Some great techniques to establish high expectation from your students
From the literature that I researched on the web an article entitled Ten Strategies for Creating Classroom Culture of High Expectations brought up an extremely enticing point. If you are going to have high expectations for your students you must guide them on what this notion is and a great way to accomplish this goal is to provide a stellar example. I am currently teaching at the 4th grade level and for my math class a model that that provides an exemplary solution method is an excellent way to make this connection. Letting the students know what is expected of them and providing them with a structure that is understandable will get this class moving in the direction towards higher learning. Another great way to raise the bar with class expectations would be to involve the students in rubric creation. Have the premise of the project already determined and go into details with the students on what is expected specifically for each part. Bringing the students into this creative atmosphere will also make them feel more a part of the class as a whole knowing they are in control of some decisions.
The director, Greg Siering, of Indiana University also had an interesting technique about not easing into the semester. Right from the very first week of class you should have the bar raised very high with what is expected from your students. Have your assignments focus on higher level thinking, have a picture of Bloom’s taxonomy at the back of the room so you are constantly reminded to implement critical and analytical thinking. These types of assignments should be done using a scaffolding strategy. Make the assignment difficult but break them into manageable chunks where you can provide specific feedback to what is expected.
Defining your role from the beginning of the semester is also crucial for having high expectations. As a teacher you have to establish the fact that you will be holding them accountable for their work, you are there to guide but also as Greg mentions in his article, referenced below, we are the gatekeeper as well.
What is RTI and how do we help students that are not achieving the high level that is expected.
RTI is a three tiered triangular shaped concept that provides a method for dealing with students that are having trouble. The first and largest portion of the triangle (80-85%) deals with high level differentiated instruction. This means students do not need extra attention and the differentiation that can be accomplished in class is sufficient. Student that are continuously having trouble completing the assignments in class and are lacking on tests will be then instructed outside of regular class time for around thirty minutes a day in a portion know as tier 2 (15% of the total students). They still go to regular class but will be provided with supplementary instruction. Tier three students (5%) will receive even more intensified supplementary instruction that may include special education teachers. These students do not have to be identified and will still be receiving tier one instruction.
The basis to this type of intervention is proper supplementary instruction. In order to recognize students that are having trouble you must as a teacher always be revolving your classes around some type of assessment. Having high expectations will cause some students to struggle with the material and being able to recognize these struggles quickly either formatively, summatively, diagnostically, or however you assess is key to a successful high level class.