Category Archives: Classroom Routines

Strategies by kroeningj

SLANT: As soon as I read this I knew I had been exposed to it before. It took me awhile, but I remembered SLANT from my KU days. In the mid to late 90’s, I taught at an intermediate school. The resource teacher there was very accessible. She came into one of my 7th grade classes to pilot a project on sentence writing. I was impressed! She explained her approach was of one several produced by Kansas University. She talked me into taking one of the classes offered by our AEA9. I was hooked; I took every KU class/seminar offered in our area by AEA9:Slant

  • Fundamentals in Sentence Writing
  • LINCS: Vocabulary Strategy
  • Routines
    • Recall Enhancement
    • Order
    • Survey
    • Vocabulary LINCing

Then I moved to high school. There was so much more to cover in the curriculum and the students should have the basics down, right? Yes and no. I spent a total of 15 years in the junior high/middle school trenches. I know the curriculum and I know the teachers work very hard to prepare students for high school. However, they get to high school and act like they don’t know what you are talking about!

So back to The Strategies. I am not sure high school students will buy into SLANT, but it is worth a try. If anyone in our book cohort would like to view the entire set of directions, please let me know. I also reviewed my manual for Fundamentals  in Sentence Writing.  I would like to use some of these strategies with the 9th grade students I work with in 9th Grade Success Room. They will soon be writing a research paper and I believe many of them could benefit from this. However, how do I get them to buy into it? This would be additional instruction and practice on their parts. Will students work with me to improve their writing if they are not receiving a grade for the practice work? We have talked about this before. You have to master the basics before you can step up to the next level. Is it more important to me than them? In the end, if a student puts in the extra practice, the reward should be a better grade. Too often the grade doesn’t matter; they just want the assigment completed. How do we change this mentality?

Systems and Routines by kroeningj

When I first started teaching in the 9th Grade Academy, I soon learned I had to develop routines. A forty-three minute class  can’t have much down time. I didn’t want things to be too elementary, but there was definitely a need for organization and expectations.

I was often guilty of trying to multi-tasks during instructions. I now know that is a bad idea but time was so precious. Should I have the students line up outside the door or not. Although it might have seemed like a throwback to elementary school, the activity made my life easier and enhanced the beginning of class. It gave me time to finish completely with one group before the next adventure began. I also didn’t have to worry about what was going on in my room while I was supposed to be monitoring the hallways. In addition, if students were lined up, they were not clogging up the hallways for others.

Technique #57: What to Do. Use specific, concrete, squential, and observable directions to tell students what to do, as opposed what not to do.

#57 is very important in the 9th grade world! Freshmen can get off task in a heartbeat. They love to respond/argue any chance they get.

“Knock it off, Johnnie.”

“What am I doing?”

This could go on forever.

“Pencils are made for writing, Johnnie.”

Stops tapping. “Oh. Sorry.”

Will I always be able to put a positive spin on a negative behavior. Probably not. But with a little practice, I bet I could get pretty good at it!