Organizing for Learning in the Primary Classroom: A Balanced Approach to Classroom Management

Organizing for Learning in the Primary Classroom: A Balanced Approach to Classroom Management

Organizing for Learning in the Primary Classroom: A Balanced Approach to Classroom Management

Organizing for Learning in the Primary Classroom: A Balanced Approach to Classroom Management

Synopsis

The primary classroom is the context in which a wide range of teaching and learning experiences occur - and not just for the children! What is it that underlies classroom organization, routines, rules, structures and daily occurrences? What are the prime objectives and what influences the decisions of teachers and children? What is it useful for teachers to consider when contemplating the issues of classroom management and organization? What do different practices have to offer?

"Organizing for Learning in the Primary Classroom" explores the whole range of influences and values which underpin why teachers do what they do in the classroom context and what these mean to children and others. Janet Moyles draws on several different research findings to examine the evidence in relation to the underlying issues of teachers' beliefs and values. She examines teaching and learning styles, children's independence and autonomy, coping with children's differences , the physical classroom context and resources, time management and ways of involving others in the day to day organization. Practical suggestions are given for considering both the functional and aesthetic aspects of the classroom context. Opportunities are provided for teachers to reflect on their own organization and also consider innovative and flexible ways forward to deal with new and ever increasing demands on their time and sanity!.

Excerpt

Picture the scene: a lively classroom full of motivated and interesting children, some painting canal boats, a group doing science experiments, a few arguing over the solution to a mathematical problem, a group reading in a cosily furnished alcove just off the main area, a cluster of children around the teacher in eager discussion and yet more playing a geography game with another adult. Two other children are moving around the school doing a survey on school dinner preferences and one child is drafting a story on the computer. Everything is calm and orderly and throughout the day children move in and out of various activities, having whole class sessions with the teacher, talking to each other in group and individual situations, working with or alongside the adults in the room, putting materials away, obtaining resources for different activities and interacting in a range of experiences, some of which provide new learning while others provide for the continuous development of existing understanding.

Primary teachers will recognize this scenario and may well think 'So what? Just a normal class on a normal day!' But the underlying systems which have previously been formed are crucial to everything which occurs in that classroom on that day. They go unsung and unnoticed by everyone much of the time, being part of the routines and rituals of primary education. Primary teachers make classroom organization and management look easy – as any student teacher, who has tried to disentangle the strategies used by experienced teachers in maintaining order within the classroom . . .

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