Monday, August 27, 2007

Final Word Strategy Notes

During the debrief the Final Word on Baruti Kafele's "Managing Your Classroom," CoP members came up with the following ideas:

The Final Word strategy allows all students to speak, creating an equality of cultures. The strategy allows all ideas to be affirmed, and the sense of order is a classroom management tool itself.

Discussing Kafele's ideas sparked a lively discussion from "we resist rigid classroom management" to "we still struggle with managing a classroom." KC shared her three classroom rules: Work, Respect, Belong. The group liked the idea of keeping rules vague since teachers can't predict all of the infractions.

Jackie's Note: Although many folks were turned off by some of the specific ideas that Kafele proposes, the animated discussion and comments such as "I've always been afraid to talk about classroom management issues" and "The faculty needs to have a larger discussion of rules for consistency across classes" made the 25 minutes valuable for me. Thanks for your great discussion.


Rob said...

I agree that it was a valuable discussion. While I have only used the Final Word strategy with students responding to a text, I think it would work just as well with a thoughtful question for all in a group to consider. I can also see the value, as Ruth Mary suggested, in having groups report out some of their discussion.

Eric Nelson said...

The discussion was interesting both as an exercise in the use of Final Word, but also in the topic of student management. As an administrator it was very interesting to hear the perspectives of teachers on a number of the ideas presented by Kafele. Overall, my experience at Edina High School has been that teachers have excellent management skills. I really like many of his ideas, some are common practice at Edina High School, while others seem to be counter to what my experience has seen as successful.

Jackie Roehl said...

I liked Kafele because I could take his ideas and mold them to fit my classroom. If you stop by my World Lit classroom, you'll see my vision statement. It's just three words, "Know your world." You'll also see a student Wall of Fame, a cooperative education desk layout, and teaching stations at various locations in the room so that no one area is always the front of the room.