Research on Effective Schooling

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Introduction

The education provided to children under the age of twelve years is important in giving such students a strong foundational background in their learning process. The environmental setup in which students learn is important in influencing the final outcome that students will achieve at this level. The K-12 education is, therefore, vital and should, thus, be taken as such by teachers, parents and students themselves to ensure that they have students getting to learn all that pertains to that level. As a K-12 teacher, I will have a role in ensuring that students are brought up education wise in a holistic and encompassing manner to give them a wider choice in future, as they come to the point of selecting their professional careers. I will also have a role in instilling discipline and respect among my students through cooperative and individualistic learning approaches to create, in students, a learning culture that will be vital in their future learning situations. This is because students in higher learning institutions are expected to learn in groups and as individuals. Instilling of such culture in students at an early stage can help their teachers realize better results in the future. This is because students will be used to this kind of learning mode (Huitt et al, 2009).

Most students in K-12 grades are starting to conceive learning concepts and, thus, are not good learners. Even though some of them might be sharp students who are able to comprehend concepts as quickly as possible, the majority of them tend to lag behind. This will require that the teacher makes an extra effort to ensure that students who are not yet good in learning are helped and brought to the same level with the rest of the students. As such, most students in K-12 can be described as average students in their learning, as they tend to fit well with the available curriculum that emphasizes on the learning of mathematics, sciences and communication skills.

However, a few students can be said to be poor and while others are excellent, but the trend is that even those who are poor tend to improve their performance with time, especially if they receive extra attention from their teachers and parents. This is, therefore, an indication that students in K-12 grades have an opportunity to become better learners if the teaching methods and styles are in conformity with their learning requirements. This paper presents research on the effectiveness of learning by a student in K-12 grades with focus on three skills, instructional behaviors, or methods that are vital in the learning of a K-12 student. The paper also develops a classroom-based action plan that indicates how to focus on the skills, behaviors or instructional methods selected.

In this assignment, one has chosen cooperative learning, problem-solving teaching, and study skills instruction. In teaching student at K-12 level, students are mostly not well versed with the meaning of some of the subjects that they are learning. As such, cooperative learning is important because it can help to bring poor students to be at par with others, since they can get encouraged by those students who are doing well. The average performance in a K-12 class, especially in lower grades, tends to be low because the students have not yet mastered the concepts that they are supposed to learn (Fredrick, Deitz & Bryceland, 2000).

Similarly, in implementing cooperative learning, the teacher is supposed to inculcate study skills instructions among the students. It is also good to note that the students at this level do not have to study skills. Therefore, in encouraging cooperative learning, the teacher will also need to teach the student on how to study in groups or at individual level. Through their own study, they should be able to solve problems that the teacher assigns to them. Most learning at K-12 classes involves solving simple arithmetic and grammar questions. With problem-solving skills, students will be able to prepare themselves for more advanced questions and solving skills when they advance to the next stage of their learning in high schools. The selected skills are complimentary to each other and help to anchor a K-12 in a learning mood and, therefore, important areas of consideration for K-12 teachers (Hattie, 2009).

Classroom-Based Action Plan

Teacher Name: _______________ Start Date: _______________

Center: __K-12 Learning Center__ End Date: _______________

Age Group: ________5 to 8_______________ Number of Children in Class: ___13___

K-12 Teacher ____________________

Registration No: ___________________

Service Category: ______Classroom-Specific Core_______

Interventions

Weeks of Center Consultation: _______________ Direct Teaching Hours: ___52___

Weekly Director/Teacher Consult Meetings: 12 Phone Consult Contacts: ___10___

TAB Trainings: _______ List TAB Topics: __Positive Guidance Techniques___________

TAB Training Date: _________

Resource List: ____________________ Parent/Teacher Consult Team Meetings: 4___

Student Specific Assessment: ____________ Student Specific Action Plan: _______________

__________________________________________________________

Classroom Assessment Tools

Discussions groups

Group assignments

Short period individual assignments

Classroom Areas of Strength

Summary of Strength of Classroom versus Teacher

The Actual Physical Learning Environment

The teacher must ensure that the classroom is well-organized and that there are well-displayed visual boundaries. An important factor is also to ensure that the classroom is organized in a manner that supports the activities of the students during learning; for instance, the direction of light, lighting and entrance.

Routinely Activities

The learning activities will be done daily until the students are able to demonstrate the grasp of teacher expectations and results. The teacher will, thus, endeavor to individualize these activities in the learning program of each student. At the end of the first week, student must indicate enthusiasm to participate in the program.

Activities and Experiences

The teacher will seek to utilize the available teaching resources including textbooks and other learning aids. The program involves putting students into groups of two to five. The number of students in each group depends on the weight of the assignment. Individual assignments shall be allocated six minutes each. The aim of such assignments is to individualize problem-solving skills in students. The teacher should uphold a high level of engagement and interaction with all students through demonstration of affection, care, respect and supportive attention to each student. The students should be encouraged to cooperative learning to solve group problems while in groups.

Parent-Teacher Relationship

The teacher will occasionally welcome parents in the classroom during the class sessions to monitor the progress of their children. This relationship will ensure that students get to learn problem-solving when they are in their homes. The relations will also help parents to write reports and observations about the performance of their children while at home to ensure that students continue benefiting from cooperative learning, problem-solving skills and study skills instruction, while in homes.

The Structure of the Program

The routine activities will be implemented as much as possible. This will help the teachers to present their students with a balanced learning situation both in class and out of class. This will also involve small and large groups with activities directed by the teacher and a selected group leader. Leadership by students in groups will be rotational to give each student a chance to exercise their leadership skills. The program will be structured in a manner that allows students to have a holistic approach to cooperative learning, including during physical exercises in the field.

Teacher Partnership

The teacher will partner with other teachers to ensure that the cooperative learning, problem-solving skills, as well as study skills instructions continue in all subjects. The partnership amongst teachers should be focused on three identified areas, so that student do not get confused as to which teacher is teaching them which skills. However, this should not be done at the detriment of other important skills that students need to learn in K-12. Teachers will also promote communication and listening skills which are essential in cooperative learning. The teachers will, therefore, interact verbally with students during activities and routines.

Classroom Goals, Objectives and Strategies

Cooperative Learning

Goal

The goal of cooperative learning is to enable the teacher to inculcate cooperative learning in students at K-12 level through exercises, both in class and in the field.

Objective

The objective is to cultivate a sense of cooperation and support it among students in their learning.

Strategy

Put students in groups as often as possible, and give them problems to solve as a group. Rotate leadership among students in groups and monitor their progress in cooperating with the leader during problem-solving sessions.

Problem-Solving Skills

Goals

The goal is to prepare students to deal with academic problems, both at the level of K-12 and in their later academic levelsthrough experience and learning.

Objective

The objective is to enable the student provide solutions to the daily problems in academics through group works, as well as at individual level. This will promote resilience in student when it comes to dealing with academic challenges.

Strategy

Develop regular situations in which students will encounter academic problems in groups to solve. Record their daily performance and reward those who show improvement and encourage those who are still lagging behind to catch up with others. To form groups randomly to ensure that students get to work with any other student in class.

Study Skills Instructions

Goal

To create an environment, where students will follow the instructions as given by the teacher and seek clarification where they do not understand the instructions. This will promote consultation among students.

Objective

The objective is to teach students on how to use study skills instructions and to encourage them to use those skills in their studies.

Strategy

Develop problems with multiple instructions and let students follow the instructions given to be able to come up with the solution. Study skills instruction will also be included in each activity in the class and outside the class.

Follow Up: _________________________ Follow Up Date: __________

Comments: ___________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

Teacher Signature: _______________________________________ Date ____________

Teacher Name: ________________________________________________________________

Director Signature: ________________________________________ Date ____________

Director Name: _______________________________________________________________

Consultant Signature: _________________________ Date ____________

Teacher Contact: _________________

How to Track the Recommended Factors

Students in K-12 are supposed to show improvement in the areas of cooperative learning, problem-solving and study skills by the time they are leaving their 8th grade. One would recommend that the teacher should record the progress made by each student in the above areas in every session. The teachers should also seek to ensure that the student shows remarkable improvement by supporting those students who do not show improvement at the end of each month. One also recommends that teachers should also use students who have shown remarkable improvement to help those who are still yet to improve in area of cooperative learning, problem-solving and study skills.

In addition, the teachers should give students problems to solve at the end of each month and comment on their performance in the skills they have acquired during a particular month. Students will also be required to write reports about another student that they think has improved and give reasons why they think the student has improved. They can also write about a student who they think has not improved and give reasons for the dismal performance, as well. Finally, one can recommend that the teacher uses the reasons given by students to improve the performance of students in the following month.

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