By Teachers, For Teachers
Using classroom management to create a student-centered atmosphere where students are self-organized creates an active learning environment: A space where students are self-motivated and where they take ownership for their learning. Using classroom management to create a self-organized room is said to encourage higher-level thinking, where students achieve their goals and are successful in school. Here are a few more classroom management characteristics of a self-organized classroom.
Self-organized classrooms have a cozy, inviting presence. They have student work on the walls and the desks are arranged so that learning is fun. Students are encouraged to collaborate with others as well as work alone. The atmosphere is situated so that students are free to get and move about without any traffic flow problems. The shelves are filled with books that students are free to read, and you may even see a reading nook or cozy corner to relax. They are set up so that students can independently and freely move about.
When students are in charge of themselves, then there will be a much higher noise level. Usually a self-organized classroom means that students are free to get up and move about. You may see students engaged in a variety of activities, such as collaborating with others, reading in the cozy corner, filing their papers away, or working on a computer project. A lot of the time the students are the ones doing the majority of the talking, rather than the teacher. It is an active learning environment where students are in the pursuit of knowledge.
Self-organized learners work hard to achieve their goals. The teacher supplies a framework for students to follow, then students set their own goals. This guideline has just enough information to help empower students to adapt to their own learning path. Students follow this guideline that they make for themselves to help them flourish and achieve their goals.
A self-organized classroom means that students have more of a say about their learning. The classroom environment is student-centered, where students push and empower themselves, versus feeling pulled or told what to do by the teacher. Students are encouraged to develop their own goals and achieve them at their own rate. They use intrinsic motivation to achieve success in the classroom.
In a self-organized classroom, the teacher provides rapid feedback. Feedback is used to provide students a means to differentiate their own learning. The goal is to empower students to think critically about their work then take the information learned and adapt it to their own learning.
The main goal of a self-organizing classroom is to foster a learning environment where students are self-reliant and will self-manage. Students can do this by understanding what it takes to self-evaluate. Try having students brainstorm the habits of a self-managing student. Then post their ideas on the wall for all see and use as a guide throughout the school year.
SOLE classrooms, or Self-Organized Learning Environments, are a place where students are organized. For example, the teacher will pose a broad question, then it’s the student’s job to research the question, choose who they will work with, how they will find their information, and how they will present their findings. All of this is done by themselves (or with the guidance of the teacher) in an organized manner.
There are many ways to integrate technology into the classroom. Self-organized, student-centered classrooms make an effort to bring technology into almost everything that they do. No matter if you have access to a lot of technology or a little, teachers and students find a way to make it a priority.
The primary goal of this type of classroom is to help students become more independent. By keeping students at the center of the classroom and making them responsible for themselves and their learning, you are inspiring them to have a deeper understanding of themselves.
What do you think of using classroom management to create a student-centered, self-organized space? Please feel free to share your thoughts about this topic in the comment section below. We would love to hear your thoughts.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds Masters of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Hey Teach. She was also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.