this year in a 3rd grade class and I would like to try to incorporate some of the best practices into my language arts, math, social studies, and science lessons. Are there any websites where I can go that will show me what to do and what not to do? I'd prefer a chart so I can print it out and refer to it when I need to.

Thanks!

Answers:
There are best practices for discipline, classroom management, etc., but you seem to focus on "lessons". Keep in mind there are a few basic principals of classroom instruction. For example, learning is most meaningful and longest lasting when it is connected to real-life experiences. Each lesson should include an activity involving the kinesthetic learning modality. Students must be actively involved with their own learning and assessment. Students need constant, positive feedback about their learning. Hold high expectations for the learning of each student.
As a teacher myself my personal advice is not to try and follow any kind of chart. Children don't fit into any factory form. They are all individuals. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Don't threaten consequences you don't intend to follow through with. Show the children that you truly love learning. Your enthusiasm will be contagious. Show them you value each and every one of them as an individual. Truly listen to them. When they tell you they don't understand something guide them toward understanding instead of assuming you taught the perfect lesson and the problem is with them. Evaluate every day what you have done and if you don't feel it worked change it the next day. Remember, it's not teaching if no one is learning. You may think you taught the greatest lesson in the world but if they didn't get it you didn't really teach it.
Collaborate with teachers within your building and district to see what they are doing. No teacher is an island. Visit your districts curriculum center or speak to the curriculum director for ideas. Speak to special education teachers within your school or district for ideas. Use Internet resources that promote the topic of best practices. I have listed one below. Go into the search box at this site and enter the words "best practices".
I am a teacher as well (I was in your place this time last year), I was hired right out of student teaching. In fact it was before I graduated college so they had to put it in my contract that I would graduate college.

I truly agree with Carolyn. Respect the students, treat them like people, have high expectations, but remember they will have bad days and so will you. Forgive them and forgive yourself. Be prepared. This is the best advice I can give.

You have a teaching style, this is your time to figure it out. Don't restrict yourself.

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