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Buffalo State PHY 690 - Classroom Management

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Classroom Management and Modeling Discourse 1Running head: CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT AND MODELING DISCOURSE Classroom Management and Modeling Discourse in a High School Physics ClassroomMatthew C. GreeneSUNY Buffalo State College Department of Physics, 1300 Elmwood Ave Buffalo NY 14222 <[email protected]>Classroom Management and Modeling Discourse 2AbstractA challenge for all physics teachers is to make a classroom full of meaningful and purposeful learning moments. This challenge is often magnified for a beginning teacher trying to establish a respectful learning community (Lederman, 1998). In this paper I looked atFurthermore, how beginning physics teachers can utilize modeling discourse in classroom management, and show examples of how modeling was used to expand the learning and understanding of physics in a high school physics classroom. was discussed.Often first year teachers plan lessons with objectives centered towards managing student behaviors and completion of tasks, rather than focusing on meaningful learning (Lederman, 1998). The goal of this manuscript is to discuss how a teacher can design lessons based on student to student interactions, and set up a classroom culture that is open to discussion and collaboration to support their students’ formation of their own understandings of physics phenomena.Classroom Management and Modeling Discourse 3AcknowledgmentThis manuscript was completed in partial requirement for PHY 690: Masters Project and supported by the State University of New York - Buffalo State College Department of Physics, under the direction of Dr. Dan MacIsaac.Classroom Management and Modeling Discourse 4Classroom Management and Modeling Discourse in a High School Physics ClassroomIntroductionEducational researchers have looked at the task of classroom management in a broad spectrum in secondary education (Levin & Nolan, 2003). Many different strategieshave been suggested to help pre-service, and in-service teachers successfully manage a classroom environment (Wong & Wong, 1998). The purpose of thise paper is to expand on these practices, and look at these practices specifically in a modeling physics classroom, based upon current Physics Education Research. In a physics classroom, students have a need to move around and work together. In , both in the lab setting, and in the classroom students need to move about the room to work with fellow classmatesetting and on problems. The setup of the classroom, as both a physical environment and as a nurturing learning environment is a necessity to promote student success (Desbien, 2002). The paper discusses areas of classroom management including the classroom environment, which encompasses the physical environment and classroom culture, student motivation, and lesson design. The Classroom Environment The classroom environment includes both the physical arrangement of the classroom and the classroom culture. In the physical environment the arrangement of the classroom was examined. The setup of the physical environment helps with lesson design, discourse between students, and allows students to know what the teacher’s expectations are for the year. Moreover, how the classroom is arranged, specifically student seating, is essential when taking into consideration particular classroom activities.These activities include labs, demonstrations, classroom discussions, circleClassroom Management and Modeling Discourse 5whiteboarding, and small group presentations. Circle whiteboarding, a method that may not be familiar to all teachers, is a method of student led discourse that is used for students to present and discuss their ideas in class (Yost, Groeshel & Hutto, 2002);( Wells, Hestenes, & Swackhamer, 1995). In a typical circle whiteboarding session the students gather in a circle to discuss new ideas about physics phenomena. Students lead the circle whiteboarding session, with the teacher acting as a facilitator. An example of a modeling lesson featuring circle whiteboarding is available at http://physicsed.buffalostate.edu/rtop/videos/RTOP4/. The classroom culture includes discussion and discourse in a classroom, student led discussions about problem solving tasks, and student motivation. In other words, a successful classroom culture sees the teacher eliciting student excitement about the learning process in physics, and classroom procedures and expectations. The teacher plays an important role in setting up a classroom culture that fosters collaboration, and positive discourse within the classroom (Desbien, 2002). The use of circle whiteboarding, and small group whiteboarding are techniques that are successful in fostering a learning environment. The Classroom EnvironmentThe Physical Environment.Discourse between students is affected by the seating arrangement in the classroom. The class should be arranged in a manner that allows students to talk to each other about physics. Ideally students should be seated in small groups of no more than three to four. If possible students should be seated in a circle, or there should be room in the class for students to gather in a circle for discussions. Students are more likely toClassroom Management and Modeling Discourse 6participate in classroom discussions when they are seated in a manner where all can be seen and heard (Desbien, 2002). The pPhysical arrangement of the classroom can have an impact on students’ success in physics. The seating arrangement should allow discourse between student to student in small groups, between the class, and students to teacher. The classroom setup should allow students to talk to each other about physics, which helps with the learning atmosphere (Court, 1993). Allowing students to sit in an arrangement that allows them to talk to one another will help with problem solving tasks, and facilitates socialization between students that may not normally interact. Socialization has been shown to help students to be more successful in the classroom. Student success in school, and stress levels can be affected by making secondary school learning more exciting and more enjoyable (Court, 1993).In a smaller classroom where lab activities and classroom discussions must both occur, grouping the students in small clusters around the edges of the classroom, and leaving the middle of the room open will allow for an area for the class to meet for discussions. Students should face all of their


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