CFL Demo: How can teachers create a positive classroom environment?

  • Teachers will analyze a classroom clip to determine specific strategies that promote a positive classroom environment.
  • Teachers will reflect on their own practice and identify 3 changes they intend to make relative to their classroom environment.

Notes to the Presenter/Learning Leader:
  • This guided discussion and brainstorming sessions should take approximately 45 minutes. The length of the instructional sequence is designed to fit perfectly within the parameters of traditional faculty meetings or shared planning sessions.
  • When presenting this module, try to refrain from moving into a deficit mindset. Practically speaking, focus on "What's next?" instead of "What's wrong?" This will help teachers feel safer when analyzing their practice.

  1. Noticings and Ideas about a Positive Classroom Environment (10 minutes)
    • Distribute Handout 1 to participants and have them carefully review the three different articles. Collaboratively create a list of all the things participants notice as they read all 3 articles. Place each noticing on a single post it. Put all of the post-its in a central location such as a white board or table top. Consider the following prompting questions to facilitate discussion:
      • What is expected of teachers in this area?
      • What practices do we already have in place in our school that support these ideas?
      • What would an exemplary classroom environment look like?
    • Have participants review all the post-its and put them into groups. Name each group. Each group name will become an area to observe when viewing the video clip.
    • Distribute Handout 2 to participants and have them put the name groups at the top of the matrix.
    • View the video clip with your participants. Direct them to observe and note items that relate to each area on Handout 2.
    • Using the group names you identified in step 2, share all observations inside the matrix. Help participants to see specific strategies and behaviors that were used by the teacher to improve instruction through a healthy instructional environment. Prompt participants to make connections to their practice by asking, "How do you do this in your classroom?" or "What could you try differently?"
    • Distribute Handout 3 to participants.
    • Have participants create connections to their practice.
    • Close the session by having participants share their takeaways and plans for tomorrow. Emphasizing small changes will make the process seem manageable and empowering.

Activities and Handouts:
Handout 1: Thoughts and Ideas about a Positive Classroom Climate

Handout 2: Blank Matrix

Handout 3: Reflect on Your Practice

Digital Resources:

Discussion Board

Learning Forward Professional Development Standards
  • Learning Designs